Dr. Mahboubeh Asgari received her Ph.D. degree in Education from Simon Fraser University, followed by post-doctorals in Philosophical Inquiry with Children/Adults in the Faculty of Education at UBC in 2012-2017. She is now a Research Associate at CARBC (Centre for Addictions Research of BC) using philosophical inquiry in developing teaching and learning resources on drug education.

Mahboubeh was a teacher at Self Design HomeSchool Association at Jericho and worked philosophical inquiry and art with homeschool children for about 4 years. She is the Founder/Director of The School of Inquiry in Vancouver, BC. In her free time, she does painting using acrylic, and chalk pastel!

Dr. Steven Taubeneck, Associate Professor, German and Philosophy, and Interim Chair, Interdisciplinary Studies Graduate Program, UBC.  Dr. Taubeneck received his Ph.D. from the University of Virginia in 1988, and worked at the University of Washington from 1987-1992.  He has been a faculty member at UBC since then.  Dr. Taubeneck is an award-winning teacher who teaches German language, literature, history, film and philosophy, as well as Existentialism, Phenomenology and Hermeneutics.

Sholeh Mahlouji has a BA in Graphic Design and an MA in Illustration. She has worked as a graphic designer/illustrator with a number of children’s publications and educational organizations, and has developed and run various workshops for children and young adults such as block printing, puppet making, and illustration. Sholeh has also collaborated with Iranian National Section of IBBY (International Board on Books for Young People) as children’s book reviewer. She is passionate about sharing the joy of creating art with children and adults. Sholeh is now getting her second Master in Art Education at the University of British Columbia.

Dr. Anders Kraal was born in Canada and raised in Australia and Sweden. He pursued graduate studies at Uppsala and Notre Dame in 2005-10, followed by postdoctorals at UBC and Calgary in 2011-15. Dr. Kraal has been a philosophy instructor in the Department of Philosophy at UBC since 2015. His research focuses on Hume, but he has strong side-interests in Kant, Kierkegaard, Evil, and Logic.

Lisa Sars

Lisa Sars began her career working with children at age 11 nannying for her two younger next door neighbours.  Many years later, with a contemporary dance training program under her belt plus 10 years work as a children’s storyteller and 8 years working in the capacity of a play, dance and yoga educator, she finds herself as: a mother of two beautiful kids, a very cuddly cat, and the wife of a local musical mastermind.

The dedication and devotion she holds in her heart for growth and learning, continually pushes her forward to take new risks, make her heart available to her students, and to challenge the idea of what it means to be an artist. What is an artist? Aren’t we all artists?

Her work encourages reflection in all contexts and in all ages, recognizing it’s the process of coming to an answer (or a question) that is an integral part of learning.  An avid reader she stays abreast of the latest studies in neuroscience (of great interest to her), coupled with many yogic and dance texts.


Dr. Bahareh Behdad is a French Instructor with  a PhD in Children’s Literature from the University of Maine in France. Using storybooks, Bahareh has been teaching French to children at two private language schools in Vancouver over the past two years. She has also been a researcher in Children’s Literature for the past 8 years and published several children’s storybooks. Bahareh focuses on improving children’s language skills as well as their critical thinking.  She enjoys reading storybooks to children and facilitating a dialogue with them.

Louise Phillips, BFA, TESOL diploma

Drawing and language are both about communication and expression. Maybe that is why they fascinate, challenge, and seem so inherently human.
Through drawing, I explore the world and through teaching English, I discover a lot about culture. And in both there is a lot of pleasure.
An arts degree with a focus on drawing and book media provides excellent background for my art practice.
Teaching English gives me practical experience for teaching groups and tutoring students.
Currently, I make art and teach drawing, and teach English to second language learners.

Dr. Walter Kohan is a full professor of Philosophy of Education within the Department of Childhood Studies at State University of Rio de Janeiro. He is now a visiting professor at UBC. During his residency at UBC, Dr.  Kohan will engage in high quality collaborative and innovative research within the Faculty of Education. Dr. Kohan has presented papers and lectures in more than 200 national and international conferences, and published over 100 peer-reviewed articles  and book chapters  in Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, and French. His books in English are: Philosophy and Childhood: Critical Perspectives and Affirmative Practices. (Palgrave, 2014); Childhood, education and philosophy: new ideas for an old relationship (Routledge, 2015); The inventive Schoolmaster (Sense, 2015)


Aida Hassani is an electrical engineer during the day and a professional cook at night! While she is busy getting her second master’s degree at UBC, she makes sure to find time to bake and cook. Aida learned how to bake and cook from her mom when she was very little; she now likes to share her love of culinary art with other children. Aida loves children and is always attentive and thoughtful towards them.

Aida can’t think of a better way of showing someone she cares than with freshly-baked cup cakes or a a home-cooked meal. She sees baking and cooking as a reflection of love to others and to herself.


Áurea’s experience as an Early Childhood Educator (ECE) began 20 years ago. After completing her AMI Montessori training to work with families and children from 0 to 3 years of age, she pursued a master’s degree at the Mexican National University of Pedagogy, focused on the potential of the Montessori method to foster resilience among young children.

Currently, Áurea is a doctoral student in the Cross-Faculty Inquiry Program of the Faculty of Education at UBC, and the Graduate Academic Assistant of the Early Childhood Education Program. Her doctoral research focuses on socio-emotional aspects of early child development, caregiver and young children interactions, and infants and toddlers’ mental health.

Bahar Khazei is currently a candidate for Master of Education in Human Development, Learning and Culture at the University of British Columbia. She is an elementary school teacher with training in Montessori philosophy. She became passionate about Philosophy for Children during her studies at UBC where she also did her bachelor of Education. She has been practicing Philosophy for Children in elementary schools with students and at Philosophy for Children camps in BC (such as Think Fun Camps). Additionally, she has received training in philosophical inquiry and is involved in research groups at the faculty of Education at UBC. Bahar had a chance to present at the International Council of Philosophical Inquiry with Children Conference in June 2015 at UBC. She loves teaching and encouraging children to think critically and challenge their thought process.

Bahar is an outdoor enthusiast and loves working with students outside. She has worked at the UBC farm as a children’s camp counselor and has worked with children at local forests with Soaring Eagle Nature School. She enjoys water sports, gardening, photography and hiking at her spare time.


Nicole Mas is a passionate student of yoga, with over 15 years experience. Recognized by Alliance as an E-RYT 300 instructor, Nicole studied in Bali, Thailand, Mexico, Peru, Canada, and the US in various styles of yoga, breathwork, and qi gong.

Nicole is enthusiastic about bringing people together to share, stretch, and laugh.