Fall 2020 - EDUC 837 G001

Seminar in Education, Equity, and Social Theories (5)

Class Number: 2687

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Sep 9 – Dec 8, 2020: Tue, 4:30–9:20 p.m.



An in-depth study of selected topics in education, equity, and social theories.


REMOTE: Please note we will meet synchronously on ZOOM from 5-7 on Tuesdays. Students can also expect to engage in asynchronous online discussion and group work.


This course introduces students to key theories and concepts in equity      approaches to education including (but not limited to): social justice education, critical multiculturalism, critical pedagogy, whiteness studies, critical race, feminism, anti-racism education, neo-colonialism and White Settler societies, Indigenous education, and anti-oppression.

Students will read a range of works in order to understand and develop an academically informed common language with which to articulate and practice key concepts central to equity studies. In bridging the political with the personal, students’ positionalities in relation to racial, gender, class, and other identities will also be a point of critical examination. The course will be organized into three macro units of study:
Unit 1: Positionalities
Unit 2: White settler societies and colonialism
Unit 3: Orientation to equity theories


  • Assignment 1: Mapping identities and positionalities 20%
  • Assignment 2: Critical response to a reading 20%
  • Assignment 3: Group presentation on a concept/thinker 30%
  • Assignment 4: Book review 30%


In assigning grades at the graduate level, the following guidelines will be followed:

A+     Unusually superior scholarship, incorporating originality. Complete mastery of subject matter.

A       Superior scholarship showing complete comprehension and synthesis of the subject matter.

A-      Excellent scholarship showing complete comprehension and sound application of information.

B+     Very good scholarship showing sound comprehension and good application of information.

B       Satisfactory scholarship, some lack in comprehension and application of subject matter.

B-      Marginally graduate performance, noticeable gaps in knowledge or ability. Concerns about understanding and competency.

<B-    Unsatisfactory

Examining and understanding course concepts does not require that you “agree with” each text we will study. However, students are expected to move beyond the simple sharing of opinions and demonstrate a capacity to grapple with challenging scholarship. This may require that we not only tackle difficult texts, but also practice critical self-reflection and a willingness to examine one’s own socialization and knowledge.  

This course has been transferred from F2F instruction to a mode of Crisis Remote Teaching in the context of the Covid19 pandemic. This means that we will all do our best to create a rich and interactive experience that meets the course learning goals, blending both synchronous and asynchronous learning activities. Your participation and generosity in supporting these structures is vital. Attendance in Zoom meetings every Tuesday 5-7 full participation in online and group learning activities is expected.


This is a core course for students in the Equity Studies in Education program. Students not enrolled in this program must contact the course instructor for permission to register



Sensoy, Ö. & DiAngelo, R. (2017). Is everyone really equal? An introduction to key concepts in social justice education, second edition. NY: Teachers College press. 
ISBN: 9780807758618
ISBN: 9780807758618

Lowman, E.B. & Barker, A.J. (2015). Settler: Identity and colonialism in 21st century Canada. Halifax: Fernwood Publishing.
ISBN: 978-1552667781
ISBN: 978-1552667781

King, T. (2012). The inconvenient Indian: A curious account of Native people in North America.Toronto: Random House.
ISBN: 9780385664226
ISBN: 9780385664226

A text of your choice for your book review project (assignment 3)
no additional books are required

Further readings will be required, but available via the SFU Library databases. 
Readings selected by Guest Lecturers will be identified closer to the date on which they will be presenting. 
A text of your choice for your book review project (Assignment 4)
Further readings will be required, and available via the SFU Library database

Graduate Studies Notes:

Important dates and deadlines for graduate students are found here: http://www.sfu.ca/dean-gradstudies/current/important_dates/guidelines.html. 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 http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html 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. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Teaching at SFU in fall 2020 will be conducted primarily through remote methods. There will be in-person course components in a few exceptional cases where this is fundamental to the educational goals of the course. Such course components will be clearly identified at registration, as will course components that will be “live” (synchronous) vs. at your own pace (asynchronous). Enrollment acknowledges that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes. To ensure you can access all course materials, we recommend you have access to a computer with a microphone and camera, and the internet. In some cases your instructor may use Zoom or other means requiring a camera and microphone to invigilate exams. If proctoring software will be used, this will be confirmed in the first week of class.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112).