Spring 2024 - EDUC 902A G001

Interdisciplinary Seminar in Contemporary Educational Theory A (3)

Class Number: 5657

Delivery Method: Blended


  • Course Times + Location:

    Jan 8 – Apr 12, 2024: Tue, 4:30–7:20 p.m.

  • Corequisites:

    EDUC 902B.



Contemporary educational theories and theories from supporting disciplines (e.g., psychology, sociology, philosophy) will be examined and analysed. The relationships among contemporary theories, current practice and educational change will be focal.


Please note: This class will be offered concurrently with EDUC 902B (4:30-9:20pm), and we will use a blended format: Some classes will be in person (F2F) in Room EDB 7505 on the Burnaby campus and others will be on Zoom. Please mark your calendars and plan your Tuesday afternoon/evening commutes to and from work/home accordingly.

Here are the dates for our F2F classes (EDB 7505, Burnaby campus – physical attendance is required):  Jan. 9; Jan. 16; Jan. 30; Feb. 13; Feb. 27; Mar. 19; Apr. 2; Apr. 9

Here are the dates for our online (Zoom) classes:  Jan. 23; Feb. 6; Mar. 5; Mar. 12; Mar. 26



Educational Goals:  The course will focus on developing students’

  • understanding of contemporary educational theories through the application of these ideas in various social, moral, cultural, ecological, and political contexts;
  • proficiencies in inquiry, analysis, interpretation, critique, and theory-building within research and educational practices;
  • conceptual understanding of the discursive relationships between theory, practice, and reflection in education through disciplined study, dialogue, presentations, and academic writing.



Course Overview: In this seminar we will explore the contested terrain of contemporary educational theory and the application of these theories to educational settings. Questions to be explored include (but are not limited to):

  • What does it mean to say someone is educated?
  • What does it mean to live well with and for others? (both human and more-than-human others)
  • What roles do race, class, gender, religion, and ability play in education?
  • What role does (or should) education play in identity formation and identity politics?
  • What does it mean to take critical theory critically?
  • What limits (if any) ought there to be to free speech on university campuses?
  • What are our ethical responsibilities to and for the past?


Details of assignments, grading, and week-to-week themes will be discussed during the first class.



All required readings, videos, and other resources will be available online either through the SFU Library or through links posted in the syllabus or on Canvas.


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.