Simon Fraser University
Dr. Kieran Egan
Kieran Egan Faculty Photo Professor

Educational Theory

My areas of interest include educational and curriculum theory, conceptions of development in education, and the way cognitive tools shape our learning and understanding. Current work is funded by SSHRC.


1972 Ph.D., Philosophy of Education Cornell University
1968/69 Ph.D. program Stanford University
1967 Post Graduate Teaching Certificate University of London, Goldsmiths’ College
1966 B.A. (honours) University of London


  • 2009 American Educational Research Association Fellow
  • 2007: Kappa Delta Pi laureate
  • 2002: Whitworth Award. Canadian Education Association.
  • 2001-2008: Canada Research Chair in Education, CRC Secretariat, Gov’t of Canada
  • 2001-2003: Killam Research Fellowship, Canada Council
  • 2000: Foreign Associate member of the U.S. National Academy of Education
  • 1993: Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada
  • 1991: Winner of the Grawemeyer Award in Education

Selected Publications

Selected Books

Learning in Depth: A simple innovation that can transform schooling. Chicago: University of Chicago press, 2010.

The Future of Education: Reimagining our schools from the ground up. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2008.

Teaching literacy: Engaging the imagination of new readers and writers. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press, 2006; Bucharest: Editura CD Press, 2007.

An imaginative approach to teaching. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2005. Translated into Korean, Japanese, Indonesian, Spanish.

Getting it wrong from the beginning: Our progressivist inheritance from Herbert Spencer, John Dewey, and Jean Piaget. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2002. Paperback, 2004.

Egan, K.  (1999).  Children’s minds, talking rabbits, and clockwork oranges. (Selected articles.  Solicited).  Forward by Elliot W. Eisner.  New York: Teachers College Press.

Egan, K.  (1997).  The educated mind: How cognitive tools shape our understanding. (pp. 299). Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Translated into Portuguese, Swedish, Danish, Hebrew, Spanish, Russian, Greek.

Egan, K.  (1988).  Primary understanding:  Education in early childhood.  (pp. 287).  New York and London:  Routledge.

Egan, K.  (1986).  Teaching as story telling.  (pp. 122).  London, Ontario: The Althouse Press; London:  Routledge, 1988; Chicago:  University of Chicago Press, 1988; Lisbon:  Dom Quixote, 1994; Madrid:  Ediciones Morata & el Ministerio de Educación y Ciencia, 1994; Stockholm: Runa Forlag, 1995; Oslo: Ad Notam Gyldendal, 1996.

Egan, K.  (1983).  Education and psychology:  Plato, Piaget, and scientific psychology.  (pp. 210).  New York:  Teachers College Press; London:  Methuen, 1984; Tokyo:  Keiso Shobo, 1988; Buenos Aires:  International Editions, in press.

Egan, K.  (1979).  Educational development.  New York: Oxford University Press; Lisbon: Dom Quixote, 1992.

Research and Development Projects (since 1998)

  • 1998/2000: Spencer Foundation Research Grant – U.S.$46,450
  • 2000/2003: Social Sciences and Research Council of Canada: Research Grant – $105,000
  • 2007-2010 – Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada: Research Grant – $146,955
  • 2004-2007 – Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada: Research Grant – $124,111

Recent conference and other presentations

Numerous talks in many countries around the world, connected with the work of the Imaginative Education Research Group.

Service (partial list of activity since 1994)


Member, Appointments Committee Programs Committee; Graduate programs committee. Acting Director of Graduate programs, 1996-3.  Coordinator, Ph.D. Curriculum and Instruction program.


Advisory committee to the Institute for the Humanities. Employment Equity Committee. Advice to President on Ethics policy, 2000.  Member of V-P Academic’s ad-hoc Senate Committee to Review and Develop the Undergraduate Curricula, 2001. Teaching in the Humanities program– “Minds and their development” 1998.

Scholarly Community

Oversight Committee of the How People Learn project of the American Academy of Sciences.

Advisory Board of Association for Process Philosophy.

Reviewer for Educational Researcher, Clio, Journal of Educational Thought, Canadian Journal of Education, etc., and for various publishers, incl. University of Chicago Press, Teachers College Press, Oxford University Press, etc. Editorial Advisory Board of Journal of Educational Thought, Teaching Education, etc.

2000: Co-organizer of the Joint Far Western and North Western Philosophy of Education Societies conference.

Graduate Student Supervision (since 1994)

Approx. six Ph.D. theses completed or in process. Rather more Masters theses.

Last Updated
November 25, 2008