Spring 2022 - EDUC 854 G001

Teachers as Agents of Change (5)

Class Number: 1731

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Mo 4:30 PM – 9:20 PM
    EDB 8620, Burnaby

  • Instructor:

    Roumi Ilieva
    1 778 782-4570
    Office Hours: EDB 8663



The narratives of teachers of minority and Anglo-European ancestry will provide insights into how teachers work within and beyond normative institutionally prescribed roles to define and implement positive social and educational changes for their students. Equivalent Courses: EDUC712


I respectfully acknowledge the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish), səl̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), q̓íc̓əy̓ (Katzie), kʷikʷəƛ̓əm (Kwikwetlem), Qayqayt, Kwantlen, Semiahmoo and Tsawwassen peoples on whose traditional unceded territories our three campuses reside

Theory from post-structuralist, ecological, critical, and socio-cultural approaches will be considered throughout our discussion and analyses of the teacher narratives. In addition to reading the narratives and analyses, we will also write brief case examples from our own experiences of teachers we know who have helped to bring about change. We will consider the similarities and differences among these teachers and relate their experiences to those narrated and theorized in the course readings and to our own experiences as educators.


  • 1. Participation in class. This will involve in class focused discussions/facilitations of several readings that students select from the required list as well as a short written assignment relating to teachers we know who have brought about change. 35%
  • 2. A short essay. The essay will focus on some of the required readings (e.g. Ladson-Billings, Denos at al.). What do these resources/readings add to your understanding of theory and practice of teachers as agents of change? This essay should also incorporate salient points from class discussions. 25%
  • 3. Major Essay. This essay will build on the first one and will require engagement with the rest of the required readings and ONE additional resource of your choosing from the list of recommended readings. The analysis should include implications for your own area of practice. Alternatively, you could suggest another assignment with connections to the literature and theory examined in the course. 40%



In person: EDB 8620 - Online via zoom until January 24th
Please note that most of the required readings will be read in a jigsaw format

An additional selection of readings focusing on themes discussed in the course will be provided.



Ladson-Billings. G. (2009/2013). The dream-keepers: Successful teachers of African American children. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass (2nd edition) (available online through SFU library)

Priestley, M., Biesta, G., & Robinson, S. (2016). Teacher agency: An ecological approach. Bloomsbury Publishing Plc. (available online through SFU library)

Denos, C., Toohey, K., Neilson, K., & Waterstone, B. (2009). Collaborative research in multilingual classrooms. Bristol, U.K: Multilingual Matters. (available online through SFU library)

Bakhtin, M.M. (1981)." Discourse and the Novel " from The dialogic imagination. Ed.   Holquist, M. Transl. Holquist & Emerson, C. Austin: University of Texas  Press (available online through SFU library or excerpts will be provided in PDF by the instructor)

hooks, b. (1994). Teaching to transgress: Education as the practice of freedom. New York: Routledge. (available online through SFU library)


RECOMMENDED (each student chooses one from among this list for their final assignment):

Beynon, J. (2008). First Nations teachers: Identity and community, struggle and change. Calgary: Detselig Enterprises. (available by request from SFU library or from the instructor)

Morgan, B. (1998). The ESL classroom: Teaching, critical practice, and community development. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. (available online through SFU library)

Motha, S. (2014). Race, Empire, and English Language Teaching: Creating Responsible and Ethical Anti-Racist Practice. New York: Teachers College Press. 978-0807755129 paperback

Sleeter C. and Cornbleth C. (Eds.) (2011). Teaching with vision: Culturally responsive teaching in standards-based classrooms. New York: Teachers College Press. 978-0807751725 paperback (or available from the instructor)

Tompkins, J.  (1998). Teaching in a cold and windy place: Change in an Inuit school.  Toronto: University of Toronto Press.  (available online through SFU library)

Vandrick, S. (2009). Interrogating privilege: Reflections of a second language educator. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press. 978-0-472-03394-2 paperback (or available from the instructor)

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 spring 2022 will involve primarily in-person instruction, with safety plans in place.  Some courses will still be offered through remote methods, and if so, this will be clearly identified in the schedule of classes.  You will also know at enrollment whether remote course components will be “live” (synchronous) or at your own pace (asynchronous).

Enrolling in a course acknowledges that you are able to attend in whatever format is required.  You should not enroll in a course that is in-person if you are not able to return to campus, and should be aware 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 may need class or exam accommodations, including in the context of remote learning, are advised to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112) as early as possible in order to prepare for the spring 2022 term.