Summer 2019 - EDUC 820 G031

Current Issues in Curriculum and Pedagogy (5)

Class Number: 4630

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Location: TBA

  • Instructor:

    Kumari Beck
    778 782-8599 (work), 604 888 7223 (home)



Focuses on educational issues, trends and practices which impact teaching and learning in schools and other educational settings.


Meeting Dates:
May 3 – 4;  10 – 11;  24 - 25
June 7 – 8;  & 21 - 22  

Fridays, 4:30pm - 9:00pm, and
Saturdays, 8:30am-4:30pm  

Location: Vancouver Harbour Centre Campus, Room 1525  

We live in complicated times: increased connectivity, fragmentation, abundance, marginalization, violence, fear, the sacred, one world and divided worlds, threats, marvels, risks, hope, wonder! It is becoming apparent that education itself is subject to these new social, economic, political and cultural influences, pressures and realities and hence, even its purposes are being challenged. This course is intended to recognize some of these realities and to explore and reflect on how contemplative practice may help us to align with educational values, curricular goals and pedagogical approaches that advance equity, social justice and the well-being of all.  

Grounding ourselves in such questions as ‘What is curriculum?’, ‘Who is it for?’, ‘What values does it represent?’ and ‘What will it accomplish?’, we will examine the social, cultural, political, and economic connections related to curriculum in our times. We will identify and explore key influences that shape contemporary practices, and consider issues such as the connections between curriculum and power, identity, knowledge, culture and language. We will also investigate the practice of selected pedagogical approaches in the light of shifting, and often competing discourses on learning and teaching. Our work together will be informed by evolving understandings and experience of contemplative practice, both collective and individual, seeking to apply these practices to real world issues in the classroom and community. How may these curricular and pedagogical approaches be enhanced, enriched, and transformed, even, by contemplative practice? What contribution can contemplative education make to our multiple communities and their well-being?  

A more detailed outline and syllabus/schedule will be available in our first class (or following a meeting during the end of Educ 816), including details of suggested assignments.  


Students in this course will be better able to:

  • Increase awareness of and personal capacity for contemplative practice and contemplative education;
  • Be present in self and for others both in and outside of the classroom;
  • Develop capacity for interpersonal skills through listening and speaking across difference;
  • Enhance capacities to analyze and think critically; Understand and be able to apply curricular approaches that are based in contemplative inquiry;
  • Become familiar with how contemplative practice can be integrated into pedagogical approaches ;
  • Use heightened insight to apply effective action in classrooms or community learning environments to advance social justice and well-being.


  • 1. Critical commentaries (on readings, discussions, personal interactions, observations etc) 30%
  • 2. Actionable contemplative inquiry: how interior work leads to compassionate work in the world 30%
  • 3. Final project/paper 40%
  • Details to be discussed, and modified, if necessary, in the first class on May 3, 2019.


Each student is expected to complete all the course readings and assignments, and to actively contribute to class discussions as well as other class activities and processes.



Giddens, Anthony (2003). Runaway world: How globalization is reshaping our lives. New York: Routledge
ISBN: 0-415-94487-2

Hooks, Bell (2000). All about love: New visions. New York: Harper Perennia
ISBN: 978-0-06-095947-0

* Please read the Giddens book for our first weekend class (May 3 - 4)

A number of journal articles and book chapters will be identified in the detailed syllabus. I will provide electronic copies of any readings that are not available online, or through the library. They include the following:  

Selected chapters from David Orr’s Earth in Mind
Selected chapters from Pinar & Irwin’s edited collection Curriculum in a New Key, featuring the work of Ted Aoki
Selected work of Paulo Freire, Henry Giroux, David Smith, and others.

Graduate Studies Notes:

Important dates and deadlines for graduate students are found here: The deadline to drop a course with a 100% refund is the end of week 2. The deadline to drop with no notation on your transcript is the end of week 3.

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University.