Semester in Dialogue 2016 brochure

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Sean Blenkinsop

I came to dialogue from two different directions. First, through my practice as an outdoor and experiential teacher/facilitator in various alternative venues including wilderness places and second, through my philosophical and theoretical interest in the work of Martin Buber. I have long wanted to better understand and help grow our relationships with ourselves, others, and the larger world.

I grew up in Northern Ontario and spent 15 years as an outdoor, environmental, and experiential educator. Believe it or not, I have only ever made a pay-cheque through my teaching. My doctoral work in philosophy of education was completed at Harvard and focused on existentialism with a deep interest in the concepts of choice, dialogue, community, and freedom.

Currently I am the primary investigator for a large SSHRC funded environmental CURA grant which is involved in the creation, researching, and ongoing day to day work of a publicly funded K-8 environmental, outdoor, experiential, and place-based school in Maple Ridge (for more information see http://es.sd42.ca/ ). Other current research interests might be situated in the area of eco-philosophy focusing on epistemological and ontological questions related to ecological worldviews, semiotics, education for community, flourishing, and wilderness as teacher. Finally, I am an associate professor of education at SFU and have been seconded for five years, beginning in the fall of 2012, to the undergraduate semester in dialogue.