OISE Graduate Studies in Education Bulletin

Social Justice Education

Social Justice Education (SJE)


Social Justice Education Program - MEd, MA, EdD, PhD

For more information on SJE's program, please also see the School of Graduate Studies (SGS) Calendar. For details about Collaborative Specializations, please also visit the SGS website.

Social Justice Education Program

Social Justice Education Program

The Social Justice Education Program’s admission guidelines are attentive to challenging barriers of systemic discrimination in education. Applicants may voluntarily self-identify as members of equity-seeking groups (women, visible minorities, Aboriginal peoples, persons with a disability, sexual/gender minorities, francophone, etc.), if this is considered relevant to research interests or experience in social justice education.

Master of Education

Admission Requirements

Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. For official admission requirements, please see the SGS Calendar. We welcome applicants with diverse backgrounds.

Admission to the MEd program requires an appropriate bachelor's degree from a recognized university, with standing equivalent to a mid-B or better in the final year.

Applicants are required to submit the following; incomplete applications may be subject to processing delays or rejection:

Program Requirements

Students may complete the MEd program by one of three options:

Subject to consultation with a faculty advisor, the Department recommends SJE1903H (Major Concepts and Issues in Social Justice Education).

At least half of the courses in an MEd program must be Social Justice Education (SJE) program courses (currently prefixed SJE). Students who are registered in a Collaborative Specialization may apply to have their SJE course requirement reduced by one half course. Students must consult with their faculty advisor before enrolling in any out-of-department course for which they wish to receive SJE credit.

Students are strongly recommended to take SJE1906H (Integrating Research and Practice in Social Justice Education) towards the end of their degree program. This course provides students an opportunity to complete a research project synthesizing their educational experience with their professional, intellectual, and/or community goals.

The program may be completed on a full-time or part-time basis.

NOTE: Transfer to the MEd 8 half course with Major Research Paper (MRP) is possible, if the student develops a research proposal for a Major Research Paper and has the strong support of a SJE faculty member for supervision. Transfer is a Departmental Admissions Committee decision and is only approved on rare occasions.

Master of Arts

Admission Requirements

Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. For official admission requirements, please see the SGS Calendar.  Applicants must also satisfy the department's additional admission requirements stated below.

Admission to the MA program requires an appropriate bachelor's degree in a humanities, social sciences, or cognate discipline from a recognized university, with standing equivalent to a mid-B or better in the final year.

Applicants are required to submit the following; incomplete applications may be subject to processing delays or rejection:

Program Requirements

The MA is a research-based degree program which can be taken on a full-time or part-time basis.

Subject to consultation with a faculty advisor, the Department recommends SJE1903H (Major Concepts and Issues in Social Justice Education).

Students are required to take 2.5 other full-course equivalents (FCEs), of which at least 1.5 must be Social Justice Education (SJE) program courses (currently prefixed SJE). Students who are registered in a Collaborative Specialization may apply to have their SJE course requirement reduced by 0.5 FCE. Students must consult with their faculty advisor before enrolling in any out-of-department course for which they wish to receive SJE credit.

Additional courses may be required of some students, and some students may be required to take specified courses in research methods and/ or theory.

Students complete a thesis which may lay the groundwork for doctoral research.

Doctor of Education

The EdD degree program is distinct from the PhD in that students are encouraged to orient towards applied and theoretical dimensions of professional educational practice understood as knowledge, teaching, and learning which takes place within or beyond schooling. The EdD in Social Justice Education is ideal for those with an interest in professional and/or voluntary practice in relevant field domains, where there is an interface between theory and practice and where the vision, skills and commitment of dedicated and research informed practitioners are pivotal to outcomes. Those interested in the degree program will be working professionals including teachers, school and community leaders, health and legal professionals, and those working, volunteering or seeking employment in related fields in social justice education.

Admission Requirements

Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. For official admission requirements, please see the SGS Calendar. Applicants must also satisfy the department's additional admission requirements stated below.

Admission to the EdD program requires a University of Toronto MEd or MA in education, or its equivalent from a recognized university, in the same field of specialization proposed at the doctoral level, completed with standing equivalent to B+ or better in master's courses.

Applicants must have the equivalent of 12 months of professional experience.

Applicants are required to submit the following (incomplete applications may be subject to processing delays or rejection):

Program Requirements

Students must complete 4.0 full-course equivalents (FCEs).

Students are required to take the half-course (0.5 FCE): SJE3997H (Practicum in Social Justice Education) (72 hours). Subject to consultation with a faculty advisor, the Department recommends SJE3905H (Interdisciplinary Approaches to Social Justice Education: Theory and Praxis).

Students are required to take 3.0 other full-course equivalents (FCEs), of which at least 1.5 FCEs must be Social Justice Education (SJE) program courses (currently prefixed SJE). Students who are registered in a Collaborative Specialization may apply to have their SJE course requirement reduced by 0.5 FCE. Students must consult with their faculty advisor before enrolling in any out-of-department course for which they wish to receive SJE credit.

Thesis (Dissertation in Practice): Students submit a thesis (dissertation in practice) and defend it at a Doctoral Final Oral Examination. The thesis (dissertation in practice) is the culminating component of the Doctor of Education degree in Social Justice Education that shall include an identification and investigation of a problem of practice, the application of theory and research to the problem of practice, and a design for action to address the problem of practice. Specifically, the thesis (dissertation in practice) is expected to be the product of original research, designed and implemented in the form of an innovative, impactful and potentially sustainable plan, policy, guideline, advocacy or activism model, relevant to an educational setting, broadly defined, and aimed at improving practice on a local, regional, national or international scale.

EdD students may begin their studies on a part-time basis but must maintain continuous registration. However, they must register full-time for a minimum of two consecutive sessions, not including Summer, of on-campus study. Once enrolled full-time, students must maintain continuous registration full-time and pay full-time fees until all degree requirements, including the thesis, are completed.  Full-time EdD students should have formed their thesis committee by the end of their third year of studies; part-time EdD students should have formed their thesis committee by the end of their fourth year of studies.

NOTE: Students cannot normally transfer between the EdD program and PhD program. Full-time and part-time EdD students must complete their degree within six years.

Doctor of Philosophy/Flexible-time Doctor of Philosophy

The PhD degree program is designed to provide opportunities for advanced study, original research, and theoretical analysis.

Admission Requirements

Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. For official admission requirements, please see the SGS Calendar. Applicants must also satisfy the department's additional admission requirements stated below.

Admission to the PhD program requires a University of Toronto MA or MEd in education, or its equivalent from a recognized university, in the same field of specialization proposed at the doctoral level, completed with standing equivalent to B+ or better in master's courses.

PhD students who are admitted without sufficient previous study in a humanities, social science, or a cognate discipline may be required to take additional courses.

Applicants are required to submit the following; incomplete applications may be subject to processing delays or rejection:

Flexible Time PhD: Applicants to the flexible-time PhD option are accepted under the same admission requirements as applicants to the full-time PhD option. However, in addition, applicants to the flexible-time PhD should demonstrate that they are active professionals engaged in activities relevant to their proposed program of study.

Program Requirements

PhD students have the option of undertaking the program on a full-time or flexible-time basis.  Full-time PhD students must maintain full-time status throughout their program of study.

Students must complete 3.0 full-course equivalents (FCEs).  Subject to consultation with a faculty advisor, the Department recommends SJE3905H (Interdisciplinary Approaches to Social Justice Education: Theory and Praxis). Additional courses may be required, and some students may be required to take other specified courses in research methods and/or theory. At least 2.0 FCEs of students' PhD coursework must be taken within SJE. Students who are registered in a Collaborative Specialization may apply to have their SJE course requirement reduced by 0.5 FCE. Students must consult with their faculty advisor before enrolling in any out-of-department course for which they wish to receive SJE credit.

Flexible-time PhD students register full-time during the first four years and may be part-time thereafter, with their Department's approval.  The flexible-time PhD degree is designed to accommodate demand by practicing professionals for a PhD degree that permits continued employment in areas related to their fields of research. Degree requirements for the flexible-time PhD programs are the same as for full-time PhD studies: at least 3.0 FCEs, of which at least 2.0 FCEs must be taken in SJE, with the possibility to apply for a reduction of 0.5 FCE in the SJE course requirement if the student is also registered in a collaborative program.

All PhD students must complete a comprehensive examination:

All PhD students must submit a thesis and defend it at a Doctoral Final Oral Examination. The thesis must embody the results of original investigation conducted by the student under the direction of an OISE thesis committee. The thesis must constitute a significant contribution to the knowledge of the field of study. The student must have an approved thesis topic, supervisor, and an approved thesis committee by the end of the third year of registration, and must have completed all other program requirements.

NOTE: Students cannot normally transfer between the EdD program and PhD program. Full-time PhD students must complete their degree within six years and flexible-time PhD students within eight years. All doctoral students must register continuously until all degree requirements have been fulfilled.

Social Justice Education Courses

Social Justice Education Courses
SJE1419H    Historiography and the History of Education

Central issues in historical writing - theory and philosophy, bias and representativeness - are considered together with modes of presentation, forms and methods of research, and styles of argument. Students are introduced to the main issues in current educational history through an intensive reading of selected, exemplary texts. Emphasis is placed on the manner in which arguments are developed in social-historical studies on schooling and education. In this way, the influence of critical theory, discourse analysis, feminism, post-modernism, and post-structuralism on recent debates within the field is discussed with reference to the central problems of history of education.

NOTE: SJE1419H is compulsory for all students in the MA, EdD, and PhD programs who will be developing a thesis topic in the History of Education.

SJE1422H    Education and Family Life in the Modern World: I

The history of the family as it relates to child-rearing and education in Great Britain, France, the United States, and Canada.


SJE1432H    Knowledge, Mind, and Subjectivity: Foucault and Education

This course investigates knowledge, knowing, and knowing subjects as they are represented in modern and postmodern educational theory and practices. The course is designed to facilitate educators' self-reflection on questions of learning and teaching, constructions of knowledge and knowers, and the implications of power/knowledge. Selected topics include: the impact of constructivism on teaching; problems of epistemic dominance and marginalization (Whose knowledge counts?); and representations of learning (styles; ability/disability).


SJE1433H    Freedom and Authority in Education

This course focuses on the tension between freedom and authority as it affects both education and society at large. Traditional and contemporary philosophical theories of freedom and authority provide a context for examining the competing claims of libertarians (or progressivists) and authoritarians in education. This course does not presuppose extensive background in philosophy.

J. Portelli

SJE1436H    Modernity and Postmodernity in Social Thought and Education

Recent debates in social theory, philosophy, and education regarding the meaning of modernity will be discussed. Theories of modernity and ''post-modern'' critiques of them will be reviewed. Experiences around the world of various types of crisis (human rights, ecological, cultural) may be considered.

M. Boler

SJE1438H    Democratic Approaches to Pedagogy

This course explores the theoretical and practical aspects of democratic approaches to pedagogy by critically discussing selected writings of some of the major 20th century philosophers of education and educationists (e.g., John Dewey, Paulo Freire, Jane R. Martin, A.S. Neill, Bertrand Russell, bell hooks, and Iris Young). The exploration of this topic will also include a critical discussion of case studies arising from real classroom contexts.

J. Portelli

SJE1440H    An Introduction to Philosophy of Education

This course is an overview of the field of philosophy of education. It focuses on selected major thinkers, such as Plato, Rousseau, Wollenstonecraft, Dewey, Peters, and Martin, with attention given both to classic texts and to contemporary developments, critiques, and uses of ideas from these texts. Emphasis is placed on the kinds of epistemological, ethical, and political questions that comprise the core of philosophy of education and that need to be addressed to the classic and contemporary literature.


SJE1447H    Technology in Education: Philosophical Issues

This course will address the philosophical problems arising from the use of modern technology and its implications for theories of education and educational practices. The primary focus of the course will be on the nature of the relationship between humans, society, and technology. Among the issues that may be considered are: the nature and validity of technological determinism as a model of explanation of personal and social change; technological causation; the conceptual distinctions (if any) between humans and machines; the social, political, metaphysical, ethical, and epistemological commitments involved in the introduction and use of technology in education; the distinctions between human understanding and artificial intelligence; problems arising from the use of computers in education; and related philosophical issues in education. The selection of topics will depend on the interests and backgrounds of the members of the seminar.

M. Boler

SJE1471H    Critical Issues in Education: Philosophical Perspectives

This course examines philosophical dimensions of contemporary critical issues in educational practice. Issues selected vary each session (examples are: standardization and a common curriculum; common schooling and school choice; teacher testing and professional learning; safe schools and ''zero tolerance'' policies; and controversial issues in the classroom). The aim is to integrate our understanding of these issues as they are being played out in practice and uncover and analyze some of the underlying philosophical questions and stances.

J. Portelli

SJE1472H    Philosophical Questions About the Teaching of Philosophy

This new offering introduces students to key issues regarding teaching philosophy to a range of ages and in a variety of contexts. One course aim is to allow students to tie philosophical thought more directly to teaching and learning in schools in a way that allows them to improve both student learning and their own teaching. Open to graduate students and teacher candidates in all disciplines, attention will be devoted to pedagogical practices such as differentiated instruction and teaching learners of diverse abilities and ages as it relates to philosophical thought. Literature from the Philosophy for Children (P4C) will be engaged and compared with strategies for teaching the adolescent learner. Candidates working in the publicly funded school system will also have an opportunity to explore topics and issues of particular relevance to their own educational aims and interests. Graduate students will be provided with opportunities to advance their own research through independent studies while benefitting from direct contact with teach candidates; teacher candidates will benefit from the expertise and research of graduate students. Course methods will include lectures, discussions, debates, small group activities, a library session, presentations on specific thinkers and foundational/reoccurring philosophical concepts and debates, and guest speakers from key areas of philosophical specialization. Important critiques of the philosophical canon from postmodernism, feminism, and postcolonialism will be raised throughout. A secondary aim of the course will be to allow teacher candidates to connect philosophy with their own approach to educational and cultivate a philosophy of education that will increase student engagement and learning.


SJE1900H    Introduction to Sociology in Education/Introduction à la sociologie de l'éducation

An examination of the possibilities, promises, and problems with which sociological perspectives can enliven and enrich the understanding of the educational process. This course provides an introduction to and integration of theoretical and practical aspects of sociology in education.

Ce cours a pour but d'examiner les possibilités, les promesses et les problèmes avec lesquels les perspectives sociologiques peuvent animer et enrichir la compréhension du processus éducatif. Il fournit une introduction aux aspects théoriques et pratiques de la sociologie de l'éducation.

P. Olson, D. Farmer

SJE1902H    Introductory Sociological Research Methods in Education [RM]

An introduction to basic research methods appropriate for teachers and other students of sociology in education. General consideration will be given to technical problems with emphasis on the underlying research process and its practical implications for schools.

P. Olson

SJE1903H    Major Concepts and Issues in Education

This course will serve as an introduction to the major concepts and issues in education from both a multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approach, that values social justice education.  Students will be introduced to major questions and debates in educational theory and praxis, focusing specifically on issues that define the areas of emphases in SJE: anti-racism, critical race theory and Indigenous studies; feminism, gender, and queer studies; cultural and philosophical contexts in education (including francophone studies); aesthetics, communication and media studies; and democracy, ethics, disability studies, and social class. The course, which is normally taken in the beginning of a master level program in SJE, will assist students to understand how a multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approach from the humanities/social sciences perspective that honors social justice education, contrasts with other disciplinary approaches and what this perspective contributes to the examination of major educational concepts and issues. Students will develop an understanding of the central questions, debates, and controversies from diverse intellectual traditions of the humanities and social sciences, and explore multi- and interdisciplinary studies in education, with a focus on history, philosophy, sociology and social justice education.

NOTE: Effective September 2016, subject to consultation with a faculty advisor, the Department recommends SJE1903H.

SJE1905H    Qualitative Approaches to Sociological Research in Education [RM]

This course will provide practical training in qualitative sociological research in education. Stages of qualitative research (such as identifying a topic, organizing projects and writing proposals, gaining access, collecting data by in-depth interviews and participant observation, using documents, analysing data, and writing reports) will be covered. Students will do a small project using techniques of interviewing and participant observation. Issues such as ethics, working with school boards and other agencies, and feminist research will also be raised. The course is most suitable for students who have some background in sociology but who have not previously conducted ethnographic or other forms of qualitative research.

M. Todorova

SJE1906H    Integrating Research and Practice in Social Justice Education

The course will be offered as the final and culminating course for Masters of Education students in SJE who wish to complete a project synthesizing their educational experience with their professional, intellectual, and/or community goals.  The students will design, develop and conduct individual or group projects in social justice education.  Depending on students’ goals and aspirations, projects may include (but are not limited to): a research project similar in form & scope to a Major Research Paper; a substantial literature review; a portfolio; a curriculum unit; a website, blog or digital media project; a policy intervention; a documentation of alternative educational programs or practices; the organization of a media, community or school event; an artistic representation; or a project of the student’s design.


SJE1909H    Environmental Sustainability and Social Justice

The premise on which this course is based is that social equity and environmental sustainability are necessarily and inextricably intertwined. After clarifying key concepts such as environmental justice, we will analyze the current unsustainable way in which Canada as a society, as well as the world as a whole, are organized, including climate change, water and food access and quality, energy generation and consumption, BMO,s, population growth. We will also explore positive examples of how to deal with these issues.


SJE1911H    Sociologie de l'éducation inclusive

Ce séminaire a pour but d'explorer, d'un point de vue sociologique et historique, et grâce à un ensemble de données théoriques provenant aussi bien de France, d'Angleterre que du Canada, la mise en place de l'éducation inclusive. Cette forme d'éducation, constituée dans le but de répondre aux ''besoins'' d'élèves désignés comme ''spéciaux'', eut son heure de gloire à une époque donnée, soit avant qu'émergent les courants d'intégration et d'inclusion scolaire. La situation des écoles de langue française en Ontario sera également analysée au regard de cette question.


SJE1912H    Foucault and Research in Education and Culture: Discourse, Power and the Subject

This course will introduce students to central approaches, themes and questions in the work of Michel Foucault. We will discuss the relevance and utility of his work by examining how a number of researchers in education have made use of it. Students will also be able to explore the implications and usefulness of Foucault's work for their own research.


SJE1915H    Education and Popular Culture

Learning not only takes place within the institutions of formal education, but through a myriad of practices of popular culture. Considering popular culture as inherently pedagogical, this course will address the learning that takes place through various everyday cultural practices and consider its implications for the work of educators. Practices to be considered include television, film, radio, digital media, musical performance, as well as aspects of material culture such as forms of dress, games, and toys.

R. Walcott

SJE1919H    Environmental Sustainability and Social Justice

This course builds on the assumption that social justice and environmental sustainability are intertwined. It explores the interconnections among environmental problems and capitalism, patriarchy, racism, and other forms of domination. Participants will be encouraged to analyze the social, economic, and environmental dimensions of (in)justice in diverse contexts within frameworks that recognize the salience of social identities, including but not limited to class, race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality and ability. Participants critically examine contrasting theoretical perspectives, practices, and examples of environmental justice advocacy and action. These investigations will assist course participants to deepen their understandings and hone their practical abilities to respond to social, economic, and environmental issues in multiple institutional contexts -- schools, workplaces, unions, social service agencies, NGOs, and so on.


SJE1921Y    The Principles of Anti-Racism Education

The first half of the course provides a theoretical analysis of anti-racism and anti-oppression education and issues for students, educators, and staff interested in the pursuit of anti-racism and anti-oppression education in the schools. The second half focuses on practical anti-racism strategies aimed at institutional change in schools, classrooms, and other organizational settings. The intention is to ground theoretical principles of anti-racism education in the actual school practices of promoting educational inclusion, social change and transformation.

G.J.S. Dei

SJE1922H    Sociology of Race and Ethnicity

This seminar reviews selected sociological theories and perspectives on race and ethnicity. The emphasis is on emerging debates and investigations on the interrelation and interstices of race, gender, sexuality, [dis]ability, and class in the construction of social and historical realities and identities. It explores the implications of these advances for curriculum and pedagogical practices.

G.J.S. Dei

SJE1923H    Racism, Violence, and the Law: Issues for Researchers and Educators

This course explores the extent of racialized violence, provides a theoretical approach for understanding it, and considers appropriate anti-violence strategies. How should educators respond to the world post 911? Are we in a new age of empire? What is the connection between historical moments of extraordinary racial violence and our everyday world? How do individuals come to participate in, remain indifferent to or approve of violence? This course offers researchers and educators an opportunity to explore these broad questions through examining historical and contemporary examples of racial violence and the law.


SJE1924H    Modernization, Development, and Education in African Contexts

This seminar explores the significance and implication of education (as broadly defined) to the discourse of modernization and development in Africa. The course begins with the interrogation of 'African development' from an African-centred perspective. There is an examination of various theoretical conceptions of 'development' and the role of education and schooling in social change. A special emphasis is on the World Bank/IMF induced educational reform initiatives and the implications of 'authentic'/alternative development. The seminar will attempt to uncover the myriad interests and issues about Africa, including contemporary challenges and possibilities. The course critically engages the multiple ways of presenting current challenges of 'development', the interplay of tradition and modernity, contestations over knowledge production in 'post-colonial' Africa, and the roles and significance of Indigenous/local cultural resource knowledges, science, culture, gender, ethnicity, language, and religion for understanding African development. Other related questions for discussion include social stratification and cultural pluralism, formulation of national identity, political ideology and the growth of nationalism, and the search for peace, cooperation and social justice. Although the course basically uses African case material, it is hoped our discussions will be placed in global/transnational contexts, particularly in looking at themes common to many Southern peoples contending with, and resisting, the effects of [neo] colonial and imperial knowledge.

G.J.S. Dei

SJE1925H    Indigenous Knowledges and Decolonization: Pedagogical Implications

This seminar will examine Indigenous and marginalized knowledge forms in global and transnational contexts and the pedagogical implications for decolonized education.  It begins with a brief overview of processes of knowledge production, interrogation, validation and dissemination in diverse educational settings.  There is a critique of theoretical conceptions of what constitutes ‘valid’ knowledge and how such knowledge is produced and disseminated locally and externally.  A particular emphasis is on the validation of non-Western epistemologies and their contributions in terms of offering multiple and collective readings of the world.  Among the specific topics to be covered are the principles of Indigenous knowledge forms; questions of power, social difference, identity, and representation in Indigenous knowledge production; cultural appropriation and the political economy of knowledge production; Indigenous knowledges and science education; Indigenous knowledges and globalization; change, modernity, and Indigenous knowledges.  The course uses case material from diverse social settings to understand different epistemologies and their pedagogical implications. Indigenous knowledge is thus defined broadly to local cultural resource knowledge and the Indigenous philosophies of colonized/oppressed peoples. The focus on local Indigenousness, that is, a knowledge consciousness that emerges from an understanding of the society-nature-culture nexus or interface.

G.J.S. Dei

SJE1926H    Race, Space and Citizenship: Issues for Educators

How do we come to know who we are and how is this knowledge emplaced, raced and gendered? For educators, these questions underpin pedagogy. In focusing on the formation of racial subjects and the symbolic and material processes that sustain racial hierarchies, educators can consider how dominance is taught and how it might be undermined. Drawing on recent scholarship in critical race theory, critical geography, history and cultural studies, the course examines how we learn who we are and how these pedagogies of citizenship (who is to count and who is not) operate in concrete spaces--bodies, nations, cities, institutions. This course is about the production of identities--dominant ones and subordinate ones in specific spaces. It is taught from an educator's and a researcher's viewpoint. As an educator, the compelling question is how we might interrupt the production of dominant subjects. As a researcher, the question is how to document and understand racial formations, and the production of identities in specific spaces. The course begins by exploring the racial violence of colonialism, of periods of racial terror (lynching, the Holocaust), and of the New World Order (in particular, the post 911 environment, and the violence of peacekeeping and occupations) as well as state violence. In all these instances, law often has a central role to play in producing and sustaining violence. It is through law, for example, that nations are able to legally authorize acts of racial violence and legal narratives often operate to secure social consent to acts of racial terror. Through a feminist and anti-racist framework, we explore how racial violence is sexualized and gendered, and how it operates as a defining feature of relations between dominant and subordinate groups. The course examines how racial violence is linked to empire and nation building, and how individuals come to participate in these racial and gendered social arrangements.


SJE1927H    Migration and Globalization

This course will tackle three broad themes: (1) migration, nation, and subjectivity; (2) globalization and its discontents; (3) empire and subalternity. It will engage with theoretical and empirical studies of discourses and structures that constitute the formations and relations of subjects, cultures, spaces, institutions, and practices. The analytical and methodological approach will be both disciplinary and inter-disciplinary, drawing from the fields of sociology, history, geography, anthropology, and education, while mobilizing insights from ethnic, feminist, queer, cultural, and postcolonial studies. The interpretive lens will be simultaneously panoramic, comparative, and focused that will attend to the shared and unique conditions of local-global, north-south transactions.


SJE1929H    Theorizing Asian Canada

The course offers interdisciplinary approaches to critical inquiries into the historical, socio-cultural, and political forces that shape our knowledge about peoples of Asian heritage in Canada and in the diaspora. It foregrounds the intersections of race and ethnicity with other indices of difference, such as gender, class, migration, sexuality, ability, language, and spirituality in local, national, and global contexts. It engages with theoretical, empirical, and methodological issues related to inquiries on Asian Canadians, and draws out implications for intellectual, educational, and policy arenas.


SJE1930H    Race, Indigeneity, and the Colonial Politics of Recognition

This course explores histories of racism, displacement and legal disenfranchisement that create citizenship injustices for Indigenous peoples in Canada. It aims to highlight a set of decolonizing perspectives on belonging and identity, to contest existing case law and policy, and to deconstruct the normative discourses of law, liberalism and cultural representation that govern and shape current nation-to-nation relationships between Ongwehoweh (real people) and colonial-settler governments. The course is centered on exploring the possibilities, challenges and contradictions raised by resurgence strategies and reparation involving citizenship injustice from an anti-racist, anti-colonial and indigenous-centered perspective.

M. Cannon

SJE1931H    Centering Indigenous-Settler Solidarity in Theory and Research[36S]

What sets of intellectual and intercultural relationships exist between settler, diasporic, and Indigenous populations in Canada, and what possibilities, challenges, and limitations surround the building of these alliances in both theory and research? This course will examine these questions by exploring scholarly, theoretical, and research-based frameworks centred on the creation, maintenance, and rejuvenation of Indigenous-settler relationships and organizing. The objective is to engage with and assess these frameworks from a critical, Indigenous, and anticolonial perspective, and to understand the strengths, divergences and interconnections surrounding each of them. Through films, readings, group discussions, and guest speakers, emphasis will be placed on current and future research and mobilizing, considering in turn the implications for political, historical, and educational change.

M. Cannon

SJE1951H    The School and the Community/L'école, la participation parentale et la communauté

This course investigates changing relations within and between schools and communities (however defined). We will review sociological and historical studies of community and discuss the ways in which different notions of ''community'' and forms of diversity have been employed by parents, teachers, administrators, trustees and others in struggles over the form, content, and outcomes of schooling. Students are encouraged to draw on their own experiences as parents, teachers, students, trustees and/or community activists.

Dans plusieurs pays, des réformes éducatives sont entreprises afin de rendre les administrations scolaires plus autonomes, davantage responsables et redevables face aux communautés. En ce sens, la communauté, notamment au travers de l'action des parents, est invitée à jouer un rôle à l'école. Cette situation est issue de la critique d'un modèle scolaire considéré trop uniforme, peu enclin à répondre à des situations particulières et inapte à remplir son rôle en ce qui concerne la transmission des savoirs de base jugés prioritaires. Cependant, certains voient dans cette « mise en marché de l'éducation », un simple rôle d'apparat pour les parents et le retour à un schéma compétitif entre les élèves. Prenant en compte ces tensions et représentations différentes au sujet du rôle de l'école, ce séminaire a pour but d'examiner, grâce à des textes riches aussi bien du point de vue théorique qu'empirique, les liens qui unissent l'école et la communauté et les fonctions sociales de l'école.

D. Farmer

SJE1954H    Marginality and the Politics of Resistance

This course examines the processes through which certain groups are marginalized and explores some strategies for resistance. The first section explores: the meaning of subjectivity and its relationship to political practice, experience, knowledge, and power. Section two looks more closely at gender, sexuality and race, exploring here both the concepts we have used to understand domination and the practices of marginalization themselves. Section three considers three strategies of resistance: writing, cultural production, and politics.


SJE1956H    Social Relations of Cultural Production in Education

This course will analyse how cultural meanings are produced, interpreted, legitimated, and accepted and/or rejected in educational settings, including but not limited to schools. Critical perspectives from feminism, Marxism, and poststructuralism will be explored to consider how culture has been investigated and taken up in/through sociology, cultural studies, and studies of education and schooling.

R. Walcott

SJE1957H    Disability Studies: An Introduction

''Doing Disability'' brings us to a central premise of disability studies--disability is a space of cultural practices done by and to people. From this premise, it follows that we are never alone in our bodies and so disability represents the material fact that bodies, minds, and senses always appear in the midst of people. Assuming that disability is done and re-done through everyday discursive practices, disability studies turns to a range of interdisciplinary work that enriches the potential to challenge our taken-for-granted understandings of social and political life. Theorizing how we do disability, even in the everyday of the (our) classroom, provides the occasion to critically engage contexts, such as education, mass media, and the built environment, as they intersect with issues of identity and difference; embodiment; narrative; the constitutive structuring of ordinary, agentive, viable, life at their opposites. Orienting to disability as a social accomplishment of everyday life is a way to examine how versions of what counts as human are culturally organized and governed. Made by culture, disability is a key space of practices where we might theorize culture's makings. In this course, we explore social models and theories of disability, so as to develop a critical understanding of disability's appearance in everyday life and to work to open ourselves to question how these new non-medicalized ways of knowing disability might influence pedagogical structures and practices.

T. Titchkosky

SJE1958H    The Cultural Production of the Self as a Problem in Education

This course explores socio-cultural theories of the self and subjectivity. Turning to interpretive sociology, informed by cultural and disability studies, we will theorize the self as social and as located in educational scenes of its appearance, including its appearance in empirical studies that regard the self as a problem. Through lecture and seminar discussions, we will uncover taken-for-granted conceptions of the self-as-a-problem in education. The course aims to reveal the complex version of self as a cultural production while questioning individualized versions of self currently produced by dominant fields’ of inquiry in education such as developmental and epigenetic psychology.

T. Titchkosky

SJE1959H    Theoretical Frameworks in Culture, Communications and Education

This course examines a range of arguments concerning the ways in which theories of culture, communication and education impact our understanding of the everyday world. The course attempts to survey literature which place discussions of culture, communication and education in the foreground. The course will attend to the ways in which culture, communication and education are not settled terms but are terms deeply implicated in how we maneuver the everyday social world.

R. Walcott

SJE1961H    Spirituality and Schooling: Sociological and Pedagogical Implications in Education

Exploring spirituality within the context of education will create new pathways of understanding for educators and students. By weaving spirituality into learning and knowledge creation discourse, educators and learners can foster spiritual growth while strengthening the connections between knowledge and the process of schooling. The main objective of this course, therefore, will be to create an educational space that develops students' spiritual interconnectedness in relation to learning, schooling and the community at large. Spirituality is very important in many people's lives, and valuing the spirituality of students means valuing their uniqueness as individuals, regardless of race, gender, creed, sexuality or ability. Spirituality has been silenced and marginalized as a discourse or embodied knowledge in the academy. The course will survey the literature that examines spirituality and knowledge production from a wide range of perspectives, such as from various Eastern, African, indigenous traditions, and from both religious and secular traditions. The course will examine the intersections between issues of spirituality and environment, health, colonialism, gender, sexuality, the body and so on.


SJE1970H    Applied Ethics in Higher Education

Applied ethics is the study of questions that result from real-life moral situations, usually in specific domains such as medicine, business, and education. The institution of higher education (primarily universities) has always raised applied ethical questions, such as those regarding freedom of speech and research, compensation for intellectual work, choices in student admissions, obligations to the larger society, and academic integrity. Contemporary influences on higher education are also introducing a raft of new ethical quandaries: changes to the conduct and dissemination of research, free massive online courses, distance education, corporate university partnerships, restructuring of academic positions, rising tuition, and the dilution of degree integrity due to such phenomena as for-profit universities, just to name a few. How do we address these ethical questions? What concepts of value and morality can be brought to bear on higher education? This course will examine these ethical issues using a blend of empirical and theoretical, academic and non-academic literature. No background in philosophy is necessary to take this course.

L. Bialystok

SJE1971H    Identity and Education

This course is about identity and its relationship to education. We all have beliefs about identity – our own, and others’ as well – but when we start to investigate these beliefs, many questions arise. What is essential to one's identity? How much could you change about yourself and still be the same person? Were you born with an identity? How do children develop their identities? Where are the lines between individual identity and group identity?

These questions have major implications for education. On one level, we may assume implicitly that education should accord in some way with one's identity. One should not be educated to have an identity that is vastly different from one's own family or culture, or worse, to alienate one from these identities. Many types of schooling are explicitly concerned with instilling or nurturing certain identities in children – most commonly religious, ethnic, or national – so that they grow up with a sense of heritage and belonging. Yet we also think of education as liberating, as feeding the autonomy that allows individuals to "come into their own" identities, whatever these may be. Sometimes these purposes may seem to be at odds.

Teachers have identities, too, and who a teacher is affects how she will teach, and consequently what the students may come to understand of their own identities. Teachers can subtly reinforce or subvert dominant narratives about individual and group identities, shaping the way in which students come to see themselves in an educational setting and beyond. Teacher identities, student identities, and the identities of the wider community in which they learn are all very much entangled.

The readings in this course are drawn from philosophy and other disciplines. We will consider some of the contributions made to our understanding of identity by Western liberal thought, psychoanalysis, feminist and queer theory, anti-racist education, and more. Film and other source materials will also be used.

L. Bialystok

SJE1972H    Contemporary Ethical Issues in Education

The course offers an opportunity to inquire ethically into timely, controversial educational issues, focusing on K-12 schooling in Ontario. We will be guided by questions about the purpose of education, the responsibilities of the state, the rights of parent, children, and minority groups, and the functions of teachers.  Each week will focus on one general topic, such as ethnocentric segregated schools, standardization and standardized testing, sexual minorities in religious schools, and so on.

No background in philosophy is required, but we will continually reinforce the methods of ethical inquiry and steer away from other approaches. We will use a variety of sources, including scholarly articles, various news media, and policy documents.

This course is open to Master of Teaching students.

Exclusion: SJE1471 (Critical Issues in Education: Philosophical Perspectives)
L. Bialystok

SJE1973H    Liberalism and its Critics

Liberalism is a crucial influence on the Western philosophical and political traditions, and a framework for understanding many contemporary debates about education. This course will engage with selected foundational texts in liberal thought, with a focus on Rawls’ Theory of Justice, as well as some of the critiques (e.g. communitarian, feminist) that have shaped political discourse in recent years. 

There are many versions of liberalism, and countless unsettled debates within the liberal tradition.  What intellectual and political developments are central to contemporary liberalism? What is the liberal vision of a socially just state?  Can the state be neutral with respect to views about the good life? How should individual rights be conceptualized in a diverse society? What is the value of community membership? Does liberalism place too much importance on autonomy or reason? How should liberal societies deal with illiberal views?  How does our present society embody, and fail to embody, various theories of liberal justice?  What is the relationship between liberalism and neoliberalism?

We will engage with these questions via close readings of liberal theorists and their critics, and by examining the formidable influence of liberal ideas on contemporary schooling. We will also examine specific debates about liberalism in education, including the importance of educating for autonomy and the legitimacy of state-initiated educational policies.

L. Bialystok

SJE1974H    Truth Commissions Reconciliation and Indian Residential Schools

This course considers, in part comparatively and internationally, the content and implications of Truth Commissions, especially Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) in terms of delivering colonial reparations and redress. In June 2015, following six years of investigation and hearings across Canada, the TRC released its findings to the public. The findings were based largely on testimonies of over 6000 witnesses, mostly adult survivors of residential schools. The TRC concluded that the residential schools were based on a policy of “cultural genocide”, enforced as part of the very foundation of the Canadian state and sustained for over a century. Canada’s TRC documented crimes exclusively targeting children, and an attack on Indigenous sovereignty. It also identified education as an avenue for reconciliation.

The course in general addresses histories of settler colonialism in Canada, historically and at present. It also works in particular to make comparisons with other Truth Commissions and cases of apology and redress. Attention is paid to recommendations for social justice related, political, and educational reform and practice; as well as their implications for settler/indigenous relationships-building and -rejuvenation.

The readings in this course are drawn from Critical Indigenous Studies, History, as well as other disciplines. Films, guest speakers, and other source materials are used.

M. Cannon

SJE1975H    Indigenous Settler Relations Issues for Teachers

This course names and considers the role of Canadian educators in transforming classroom-based, pedagogical, research-oriented, and programmatic initiatives aimed at settler, arrivant, and migrant/ Indigenous relationships-building and -rejuvenation. It invites teachers and administrators in particular to mobilize recent calls by the Association of Canadian Deans of Education (2010) and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (2015) to address the possibilities of colonial reparations and reconciliation. Issues addressed include: the ‘Non-Indigenous Learner and Indigeneity,’ and how to ‘build student capacity for intercultural understanding, empathy, and mutual respect.’

The course addresses scholarly criticisms regarding the invitation to ‘cultural competence’ and ‘sensitivity training’ in services delivery and educational contexts. It also addresses current and past histories of settler colonialism, multiculturalism, and Indigenous education in Canada. Attention is paid to anticolonial pedagogy and practice, as well as Indigenous perspectives on sovereignty, relationships and governance.

The readings in this course are drawn from Critical Indigenous Studies, Critical Pedagogy, as well as other disciplines. Films, guest speakers, and other source materials are used. 

M. Cannon

SJE1976H    Critical Media Literacy Education

This course is designed to help pre-service and practicing teachers gain skills in teaching critical media literacy by introducing them to the core values, social objectives and pedagogical approaches in the field. Specifically, students in the course will gain deeper and critical understanding of how ideology and power inform mass media and cultural production, the politics of representation of crucial dimensions of gender, race, class, and sexuality in media and cultural texts, and the role of these representations in forming children’s and young people’s identities and perceptions of the world.

The course also introduces students to media production and broadcasting techniques that target stereotypes, and hegemonic representations, and infuse education and public life with so called alternative media and messages. In the process, students will become familiar with effective approaches to teach critical media literacy in K12 education, mainly how to use pupils’ familiarity with images, stories, and heroes from popular culture genres to teach concepts and skills in math and science, health and physical education or ESL education, among other subjects. 

M. Todorova

SJE1977H    Sociology of Indigenous and Alternative Approaches to Health and Healing Practices: Implications for Education

The intent of this course is to develop and understand the philosophical basis of Indigenous Health and Healing Practices: Implication for Education by reviewing educational and research initiatives in this area.   The course will also broaden students' understanding of holistic methods of health and healing practices in the context of education and schooling. Given the impacts of globalization, different communities are faced with a myriad of physical/economic, psychological, mental and community distresses. A course on Sociology of Indigenous Health and Healing Practices and its Implication for Education create a space for dialogue and critical evaluation of the importance of good health (physical, mental and emotional) for learning, researching and teaching. The resurgence of alternative health and healing practices is crucial at this time when different communities both from mainstream and Indigenous communities are searching for holistic methods of health and healing.  Indigenous healing practices are unique because all physical, mental and spiritual phenomena are studied, understood, and practiced and taught to its whole community (Afrika, 2004, Battiste, 2000; Dei, Hall & Rosenburg, 2000; Waterfall, 2002; Wane, 2005).  Some of the questions that will be addressed through discussion, readings and guest speakers are: What is healing? What are the different modes of healing outside contemporary healing practices and what are their implication to knowledge production and dissemination? Why do we deal with inbuilt tensions between and among different modes of healing and their implication to education? Healing is more than just keeping and restoring one’s health. It is also about the relationship with others, other creatures (animate/inamate, visible/invisible), and the universe; what has this got to do with sociology of education?

N. Wane

SJE1978H    Women in Leadership Positions: Intersectionalities and Leadership Practices; Sociological Implications in Education

Exploring women in leadership positions within the context of education will create new pathways of understanding intersectionalities and leadership practices.  By weaving women’s leadership practices into learning, knowledge creation discourse, educators as well as learners will have a better understanding of how gender plays out in leadership.  The main objective of this course will be to: examine strategies that different women employ when they find themselves in positions of leadership; explore the questions and issues of women and leadership and how that intersects with schooling from diverse perspectives. Ngunjiri (2010), suggests that women can transform their communities and organizations from within by choosing to work with all stakeholders by navigating through the cultural and organizational challenges, in order to bring a shift of consciousness in communities or organizations. This course seeks to further these analyses and offers insights into how spiritual discourse informs women educators' everyday leadership practices. The course will concentrate on literature that examines women & leadership; gender and leadership; women in positions of authority etc and knowledge production from historical and contemporary perspectives as well as from a local and global perspective.

N. Wane

SJE1982H    Women, Diversity and the Educational System

This course examines the impact of the changing situation of women in society on educational processes and curriculum. Gender is understood to operate together with a range of other 'diverse' identities such as race, class and age. Among topics covered are gender, biography, and educational experience; patterns of educational access and achievement; gender as an organizing principle in school and classroom practices and peer relations; teachers' careers; feminist pedagogies and strategies for change.


SJE1989H    Black Feminist Thought

Various discourses, theoretical frameworks and ideological proclamations have been employed to analyze, criticize and interrogate everyday lived experiences of black peoples. This course examines the multiple oppressions and social representations of black women using a black feminist theoretical framework. Part of the course will be devoted to black feminist theory -- a theory developed out of black women's experiences and rooted in their communities. The course will also examine the following issues among others: strands of feminisms with particular emphasis on feminisms as advocated by the visible minorities; the divergences and similarities of black feminisms; and the heterogeneous nature of black women's experiences. The course will be sociological and historical in nature and will examine the intersections of race, class, gender and homophobia.

N. Wane

SJE1992H    Feminism and Poststructuralism in Education

In this course, we will debate some of the key questions raised by feminist poststructuralist writers. These include the nature of power and the subject; the workings of discourse; and the status and effects of knowledge. Detailed consideration will be given to feminist poststructuralist accounts of educational practice and feminist pedagogy.

M. Todorova

SJE1993H    Militarism and Sustainability: Concepts of Nature, State and Society

Militarism is and has been an ongoing part of civilization and state formation throughout much of recorded history. The devastating effects of war on the environment, individual human and group life, and the disruption of any sense of normal lawful or civil society are well documented. It is difficult to find any political group who advocates or see war as a preferred means of conflict or social resolution. Yet war, militarism, and the quest for dispute resolution and ordination of one group over another is a central part of human history. In many accounts of history and what G. H. Mead called human group life war and militarism is all but a code word for what we label as history.

P. Olson

SJE2941H    Bourdieu: Theory of Practice in Social Sciences

This course provides a theoretical examination of how social inequities are being (re)produced in everyday life, namely through education. It will focus on the work and influence of sociologist Pierre Bourdieu. It will also introduce students to scholars who have since used his concepts and methodology and/or have critiqued Bourdieu. Questions of inequities are being in vivo, unveiling complex processes of inequalities taking shape through the structuring of formal education as well as through race, class, gender and other interlocking systems of oppression.

D. Farmer

SJE2942H    Education and Work

An introduction to critical contemporary studies of relations between the realms of learning and work. Formal, nonformal and informal learning practices will be examined, as will paid employment, household labour and community service work. Special attention will be devoted to the connection between underemployment and lifelong learning.


SJE2998H    Individual Reading and Research in Social Justice in Education: Master's Level

Specialized study, under the direction of a staff member, focusing on topics of particular interest to the student that are not included in available courses. This study may take the form of a reading course combined with fieldwork in community groups and organizations, or independent study of any type. While credit is not given for a thesis investigation proper, the study may be closely related to a thesis topic.


SJE3417H    Research Seminar in Feminist Criticism, and Pedagogy

This course will explore progressive, critical, feminist, and other radical pedagogies in their theoretical and historical contexts. The seminar will examine diverse contemporary debates regarding pedagogical questions surrounding such notions as ''voice'', ''empowerment'', and ''dialogue'' that have been advocated and contested within critical educational theory.

M. Boler

SJE3452H    Individual Reading and Research in the History of Education: Doctoral Level

Course description same as SJE1452H.


SJE3453H    Individual Reading and Research in the Philosophy of Education: Doctoral Level

Course description same as SJE1453H.


SJE3480H    EdD Seminar in the Philosophy of Education: I

This is a required research seminar for EdD candidates involving consideration of the problems of philosophical studies in a critical context. The seminar will include presentation and criticism of students' thesis/project proposals and progress reports.


SJE3481H    EdD Seminar in the Philosophy of Education: II

Course description same as SJE3480H.


SJE3490H    EdD Seminar in the History of Education: 1

This is a required research seminar for EdD candidates involving consideration of the problems of historical studies in a critical context. The seminar will include presentation and criticism of students' thesis/project proposals and progress reports.


SJE3491H    EdD Seminar in the History of Education: II

Course description same as SJE3490H.


SJE3904H    Advanced Sociological Theory in Education

This course will explore some of the 'classical' questions and arguments in sociological theory, and some of the authors who provided definitions and disagreements that have shaped sociology as a discipline. The course concentrates upon and questions the foundations of sociology and its early institutionalization in Europe and the United States between 1850-1935. We will read and discuss how classical sociology in different ways attempted to illuminate, understand and (for some) contribute to changing key features of social relations of emergent modernity. Finally, we will read reflexively to trace the various strategies that sociologists have used to know and represent the social and to claim scientific authority for sociological representations. What is it, if anything, that marks sociological knowledge as different from (and superior to?) everyday or common sense knowledge of the social? In addition to reading works by and about 'founding fathers' Marx, Weber and Durkheim, the course will also reflect on the contributions of Simmel, DuBois and Freud to sociology.


SJE3905H    Interdisciplinary Approaches to Humanities and Social Sciences: Theory and Praxis

This course will provide students with an introduction to diverse disciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches to conducting educational research in the humanities and social sciences. The course will simultaneously examine 1) methodological issues in disciplinary and interdisciplinary research, 2) content that is of common interest to multiple disciplines and reflects the scholarship of the SJE faculty, and 3) the relationship between research and praxis in various disciplines. The individual disciplines reflected in the course will include sociology, philosophy, history, anthropology, geography, and political science. Some of the topics to be examined may include the sociology of knowledge, the politics of truth claims, the impact of technology and media, and debates regarding knowledge production and authority. We will approach these questions through different lenses and frameworks that transcend individual disciplines, such as critical race, postcolonial, feminist, and postmodern theories. While engaging with the methods and assumptions of various fields of research, the overriding inquiry in this course will be epistemological, derived from the philosophical study of how knowledge is acquired, verified, produced, and transmitted.

NOTE: Effective September 2016, subject to consultation with a faculty advisor, the Department recommends SJE3905H.

SJE3910H    Advanced Seminar on Race and Anti-Racism Research Methodology in Education

This advanced graduate seminar will examine multiple scholarly approaches to researching race, ethnicity, difference and anti-racism issues in schools and other institutional settings. It begins with a brief examination of race and anti-racism theorizing and the exploration of the history, contexts and politics of domination studies in sociological and educational research. The course then looks at ontological, epistemological, and ethical questions, and critical methodological reflections on race, difference and social research. The course will focus on the ethnographic, survey and historical approaches, highlighting specific qualitative and quantitative concerns that implicate studying across the axes of difference. We will address the issues of school and classroom participant observation,; the pursuit of critical ethnography as personal experience, stories and narratives; the study of race, racism and anti-racism projects through discourse analysis; and the conduct of urban ethnography. Through the use of case studies, we will review race and anti-racism research in cross-cultural comparative settings and pinpoint some of the methodological innovations in social research on race and difference.

Prerequisite: SJE1922H or permission of instructor
G.J.S. Dei

SJE3911H    Cultural Knowledges, Representation and Colonial Education

With the advent of colonialism, non-European traditional societies were disrupted. A starting point is an appreciation of the vast array of cultural diversity in the world. The course interrogates how various media have taken up these knowledge systems, presented to the world in the form of texts, films, and educational practices, and examines how colonial education sustains the process of cultural knowledges fragmentation. Our analysis will serve to deepen insights and to develop intellectual skills to cultivate a greater understanding of the dynamics generated through representations and the role of colonial education in sustaining and delineating particular cultural knowledge. We will also explore the various forms of resistance encountered in the process of fragmentation and examine how certain groups of people in various parts of the world have maintained their cultural base, and how this has been commodified, commercialized and romanticized. The course makes use of forms of cultural expressions such as films and critical theories on race, gender, sexuality, and class.

Prerequisite: Masters students need approval of instructor
N. Wane

SJE3912H    Race and Knowledge Production: Issues in Research [RM]

As a qualitative research course for masters and doctoral students who already possess some familiarity with postmodern, feminist and critical race theories, the course will consist of readings that explore the following question: how is knowledge production racialized? A related question is: how can we understand the operation of multiple systems of domination in the production of racialized knowledge? How can intellectuals challenge imperialist and racist systems through their research and writing? This course is built around the idea that responsible research and writing begins with a critical examination of how relations of power shape knowledge production. What explanatory frameworks do we as scholars rely on when we undertake research? How do we go about critically examining our own explanations and others when the issue is race? To examine these themes in depth, historically as well as in the present, the course will focus on colonialism, imperialism, racism and knowledge production. Specifically, the course explores three defining imperial constructs: indianism, orientalism and africanism. We consider how the legacy of imperial ideas shaped racial knowledge and the disciplines, positioning us as scholars as active participants in the imperial enterprise. In part two of the course, we explore interlocking systems of oppression: how imperial knowledge simultaneously upholds and is upheld by capitalism and patriarchy. For the third part of the course, we examine how we understand the immigrant's body, the citizen, the migrant and what it means to produce knowledge as a post-colonial scholar.


SJE3914H    Anti-Colonial Thought and Pedagogical Challenges

This advanced seminar will examine the anti-colonial framework as an approach to theorizing  issues emerging from colonial and colonized relations. It will use radical/subversive pedagogy and instruction as important entry points to critical social praxis.  Focussing on the writings and commentaries of revolutionary/radical thinkers like Memmi, Fanon, Cesaire, Cabral, Gandhi, Machel, Che Guevera, Mao Tse-Tung, Nyerere, Toure and Nkrumah, the course will interrogate the theoretical  distinctions and connections between anti-colonial thought  and post-colonial theory, and identify the particular implications/lessons for critical educational practice. Among the issues explored will be: the challenge of articulating anti-colonial theory as an epistemology of the colonized anchored in the indigenous sense of collective and common colonial consciousness; the conceptualization of power configurations embedded in ideas, cultures and histories of marginalized communities; the understanding of Indigeneity as pedagogical practice; the pursuit of agency, resistance and subjective politics through anti-colonial learning; the investigation of the power and meaning of local social practice/action in surviving colonial and colonized encounters; and the identification of the historical and institutional structures and contexts which sustain intellectual pursuits. Students and instructor will engage in critical dialogues around intellectual assertions that the anti-colonial is intimately connected to decolonization, and by extension, decolonization cannot happen solely through Western scholarship. We will ask:  How can educators provide anti-colonial education that develop in learners a strong sense of identity, self and collective respect, agency, and the kind of individual empowerment that is accountable to community empowerment?   How do we subvert colonial hierarchies embedded in conventional schooling? And, how do we re-envision schooling and education to espouse at its centre such values as social justice, equity, fairness, resistance and decolonial responsibility?


SJE3915H    Franz Fanon and Education

What accounts for the ''Fanon Renaissance''? Why and how is Fanon important to schooling and education today? This upper level graduate seminar will examine the intellectual contributions of Franz Fanon as a leading anti-colonial theorist to the search for genuine educational options and transformative change in contemporary society. The complexity, richness and implications of his ideas for critical learners pursuing a subversive pedagogy for social change are discussed. The course begins with a critical look at Fanon as a philosopher, pedagogue and anti-colonial practitioner. We draw on his myriad intellectual contributions to understanding colonialism and imperial power relations, social movements and the politics of social liberation. Our interest in Fanon will also engage how his ideas about colonialism and its impact on the human psyche help us to understand the process of liberation within the context of contestations over questions of identity and difference, and our pursuit of race, gender, class and sexual politics today. Class discussions will broach such issues as the contexts in which Fanon developed his ideas and thoughts and how these developments subsequently came to shape anti-colonial theory and practice, the limits and possibilities of political ideologies, as well as the theorization of imperialism and spiritual 'dis-embodiment', particularly in Southern contexts. Specific subject matters include Fanon's understanding of violence, nationalism and politics of identity, national liberation and resistance, the 'dialectic of experience', the psychiatry of racism and the psychology of oppression, the limits of revolutionary class politics, and the power of 'dramaturgical vocabulary', and how his ideas continue to make him a major scholarly figure. The course will also situate Fanon in such intellectual currents as Marxism and Neo-marxism, existentialism and psychoanalysis, Negritude, African philosophy and anti-colonialism, drawing out the specific implications for education and schooling.

G.J.S. Dei

SJE3929H    Advanced Disability Studies: Interpretive Methods, Interpreted Bodies: Research Methods

This course proceeds from scholarly work that conceives of embodiment as a socio-political phenomenon. The purpose of this course is to open to critical inquiry cultural representations of physical, sensory, mental, etc., variations. Through an interrogation of disability as it is experienced, known, or managed we will develop transgressive methods of reading and writing that explore the complex social significance of embodied diversity. The aim is to challenge taken-for-granted and dominant representations of the meaning of transgressive bodies in various social arenas, such as medicine and education. The course relies on and teaches critical interpretive methods of social inquiry. Potential topics include uncovering how transgressive bodies are typically known and how different interpretive relations can transgress what is said and done to such bodies. We will treat disability as a complex and conflicting scene of representation where knowledge production, power relations, and identity formation can be examined and transformed.

T. Titchkosky

SJE3933H    Globalisation and Transnationality: Feminist Perspectives

This course seeks to critically interrogate notions of the transnational found in recent feminist theorizing. 'Transnational' has been invested with a variety of meanings and political attributes, from descriptions of global capital to the politics of alliance and coalition-building, from the creation of subjectivities through to the reconfiguration of imperialist ideologies and practices in the contemporary conjuncture. It is about linkages and unequal connections. By engaging a broad and necessarily interdisciplinary spectrum of work, this course seeks to trace the variety of methods and investments that feminists have brought to bear on their engagement with transnationality. What are some of the implications for theory, for activism, for imaginative and pedagogical practices?

M. Todorova

SJE3997H    Practicum in Social Justice Education (EdD)

Practical experience in an area of the humanities, social sciences and/or social justice education fieldwork is a vital element of the development of skills in the application of knowledge from theory and research. In consultation with the SJE departmental Practicum Liaison person, the student shall establish a practicum supervisor and a suitable placement in consultation with her/his practicum supervisor, signaled by completion of an EdD 'Practicum Agreement Form' (SJE website, 'Students', 'Dept. Specific Forms'). For successful completion of this course, the student is required to: a) spend 72 hours in active educational fieldwork; b) have regular contact with their individual practicum supervisor; c) submit an interim report of approximately 1500 words to the Practicum Supervisor; and submit a final paper of approximately 8000 words to the Practicum Supervisor offering a final synthesis of specific field experiences & their relationship to a relevant body of academic and sociological literature which shall be graded on a Pass/Fail basis. Examples of relevant educational placements include but are not limited to school boards, community organizations, social service organizations, unions, cultural organizations and other organizations with relevant educational functions, broadly conceived.


SJE3998H    Individual Reading and Research in Social Justice Education: Doctoral Level

Course description same as SJE2998H.


SJE5000H    Special Topics in Social Justice Research in Education: Master's Level

Courses that will examine in depth topics of particular relevance not already covered in regular course offerings in the department. The topics will be announced and described in the schedule of courses.


SJE6000H    Special Topics in Social Justice Research in Education: Doctoral Level

Course description same as SJE5000H, but at the doctoral level.


JHS1916H    Studying the Graduate Student Experience

This course will give students an opportunity to address issues that have both theoretical resonance and practical relevance for them. Beginning with a review of the Canadian postsecondary context and international comparisons, we then consider appropriate methods and theories for studying the graduate student experience. We proceed to a series of topics that relate to graduate programs and degrees, drawing on the research literature. These topics focus on issues that arise as students navigate through programs and into ‘life after graduate school’, including identity, writing, classroom experiences, disciplinary differences, the ‘hidden curriculum’, and thesis supervision. Integrated into the course will be an opportunity to do some qualitative interviewing of other students. Equity issues and comparative perspectives will be found throughout the course readings.


JHS3932H    Women and Higher Education

This course enables students to take a close look, from a sociological perspective, at gender relations in higher education. The focus will be on women students and faculty members in universities and colleges, although it is understood that gender operates in tandem with race, class, age, sexual orientation and other sources of identity and positioning. We will consider questions of access, representation, experience, and career; look at efforts to alter curriculum and pedagogy in accordance with ideas about women's needs or feminist process; and review feminist and other critiques of the purposes and cultures of the university. Specific topics such as student cultures, thesis supervision, sexual harassment, the "chilly climate," and so forth will be taken up through readings and student presentations.


JSA5147H Language, Nationalism and Post-Nationalism
The purpose of this course is to examine the relationship between ideologies and practices of language and nation, from the period of the rise of the nation-State in the 19th century to current social changes related to the globalized new economy which challenge prevailing ideas about language and nation. We will discuss the role of language in the construction of major European nation-States and in their colonial expansion; the role of language in post-colonial nation-building; the construction, positioning and repositioning of so-called linguistic minorities and indigenous rights movements (the concept of immigration is relevant, of course, but falls beyond the scope of what we can cover here); the commodification of language and identity in the current economy; language and globalization; and current debates on the ecology of language and language endangerment. Throughout we will also examine the role of linguists, anthropologists and other producers of discourse about language, nation and State in the construction of theories of nation, ethnicity, race and citizenship.
M. Heller

JTE1952H    Language, Culture, and Education/Langue, culture et éducation

The anthropological perspective of the ethnography of communication will be adopted to study the relationship between language use, social relations, culture and learning in and out of schools. The course will deal with the nature and origin of cultural differences in language use and patterns and social interactional styles; with the consequences of those differences for school performance; and with the usefulness of the ethnography of communication as both a research and a pedagogical tool in the development of curricula and teaching practices that account for such differences. The ethnography of communication will also be interpreted in the light of political economic perspectives on the issue of sociolinguistic diversity and educational success.

Le lien entre l'usage linguistique, les rapports sociaux, la culture et l'éducation, à l'intérieur comme à l'extérieur des écoles, sera examiné selon l'approche anthropologique de l'ethnographie de la communication. La première partie du cours sera consacrée à l'étude des caractéristiques et des origines des différences culturelles dans la façon de s'exprimer à l'oral et à l'écrit, et de même que le comportement adopté dans l'interaction sociale. La deuxième partie sera consacrée au lien entre ces différences culturelles, le rendement académique, le développement linguistique des élèves en situation multilingue/multiculturelle et les notions de pouvoir et d'inégalité. Finalement, nous examinerons l'utilité de l'approche ethnographique comme méthodologie de recherche et comme outil ou méthode pédagogique. Le cadre théorique et méthodologique établi dans ce cours servira à l'examen des problèmes de l'éducation francophone.

M. Heller

JTE2912H    Teachers' Work: Classrooms, Careers, Cultures and Change

Although there is a long tradition of efforts to describe the characteristics of teachers as an occupational group, or examine the practice of teaching, it is only in the past few decades that scholars have explored the experiences and cultures of teachers in depth, drawing upon a greater range of theories, methods and ideologies. Some researchers have sought to probe the thinking processes of teachers, particularly the way in which knowledge is expressed in action: others have explored the pivotal role of teachers in school effectiveness and innovation; others have developed models of teachers as workers under threat; still others have analysed the extent to which gender structures teachers' lives and careers. This course provides an introduction to such topics, at the same time encouraging students who are or have been teachers to reflect upon their own experience and the context in which it occurs. We look at teachers as individuals using skills and creating identities; as actors and negotiators in classrooms; as colleagues in a workplace; as members of an occupation. Throughout, we shall remain alert to the social policy contexts and constraints within which teachers must operate as strategists and decision-makers.


WPL2944H    Sociology of Learning and Social Movements

The goal of this course is to develop a working dialogue across two separate bodies of research -- learning theory & social movement theory that to date have encountered one another only rarely and when so, virtually always inadequately. The focus is on building capacity in students to carry out research on various aspects of social movement learning. In doing so, our goals are to understand knowledge production, distribution, storage, transmission as well as the learning dynamics endemic to social movement building, action, outcomes and change. The course will emphasize learning as a unified composite of individual and collective human change in relation to socio-cultural and material perspectives primarily, the participatory structures of social movements as well as traditional changes in consciousness, skill and knowledge amongst participants. We will draw on both advanced theories of education/learning understood in the context of the long- established sociological sub-tradition known as ‘social movement studies’ and ‘social movement theory’. The course will take a critical approach to social movement studies introducing the inter-disciplinary history of social movement studies over the 20th century followed by reviews of canonical theories of political process and the polity model approach, resource mobilization, frame analysis, neo-frame analysis, contentious politics, dynamics of contention and contentious performances. A significant proportion of the course will involve detailed secondary analysis of a specific social movement of the student’s choosing, and will demand regular research reports that are meant to serve as a resource for our collective learning as well as to support the production of individual final papers directly. The course is highly recommended to advanced masters as well as doctoral students. No prerequisites are required.

P. Sawchuk

WPL3931H    Advanced Studies in Workplace Learning and Social Change

This course will allow students to engage in advanced learning and research on the central national and international debates in the field. The focus is on building capacity in students to carry out research on various aspects of work, learning and social change. In doing so, students will develop extensive analytic and conceptual knowledge in the areas of the historical development of the notion of ''workplace learning'' and its links to diverse agendas of social change. The course will require the critical assessment and research applications of theories of workplace learning and social change, as well as practice and policy in the area. The course will include exploration of advanced case study research as well as national and international survey research, and encourage the linkages with students doctoral thesis work. Weekly seminars will be held.

P. Sawchuk

Equivalent course

CTL1011: L'éducation pour l'anti-oppression en milieu scolaire will be accepted as equivalent to the required MA/MEd course in SJE1903: Major Concepts and Issues in Education.

LHA1131H: Learning for the Global Economy is accepted as SJE credit.