Curriculum as Divergence

Curriculum as Divergence is a program option within the Master of Education (MEd), Interdisciplinary route. Visit the MEd, Interdisciplinary Route page for complete MEd details including fees

Contemporary curriculum studies might be characterised by its divergent viewpoints, its recognition of the ideological basis of curriculum and pedagogy, and its insistence on the need to connect education to pressing social, cultural, political, economic, and environmental issues. Multidisciplinary in approach, curriculum studies draws from numerous perspectives and intellectual traditions that include postcolonialism, feminism, cultural studies, sexuality and gender studies, Indigenous education, environmental education, social justice education, and critical theory.

This four-course topic recognizes that diversity, providing students with an opportunity to undertake in-depth examinations of the varied ways we might understand, theorize and enact curriculum across a range of educational contexts.  After an introductory course that surveys the histories and schools of curriculum inquiry, students examine curriculum scholarship and practices through three distinct but complementary lenses. In the first of these courses, students address the relationship between curriculum and place, with a particular focus on Indigenous ways of knowing and being. In the second course, students analyze curriculum as dialogue, considering whose voices are privileged within curriculum-making and classroom discourse. In the final course, students explore the role of activism, arts, critical literacy and anti-oppression education in producing curriculum as a space of resistance. Given its scope and its commitment to examining curriculum across a range of contexts, this program will appeal to individuals from a variety of settings.

Target Audience: K-12, Not-For-Profit & Community-Based Educators

This certificate will be relevant to individuals located within a range of settings, including K-12 and higher education across disciplines, community-based and informal education, educational leadership, media and the arts, and the not-for-profit sector.

Program Goals:

  • To understand the historical roots and contemporary themes of curriculum studies

  • To critically reflect on the ways that curriculum both shapes and is shaped by contemporary public discourses

  • To provoke dialogue on the political nature of curriculum, pedagogy and education

  • To understand curriculum’s relationship to significant social and political movements and concepts, including colonialism, resistance, Indigenous resurgence, democracy, social justice and public protest

  • To apply course materials, discussions and activities to students’ own experiences, scholarly work and/or work in educational settings

Program Schedule

Term 1 - Summer

Summer 2020
EDER 693.19 L01 (50390)
Curriculum as possibility

Term 1 - Summer

Summer 2020
EDER 693.20 L02 (50391)
Curriculum as place

Term 2 - Fall

Fall 2020
EDER 693.17 L01 (74540)
Curriculum as dialogue

Term 3 - Winter

Winter 2021
EDER 693.18 L01 (14291)
Curriculum as resistance

Notice re: Summer Residency 2021

All MEd Summer 2021 classes will be moving fully online with the exception of off-campus courses in the Transformative Learning Environments Topic. There will be no on-campus Summer Residency. Please do not make any travel plans such as booking flights or accommodations. We appreciate your patience and understanding.

The Werklund School is a leader in online learning, offering robust programs and supports for students seeking alternate program delivery.  Staff and faculty are committed to ensuring the quality of this learning experience will meet the needs of our students and maintain the high standards we have become known for.

Course Descriptions

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

Course Delivery

Details on our Summer 2020 courses will be provided in the coming weeks. Please do not make any travel plans such as booking flights or accommodations. We appreciate your patience and understanding. Fall and Winter courses are offered fully online using Desire2Learn and Zoom. For additional information regarding online delivery, please refer to the Online Delivery eLearn website.


3 units per course

EDER 693.19 Curriculum as possibility

This course will introduce students to the contested terrain of curriculum inquiry. Students will reflect on the politics of curriculum scholarship and practices, and examine the many ways that curriculum has been conceptualized throughout curriculum studies’ history. These conceptualizations may include considering curriculum as planned, emergent, permeable, hidden, enacted and lived. Students will also be encouraged to explore new possibilities for understanding curriculum that respond to contemporary life.

EDER 693.20 Curriculum as place

Students in this course will examine the often under-acknowledged importance of place in curriculum research and practice. Drawing on Indigenous, Euro-Western and other culturally rooted scholarship and practice, students will inquire into the relationships between knowledge, people and the more-than-human world. Topics to be considered may include: place-based learning; ecological ways of knowing; responsibility to land and place; wisdom and intergenerational ways of knowing; and schools and classrooms as places.

EDER 693.21 Curriculum as dialogue

Curriculum studies has a long tradition of examining the relationships between education, dialogue and democracy. Students in this course will consider the power dynamics that occur in educational settings, and the possibilities for creating dialogic and equitable spaces and practices. Topics to be considered may include: student voice; classroom discourse and power relations; collective knowledge creation; the child as a legitimate source of knowledge; teachers’ and students’ mediation of the curriculum; and democracy, citizenship and education.

EDER 693.22 Curriculum as resistance

In this course, students will consider the potential for activism, protest, meaning-making and the arts to address social injustice and assert agency in everyday life and educational settings. Topics for exploration may include: art-making as resistance; education and environmentalism; youth activism; learner disengagement as protest; critical literacy and counter-narratives; education for social justice; and feminist, queer, Indigenous, anti-colonial, anti-racist and anti-oppression perspectives on curriculum.

Have Questions?

Graduate Program Administrator (GPA)

Cheryl Ohly

Academic Program Coordinator

Dr. Mairi McDermott

Ready to Apply?

Applications open November 1-March 15. All students apply for admission through the Faculty of Graduate Studies. Please note that topics are offered yearly and subject to change.

Learn more about applying