, Volume 43, Issue 1, pp 43–55 | Cite as

Transformative Education? A Philosophic-Augustinian Response to the 2010 Albertan Reform Initiatives in “Inspiring Education”

  • Sean Steel


The Alberta Government’s 2010 “Inspiring Education” reform proposals claim to be “transformational” in nature. This paper examines these proposals in light of ancient philosophy and various among the world’s wisdom traditions. Drawing particularly on the philosophic reflections of St. Augustine in his Confessions, it argues that the proposals are neither new nor “transformational,” but part of a long and problematic educational lineage that has its roots among the ancient sophists. As an alternative to the Alberta proposals and “sophist-icated” education, this paper advocates for the incorporation of philosophic or contemplative elements into the school day during which both teachers and students might learn the genuine meaning of school as schole through the practice of pursuing wisdom.


Ancient philosophy Sophistry Inspiring Education Alberta Contemplative education Education reforms Augustine Transformational education 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of CalgaryCalgaryCanada

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