Spring 2024 - EDUC 806 G031

Selected Problems in Higher Education (5)

Class Number: 4957

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Location: TBA




Situated as it is, near the end of your program, this course will be dedicated to helping you draw together the pertinent ideas and issues (“problems”) you have explored in the program regarding higher education, as they relate to your own teaching or professional specialty, and your own professional setting.

More specifically, it is an opportunity to synthesize such issues and ideas toward the ends of creating a constellation of relevant ideas, theories, thinkers and approaches, that might inform and support your upcoming final research projects for the program.

We will be conducting the course as a seminar, which is to say, you will each be asked to contribute some ‘seeds’ or ‘food for thought’ in various ways, and through various activities, for us to consider together.

We will be drawing on contemporary social science methodological perspectives, namely, ‘Institutional’ or ‘organizational ethnography,’ ‘auto-ethnography,’ and ‘self-study,’ in order to examine our present contexts and conditions toward a vision of our personal and collective futures.

A central aim of the course is for you to examine the features and needs of your own teaching or other professional (eg, administrative) practice, in light of both big ideas and issues in post-secondary education in our time, and in light of your institutional and departmental setting and culture. The central means or ‘approach’ for exploring these domains will be through the related methodologies of ‘self-study,’ critical reflective practice, organizational ethnography, auto-ethnography, and reflexivity.

Meeting Dates:

January 9, 16, 23, 30

February 6, 13, 20 (NO CLASS, READING BREAK), 27

March 5, 12, 19, 26 (we’ll discuss School District Spring Break schedules at our first meeting)

April 2, 9

Meeting Times:
4:30pm - 9:30pm


  1. To (re)examine and (re)situate ourselves in our professional settings, and in our teaching or other professional practice, in light of the ideas and issues you have explored in the program thus far.
  2. To develop skills in the practice of organizational ethnography, ‘self- study,’ critical reflective practice, auto-ethnography, and reflexivity, applied to our various post-secondary educational domains and roles.
  3. To deepen our sense of ourselves as practitioners, professionals, community-members,and scholars.


  • Personal informal oral presentation on ‘self in practice’ 20%
  • Annotated Bibliography/Constellation of Ideas Project 20%
  • Outline of a Proposed Rumination (taken together with #4) 0%
  • Final Rumination (taken together with #3) 40%
  • End of Term Poster Session & Roundtable Discussion 20%



Readings, Viewings, Listenings will be posted on Canvas, and/or drawn from sources we can access through the SFU Online Library service, or through other open sources, forums, collections, and repositories on the Web.

Recommended readings (etc.) will be offered in relation to individual and/or collective student interests and needs.


An introductory reading will be shared in advance of our first class, to be sent out by email or Canvas announcement before the December holiday.


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