Samuel Rocha Perkerwicz

Associate Professor

Research Interests

Philosophical Traditions in Education
philosophy of education

Relevant Degree Programs


Research Methodology



Master's students
Postdoctoral Fellows

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Great Supervisor Week Mentions

Each year graduate students are encouraged to give kudos to their supervisors through social media and our website as part of #GreatSupervisorWeek. Below are students who mentioned this supervisor since the initiative was started in 2017.


Dr. Rocha directs students towards their drives and passions.

Joyce Penner (2019)


Because he truly is a teacher. 

Rabia Mir (2019)


Graduate Student Supervision

Doctoral Student Supervision (Jan 2008 - Nov 2020)
Reframing leadership in a liquid age (2020)

Among the many shifting beliefs and practices characteristic of an age of liquid modernity, there is no common standard of what leadership is, who gets to be a leader and how they are prepared for the role. Countless books, seminars and academic programmes offer solutions that meet the needs of leaders and groups in ways particular to their organizational culture and preferences. This dissertation uses examples of leaders in the church, organizations informed by historic Christian values, educational institutions, and parts of the business world. It suggests that leaders have inherited and borrowed ways of operating without questioning the account of how they came to be. Many models are no longer effective in the liquid age, as they produce one-dimensional solutions to complex issues, leading to dualistic thinking and an inability to live with contradiction. The dissertation suggests reframing the culture of leadership in the fluidity of this age so that it is not reducible to a static concept, but always constructing as it responds to its liquid context. To animate this, a curriculum centred on the deliberate awareness of self promotes six qualities that respond to the problem of leadership culture needing refashioning: It embraces inquiry, conversion, embodiment and mystery, contradiction and education as builds on a journey of learning. The methods of investigation are conceptual reflection and characterization, and by personifying the six aspects of leadership culture, the personalities portray the claims to reframe leadership as new way of being in a shifting age. In this way, the reader experiences the conceptual reflection by engaging in the discourse with the author. The general conclusion of the paper is that the process of reframing the culture of leadership is not an end that establishes new theories of leadership practice, but instead, a journey of interaction with oneself as a leader and those one leads and follows. While a number of bridges make this journey meaningful, education provides a navigational aid that helps steer the shifting beliefs and practices which leadership meets in these fluid times.

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Bildung, psychoanalysis, and the formation of subjectivity in educational experience (2018)

In a time when the very thought of education is pervaded by the language and practices of standardization and efficiency, our subjectivity–the inner space of human experience that makes up who we are as singular beings–gets lost. As such, the very existence of the subject and its possibilities of reconstruction are at stake. Working from a reconceptualized field of curriculum, this study takes up the question of formation and asks in what ways subjectivity might get constituted through educational experience. The German notion of Bildung–which posits education as a process of formation or “becoming oneself”–offers crucial insights to the rethinking of educational experience today, in the effort to reclaim subjectivity, along with its sense of existential significance. Studying the process from a psychoanalytic perspective, I wish to shift the discussion of educational experience from psychological, behavioral, and other pragmatic connotations, and return it to a speculative philosophical investigation of what it means to become who we are, and what that entails in terms of desire and the unconscious. Exploring the phenomenon of subjective formation in relation to aspects such as philosophical anthropology, psychic dynamics, technology, and Eros, I come to conclude that an education that is inattentive to the inner life of the subject cannot be properly called education. The free associations I establish between curricular and psychoanalytic theory leads me to a basic and yet fundamental understanding of the process of becoming: the idea that subjectivity gets reconstructed in educational experience through an ongoing dialectic of struggle and reconciliation. While this dialectic exposes the drama of the split condition of the subject, with its failures and frustrations, it also offers the promise of the possibility of subjective reconstruction and change. It is an invitation to take risks, to learn to let go, and to imagine what might be.

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Master's Student Supervision (2010 - 2018)
Memories and imaginings: learning to prefigure how the mountains become the bluffs (2018)

Addyson Frattura-Kampschroer’s thesis is made within the tradition of humanities-based research. The thesis is a form of literary philosophy that practices pre-qualitative methods. Frattura-Kampschroer’s work is in partial fulfilment for the degree of Master of Arts in Educational Studies at the University of British Columbia. The thesis is a form of literary philosophy insofar as it is a philosophical work written in the literary form of a narrative. In essence, the claims are made narratively and then supported and analyzed throughout the use of metaphors, themes, and figures. The narrative is comprised of childhood vignettes of the rural Midwest. The vignettes carry the concepts through to provide particular sites for questioning and conceptualizing. Frattura-Kampschroer functions as the narrator as she tells stories in the style of creative non-fiction. However, the narrator, places, and stories are not of primary importance; they and unimportant things in unimportant places. What is of extreme importance are the concepts: prefigurative politics and freedom. Rather than addressing the concepts qualitatively, in the methodological style of the social sciences, the narrative itself is the method. More specifically, the thesis utilizes a pre-qualitative method. Finally, the narrative also exposes the pedagogical experience of a continually evolving learner, a learner who questions the context in which they are questioning. The supervisory committee is formed by four faculty members from the University of British Columbia. The committee is comprised of: Carl Leggo, Vanessa de Oliveira Andreotti, William Pinar, and the primary supervisor being Sam Rocha.

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