In 2010, Adam graduated from Viterbo, a small private college in Wisconsin. It was colder there than here, but it was also warmer. Little requirement for academic rigor allowed him to take many classes and accumulate many interests in five undergraduate years. His best education and consequently his interests have focused around continental philosophy. He's excited about playing with thoughts of Dewey, Hegel, Husserl, Nietzsche, Freud, and Lacan. The philosophy and education program's largest attractions are the centrality of Dewey and a space for creative application of philosophical theory.
Rodino F. Anderson
Rodino F. Anderson is currently teaching in the Education Department at Bowdoin College as a Pre-dissertation Fellow (2006-2007) and is a Ph.D. student in the program. He is interested in the appropriation of German Romanticism by early American pragmatic educational thinkers. He joined the Philosophy and Education Program after three years as a high school mathematics teacher.
David Backer is a PhD student in the program. Before coming to Teachers College, he taught high school for five years in Quito, Ecuador and Washington, DC. David is interested in the philosophy and practice of discussion pedagogy.
Ken Baxer is an Ed.M. student in the program. Before attending Teachers College, he graduated from Soka University of America with a B.A. in Liberal Arts. He is interested in the role philosophy has in the educational experience, specifically regarding how value is learned to be created by the student.
Holly is a PhD student in the Philosophy and Education program at Teachers College. She is interested in moral and civic education, the role of the teacher in educating for social justice, and the implications for education of feminist and post-colonial epistemology. Before coming to Teachers College, Holly taught high school math and
physics and completed an M.Ed. in Leadership and Policy Studies at the University of Washington.
Roberto Cavallari-Filho is a PhD Student in the Program. He is interested in the remaining possibilities for educative experience in XXI Century society, but also in the creation of new ones. Before coming to Teachers College, he attained a Baccalaureate and Specialization Degree in Business Administration at Universidade Euripides, and a Master's Degree in Education at Universidade Estadual Paulista, both in Brazil. He is a Fulbright/CAPES scholarship Grant recipient. He is the founder of Poiesis Publishing House, an organization interested in promulgating American Philosophy in Brazil.
Patrick Comstock is a PhD student in the program. Before coming to Teachers college, he earned an AB in religion from the College of William and Mary, and MS in education from Pace University, and an MTS from the Divinity School at Harvard University. Patrick is interested in character education and virtue, philosophy of science, and philosophy of religion.
Charlie Doar is currently a teacher and coach at an independent school in He is interested in how best to engage and prepare students through merging traditional and progressive educational approaches. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 2007 with a B.A. in American Studies.
Kelsey Finkel is an MA student in the program. Before coming to Teachers College, she earned a BA in English from Columbia College and worked for one year at Absolute Return for Kids.
Erin Forman is an M.A. student in the program. She is interested in educational psychology and studying how educational policies and teacher-student dynamics propel or impede learning systems. Before coming to Teachers College, she earned her B.A. from Washington University in St. Louis.
Cara Furman is a PhD student in the program. She currently teaches pre-service teachers in Curriculum and Teaching at Teachers College and literacy and Long Island University. She is interested in developing inclusive communities within schools, helping teachers connect philosophy with practice, implementing narrative assessments that focus on using students' strengths to further instruction, and the role of storytelling in classrooms. Before coming to Teachers College, she taught elementary school at a progressive public school. She earned her masters in elementary education at Teachers College.
Alex Hunley is a PhD student in the program. Before coming to Teachers College, he worked as a tutor in K-12 and college settings. His interests include the relationship between ethics and aesthetics, early childhood language acquisition, ancient Greek philosophy, and Wittgenstein.
Timothy Ignaffo is currently the Program Manager/Field Coordinator for the Early Childhood Education program at Teachers College, as well as a PhD student in the program. He is also involved in the Columbia University Philosophy Outreach. Before coming to TC, he taught English Language Arts at a small high school in East Harlem, NY. He earned his B.A. from the University of Scranton.
Carmen James is a Ph.D. student in the Philosophy and Education program at TeachersCollege, Columbia. Her Masters thesis title, completed in 2011 in the same program, is "Imagination: A Practice of Attentiveness for Building Understanding." She is interested in philosophy of education (specifically the teaching of philosophy not only as a tool box but as a way of life), aesthetic philosophy, moral philosophy and strategies for incorporating a curriculum of aesthetics and ethics in schools. She has experience teaching at the elementary level, as a full time Kindergartners and First Grade teacher along with part time at other ages, and she has explored questions of culture, education and urban identity abroad, most recently in 2011 working with a grant from ILAS, Columbia Univeristy in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She graduated with an A.B. in Comparative Literature from Harvard University where her Senior Thesis was titled "The Poet and the City."
Jung Kyung Hwa
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Ruaridh MacLeod is a PhD student in the program. He is interested in the technologies operant in the formation of the self, with a particular emphasis on Foucault's analyses of the ancient Greek practices related to the care of the self as found in the Stoic and Epicurean academies. Before coming to the US, Ruaridh taught Philosophy and English Literature in the UK, studied Psychoanalytic Developmental Psychology at University College London, and worked as a mentor to vulnerable adults in the London Borough of Southwark. He has a BA (Hons) in Philosophy from the University of Durham, and an MA (Distinction) in Continental Philosophy from the University of Warwick, UK. He intends eventually to train as a psychoanalyst.
Yoshiaki Nakazawa is a Ph.D. student in the program. He has a BA in philosophy and English Literature from Seattle Pacific University. And he taught at a public middle school in Japan for a year before joining the program here. He is interested in the differences between the three major schools of Hellenistic thought in antiquity with respect to ethical/moral development. To this end, he is studying Ancient Greek and would welcome anybody who would like to join him in this difficult pursuit.
Kiera Nieuwejaar is a Ph.D. student in the Program. She is interested in the psychological aspects of educational philosophy, and in the role that educational philosophy can play beyond formal schooling. Currently, she is researching the educational theory of Jane Addams. Before coming to Teachers College, Kiera was a preschool teacher; she has also worked as a behavioral therapist with autistic children.
Gonzalo Obelleiro is graphic and web designer for EdLab, a research, design, and development unit at Teachers College,
Dror Post is currently a facilitator at "Project Tolerance", a dialogue group on topics of the Middle East and Cross Cultural understanding at
Yibing Quek is an M.A. student in the program. Before coming to Teachers College, she graduated from Cambridge University with a Bachelor's Degree in Biochemistry. She had experiences teaching high school science, working at an autism children's center and interning at the Ministry of Education in Singapore where she is originally from. She is interested in finding out if the philosophical way of thinking could complement the scientific mind."
Alyssa Samson is an M.A. student in the program. She graduated from the University of Vermont with a B.A. in English and a B.S. in Secondary Education. Her undergraduate thesis work focused on reader's displacement within a literary experience, focusing on contemporary author Paul Aster. She hopes to apply this concept of displacement to current policy as it affects both students and educators. She has participated on various panels and judged the Vermont Competition for Excellence in Writing. Currently she is work with a UVM professor on a publication pertaining to Emanuel Levinas and the Hebraic Bible. She has also worked as a residential counselor, working working with children who have both emotional and behavioral disturbance as a result of trauma history.
Marguerite Spyreas is an MA student in the program. Prior to coming to Teachers College, she earned a BA in philosophy from St John's University and taught English at a kindergarten in Italy. She is interested in exploring the connection between philosophy and education.
Adam Valenstein is an EdM student in the program. His interests include: ethics and knowledge with respect to teacher authority and the teaching of philosophy at all age levels. Before arriviing at Teachers College, Adam earned a B.A. in Philosophy and an M.A. in Liberal Studies from
Brian Veprek is a Ph.D. student in the program. He is interested in the nature of human autonomy and what, if anything, a teacher can do to help students attain it. Before coming to Teachers College, Brian taught theatre arts, English, history, and Latin in in public and private schools both in America and abroad. He earned a B.A. in Theatre Arts from Boston College and an Ed.M. in Learning and Teaching from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Alice is a MA student in the program. Before joining Teacher's College, she studied English, History, Psychology, and Education at Columbia University. She is particularly interested in teaching the interdisciplinary and aesthetic education for high school students.