Sandy Gillis

Graduate Research Assistant – MODAL Research Group

  • Artistic Learning Dialogues – Facilitator
  • PhD student – Arts Education – Simon Fraser University
Sandy Gillis


Sandy Gillis is a philosopher, writer and musician, as well as a teacher with the Vancouver School Board. Her primary areas of interest at this time are: the role of image and insight in learning, and the consequent immaturity of pedagogy; aesthetic experience as foundational to education. She has also made contributions to feminist philosophy, to spirituality/theology and to ethics. Before coming to Vancouver in 2006, Sandy spent 11 years living and writing in rural Cape Breton; she also taught classical guitar and music theory in Ontario and Nova Scotia.


Date Degree Program University
In Progress PhD Arts Education Simon Fraser University
**** B. Ed Music, P.E. Simon Fraser University
**** M.A. Philosophy-Musicology Norwich University
**** B. Mus.(hons.) Music Dalhousie University
**** B.P.E. Kinesiology Dalhousie University

Awards and Fellowships

Date Award Faculty University
1991 May Ross Scholarship in Music Music Dalhousie University
1990 J & A Campbell Award/Dept of Music Scholarship Music Dalhousie University
1989 Memorial Award (Music) Music Dalhousie University
1989 Beatrice Daviss Music Prize Music Dalhousie University
1988 J & A Campbell Incentive Award Music Dalhousie University

Scholarly Contributions

  • Gillis, A. (2012) Lonergan’s ethics and feminist ethics: Exploring the meaning of care. Journal of Macrodynamic Analysis (6(2011):
  • Gillis, A. (2011) Aesthetics, art, liberty and the ultimate. Journal of Macrodynamic Analysis (6(2011):
  • Gillis, A. ((2010). The number one question about feminism. Journal of Macrodynamic Analysis 5: 7-19.
  • Gillis, A. (2004). Philip McShane’s Axial Period: An Interpretation. Journal of Macrodynamic Analysis 4: 128-79
  • Gillis, A. (2006). Thinking Woman. NS: Axial Publishing, 2006. A concrete introduction to philosophy for and about women. A course based on this book was offered in English and French at the Thomas More Institute, Montreal QC (2009-2010).
  • Benton, J, Gillis-Drage, A. and McShane, P. (2005). Introducing Critical Thinking. NS: Axial Publishing. Introduction to philosophy written for Ontario grade 12 pilot project. In use in Ontario, United States, Mexico and Australia; translated into Spanish by James Duffy.
Paper Presentations and Workshops:
  • O’Neill, S., Senyshyn, Y., Peluso, D., Sparks, J., Cobb, G, Gillis, A. (2013). Multimodal Opportunities, Diversity and Artistic Learning Research Group. Learning Together – Engaging the World Conference, Simon Fraser University, Surrey, BC, May 17-18 (upcoming).
  • O’Neill, S., Peluso, D., Cobb, G, Gillis, A. (2013). MultiMultimodal and Digital Media Multiliteracies In and Through the Arts. Canadian Society for the Study of Education Conference, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC, June 2-5 (upcoming).
  • Gillis, A. (2013). Image and insight: Reversing pedagogy. 11th Annual Hawaii International Conference on Education, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA, Jan. 6-9.
  • Gillis, A. (2011). Wonder: The ground of critical thinking. Philosopher Workshop Series, Knox United Church, Vancouver, BC, March – April, 2011.
  • Gillis, A. (2011). The second stage of meaning. Vancouver Lonergan Conference, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, July 11-15, 2011.
  • Gillis, A. (2007). Feminist ethics and self-transcendence. The 22nd Annual Fallon Memorial Lonergan Symposium, Loyola Marymount University, LA, USA, April 12 -14.
  • Gillis, A. (2005). Third wave feminism and the next half century. The 20nd Annual Fallon Memorial Lonergan Symposium, Loyola Marymount University, March 31 – April 2.