Fall 2023 - EDUC 718 G011

Landscapes of Practitioner Inquiry (5)

Class Number: 4759

Delivery Method: Online


  • Course Times + Location:

    Location: TBA

  • Prerequisites:

    Acceptance into the MEd in Educational Practice program.



Explores the landscapes of practitioner inquiry, including its histories, affiliated paradigms and approaches, as well as ethical considerations.


Simon Fraser University
Faculty of Education
Education 718-5: Landscapes of Educational Practice



Instructor: Dr. Stephen Smith                        Phone: 604-369-0165

Email:  stephen_smith@sfu.ca                      

EDUC 718 classes will take place om-line each Tuesday from September 12th to December 5th between 4:30 and 9:20 pm.

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

Course Description
The purpose of this course is to help you articulate the personal value and professional significance of a topic of inquiry to be investigated over the three semesters of the Master of Educational Practice degree program. We shall emphasize your approach to this topic as being “practice-based” and, in so doing, stress the “lived meanings” that, for all practical purposes, can be gleaned from your professional and wider life experiences. In other words, it is the very proclivity to be practical that we want to emphasize in these inquiries, not in any mundane sense of simply getting on with business, but as a self-aware sensibility and mindful-of-others sensitivity guiding your practice and influencing the practices of others.

We will refer specifically to practices-of-the-self and practices of the self-with-others as two necessary moments of teacher identity. The Ministry of Education adoption of "personalized learning" is in keeping with this identity formation provided we, ourselves, take "personalized learning" to heart. To restrict one's focus to single-minded "life-long (professional) learning" quest at the expense of "life-wide (personalized) learning" would be inherently short-sighted. A broad practical vision requires tapping into what we do when not engaged specifically in professional practices. These practices-of-the-self, which will invariably involve others, may be precisely the ones that best inform professional practices.

The pedagogical applicability of practices-of-the-self and of the self-with-others can be explored within a thoughtfully appreciative and collegially responsive “community of practice.” We will, amongst ourselves, try to foster not just a “rational community” of educational thinkers but also a “pathic community” of educational practitioners whereby we can feel for one another and follow one another in making tangible, palpable sense of our respective practice-based inquiries.

“Landscapes of educational practice,” the title of this first semester course, suggests the broader parameters of pedagogical relationality. While our course focus will come down to what are you doing in your classrooms with the students in your care, we will necessarily want to concern ourselves with the lay of the land and such notions of “friendship,” “collegiality,” “community” and “kinship” as pertain to living and working locally within an inherently interactive, inter-animated and more-than-human world.


Learning Goals

  • develop a phenomenologically-informed writing practice within a pathic community of fellow teachers;
  • cultivate somatic and critical reflexivity in writing up one’s topic of practice-based inquiry;
  • appreciate how life-wide practices-of-the-self and of the self-with-others inform lifelong practices of teaching;
  • deepen pedagogical ways of doing, being and knowing as teachers and practice-based inquirers;
  • have one’s pedagogy challenged and informed by matters of ecological sensibility and social justice;
  • envision next steps as practitioner-scholars, teacher-leaders and change makers.

Programmatic Capacities

  • Deepen and extend a disposition of inquiry, ethical practice, critical and creative reflection and responsiveness to learners as well as communities
  • Develop an inquiry practice through the investigation of multiple educational theories, philosophies, paradigms, and methodologies
  • Inform and articulate a scholarly understanding of various world views and orientations in relation to your own educational perspective
  • Develop a relational disposition, a humility, and an ability to listen deeply to others
  • Critically and creatively engage in learning communities to situate, further develop, and align an inquiry practice within personally relevant and related paradigms
  • Develop the disposition of a teacher-leader and enable an active voice and presence within and beyond the classroom
  • Theorize your practice and contribute to professional conversations, both written and oral



Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at: shop.sfu.ca/course-materials/my-personalized-course-materials.

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 website 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


Students with a faith background who may need accommodations during the semester are encouraged to assess their needs as soon as possible and review the Multifaith religious accommodations website. The page outlines ways they begin working toward an accommodation and ensure solutions can be reached in a timely fashion.