Spring 2024 - EDPR 535 G100

Special Topics (3)

Indig Holistic Pedagogies

Class Number: 6066

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Location: TBA



This course involves students in critical examination of policy, curricular, instructional and assessment practices related to a particular theme. Graded on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis. Variable units: 2, 3, 4, 5.


Advanced Professional Studies
Graduate Diploma in Advanced Studies in Education
Course Outline
EDPR 535 Indigenous Pedagogies and Wholistic Approaches to Teaching and Learning
EDPR 526 Advanced Field Studies in Educational Practice
Program: Indigenous Education: Wholistic Teachings and Transformative Pedagogies
Term: Spring 2024

Meeting Dates/Times: Wednesdays
Jan 10th- April 17th
(No classes on March 20th or 27th)

  Participants must be enrolled in a Graduate Diploma in Advanced Studies in Education Program

Course Description:
The centering place is a preparation for the wholistic journey of learning based on the understanding of one's own creative spirit and capacity. Through this orientation, students begin the process of finding their own center…that place of 'self-knowing and empowerment that forms the foundation for a transformative process of learning and creation (Cajete, 1994, p. 196).

EDPR 562 Advanced Field Studies in Educational Practice I
This course is designed to flow from the pathways of learning and the principles of inquiry as they relate to what Cajete (1994) calls, the Connected Rings of Indigenous Visioning. The principles of inquiry and the ‘learning pathway of vision’ will be used as a way to explore wholistic approaches to learning and as a way to track ones’ orientation. As revealed in the Connected Rings of Indigenous Visioning, “the learning path begins with appropriate orientation, acknowledging relationships, setting intentions, seeking, creating, understanding, sharing, and then celebrating one’s vision with reference to the place of centering (Cajete, 1994, p. 68). The intention is to enable teachers to further their disposition toward Indigenous inquiry by weaving inquiry within personal and professional practice. We invite personal, professional visioning and practitioner inquiry along with critical, creative, contemplative reflection which can be braided together to discover, articulate, and explore ‘two-eyed seeing’ of Indigenous Teaching and Learning Orientations, theory, and educational practice.

EDPR 535 Indigenous Pedagogies and Wholistic Approaches to Teaching and Learning 
This course aims to provide opportunities for teacher-learners to explore Indigenous Pedagogies, wholistic principles, protocols, and philosophies. Teacher-learners will deepen their understanding of Land as well as the diversity of the Indigenous wholistic and relational practices of Kinship by engaging in Land Practice and Making Practices. They will also engage in Indigenous Inquiry or Visioning explorations in relation to All Our Relations. This exploration involves the whole person: head, heart, and hand as well as honouring the four Indigenous Principles of Learning: the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects of being. This course will continue from our exploration of Indigenous Orientations and Foundations of Learning and broaden the exploration into wholistic, reflexive, reflective, experiential, and relational aspects by focusing on connectedness, on reciprocal relationships, and a sense of place. Throughout the semester teacher-learners will be invited to inquire into the nature of the wholistic principles and protocols so foundational to the Indigenous Learning pathway and focus on enabling them to enact these principles within their own practice.

Educational Rationale:
These stories, this language, these ways, and this land are the only valuables we can give you-but life is in them for those who know how to ask and how to learn (Cajete, 1994, p. 40).

EDPR 562 Advanced Field Studies in Educational Practice I
Teacher inquiry is a methodology that is well established as a powerful tool to bring about effective change in teaching and learning (Cochran-Smith & Lytle, 2009; Himley & Carini, 2000), and move educators toward transformation of practice, as well as enable flourishing within communities. Critical reflection, self-study and professional learning are foundational underpinnings, which support personal and professional change, growth, and development. This course provides opportunities for teacher-learners to explore inquiry-based theories, methods, and frameworks in order to critically and creatively examine practice, inquire into pedagogical practices, and assess the implications of taking on particular educational stances.  Teacher-learners will engage in professional learning communities in order to examine theoretical readings, share personal learning, and expand pedagogical understandings.

EDPR 535 Indigenous Pedagogies and Wholistic Approaches to Teaching and Learning 
Indigenous, wholistic practices are situated in relation to the land and the people that live in that place.  In relation to this, is the increasing expectation, to articulate and enact Indigenous Pedagogies in the current educational context in British Columbia.  This course intends to address the complexity of weaving ‘two-eyed’ seeing within Indigenous and wholistic approaches to educational practice.  This course will invite teachers to practice and presence wholistic teaching and learning principles, which are fundamental aspects of engaged learning, fostering the development of an interconnected curriculum (intellectual, physical, spiritual, emotional social and aesthetic).  This course aims to provide teacher-learners with a deeper and broader theoretical and practical understanding of Indigenous and wholistic approaches to learning and teaching.  This course introduces various wholistic practices of wholeness and well-being. It focuses on ways in which learners’ unique and diverse abilities can be fostered.  This course also aims to provide teacher-learners with recognition of the importance of Indigenous perspectives on human development and the continual pursuit of spiritual, emotional, physical, and intellectual balance (Shared Learnings, BC Ministry of Education, 2006, p. 4).




Assessment & Grading procedures:
Reflection and self-assessment are essential methods of assessment in a Graduate Diploma in Education course, along with regular feedback from the faculty associate, program mentors, sessional instructors, and peers. Teacher-learners are expected to carefully consider all given feedback during the program and make informed decisions about their growth in relation to the program capacities. The reporting of this growth will take place through the creation of a critically reflective learning portfolio in which each teacher-learner examines their growth in relation to the program learning goals or program capacities. The faculty associate will assign a grade of Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory based on the growth in the program capacities demonstrated in the critically reflective portfolio.


Department Policy Statement re Attendance/Participation:
Attendance and active participation in all classes are mandatory in order to attain an 'S' grade.

Because all classes are participatory, a teacher-learner must make arrangements with the instructor/faculty associate to complete readings/assignments to compensate for missed work.  It should be noted that teacher-learners who miss the equivalent of two or more classes may not be able to make up sufficient work to attain an ‘S’ grade.

A teacher-learner who is unable to attend a class due to exceptional circumstances must notify the instructor and/or faculty associate before the class and also contact other teacher-learners before the subsequent class to find out what was discussed and make up work missed.





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