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Department of Leadership, Higher and Adult Education


About the Department

The Department of Leadership, Adult and Higher Education is the 6th largest graduate department at the University of Toronto. 

We're made up of three distinct programs: 

We are also home to three collaborative specializations that offer cross-field and cross-disciplinary approaches to education problem framing and problem solving: 

Our department considers education broadly, as it occurs inside and outside of formal educational settings. Our courses and programs consider relations between different social settings, such as families, workplaces, local communities, and national and international contexts.

Themes running through our research and teaching include equity and social justice, professional education, policy studies, educational leadership and organizations and adult learning within institutions and settings.


Faculty and research

Faculty in the department are engaged in a range of theoretical and practical fields, including leadership and administration, policy and change, social diversity and community engagement.

Our faculty have strong international reputations in their fields and include a number of highly regarded educational system leaders and builders. We are proud to house three research chairs: 

  • Dr. Scott Davis, Canada Research Chair in Educational Leadership
  • Dr. Ruth Childs, Ontario Research Chair in Postsecondary Policy and Measurement
  • Dr. Leesa Wheelahan, Endowed Davis Chair in Community College Leadership

And, four research centres: 


Students in our department represent a range of professional backgrounds, primarily but not exclusively in the educational sector. Most have as their professional goals; practitioner, academic, and policy making/administrative careers.

Students come from many countries including Brazil, Kenya, Namibia, China, Iran, India, Columbia, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Pakistan, the US, the UK, India, Peru, Ecuador, Lebanon, Japan and Chile. They are also from across Canada: Alberta, British Columbia, Nova Scotia, Nunavut and Newfoundland. 

Graduates to date include academics in a number of US and Canadian universities as well as those occupying senior administrative positions such as dean of students, superintendent, research officers and curriculum assessment officers in school districts.