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Sir Ken Robinson’s ideas about the purpose of schools/education inspire me!

Courses I teach:

EDEL 335:  Curriculum and Instruction in Elementary Social Studies

Social studies provides opportunities for students to develop the attitudes, skills and knowledge that will enable them to become engaged, active, informed and responsible citizens. Recognition and respect for individual and collective identity is essential in a pluralistic and democratic society. Social Studies helps students develop their sense of self and community, encouraging them to affirm their place as citizens in an inclusive, democratic society.

(Alberta Education, 2005: Program Rationale and Philosophy, Social Studies K-12, p. 1.)

Greetings, and welcome to EDEL 335!  The purpose of this course is to help you develop and articulate your beliefs, understandings and skills in order to plan, teach, and assess Social Studies at the Elementary level.  The above quote offers one rationale for Social Studies education.  Throughout the course we will enter into an exploration of (1) Past and current theory on the meaning and purpose of Social Studies education, with the view to formulating a knowledgeable and informed rationale for our own practice as Social Studies teachers; (2) What we want Social Studies to look like in our classrooms and to our students, and why; and (3) The various ways in which we can make our vision of Social Studies a reality in our practice. It is my hope that this will be a collaborative process, with each of us contributing to one another’s learning.

EDFX 490: Global Citizenship Field Experience in Ghana

Preparing students to become informed and active global citizens aware of their capacity to effect meaningful change in their communities, society and the world is increasingly important in a globalized, interdependent world.

In EDFX 490, students will have the opportunity to develop a deeper, more situated, understanding of some of the key issues teaching and living global citizenship imply: a sense social justice; environmental, social, economic and political responsibility; agency; perspectivity; interrelatedness and an appreciation for cultural diversity.  This understanding will have an impact on the self-understandings and professional practices that students in the course bring to their own practice as they become professionals themselves

In our examination of global citizenship, this six-week course will link classroom activities with field experiences designed to provide a bridge between the theory and practice of global citizenship education. The classroom component will consist of seminars, workshops, reflective activities and open dialogue held in Canada and, during Phase Two, in the host institution (the University of Ghana). The formal field component will involve field visits in and around Accra and 7 days spent in Atwima Apemanim, a rural Ashanti community.

EDEL 561: Processes of Curriculum Development

Curriculum development occurs at all levels of education – from lessons enacted in the classroom to revisions to programs of study.  In this course we will explore the field of curriculum development and the tensions and debates that exist within it.  It is intended to support your ability to engage critically with curricular issues and support your ability to interpret curricula as it relates to your practice.  The course is discussion driven.  You will be encouraged to share your perspective according to your current role (e.g., teacher, administrator, curriculum writer) and area of expertise (e.g., early childhood, science).  Through historical and contemporary readings in curriculum development we will examine key questions and issues such as:

  • What is the goal of education?  Is it to develop basic skills, critical thinking, future workers, or personal growth?  What should be the goal of education?  How are the goals reflected in research?
  • What is taught in schools?  What should be taught and how should it be organized?  Who should decide?
  • What counts as knowledge?  What knowledge is of most worth?  What forms of knowing are most valued?  What forms of knowing should be valued?
  • Why do changes in curriculum take place?  What influences from society lead to curriculum change?
  • How is curriculum change enacted?  What are the obstacles to change?  What is the role of the teacher as change agent?

Through readings, reflections, class discussions, presentations and assignments you will broaden your understanding of the issues involved and clarify your own assumptions and perspectives on curriculum development.

EDEL 567: Introduction to Educational Research

This introductory research methodology course is intended to support graduate students’ understanding of the many ways in which educational research is conceptualized and conducted. Students will develop their ability to read educational research critically and with understanding in order to support their work as researchers and practicing professionals. The course addresses both qualitative and quantitative approaches from within a variety of paradigms and perspectives.

The general objectives of this course are that students will:

  • Recognize and understand various research designs, methods, concepts, and terminology.
  • Critically read and evaluate research publications relevant to education.

By the end of the course you will:

  • Understand the purpose of educational research
  • See yourself as part of the educational research community (consumer, participant, researcher)
  • Be confident in your abilities to critically assess research reports
  • Be knowledgeable about various research paradigms, methodologies and methods for carrying out educational research
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