Doctor of Philosophy

PhD in Educational Theory and Practice: Philosophy of Education Stream

Method of delivery:
In-person
Applications open:
October 17, 2022
Applications close:
December 20, 2022
Next start date:
September 2023

Explore the deeper questions related to individual, cultural and environmental aspects of education. You see or dream that the world can be transformed, and in the process expect to also be transformed as well.

Program Overview

Designed For

This program is intentionally broad to be inclusive of the diverse range of fields of study that could be explored through the lens and dynamics of theories and practices in education.

Program Structure

  • in-person classes
  • classes held late afternoon/early evening
  • 6 courses plus a qualifying examination and doctoral thesis

Intake Schedule

Start Terms
Fall 2023

Program Design & Courses

Program Design

Our eTAP programs are intentionally broad to be inclusive of the diverse range of fields of study that could be explored through the lens and dynamics of theories and practices in education.

This multi and interdisciplinary understanding promotes inquiry into your own specific interests and backgrounds within your classes through discussions, additional readings, papers, projects, etc., under the guidance and mentorship of your supervisor and committee.

You will receive close academic mentorship with one or more faculty members who have expertise in areas of research that resonate with your own areas of inquiry.

Thematic Research Orientation for Fall 2023 Applicants

For the Fall 2023 intake of the PhD eTAP programs, the Educational Theory and Practice group is especially interested in applicants whose research interests are aligned broadly with the theme of Relational Pedagogy. Relational Pedagogy has wide ramifications in terms of social justice pedagogy, teacher practice, environmental education, educational philosophy, new materialism, contemplative education, and curriculum theorizing. While we especially encourage applicants whose interests intersect with Relational Pedagogy during this Fall 2023 intake, as always, applicants whose research interests align with our program in other ways are just as invited to apply.

Courses

Courses EDUC 901A and EDUC 901B are taken together as well as EDUC 902A and EDUC 902B.augue.

EDUC 901A-3 SEMINAR IN THE HISTORY OF EDUCATIONAL THEORY A

The historical roots of educational thought are examined from a broad cultural perspective. Major works in disciplines such as philosophy, psychology and sociology which have had significant impact on educational theorizing will be studied. Special attention will be paid to the relationship between theory and educational practice. Corequisite: EDUC 901B.

EDUC 901B-3 SEMINAR IN THE HISTORY OF EDUCATIONAL THEORY B

A further consideration of concepts explored in the EDUC 901 "A" course, with a view to providing students with opportunities to apply these ideas within their own educational settings. Corequisite: EDUC 901A.

EDUC 902A-3 INTERDISCIPLINARY SEMINAR IN CONTEMPORARY EDUCATIONAL THEORY A

Contemporary educational theories and theories from supporting disciplines (e.g., psychology, sociology, philosophy) will be examined and analysed. The relationships among contemporary theories, current practice and educational change will be focal. Corequisite: EDUC 902B.

EDUC 902B-3 INTERDISCIPLINARY SEMINAR IN CONTEMPORARY EDUCATIONAL THEORY B

A further consideration of concepts explored in the EDUC 902 "A" course, with a view to providing students with opportunities to apply these ideas within their own educational settings. Corequisite: EDUC 902A.

EDUC 921-3 SEMINAR IN PHILOSOPHY AND EDUCATIONAL THEORY

Philosophical examination of issues related to the school as an educational institution with social and political connections. Issues examined include: the education/training distinction; the justification of education; compulsory curriculum; freedom and authority in education; equality of educational opportunity; legal-moral questions central to educational administration; teachers'/parents'/students' rights and duties; accountability; and the logic of decision-making. Students with credit for EDUC 831 may not take this course for further credit.

EDUC 922-3 SEMINAR IN EPISTEMOLOGY AND EDUCATION

An in-depth study of epistemological issues in education, including: concepts of perception, cognition, imagination, memory, understanding, learning and the assessment of learning. Other questions dealt with are: What are the various forms of knowledge? What are the implications for core curriculum? What epistemological assumptions underlie current educational practices? Is the relativity of knowledge thesis defensible? Are the claims of sociology of knowledge sound? What is meant by: objectivity/knowledge/belief/truth? In what sense can 'rationality' be defended as a central educational objective? Students with credit for EDUC 836 may not take this course for further credit.

EDUC 984-3 QUALIFYING EXAMINATION

The Qualifying Examination will follow completion of degree course work. An open oral qualifying examination given by the supervisory committee. The examination consists of a defence of the proposed thesis topic by the student and their responses to supervisory committee questions about related proposed research topics. The examination follows submission of a written PhD research proposal. Graded on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis. Students who fail will either successfully complete a second examination within six months or withdraw from the program.

EDUC 899-15* DOCTORAL THESIS

A major part of this program is original research. A thesis describing this is submitted and defended. Normally, before the fourth course a thesis research plan is presented to the supervisory committee. Upon entry to the program, every term students enroll in EDUC 899-15 Doctoral Thesis.

*Effective January 1, 2018, the unit value of EDUC 899 increased to 15 units from 10 units.

Location

At SFU, campus life is rich with opportunities to engage with people, ideas and activities that contribute to personal development and a better world.

Burnaby

Perched atop Burnaby Mountain, Simon Fraser University's original Arthur Erickson-designed campus includes more than three dozen academic buildings and a flourishing sustainable residential community.

Simon Fraser University respectfully acknowledges the unceded traditional territories of the Coast Salish peoples, including the səl̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), kʷikʷəƛ̓əm (Kwikwetlem), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish) and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Nations, on which SFU Burnaby is located.

Faculty

The non-departmental structure of our Faculty makes it relatively easy for students to take advantage of a wide variety of faculty expertise. Meet some of the faculty members teaching in this program.

Future Pathways

Where can this program take you? The world is changing rapidly and so is the full range of career and academic opportunities that await.

Occupations

  • Faculty members at universities and colleges
  • Educational consultants
  • Directors of instruction
  • Training and development specialists
  • Researchers

Student Experiences

Meet some ETAP Philosophy of Education PhD students and alumni.

  • "Where else could I examine my—at first glance, divergent—passions in science and ecology, arts and writing, growth and spirituality, and weave these into my role as an educator?"

  • "Stop your search: SFU is where you need to be."

  • "I am very grateful for the support I received from Dr. Heesoon Bai and the SFU community. My experience at SFU embodies the promise of philosophy as a lived experience.”

Poh Tan, Current Student

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