Anne Phelan

Scarfe 305E



Professional Education


Anne Phelan is a Professor in the Department of Curriculum and Pedagogy, and co-Director of the Centre for the Study of Teacher Education, at the University of British Columbia. She is also Honorary Professor in the Department of Policy and Leadership at the Education University of Hong Kong. Her research focuses on the intellectual and political freedom of K-12 teachers and on the creation of teacher education programs and policies that support that end.  Her work has explored (a) the relationship between language, subjectivity, and practice; and (b) the dynamic of judgment and responsibility; and (c) the paradoxes of autonomy (creativity and resistance) in teacher education and in professional life.  Her current SSHRC-funded research, with Dr. Melanie Janzen (University of Manitoba), examines the anxiety of obligation in teaching and its relationship to teacher attrition.

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Selected Publications

Books and Special Issues:

  Phelan, A.M., Pinar, W. F., Ng-A-Fook, N., & Kane, R. (Eds.) (2020).   Reconceptualizing Teacher Education: A Canadian Contribution to a Global Challenge.  Ottawa: University of Ottawa Press.
Clarke, M., Phelan, A., Back, S. (Eds.) (2018). The Virtues of Initial Teacher Education: Ethical Practice in an Era of Performativity. Research in Education: Theory, Policy and Practice, April.
Clarke, M. & Phelan, A. (2017). Teacher Education and the Political: The Power of Negative Thinking. London: Routledge Press.
Phelan, A. (2015). Teacher Education and Curriculum Theorizing: Complicating Conjunctions.  London: Routledge Press.
Phelan, A. & Sumsion, J. (Eds.) (2008).  Critical Readings in Teacher Education: Provoking Absences.  The Netherlands: Sense Publishers


Journal Articles and Book Chapters:

Phelan, A. & Vintimilla, C. D. (In Press). Autonomy as responsibility in professional life: Deconstructing teaching standards. Curriculum Research Journal.

Phelan, A.M. & Rüsselbæk Hansen, D. (In Press, 2021). Toward a thoughtful lightness: Education in Viral Times. Prospects: Comparative Journal of Curriculum, Learning and Assessment.

Janzen, M. D. & Phelan, A.M. (2020). Battling bad feelings: Understanding the emotional toll of teaching. Education Canada, September.

Phelan, A., Pinar, W. F., Ng-A-Fook, N., & Kane, R. (2020).  Introduction. In Anne M. Phelan, William F. Pinar, Nicholas Ng – A – Fook and Ruth Kane (Eds).  Reconceptualizing Teacher Education: A Canadian Contribution to a Global Challenge.  Ottawa: University of Ottawa Press.

Phelan, A.M. (2020).Tenants of time and place: Teacher education as a translational practice.  In Anne M. Phelan, William F. Pinar, Nicholas Ng – A – Fook and Ruth Kane (Eds).  Reconceptualizing Teacher Education Worldwide: A Canadian Contribution to a Global Challenge. (pps. 115-140). Ottawa: University of Ottawa Press.

Phelan, A. M. & Clarke, M. (2019). Autobiography, Aesthetics and Politics: Educating for World Spectatorship. Transnational Curriculum Inquiry, Vol. 16, No. 2, 62-73.

Rüsselbæk Hansen, D. & Phelan, A. (2019). Taste for democracy: A critique of the mechanical paradigm in education. Research in Education: Theory, Practice and Policy.

Phelan, A. & Russelbaek Hansen, D. (2018).  Reclaiming agency and appreciating limits in teacher education: Existential, ethical and psychoanalytical readings. McGill Journal of Education. Vol. 53, No. 1, 128-145.

Back, S., Clarke, M., & Phelan, A. (2018). Teacher education as a practice of virtue ethics (Editorial). Research in Education: Theory, Policy and Practice, Vol. 100, No. 1, 3-9.

Janzen, M. & Phelan, A. (2018). ‘Tugging at our sleeves:’ Understanding experiences of obligation in teaching. Teaching Education.  DOI: 10.1080/10476210.2017.1420157

Phelan, A. (2017). Unlearning with Hannah: Study as a curriculum of second thoughts. In Claudia Ruitenberg (Ed.) Reconceptualizing Study in Educational Discourse and Practice.  (pps. 23-39) London: Routledge Press.

Phelan, A., Smits, H. & Ying Ma. (2015).  Philosophical issues in initial teacher education.  In Thomas Falkenberg (Ed.). Handbook of Canadian Research in Initial Teacher Education. Ottawa, ON: Canadian Association for Teacher Education. (pps. 227 – 244). ISBN 978-0-9947451-3-2. Retrievable from

Janzen, M. & Phelan, A. (2015). The emotional toll of obligation and teachers’ disengagement from the profession. Alberta Journal of Educational Research, Vol. 61, 3. 347-350.

Clarke, M. & Phelan, A. (2015). The power of negative thinking in and for teacher education. Power and Education, Vol. 7, No. 3, 257-271.

Russelbaek Hansen, D., Phelan, A. & Qvortrup, A. (2015). Teacher education in Denmark and Canada in an era of ‘neutrality’. Transnational Curriculum Inquiry, Vol. 12, No. 1,  40 – 55.

Phelan, A. (2011).  Towards a complicated conversation: Teacher education and the curriculum turn.  Pedagogy, Culture & Society, Vol. 19, No. 2, 207-220.

Phelan, A.(2010). “Bound by recognition:” Some thoughts on professional designation for teachers. Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education, Vol. 38, No. 4, 317-329.

Phelan, A. (2009). The ethical claim of partiality: Practical wisdom, the disciplines and teacher education. Journal of Curriculum Studies, Vol.41, Issue 1, 93-114, February. (2008 electronically)

Pitt, A. & Phelan, A. (2008). Paradoxes of autonomy in professional life. Changing English, Vol. 15, No. 2, June, 189-197.

Hurlock, D., Barlow, C., Phelan, A., Myrick, F., Sawa, R., Rogers, G. (2008). Falls the shadow and the light: Liminality and natality in social work education. Teaching in Higher Education, 13 (3), 291-301.

Coulter, D., Coulter, D., Daniel, M., Decker, E., Essex, P., Naslund, J., Naylor, C., Phelan, A., & Sutherland, G. (2008). A question of judgment: A response to “Standards for the Education, Competence and Professional Conduct of Educators in British Columbia.” Educational Insights, Vol.11(3).

Barlow, C. & Phelan, A. (2007). Peer collaboration: A model to support counsellor self-care. Canadian Journal of Counselling, 41 (1), 3-15.

Sawa R.J., Phelan, A., Myrick, F. Barlow, C., Rogers, G. & Hurlock, D. (2006). The anatomy and physiology of conflict in medical education: A doorway to diagnosing the health of medical education systems. The Medical Teacher, 28 (8), e204-e213.

Phelan, A., Barlow, C., Hurlock, D., Myrick, F., Rogers, G. & Sawa, R. J. (Published in 2006 under 2005 edition of journal). On the edge of language: Truth, falsity and responsibiliity in teacher education. Journal of the Canadian Association of Curriculum Studies, 3(2), 103-126.

Barlow, C., Phelan, A., Rogers, G., Sawa, R. J., Hurlock, D., & Myrick, F. (2006). Virginia: A story of conflict in social work field education. Affilia: A Feminist Social Work Journal, 21(4), 380-391.

Myrick, F., Phelan, A., Barlow, C., Sawa, R. J, Rogers, G., & Hurlock, D. (2006). Conflict in the preceptorship or field experience: A rippling tide of silence. International Journal of Nursing Education Scholarship, 3(1).

Phelan, A., Barlow, C., & Iversen, S. (2006). Occasioning learning in the workplace: The case of peer collaboration. Journal of Interprofessional Care, 20 (4), 1-10. August.

Phelan, A., Sawa, R., Barlow, C., Hurlock, D., Myrick, F., Rogers, G. & Irvine, K. (2006). Violence and subjectivity in teacher education. Asia Pacific Journal of Teacher Education, 34(2), 161-179.

Phelan, A. (2005). A fall from (someone else’s certainty): Recovering practical wisdom in teacher education. Canadian Journal of Education, 28(3), 339-358.

Clarke, A., Erickson, G., Collins, S., & Phelan, A. (2005) Complexity science and cohorts in teacher education. Studying Teacher Education: A Journal of Self-Study in Teacher Education Practices, 1(2), 159-177.

Phelan, A. (2004). Rationalism, complexity science and curriculum: A cautionary tale. Complicity: An International Journal of Complexity and Education, 1(1), 19-30.

Phelan, A., Harrington, A., & Mercer, E. (2004). Creating a culture of continuous learning in the workplace: The case of a research partnership. Journal of Workplace Learning, 16(5), 275-283.

Phelan, A. & Luu, D. (2004). Learning difference in teacher education. Journal of the Canadian Association of Curriculum Studies. 2 (1), 175-196. Spring.

Students Supervised


Ying Ma

Hannah Spector

Lauren Hall

Cristina Delgado

Graham Giles

Joyce Tait

Gilmour Jope

Carol Ewashen

Suzen Harris

Rozmin Jaffer

Don Flaming


Graham Giles
Misty Paterson
Taigita Biln
Maxx Clapthorne
John Williamson
Cara Ellingson
Elaine Demcoe
Gina Filipetto
Joan Horne
Frances Chen
Elise Chu
Reetika Khanna

Courses Taught

  • EDCP 602A: Doctoral Seminar—Conceptualizing Research in Curriculum and Pedagogy
  • EDCP 601 Doctoral Seminar – Curriculum and Pedagogy: History and Theory
  • EDCP 565C: Seminar in Teacher Education
  • EDCP 562: Theories and Issues in Curriculum
  • EDCP542: Theorizing Pedagogy
  • EDUC 451 Inquiry Seminar II
  • EDUC 450 Inquiry Seminar I
  • EDST 403 Education, Knowledge, and the Curriculum
  • EDST 401 Education, School and Social Institutions