Summer 2023 - EDUC 100W D300

Selected Questions and Issues in Education (3)

Class Number: 4487

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    We 2:30 PM – 5:20 PM
    SRYC 5360, Surrey



An introduction to a small but representative sample of basic questions and issues in education. Students will examine questions relating to: the concept or idea of education; learning and the learner; teaching and the teacher; and more generally, the broader contexts of education. This course also introduces students to different ways of exploring educational questions and issues from philosophical and critical analysis, to historical and cross-cultural studies, to empirical research. Cannot be taken for credit by students with credit for 300 and 400 level education courses. Writing/Breadth-Humanities.


This course is grounded in a proposition, that is framed by three seemingly simple questions: PROPOSITION: All of life, and all of living, involves processes of learning. 3 QUESTIONS: What then is learning? How should we live? and, How does one learn how to live? We begin by unpacking the dominant domain or ‘site’ of learning for most of us, that is, ‘schooling,’ (ie,‘formal’ learning) and then track backwards, inwards, outwards, and forward to explore the various ways we learn, and what we learn, in an effort to explore the connections, collisions, questions and curiosities between ‘formal’ and ‘informal’ education. Topics will include elements of ‘the human condition,’ for example: Human Evolution and Learning, Structures & Practices of ‘Schooling,’ Meaning, Identity, Experience, Values & Beliefs, Information-Knowledge-Wisdom, Livelihood, Creativity, Space & Place, Self & Other, Relationships, Hardships, Time, and Play, among other possibilities.


The primary goal of the course is for students to develop an informed and critical perspective on education that draws on a variety of ‘lenses’ and understandings (contemporary, historical, cross-cultural, and anthropological ideas, theories and concepts), and to then apply that perspective, and those lenses and understandings to one’s own life, hopes, and aspirations.


  • A Commonplace Book of Observations & Reflections 15%
  • 3 Selected Pieces of Reflective Writing 15%
  • Small group inquiry and presentation on education and the human condition 15%
  • Post-card/Poster Project 15%
  • Portfolio Project (end of term) 40%


All of the graded assignments will be discussed at first class. They may be subject to change.There is no final exam scheduled during exam period. The final project is a portfolio that you will submit after the end of the course, a kind of ‘take-home’ final assignment.

Attendance, participation, completion of all assignments.



Laptop or wifi enabled device for some activities.


There are no required texts for this course, we will draw on open source resources, readings, video, etc, largely available on the web, and/or through the SFU Online Library System


A list of titles of interest will be provided by instructor in the course.


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at:

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website 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.


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.