My four books and my journal articles explore the following themes:

  • the complex lifeworlds of classrooms
  • the place of storytelling in education
  • the hidden role of the unconscious in learning
  • affect and learning
  • secondary English teaching
  • the dilemmas and challenges of the beginning teacher
  • story as a form of scholarship (a mythopoetic methodology
  • imagination and intuition 
  • Deleuze and Spinoza, desire and learning

Books & articles 1987-2018

"Many thanks for sending on your wonderful work. I think we need imagination in research and you and your colleagues have done just that!
I hope the journal has the good sense (and courage) to publish it. Let me know the fate of this piece; this note is one of congratulations."

Prof Deborah Britzman


"Dear Steve, I very much enjoyed reading your paper especially as it is a subject that is dear to my heart as I have written and researched over the years with new teachers. I really like how your approach is so gentle, genuine and inclusive of your co-participants/co-authors."

Prof Margaret Somerville


"The compassion and imagination Shann showed [in School Portrait], and the need for the pupils to deal with solvable concrete problems rather than vague generalisations, released unsuspected abilities and energies. I've seen it happen. It was a major educational achievement."

R. F. Mackenzie, author of 'State School' (Penguin Books)


"The great strength of the book [School Portrait] is, for me, its honesty."

Barney Devlin, AATE, Guide to English Books


"Shann is a gifted story-teller in that he makes his readers really care about the success [of the students]."

Veronica Sen, The Canberra Times


"[Steve Shann] does not write in the esoteric language of so many educationists whose words mean so little to so many ordinary parents. He offers some clearly written ideas and examples of how children learn ... He succeeds because ... the excitement, the sensitivity and the courage of his characters and his writing make a good story."

Keith Scott, The Canberra Times




Shann, S. (1987). School Portrait. Melbourne: McPhee Gribble/Penguin.

Shann, S. (1992). Their Other Lives: Student Perspectives on Their Schools, Learning and Aspirations (vol. 6). Adelaide: Australian Association for the Teachers of English (AATE).

Shann, S. (1995). 'The Juice of Fantasy: The Imaginative Life of the Struggling Child'. Temenos, Australian Jungian and Cultural Review, Issue 2 Spring.

Shann, S. (1998). 'The Adolescent Experience: A Jungian Perspective'. Enantiodromia, Journal of Analytical Psychology, 1(3), 47–71.

Shann, S. (2000). Mating with the world: on the nature of story-telling in psychotherapy. PhD thesis, unpublished, University of Western Sydney.  

Shann, S. (2010). 'Agitations and Animations'. English in Australia, 45(3), 65–74.

Shann, S., & Cunneen, R. (2011). 'Mythopoetics and the English Classroom'. English in Australia, 46(2), 47–56.

Shann, S., Edwards, C., Pittard, L., & Germantse, H. (2013). 'Both Alike in Dignity'. English in Australia, 48(2), 23–32.

Shann, S. (2014a). 'A Mythopoetic Methodology: Storytelling as an Act of Scholarship'. Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education. doi: 10.1080/1359866X.2014.932334

Shann, S. (2014b). 'Sally and the Universarium'. Changing English: Studies in Culture and Education, 21(1), 53–67.

Shann, S. (2014c). 'A Love Towards a Thing Eternal: Spinoza and the Classroom'. Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education. doi: 10.1080/1359866X.2014.934196 

Shann, S., Germantse, H., Pittard, L., & Cunneen, R. (2014c). 'Community and Conversation: Tackling Beginning Teacher Doubt and Disillusion'. Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education, 42(1), 82–97

Shann, S (2015) Imagined Worlds and Classroom Realities: mythopoetic provocations for teachers and teacher educators, Sense Publishers.

Shann, S (2014) 'Mating with the world: On the mythopoetic nature and function of storytelling' in Perspectives on Storytelling, IDNet publishers, Moller, Ahumada and Brown (eds)

Shann, S (2018)  The Worlds of Harriet Henderson, Amazon Kindle and Paperback.

Abstracts and downloads of many of these are available on my Academia page