Ms. Sewell's current research focusses on the intersections among feminist critiques of pedagogical ideals and practices, philosophies of education, and critical thinking. Her MA thesis work is funded by SSHRC and entitled “bell hooks on Engaged Pedagogy: Critiques and Constructions of Teaching Practices concerning Critical Thinking”. She critiques ideals and practices of teaching that reinforce systems of domination and/or exclusion, while exploring hooks’ account of practices which she suggests can lead to positive social and political action.
Ms. Sewell's aim, with the completion of this project, is to point to possible avenues by which learning communities within Canada can move away from a ‘banking-system’ of education (as described by Paulo Freire), and toward a system of education that represents values of inclusion and justice; a system which concentrates on critical thinking and development from within, rather than ‘producing’ graduates by imposition from without. Her general interests are in feminist philosophy, social and political philosophy, critical theory, philosophy of education, and Eastern philosophy (especially Taoism and Zen Buddhism).