Fall 2023 - LBST 330 D100

Selected Topics in Labour Studies (3)

Labour & Education

Class Number: 2852

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Sep 6 – Dec 5, 2023: Wed, 2:30–5:20 p.m.

  • Prerequisites:

    Strongly Recommended: LBST 101 and/or 301.



Selected topics in areas not currently offered within the undergraduate course offerings. Students may take more than one offering of LBST Selected Topics courses for credit, as long as the topic for each offering is different.


Special Topic: Labour & Education

This course will critically interrogate the role formal education has in perpetuating class hierarchy and reproducing precarious labour conditions. It will also explore possible avenues of change by learning from the efforts, experiences, and histories of how educators, students, and workers at educational institutions have been organizing to take back the educational space as a space of liberation. The course will consist of three parts. In the first part of the course, we will be examining how the education system has been an apparatus of upholding class divides. In the second part, we will gain an understanding of teacher’s social positioning and how teachers and teacher unions organize to both improve their working conditions and learning conditions of their students. Lastly, we will be widening our perspective to interrogating the educational institution as a whole by understanding the invisible labour that goes into upholding the institution, such as food service workers, janitorial staff, educational assistants, and other teaching support staff. This course will be both academic-oriented and community-based. It will incorporate labour walking tours, event participations, guest speakers, films, and essays (op-eds and academic articles). Students will be expected to prepare and conduct interviews, engage in reflective writing, and compose a creative project in relation to labour issues and organizing in education.


  • Participation & Attendance 15%
  • Reflective Writing 35%
  • Major Project 40%
  • Project Gallery (Presentation) 10%


Grading: Where a final exam is scheduled and the student does not write the exam or withdraw from the course before the deadline date, an N grade will be assigned. Unless otherwise specified on the course syllabus, all graded assignments for this course must be completed for a final grade other than N to be assigned. An N is considered as an F for the purposes of scholastic standing.

Grading System: The Undergraduate Course Grading System is as follows:

A+ (95-100) | A (90-94) | A- (85-89) | B+ (80-84) | B (75-79) | B- (70-74) | C+ (65-69) | C (60-64) | C- (55-59) | D (50-54) | F (0-49) | N*
*N standing to indicate the student did not complete course requirements

Academic Honesty and Student Conduct Policies: The Labour Studies Program follows SFU policy in relation to grading practices, grade appeals (Policy T 20.01) and academic honesty and student conduct procedures (S10.01‐S10.04). Unless otherwise informed by your instructor in writing, in graded written assignments you must cite the sources you rely on and include a bibliography/list of references, following an instructor-approved citation style.  It is the responsibility of students to inform themselves of the content of SFU policies available on the SFU website.

Centre for Accessible Learning: Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need classroom or exam accommodations are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (1250 Maggie Benston Centre) as soon as possible to ensure that they are eligible and that approved accommodations and services are implemented in a timely fashion.



All course materials are linked in this syllabus as well as posted in Canvas file. Course materials should be read, listened to, or viewed prior to class on Wednesday (unless otherwise stated in the schedule).


• Paulo Freire. (1990). Pedagogy of the Oppressed. Continuum.
• The Edu-factory Collective. (2009). Toward a Global Autonomous University: Cognitive Labour, the Production of
Knowledge, and Exodus from the Educaiton Factory.
• Erin Hatton. (2020) Coerced: Work under Threat of Punishment. University of California Press.
• Jane F. McAlevey. (2016). Chicago Teachers: Building a Resillient Union. In No Shortcuts: Organizing for Power
in the New Gilded Age. Oxford University Press.
• bell hooks. (1994). Confronting Class in the Classroom. In Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of
Freedom. Routledge.
• Alicia Massie & Yi Chien Jade Ho. (2020). “Working Women Unite”: Exploring a Socialist Feminist, Nonhierarchical
Teachers Union. In Labour Studies Journal, 45(1).
• Enda Brophy. (2021). SFU’s Cleaning and Cafeteria Staff should be In-house Employees. In the Tyee.

• Schooling the World: The White Men’s Last Burden. (2010). Directly by Carol Black.
• Limpiadores. (2015). Directly by Fernando Gonzales Mitjans


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.

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.