Master of Arts, Master of Education

MA, MEd in Curriculum & Instruction: Educational Theory and Practice

Method of delivery:
Applications open:
November 1, 2024
Applications close:
January 15, 2025
Next start date:
September 2025

Develop your educational practice in curriculum design and pedagogy applicable to a wide range of formal and informal educational settings. Through engaging with educational theory, research, and philosophy, you will expand your understanding of curriculum development with a view to expanding your capacity to engage and lead in curriculum design attentive to socio-historical contexts in a variety of settings from K-12 schools, ECE and post-secondary to museums, art galleries, health care centres and forests. Succeed in promoting curriculum reform for decolonial transformation.


Designed for

  • Educators and administrators in formal K-12, post-secondary, ECE, and Healthcare settings who wish to move into leadership roles with regards to curriculum development and pedagogical practice 
  • Community-based organizers/leaders and city-planners that design educational experiences for formal and informal settings 
  • Educators who wish to move into settings of public education to engage in educational design of experiences in museums, science centres, art galleries, etc. 
  • Educational activists promoting curriculum reform for decolonial transformation

Program Structure

  • Complete an MEd or ladder to an MA (with faculty approval)
  • In-person classes at our Burnaby Campus
  • Designed for working professionals with classes held in the late afternoon/early evening

Intake Schedule

Next Start Term
Fall 2025


Program Design

This program fills a gap in the MA/MEd programming in its explicit focus on critical engagement with curriculum through curriculum theory, scholarship of practice, and philosophy. This program will also create an explicit pathway to curriculum and philosophy in the Educational Theory and Practice PhD program.

Curriculum is fundamental to educational systems and activities yet is often perceived as a set of ahistorical and neutral documents and policies authorized by educational authorities. Curriculum theory and philosophy provide a lens for critically examining curriculum documents and processes of curriculum development and reform, as well as the complex ways that curriculum becomes lived in public places, highlighting the socio-historical contexts from which these documents, policies, and practices emerge.

Through engaging curriculum in this way, students will become attuned to the political nature of curriculum. Students will be able to see curriculum as diverse yet planned efforts to influence learning into desirable ends as determined within different social, political, cultural, and ideological contexts.

Curriculum can be seen as a lived engagement in formal schooling contexts such as K-12 schools, but also in places of public learning such as museums, public art installations, architecture, forests, etc. Students will engage critically with research, theory, philosophy, and community and practitioner based scholarship that: questions what counts as knowledge in educational and societal systems; engages the political and socio-historical events from which curriculum emerges; critically identifies the positioning of knowledge holders within curricular design; understands the ways curriculum is produced in both formal and informal places of learning; and addresses the lived and embodied experience of engaging in curriculum.

Students will understand the ways that inequalities are reproduced within educational systems and places of learning, and how curriculum design and reform can disrupt those inequalities. Students in this program will also be positioned to ladder into the existing curriculum theory and philosophy PhD program.


MA and MEd students complete both:

EDUC 816-5 Developing Educational Programs and Practices for Diverse Educational Settings

Investigates theories and issues associated with developing educational programs and practices in various educational contexts. Addresses the development of new programs and their implementation in schools and other educational settings.


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

and one of the following:

EDUC 833-5 – Social and Moral Philosophy in Education

An in-depth study of the ethical foundations of education. Areas in education where ethical questions arise are identified and elucidated. Classical and modern moral positions are examined for their adequacy as theories of moral justification. The topics include the value of education, freedom and equality, and moral and values education.

EDUC 837-5 - Seminar in Education, Equity and Social Theories

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

MEd students also complete:

EDUC 864-5 Research Designs in Education

Designing and interpreting research about education. Introduction to survey techniques, correlational designs, classic experimental and evaluation designs for investigating causal relations, case study methods, interpretive approaches to research. Students with credit for EDUC 814 may not take this course for further credit. Equivalent Courses: EDUC814.

10 units of electives

To be decided with Sr. Supervisor.

883-5 Comprehensive Exam

The examination is graded on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis.

MA students also complete:


This course introduces students to qualitative research in education and examines topics such as identifying problems, using conceptual frameworks, coding, data analysis, drawing interpretations, and constructing arguments.

EDUC 898-18 Master’s Thesis

The thesis is a research investigation designed to generate and/or examine critically new knowledge in the theory and/or practice of education. The thesis should normally be completed and approved in three terms. Graded on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis.

Program courses and order of delivery subject to change.


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


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.


The strengths of the program rest in the years of experience and broad expertise of its teaching faculty. Meet some of the faculty members teaching in this program.


The lines between formal and informal educational settings are becoming less defined. This program positions you to engage and lead in curriculum design within formal structures as well as informal community-based settings.


  • Curriculum Designer
  • Director of Curriculum
  • Director of Instruction
  • District Principal or Principal.

Further Studies


Curious to know more about the program?