Contextualizing Curriculum, Pedagogy, and Learning

Contextualizing Curriculum, Pedagogy, and Learning is a program option within the Master of Education (MEd), Specialist route. Visit the Master of Education, Specialist Route page for complete MEd details including fees

In education, we have the capacity to come together to remember significant pasts and move towards alternative ethical futures while immersing ourselves in a momentous present. How can we attune to curriculum, pedagogy, and learning as enlivening spaces of possibility in order to cultivate a sense of renewal within our day-to-day experiences in education? In doing so, how can we dislodge the ways in which curriculum, pedagogy, and learning may feel at times pre-determined and/or inflexible, yet also abstract and out of reach?

This three-year, twelve-course specialist takes up long-standing considerations of curriculum and pedagogy across learning contexts. By embracing social justice orientations, together we pursue anti-racism, decolonization, and ethical relations in schools and society.

In Year 1, the program begins by questioning knowledge production in schools and engages methods of uncovering, disentangling, and reorienting concepts of curriculum, learning, pedagogy, and the disciplines. The purpose of the first year is to invite alternative ways of taking up the normative assumptions underpinning the central educational phenomena of curriculum, learning, pedagogy, and the disciplines. At times, this requires a dismantling of what is “known” in order to imagine alternative approaches.

Year 2 invites the students to reassemble the disciplines and school subjects, through a disposition of questioning, inquiry, and curiosity. During this year, the courses wade into considerations of how teachers, learners, and disciplines live in the world through wonder, mystery, imagination, love, play, the joy of discovery, and meaningful, critical, and ethical knowledge making. We will pose questions about the place and potential of the disciplines in contemporary learning environments such as: How can we make the disciplines more responsive to social, historical, material, and environmental justices and injustices in the world and students’ lives? How can we help learners move into and dwell within the disciplines as anti-racism and decolonial openings towards revitalization of the curriculum?

In Year 3, students follow the interests that they cultivated in Years 1 and 2 with a focus on their own active inquiry and research. The final course of the program invites students to (re)turn to the notion of studying curriculum and contemplate how they might continue to and renew their efforts of bringing their learning together with the daily practices.

This MEd specialist is intended for anyone who works in the field of education and wants to dwell in deep engagement with curriculum, pedagogy, and learning. Whether teaching in formal school settings, K–12 and postsecondary, in community and cultural institutions, or any in-formal and non-formal educational relations, your experiences, questions, and interests are welcomed.

Program Schedule and Required Courses

This course-based MEd Specialist, Contextualizing Curriculum, Pedagogy, and Learning, consists of twelve courses offered over a three-year period.

  1. Summer

    EDER 693.11 L01 (Summer 2022 - 1217)
    Uncovering Curriculum

  2. Fall

    EDER 693.40 L04 (Fall 2022 - 6556)
    Reimagining Learning

  3. Winter

    EDER 693.41 L04 (Winter 2023 - 6615)
    Questioning Pedagogy

  4. Spring

    EDER 693.xx (TBD)
    Un-Disciplining Knowledge

  1. Summer

    EDER 693.12
    Inquiry through Math and the Fine Arts

  2. Fall

    EDER 693.13
    Inquiry through the Humanities

  3. Winter

    EDER 693.14
    Inquiry through Sciences, Health, and Environmental Education

  4. Spring

    EDER 600
    Research Methodology in Education

  1. Summer

    EDER 602
    Program and Practice Evaluation

  2. Fall

    EDER 604
    Collaboratory of Practice

  3. Winter

    EDER 606
    Writing Educational Research

  4. Spring

    EDER 681
    Studying Curriculum

Course Descriptions

Outlines are normally available 1-2 weeks prior to the start of term in D2L.

Course Delivery

All courses in this cohort will be offered fully online. These courses are held in both an asynchronous environment (D2L) and a synchronous (real-time) environment (Zoom) which allows instructors to virtually meet and talk with students and experience a live exchange of ideas, hear class presentations and do group work with access to a whiteboard. There are typically no more than 5 sessions over a 13-week term (Fall and Winter) and fewer over a 6-week term (Spring and Summer).

Additional information regarding online delivery

Online Delivery eLearning website.

3 units per course

EDER 693.11 Uncovering Curriculum

In this course we take up curriculum itself as a contested, political, relational, and situated object of study. We work to uncover ways of understanding curriculum and its responses to complex questions in education. As one way into this work, we consider significant moments (historical, contemporary, critical, for example) in the field of curriculum studies. Beginning with the provocation that curriculum is more than a mandated program of study or course content in a specific disicpline, we inquire into the relational dynamics between how curriculum lives in various educational settings and the broader undertakings of curriculum studies. Some questions considered in EDER 693 include: What is curriculum? What happens when we expand the positioning of curriculum as a political text ? What is worth knowing and teaching in schools and other educational sites? What is it we should teach and why? What gets silenced, masked, and misrepresented in the process of curriculum enactment? What are the ways in which curriculum is enacted through the artifacts, relations, and events of teaching and learning?

EDER 693.40 Reimagining Learning

In this course, we invite students to (re)consider learning, learners and teaching in educational spaces. Throughout the course, we investigate and question the implications for and about learners, learning and teaching when these implications are considered through various discourses, experiences, positionalities, and institutions. We grapple at the intersections of sociological, cultural, psychological, developmental, decolonizing, and critical discourses that shape how we understand learners, as well as the ways in which life paths affect relationships with and in learning. Questions guiding the course include: What identities do we inhabit, enact, perform as learners and educators? What assumptions underpin how learning is situated in various socio-cultural contexts? Where does learning reside? How do we recognize learning in relation to measuring, coding, and classifying learners and learning? How are learners differently positioned within and across society and educational spaces? Where and how does learning occur? What is the role of social identities in shaping learning opportunities?

EDER 693.41 Questioning Pedagogy

This course focuses on the mediating space of pedagogy, where curriculum and learning come to be enacted through teacher-student-content-space-time relations in various learning sites. Pedagogical considerations in this course drawn attention to critical questions of persons, practices, and politics when interpreting and living curriculum in context. We invite students to situate ethical relationality by way of anti-racism, decolonial, and social justice orientations at the core of pedagogical encounters. In doing so, we uncover the possibilities for opening new ways of thinking, being, and relating in the world. Questions guiding this course include: What is pedagogy? How has pedagogy been articulated through time and across contexts? How have ideas of best practices vacillated over various epochs? What are the implications of student—teacher relations across learning contexts? How do participants read, understand, and interpret their roles in educational settings?

EDER 693.xx Un-Disciplining Knowledge

In this course, we will work to understand disciplinarity and how it relates to knowledges, to school subject areas and pragmatics, and to interpretations and enactments of curriculum. We will take up critical perspectives on disciplinarity, examining how disciplines can produce knowledge and learning in ways that become hegemonic while also considering such possibilities as decoloniality, epistemic disobedience, fugitivity, flight, and futurity, and holism. Questions guiding this course include: What are the disciplines and how do they work to shape the contours of knowledge and knowers? Knowledges have been shaped through cultural and historical processes into disciplinary structures that are laden with inequitable power and values. What is at stake when we work within and across the boundaries of these structures of feeling and belonging? What can be opened up through transgressive practices of undoing disciplinarity?

EDER 693.12 Inquiry through Math and the Fine Arts

This course takes a fresh approach to both mathematics and the fine arts by juxtaposing disciplines traditionally set in opposition to one another. Through acts of reflection, comparison and contrast, students will come to understand the distinct ways of knowing invited by mathematical and artistic inquiry, and will also identify creative places of connection and relationship between the disciplines. Areas of exploration may include: musical thinking; patterns, shapes and abstract thinking; problem-solving; spatial reasoning; perspective and design; and visual ways of knowing. 

EDER 693.13 Inquiry through the Humanities

Students will explore acts of sense- and meaning-making within both the language arts and social studies. Areas of exploration may include: historical thinking; critical literacy; multimodal communication; citizenship and ethics; relationship, community and identity; creativity and expression; and approaches to literature and media. We will consider the unique ways of knowing that are enabled by the language arts and by social studies, and also consider the places where the two might be productively brought together to create interdisciplinary forms of inquiry through the humanities.  

EDER 693.14 Inquiry through Sciences, Health, and Environmental Education

Students will assess the limitations and possibilities of Western (Eurocentric) modes of scientific inquiry, and explore critical and Indigenous approaches to health, wellness, ecology and the natural world that encourage relationality. Topics for consideration may include: traditions of scientific inquiry; critical, interpretive and Indigenous approaches to science, health and physical education; scientific learning as socially situated and participatory; intersections of environmental and social justice; public knowledge of science and interpreting scientific information; citizen science; science for social justice; critical media literacy and environmental communication; and land-based experiential approaches to place, community and wellness.  

EDER 600 Research Methodology in Education

This first course in educational research methodologies provides the background necessary to make cogent decisions around the types of research questions that might be asked and the kinds of insights and answers particular methods can provide.

This introductory course is intended for graduate students in the first year of their cohort-based Master’s of Education programs. The course focuses on some of the issues and dilemmas that frame the context for contemporary research, and guides participants in a preliminary consideration of research strategies, questions and methods, for further study and application in the subsequent course EDER 692 Collaboratory of Practice. In relation to EDER 692 Collaboratory of Practice, this first course includes a discussion of action research in education as a pragmatic way to integrate various methods to examine critical questions about learning in broader contexts. Participants will also be encouraged to approach research articles and reports with a critical perspective and develop some skills and techniques for this kind of close reading.

EDER 602 Program and Practice Evaluation

Students in this course will have an opportunity to discover how to creatively establish, plan, and evaluate adult education programs that will positively affect their organization or community.

EDER 604 Collaboratory of Practice

Collaboratories of Practice represent a fusion of two important developments in contemporary research: communities of practice and collaboratories. A collaboratory is a new networked organizational form involving structured experiences of authentic, real-world practice which serve as sources of active inquiry and professional learning. This course provides opportunities for individuals or groups to investigate real world problems and to devise or recommend pragmatic solutions suitable to their contexts.

EDER 606 Writing Educational Research

This course will focus on examining and developing the skills associated with crafting an academic paper. Topics will also include genres and purposes of academic writing, and venues for presentation and publication.

EDER 681 Studying Curriculum

This course examines study, studying, and having studied as distinctive educational experiences. It considers temporal, spatial, and ethical conceptualizations of curriculum study and curriculum as study and questions the relationships between understanding, learning, questioning, and application. Through conceptual and phenomenological accounts of the studier’s stance, students are invited to retrospectively and prospectively consider questions of intentionality, action, and potentialities of educational being.

Contact Us

Brenda Tschanz

Graduate Program Administrator

Brenda Tschanz


Academic Program Coordinators

Dr. Ronna Mosher, and Dr. Lissa D’Amour,

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