Spring 2024 - EDUC 811 G011

Fieldwork I (5)

Class Number: 6064

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Location: TBA



Graded on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis.


Simon Fraser University
Faculty of Education
EDUC 811 “Fieldwork”
M Ed in Educational Practice
Spring 2024

Instructors: Dr. Sean Blenkinsop sblenkin@sfu.ca, with Dr. Mark Fettes, for EDUC 888, Comprehensive Papers and Oral Presentations, mtfettes@sfu.ca

Course Description 811:
The goal of this course is to support practitioner-inquirers in explicating, synthesizing, deepening, and sharing their key learnings, with a focus on their ongoing inquiries, over the course of our Master’s program. Through reading, dialogue, writing, and other forms of inquiry, including Land-based pedagogical practices, we will revisit, extend and expand the themes of our learning, and reflect on the development of our personal and professional capacities. With the goal of deepening our understanding of our work as educators, we will examine our learning journeys as informed by our field studies and our scholarly communities.  

In effect, we are asking ourselves:

  • what have I learned through the program, and from conducting my inquiry, about myself, my setting, and my practice?
  • what key ideas, encounters, concepts, relationships, theories, places, thinkers, approaches, and philosophies have had an impact on me?
  • how have these ideas, encounters, concepts, relationships, theories, places, thinkers, approaches, and philosophies influenced, confirmed, challenged, and/or transformed my thinking, my practice, and even my being as teacher and human?
  • how do I now situate myself in the community of scholarship, and in my community of practice?
  • how will I now take these ideas into my practice and into my various communities?
  • how do I want to share, represent, offer, and demonstrate what I have learned, and do this with integrity?
  • And … where do I go from here?
A furthering note:
This is an intriguing course to teach. This course is a gathering course where you each are drawing together this huge range of ideas, discoveries, encounters, and experiences towards the creation, and offering out, of two Comprehensive Exam components, the written project and the oral presentation (see below!).  And so, as the instructor, I know that much of the focus for this course has to be individualized -- turning back, reflecting upon, gathering up, preparing for, winnowing through, and then offering out -- but at the same time, there is so much more to explore and think about which is often best done in a group. So, I am proposing that we think of this course as having two arcs … the first, the major arc, focuses on each of you reflecting, gathering, writing, creating, and preparing for your comprehensives and the second, the minor arc, is about engaging with interesting content that I offer as we travel through the semester together. 


Description of EDUC 888 … (the “comprehensives” … called an exam though not an exam):

This culminating project, which serves as the final assessment in this Masters of Education Program, provides an opportunity for articulating, sharing, and deepening our understanding of our practice as educators, based on our coursework, and field studies. We will share our experiences, insights and transformations with colleagues and instructors, and bear witness to the journeys of others.

The comprehensive examinations involve two parts: one written and one oral.

Our (Mark Fettes will be joining us) proposal for this cohort, given its online nature, is to create a series of 4 scholarly panels to be held on April 13th and 14th. Panels will be created thematically, to the best of our ability, and each of the four or five panelists will be asked to share, in whatever form they choose, key highlights, rich crystallizations, deepened learnings, important takeaways. These short, 7-10 minute offerings need not be direct repetitions of the written submission. The hope is that once the panelists have finished we can open the space for a rich discussion amongst panelists, faculty, and others who are present.  In order to assist this process not only will the examiners read each paper but each panelist will also be asked to read and prepare some thoughts, responses to at least two of their colleagues’ submitted works.  Thus, there will be multiple readers for each written submission. Each reader will review their colleagues’ papers  and prepare potential questions, responses, noticed connections to ask and share during the final panel presentations. The hope is that this will enrich and enliven the conversation while also supporting each presenter to clarify, extend, better understand, or develop their own work and its relationship to this larger panelistic whole. The comprehensive presentations are typically a riveting, intense, professional (sometimes deeply personal) scholarly experience that engages our minds, bodies, and souls.



This course is graded on a Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory basis and this will be based on: attendance and participation in our sessions, including: discussions, activities, 1:1 meetings, collegial review, advice, and support; and, submission of draft documents at negotiated times during the term.



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 term 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.