Emphasis in Wellbeing


All individuals thirst for wellbeing, creativity, belonging and a sense of purpose in life, wherever they may situate themselves. Thus, the Wellbeing Emphasis is integral and central to other emphases. The Wellbeing Emphasis envisions a world in which all people may awaken to their full human potential while caring for one another and for the earth. All human beings have the potential to develop and balance numerous ways of knowing and being; yet, most education systems are weighted heavily in one area, that of the rational mind. As a species, this has left us in great peril; however, there are endless creative solutions waiting to be developed and practiced. Our main tenet for the Wellbeing Emphasis is to develop, holistically, the fullness of intelligence: mind, body, heart and spirit in all individuals. Time is running out. We must act together. As educators within a global community, we believe the answers to our most pernicious problems, with grace and wisdom, may be found in the fullness of our human potential within our quest for social justice. Ultimately, we cannot hope to find new ways to live and thrive using only part of our consciousness. The Emphasis, along with the OISE community, wishes to proceed, with care and attention, to build a stronger, more inclusive world for generations to come.


The purpose of education should be to move people toward improved connectedness and happiness, as well as to further accomplish and to develop greater opportunities for growth. The Wellbeing Emphasis provides hope and healing for individuals and society through innovative educational experiences by helping people deal well and wisely with issues in their lives and times. Our mission is to provide critical educational experiences that awaken the best in the human spirit by addressing issues of public concern. Critical issues investigated through coursework may be related to mental health, environmental issues and destructive ethnocentric patterns of behaviour, as well as the wise and ethical use of technology. In addition, strategies for managing anxiety and depression, and for raising awareness of inequitable and discriminatory conditions are similar across differing contexts. Therefore, one must examine one's own life and circumstances, and larger societal and institutional contexts, before taking informed action for the greater good of all people. Our goal is agency through self-advocacy and advocacy for others. Through this process, one does not merely deconstruct but also reconstructs through learning about how one's belief structures and patterns may become more beneficial to oneself and to those around. More specifically, these holistic approaches involve various forms such as narrative/biography, phenomenology, meditation, mindfulness practice, body work, mental health, and conscious use of technology.

How to Participate in the Wellbeing Emphasis

It is not necessary to formally enrol in the Wellbeing Emphasis, nor do you need to declare in advance your intention to pursue the Emphasis. If you are a student in the Curriculum & Pedagogy program (C&P) in CTL you are eligible to have a C&P program Emphasis by simply completing three or more courses from the Emphasis course list. Once you successfully pass these courses, contact your program administrator in the Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning and request credit for satisfying the Emphasis requirements. This request must be made prior to graduation. Please note that not all courses are offered each year and that a course can only be used to satisfy the requirements of a single Emphasis.

Students in the Wellbeing Emphasis are expected to take three or more courses.


  • Dr. Mary Beattie
  • Dr. Jennifer Brant
  • Dr. Kathy Broad
  • Dr. Karyn Cooper
  • Dr. Jack Miller
  • Dr. Shelley Murphy
  • Dr. Sarfaroz Niyozov

Affiliated Faculty

  • Dr. Selia Karsten
  • Dr. Kelli Nigh


Wellbeing Courses


Course Name Course Code
Facilitating Reflective Professional Development CTL1027H
Spirituality in Education CTL1106H
The Holistic Curriculum CTL1110H
Foundations of Wellness through a Phenomenology of Practice CTL1121H
Education for Human Goals Local and Global: How’s Science Education Helping? CTL1221H
Religious Education: Comparative and International Perspectives CTL1319H
Narrative and Story in Research and Professional Practice  CTL1809H
Current Issues in Teacher Education CTL1817H
The Teacher as Contemplative Practitioner CTL1825H
Biography in Educational Contexts CTL3037H
Holistic Approaches to Information Technology CTL5011H
Mentoring as Learning CTL5021H
Indigenous Maternal Pedagogies: Teaching for Reconciliation  CTL5039H
Mindfulness in Education: Theory and Practice CTL5042H
Learning and Nature CTL5060H