Academic Writing in Education (Master’s of Education): In general, the ability to construct a persuasive academic argument seems to have taken a nose-dive in recent years. Graduate student writing is not an exception. This course is not about the technicalities of grammar and spelling, though these, too, could use some attention of many writers, graduate students and faculty alike! Forgoing the necessary tedium of grammar school, Academic Writing in Education (AWE) supports the development of academic writing skills but is not about writing prose that is dense, complicated, or pretentiously intellectual. Rather, it builds a set of foundational skills for effective, clear, and convincing argumentation. These skills include, but are not limited to, summarizing, quoting, agreeing, disagreeing, disarming critics, paraphrasing, and offering opinion. In short, AWE helps with the essential skills for engagement in intellectual conversations, both written and verbal.
Doctoral Seminar (PhD): The purpose of the Doctoral Seminar is to introduce students to some of the “Big Ideas” in the fields of education and educational research and to present them with certain ideas to facilitate an emerging understanding of the diversity of thought in education theory and methodology.
Foundations in Social Justice Education (Master’s of Education): The reason students take this course is because they have an interest in examining the social, cultural, and political contexts of teaching and learning. Specifically, however, they want to examine and problematize knowledge production and power relations, forms of privilege and oppression and how they operate in educational practice, resistance against dominant discourses and hegemonic power, backlash of privileged groups, and the relationship between education and advocacy.
Gender and Education (Master’s of Education): In Gender and Education (“GAE”), we consider, investigate, discuss, and debate all of these issues, and more. We begin with the assertion that gender is neither “normal” nor “natural” but is constructed to appear that way, through repetition, over time. In the course, we will disrupt assumptions about gender as “normal” and “natural,” unsettle preconceived beliefs, and rupture foundational and dominant ideas about, and practices of, gender. From there, we will reconstruct theories and notions based on new knowledge (which, by the way, is exactly how education should work).
Graduate Seminar (Master’s of Education): “Graduate Seminar” is a vague title, to be sure. It was not of my choosing, just FYI. Quibbles about the title aside, the benefit of the course is that it provides a wide latitude from which to engage in various topics related to issues and challenges that many students face while in graduate studies. I am not specifically referring to your topics of inquiry; we will get to those. I am referring to issues and challenges related to being an actual graduate student. It is a big leap from undergraduate to undergraduate and an even bigger one if you are an international student, new to Canada. Either way, graduate students often do not know what it means to be in “grad school.” This seminar course will help to clarify expectations, build relevant skills, and connect your studies with your lives and future careers.
Policy and Change (Master’s of Education): This course focuses on the interaction between policy and social change. It is designed to equip students with theoretical and conceptual lenses by which to consider the role of policy in the broad field of education. The approach is “critical,” meaning focused on perspectives that help us to identify and analyze how debates, processes, issues, and practices in (and of) education are fundamentally shaped by power, as is “change.”
Sociology of Education (Master’s of Education): This course equips students with theoretical and conceptual lenses by which to “see” sociology applied to the broad field of education. Learning about the sociology of education is, in a nutshell, an examination of the reciprocal relationship between society and education, and of understanding education sociologically. Education is an enterprise that is connected to many (perhaps all) sectors of society, including politics, social norms, values, and ideologies; and economic conditions.
Social and Moral Issues in Philosophy of Education (Master’s of Education): This course explores a variety of critical questions on social and moral philosophy in the context of education, such as: What does it mean to be educated? How does education contribute, or not, to one’s sense of moral agency? What are the ethical responsibilities of educators and those deemed educated? Does being educated make one privileged? How do issues of privilege and power shape educational practice, experience, and opportunity? How do discourses of diversity and difference frame education, knowledge, and what it means to “know”?