Summer 2020 - EDUC 806 G031

Selected Problems in Higher Education (5)

Class Number: 3787

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Location: TBA



Meeting Dates:
May: 8, 9 & 29, 30
June: 12, 13
July: 10, 11, & 24, 25  
Times: Friday: 4.30pm – 9.00pm Saturday: 8.30am – 4.30pm  
Location: Remote teaching and learning model.
Class times will consist of a blend of synchronous and asynchronous virtual meetings facilitated via Zoom video conferencing tool, and SFU Canvas Learning Management System.  

Description: This course explores current issues, trends, and tensions in 21st century adult education and aims to expand learners’ awareness of the relationship between the purposes of adult education and actual educational practice. It provides opportunities for learners to investigate adult education from multiple perspectives, to develop greater awareness of the current context of adult education, and to reflect on their own practice as adult learners. Topics to be explored include adult education, lifelong learning, concept-based outcomes, competency-based education, the academic – vocational divide, new vocationalism, and digital pedagogy.


This course provides students with an opportunity to critically examine current issues, trends, and tensions in adult learning from various theoretical perspectives. Through group work, presentations, individual assignments, course readings, and discussions both online and in the virtual classroom, the following topics will be explored:

  • the purpose of adult education and lifelong learning
  • the aims of new vocationalism, concept-based, competency-based, and outcome-based education
  • the concept of multiple curricula including the hidden, the null, the planned, lived, and tested curriculum
  • digital pedagogy in the 21st century


  • Participation in class dialogue: virtual synchronous class sessions via Zoom conferencing tool, and asynchronous via SFU Canvas 20%
  • Reflective Journal 20%
  • Midterm paper/presentation 30%
  • Final paper/presentation 30%


Assignments will be outlined in greater detail during the first class.



Students will require access to an electronic device with video conferencing capacity and access to sufficient wifi/internet connection in order to participate in both synchronous and asynchronous class sessions.


Nesbit, T., Brigham, S., Taber, N., Gibb, T. (Eds) (2013). Building on Critical Traditions – Adult Education and Learning in Canada.
ISBN: 9781550772296

Rose, M. (2004). The Mind at Work: Valuing the Intelligence of the American Worker. Penguin Books.
ISBN: 0143035576

Taylor, A. (2016). Vocational Education in Canada. Oxford University Press.
ISBN: 9780199009985

Weekly course readings will be available through the SFU library databases or provided as online references and PDF copies.


Knud Illeris (ed.) (2009) Contemporary Theories of Learning. 2009. Routledge, (pbk)
ISBN: 13:9780415473436

Nussbaum, M. (2010). Not for Profit. Princeton University Press.
ISBN: 9780691140643

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.


Please note that all teaching at SFU in summer term 2020 will be conducted through remote methods. Enrollment in this course 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.

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 ( or 778-782-3112) as soon as possible to ensure that they are eligible and that approved accommodations and services are implemented in a timely fashion.