Dr. Michelle Forrest

Office: Seton 479
Phone: (902) 457-6241
Fax: (902) 457-4911

Scholarly and Teaching Interests

  • philosophy of education
  • philosophy in the classroom
  • aesthetics and the arts in values education
  • philosophy in teacher education
  • art as inquiry
  • controversy in the classroom
  • feminist ethics of practice in teacher education
  • chance operations and the movement of invention


I was born in Halifax, grew up in Dartmouth and live in Terence Bay and Windsor, Nova Scotia. I graduated with a B.A. in English and Philosophy from Mount Saint Vincent University before starting a career in the performing arts.

I was awarded Portia White bursaries from the Nova Scotia Talent Trust which supported my studies in London, England with Yvonne Newman, contralto with the BBC Singers, formerly of D’Oyly Carte, and with Frederick Sharp, formerly baritone with the English National Opera. I received an Associateship from the Royal College of Music (AGRM), and a Licentiate in drama and stagecraft at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama (LGSM) where I studied with West End actor, Susan Ford. I premiered two song cycles in London – “A Selection of Songs” by Rosalee Coopman of London, and “Three Songs” by the Canadian composer James MacDonald Gayfer.

My interest in Russian language and song led me to Russian Studies at Dalhousie University, Halifax and to the Pushkin Institute of Russian Language, Moscow, where I received a certificate in Second Language Acquisition and Pedagogy. In Moscow, I performed a concert of Russian song at the Lenin State Pedagogical Institute and an evening of Canadian Folk Songs at the Canadian Embassy.

I took a B.Ed. degree at Dalhousie University, and taught English and Drama for seven years in Nova Scotia public and independent schools systems. My graduate studies in Education at Dalhousie were under the supervision of Dr. William Hare. I wrote a Master’s thesis on bias and media literacy and a doctoral dissertation on the ‘open’ art-work and its implications for open-mindedness.

I taught for four years in the School of Education at Acadia University (1997-2001). I have taught at Mount Saint Vincent since 2001 in the B.Ed. and Education Foundations programs, and coordinated the Ed Foundations program from 2007 to 2017.

I have been a member of the Canadian Philosophy of Education Society since 1991 and have served in several capacities: managing editor for the Society’s journal, Paideusis (1998-2002), guest editor of a special issue (18: 1, 2009) in honour of William Hare, CPES President (2010-2012), and I remain an Associate Editor of and reviewer for the journal, which is now called Philosophical Inquiry in Education.

In May 2010 my article “Sensitive Controversy in Teaching to be Critical”* won The Canadian Association of Foundations of Education Publications Award, given in recognition of peer reviewed articles that have made a major contribution to knowledge in the disciplines that fall under the rubric of the foundations of education.

In addition to my solo work, I am a founding member of a research trio called The (1+1+1) Collective. My co-founders are Miriam Cooley (U. of Alberta), now retired, and Linda
Wheeldon (Acadia). We are three artists and scholars in education who use art as our methodology and publish work on the artistic process and on the role of chance in research and collaboration. Linda Wheeldon and I continue to publish and present on feminist pedagogy and open-mindedness in education.

A Selection of Publications, Installations & Presentations:


  • Forrest, M., Phillip Joy (2021).  Out of the Closet and into Quarantine: Story of Isolation and Teaching.  Atlantis: Critical Studies in Gender, Culture & Social Justice 42.1, 31-45.
  • Forrest, M.; Bruneau, S.; Wheeldon, L. (2020). Dilemmas and Category Mistakes in Mentoring for Entering Academe (conference proceedings). Canadian Association of Foundations of   Education, CSSE/SSHRC Congress.
  • Forrest, M. (2020). An Argument for Post-Socratic Teaching: Lessons from Fluxus (conference proceedings). Canadian Philosophy of Education Society, CSSE/Congress.
  • Forrest, M. & L. Wheeldon (2019). Scripting Feminist Ethics in Teacher Education. Ottawa: University of Ottawa Press
  • Forrest, M. (2015). Sonorous Voice and Feminist Teaching: Lessons from Cavarero. Studies in Philosophy and Education 34: 587-602.
  • Forrest, M. (2013a). Practising Silence in Teaching. Journal of Philosophy of Education 47: 4, 605-622.
  • Forrest, M. (2011). Justifying the Arts: the Value of Illuminating Failures. Journal of Philosophy of Education 45: 1, 59-73.
  • Forrest, M., Cooley, M. & Wheeldon, L. (2010). Mapping the movement of invention: collaboration as rhizome in teaching and research. Power and Education 2: 1, 31-47.
  • Forrest, M., Keener, T. & Harkins, M.J. (2010). Understanding narrative relations in teacher education. Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education 38: 2, 87-101.
  • Forrest, M. (2009a). Does Communicative Competence Need to be Re-conceptualized? The Journal of Thought 44: 1 & 2, 101-111.
  • Harkins, M.J., Forrest, M. & Keener, T. (2009). Room for fear: using our own personal stories in teacher education. Journal of Teaching and Learning 6: 1, 15-23.
  • Forrest, M. (2009b). Sensitive controversy in teaching to be critical. Paideusis 18: 1, 80-93.
  • The (1+1+1) Collective (2009a). Quite a Crowd. On-line video installation. Media: Culture: Pedagogy (formerly Educational Insights) 13: 2, npn.* (Artists’ statement included in file. Video viewable at:
  • The (1+1+1) Collective (2009c). Collaborative inquiry as illuminated manuscript. In Qualitative Research: Challenging the Orthodoxies in Standard Academic Discourse(s), Sandra Kouritzin, Nathalie Piquemal & Renée Norman, eds., New York: Routledge, 27-44.


  • Forrest, M., L. Wheeldon & S. Bruneau (June 2019. Women Philosophers of Education in
    Canada. Keynote Address for the Canadian Assoc. of Foundations of Education.
    SSHRC Congress, UBC, Vancouver, B.C.
  • Forrest, M. (June 2019). Ontological agnosticism and drawing ‘blind’: Curriculum as ‘open’
    work. Canadian Philosophy of Education Society, SSHRC Congress, University of
    British Columbia, Vancouver, B.C.
  • Forrest, M. & L. Wheeldon (June 2019, accepted but unable to attend). Cavarero’s
    “metaphysics of death” and practising research ethics with ‘bad intentions’.
    International Human Science Research Conference, Molde, Norway.
  • Forrest, M. & L. Wheeldon (May 2019). Suspending disbelief, “poetic faith”, and research
    ethics: A meta-philosophical analysis. Conference of Qualitative Research, UNB,
    Fredericton, N.B.
  • Forrest, M., H. Medani & L. Wheeldon (May 2018) What is feminist teaching for truth and
    reconciliation? Canadian Assoc. for Women in Education/Canadian Assoc. for the Study
    of Adult Education/Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women Preconference
    Institute on Feminism and Decolonization, SSHR Congress 2018 University
    of Regina, Saskatchewan.
  • Forrest, M. & L. Wheeldon (May 2017). Gender and violence in schools: The horror of being bullied to death, Canadian Association for the Study of Women in Education, Congress of Social Sciences and Humanities, Ryerson University, Toronto, Ont.
  • Forrest, M. & L. Wheeldon (Dec 2016). “Sitting alone together”: The paradox of teaching ‘bad intentions’, Association for Moral Education, Harvard University, Boston, Mass.
  • Forrest, M. (May 2016) Balancing wonder and utility: Philosophy as pedagogy for common schooling, Canadian Philosophical Association’s Philosophy-in-the-Schools Symposium, The Congress, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta.
  • Forrest, M. & H. Medani (Oct 2015). Grandmother Stories: In the spirit of practical wisdom. Canadian Association for the Study of Adult Education, MSVU, Halifax.
  • Forrest, M. & L. Wheeldon (May 2015). What good is philosophy for life? Canadian Philosophy Associations (philosophy-in-the-schools project), The Congress, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ont.
  • Forrest, M. & L. Wheeldon (Nov 2014). Let’s not agree to disagree: Principled practice and problems of relativism, Association for Moral Education, Pasadena, California
  • Forrest, M. (Oct 2014). I can only imagine: Drawing ‘blind’ in teaching for open-mindedness. Canadian Society for Education through Art, Halifax, NS.
  • Forrest, M., Wheeldon, L. & Bruneau, S. (May 2014). ‘Philosophelles’ in the Academy: Unique Contributions of Women Philosophers to Educational Studies. Canadian Philosophy of Education Society, CSSE, Brock University, St. Catherine’s Ont.
  • Wheeldon, L. & Forrest, M. (May 2014). Philosophy in the Footlights: Developmental Drama for Feminist Pedagogy in Teacher Education. Canadian Philosophy of Education Society, CSSE, Brock University, St. Catherine’s Ont.
  • Forrest, M., Wheeldon, L. & Bruneau, S. (June 2013). Conceptual Art for Community Inquiry. Canadian Philosophy of Education Society, CSSE, University of Victoria.
  • The (1+1+1) Collective (June 2012). Shifting the Weight: How might we learn together? International Human Science Research Conference, University of Quebec at Montreal, Montreal, PQ.
  • Forrest, M. (May 2012). Sonorous Voice and Feminist Pedagogy. Canadian Philosophy of Education Society, CSSE, Wilfred Laurier University, Waterloo, Ont.
  • Forrest, M., Bruneau, S., & Wheeldon, L. (May 2012). MUSE OFF! Collective action in support of arts in education and research. Canadian Philosophy of Education Society, CSSE, Wilfred Laurier University, Waterloo, Ont.
  • Forrest, M. (May 2011). Voice as Embodied Uniqueness: A Feminist Politics of the Voice in Collaborative Inquiry. Canadian Philosophy of Education Society, CSSE, University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, NB.
  • Forrest, M. (Apr 2011). Absurdity in and for Education: A Philosophical Inquiry. Philosophical Studies in Education, AERA, New Orleans.
  • Forrest, M. (Apr 2010). Silence in a Community of Inquiry. Philosophy of Education Society of Great Britain, New College, Oxford.
  • The (1+1+1) Collective (May 2009). The Work of The (1+1+1) Collective. Canadian Association for Curriculum Studies, CSSE, Carleton University, Ottawa.


  • Forrest, M., Hare, W., Kerr D. (2015). Philosophy of Education. In D. Mandzuk & S. Hasinoff (eds.) Case Studies in Foundations of Education: Canadian Perspectives. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Forrest, M. (2013). Philosophy of Education: Critical for Survival. In T.M. Cristou & S.M. Bullock (eds.) Foundations in Teacher Education: A Canadian Perspective. Ottawa: Canadian Association of Teacher Education, 74-85.
  • Forrest, M. (2013). Framing Conceptions of Teaching and Learning to Teach. In B. Griffith & D.J. Lovelace (eds.) The Interdependence of Teaching and Learning. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing, 308-330.
  • The (1+1+1) Collective (2009b). Cover art-work. Media: Culture: Pedagogy (formerly Educational Insights)13: 2, npn.
  • Forrest, M. (2003). Open-mindedness and media bias: education for insight. Journal of Thought 38: 2, 63-81. (special issue on open-mindedness)

If you have interests related to mine, I would be pleased to hear from you!

Michelle Forrest