Special Topic Course Descriptions (Summer 2023)

English language learners (ELLs) present a set of unique challenges and tremendous opportunity for teachers in Canada. This course introduces participants to a range of strategies and considerations for effectively meeting the social- emotional, and academic needs of ELL students. Drawing on current research and studies of effective pedagogical approach, participants will gain an understanding of instructional and assessment strategies to engage ELLs in developing language and content knowledge simultaneously and to enhance the success of these students. We will examine the socio-emotional and sociocultural experiences of ELL students, the process of second-language acquisition, and the stages of English proficiency development; and consider their implications for teaching and learning.

This course is designed to present students with current understanding of motivation in genera, academic motivation in specific, and the ways in which motivation contributes to learning. Theoretical conceptualizations and empirical research findings from educational and social psychology, as well as neuroscience, provide the core content of the course. Some of the topics covered are intrinsic/extrinsic motivation, and development model of interest, curiosity, goal theory, rewards and the reward circuitry of the brain. Together, the course materials give a basis for understanding how supporting meaningful engagement with academic content can promote deeper learning.

This course offers a thorough examination of the role that spatial thinking plays in STEAM education (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics). Striking a balance between theory and practice, this course aims to develop a greater awareness and appreciation of what spatial reasoning is, how it develops, and how it might look and feel across a variety of educational contexts (e.g., preschool to university classrooms as well as maker spaces). We will review and discuss research on the relationship between spatial thinking and student interest, motivation, performance, and creativity in STEAM. Moreover, we will consider evidence suggesting that an increased curricular focus on spatial reasoning offers more equitable and accessible entry points into STEAM. Considerable time will be spent discussing ways of improving spatial thinking. Ultimately, this course offers new insights into the fundamental role that spatial thinking plays in STEAM education, begging us to reimagine what learning and education might look like if spatial thinking is given greater priority and explicit curricular focus.

This course will encourage students to widen their understanding of what it means to be literate in the 21st Century. Using a multiliteracies framework, students will learn to identify, plan and implement meaningful learning experiences that integrate literacy and subject area learning and build skills in critical viewing, communication, representation, innovation and knowledge creation. Major themes to be addressed include multiliteracies theory, digital and critical literacies, media literacy, multimodal assessment and student agency and ownership of learning. In this course, students will use technology to enhance collaborative learning and teaching, creativity, and knowledge construction and mobilization.

This course will present the legacies of Asian philosophical, religious, and healing tradition including Confucianism, Taoism, Buddhism, etc. It will also explore the influence of Asian healing tradition on western approaches and possible ways to integrate Asian healing into counselling and psychotherapy such as mindfulness meditation, Morita therapy, Chinese Taoist Cognitive therapy, etc. Students will critically think of the limitations and cultural bias of Eurocentric healing approaches through a lens of multicultural psychology. They will also examine the research evidence on integration and identify current gaps in research. Students will gain useful tools for treatment and be inspired to consider creative ways or alternative ways of healing.

The course explores ways in which holistic or arts-based learning can be supported and enhanced by computer technology. Computer-supported environments and resources, e.g. Web resources for holistic or arts education, tools for creative expression, online communities of learners, Internet-based collaborative projects involving school children and professionals or inter-cultural exchanges. Activities will include discussion of reading, reflective journaling, group work developing a holistic or arts-based learning experience and creating an individual project or online portfolio. Each group or individual will select their own focus area which will form the basis for their final project.

This special topics course will provide students to investigate questions about creativity as related to curriculum, teaching, and learning in the arts, as well as all school subject areas. Conceptualizations, processes, measurement/assessment, and the myths of creativity will be investigated. Students will explore ideas and issues of creativity related to their personal, academic, and professional lives. Special Topics course created by Leslie Stewart Rose.

This course is designed for elementary teachers interested in current research, theory and approaches related to teaching mindfulness in classroom settings. Graduate students will (1) examine theoretical and research trends in the field; (2) investigate the neuroscience of stress, attention and mindfulness; (3) deepen understanding about the impact of mindfulness practice on self-regulation skills, well-being and learning; (4) develop approaches for introducing, teaching and leading mindfulness in the classroom; (5) explore age-appropriate strategies and practices for cultivating present awareness, attention, emotion regulation, mental health and well-being, kindness and compassion, gratitude, and successful learning for the classroom and beyond and (6) consider stress management and self-care strategies for teacher wellness and resilience. Graduate students will also engage in embodied practices as an experiential way of exploring mindfulness.

This course explores the fundamentals of game theory & research related to games & learning. Through theoretical readings, case studies, critical analysis and design exercises, the learning potential within games will be explored. Important elements of games such as goal setting, feedback loops, self-assessment, motivation, and social learning will be investigated. A deep analysis of the 'situation game' will be conducted. The main assignment involves the creation of an educational game to be beta-tested and developed. Creative and design processes will be discussed and provide guidance during game creation.

As educators, we hope to provide the best possible context for students to learn and to thrive. In 2017 The World Health Organization declared that over 300 million people across the globe were suffering from anxiety and depression. Throughout recent pandemic lockdowns nature has become an integral source for physical and mental health. Most of education is conducted while students are seated at a desk in a classroom; the body is left out of the picture. Recent research reveals that the beneficial relationship between nature and learning is no longer in question and it is our whole being that forges a relationship with the natural world. Across disciplines research shows that nature improves attention, leads to stress reduction and enhances motivation. These are just a few of nature's benefits for learning. The method of inquiry for this course is a holistic one that includes an exploration of the imagination, thought, the senses, feeling and emotions. The course also provides readings from fields of study such as depth ecology, social justice, and environmental stewardship.

Only offered in French, immersion francaise: enseignement et recherches (French Immersion: Teaching and Research) is designed for MT students interested in teaching in French immersion. As the course is in French, students should pass OISEs French language proficiency test before enrolling in the course. The course aims to support students in developing appropriate knowledge, skills, and attitudes for beginning a placement or a teaching assignment in French Immersion (Kindergarten to Grade 12). Students will have opportunities to focus on the level of their choice (e.g., Primary/Junior, Junior/Intermediate, or Intermediate/Senior) while gaining a broader understanding of immersion students' learning trajectories across elementary and secondary panels.

This course is designed to explore what the neuroscience is revealing about creativity and how teachers can plan curriculum for deep understanding through a sustained inquiry approach. A secondary goal of the course is to explore the role of creativity and innovation across grades and disciplines to find opportunities to infuse critical, creative and collaborative thinking across the curriculum.

Candidates in this course will experience meaningful literacy and arts-based strategies designed to promote active, interactive instructional strategies that enrich communication, collaboration and compassion in the classroom. Resources, including children's literature, provide a framework for building community, confronting bullying and addressing tough topics to deepen student understanding of social justice, diversity and equity issues.

This course considers the way the social, cultural, economic and political context of metropolitan areas is related to youth experiences, health and education outcomes. Urban sociology, the social-psychological and ecological organization as well as the political and economic structure of the city, serves as the interdisciplinary backbone of the course. Understanding the sociology of cities enables stakeholders in urban education (students, parents, teachers, administrators, youth workers, etc.) to develop more informed positions on particular issues of theory, policy and practice in schools. We will treat parent and student engagement as a primary concern, focusing on how to make urban schools more engaging places for parents and students, particularly those experiencing marginalization on the basis of multiple social identities and categories of difference. In this regard, intersectionality should help us gain a better understanding of who's engaged and who's not, on the basis of which identities, cultural practices, institutional structures, and/or social forces? Understanding the complexity of parent and student engagement puts us in a better position to develop a more equitable praxis.

This new course is directed at those students interested in public history. It is the history in graphic novels, in public spaces and on websites. It explores the diverse stories found in our local communities; the spaces that reflect our diverse and varied historical landscape. We explore how historical knowledge is transferred when it circulates between different social arenas or forms of media. We explore how state and local narratives have been interpreted and represented in public spaces, how concepts of democratization are framed, and we root out historical truths regarding the production and sharing of public knowledge. The course offers opportunities to explore how historical knowledge in institutional and public spaces is created and shared. The course supports educators seeking to widen their place and digital media knowledge but also interested in developing strategies for expanding their networks to bridge gaps between educational and community spaces. This course specifically ties into Humanities scholarship through common approaches and understandings and can be applied to a wide range of fields; culminating in a final project to design a new public project.

This course will provide a brave space for Black self-identified educators and practitioners to deconstruct what it means to be Black from an intersectional lens navigating power and the complexities affiliated with experiencing privilege and oppressions across different settings. As an affinity group space, it provides opportunities for Black educators to share their lived experiences, build connections, and learn from other Black educators in a healing, empowered, culturally responsive, affirming, and sustaining space. The content of the course explores historical and current realities of Black educators from multiple vantage points, providing opportunities for reflection and action for creating and sustaining Black identities and communities. An examination and creation of liberation and non-hegemonic pedagogies will guide Black educators in honing their skills through and decentering Eurocentrism, decolonization, critical pedagogy, advocacy and activism, leadership and change frameworks, and centering Black excellence and lived experiences. Finally, this course will provide an opportunity for critical conversations and intentional actions of hope and healing to sustain Black joy and reconsider what Black futurities in education should be.

This course celebrates Asian Canadians by exploring and acknowledging their contributions to Canada. Asian Canadians have been in Canada since the 1700's and have built and lifted our nation in many valuable ways. The prevalence of anti-Asian racism has deep political, social, and economic roots in Canadian history. The contemporary manifestation of anti-Asian hate continues to impact Asian communities, affecting their health, well-being and safety. Using an interdisciplinary approach, this course aims to critically explore and examine Asian Canadian 2 settler experiences within educational contexts while interrogating systemic racism and discrimination faced by Asian Canadian students and educators. Students will conduct an inquiry into their own interests related to this topic. Weekly dialogue will be guided by academic readings, the media and creative products. This course has been created as an anti-racism intervention; to encourage participants to decolonize their learning.

This course will explore elementary mathematics teaching through the lens of English Language Learners. Students will investigate equitable teaching approaches that empower and value English Language Learners in mathematics. Students will learn ways to disrupt Eurocentric teaching of approaches in mathematics and investigate practices that assist ELLs in developing both mathematics content and language skills. In addition, Students will learn about teaching biases and consider classroom and school cultures that foster supportive contexts for ELLs and their communities. The method of engagement for this course will be discussions related to current research on ELLs and mathematics education.

In broad perspective, this course considers the ways in which White supremacy, racism, and whiteness inform historical and contemporary operations and practices of teaching and schooling in the US and Canada, with specific focus on the Ontario context. Designed for MT students, the course pays close attention to the racial and racial capitalist foundations of schooling and teaching as part of colonial nation-building. Understanding White supremacy to include pervasive structural, institutional and systemic racial inequity as well as the acts and rhetoric of extremist groups and individuals, the course begins with the proposition that mainstream compulsory teaching and schooling in Canada have often been a practice of White supremacy. The course will consider relevant theories including racial capitalism, critical whiteness studies, and anticolonialism, and critical race theory. The course critically analyzes the tacit and explicit whiteness of teaching and schooling; the limitations posed by the over- representation of White people in teaching and schooling; and the ways in which these phenomena are established, maintained and reproduced. Finally, the course will consider the relationships between race, teacher identity, and teachers? professional and personal responsibility.

This online course (synchronous) is designed for graduate students in the Master of Teaching program who are interested in current research and approaches related to classroom neurodiversity and various accessible educational practices which support the inclusion and well-being of all learners. Graduate students will engage in ongoing critical reflection on current educational practices (including Universal Design for Learning and Differentiated Instruction) which support the holistic development of students. This course gives special consideration to the experiences of neurodivergent learners (e.g., autistic, ADHD, learning disabilities) and the various ways they learn. Through an accessibility lens, graduate students will examine inclusive, equitable pedagogical practices that benefit all learners and which build on student strengths and enhance student well-being and achievement. Course assignments include a group presentation on a neuro-normative practice and an individual or group project deconstructing a curriculum document from a neurodiversity-affirming perspective.

This course explores theories and practices of care and reciprocity through a compassionate, ecological, decolonizing and holistic education lens. Critical interrogation of the what, how and why of care and reciprocity between educators and students in their living/learning environments provides students with opportunities to unpack the Ontario ethical standards of teaching and situate their own values within existing discourses from Foucault, Krishnamurti, Battiste, Kimmerer, hooks, Van der Kolk and other contemporary thinkers. Practices of care and reciprocity take the form of pedagogical entry points through meditation, mindfulness, embodied learning, eco-spirituality, peace education, arts-based and trauma-informed interventions. This course offers MT students a balance of theory and practice to promote wellness, psycho-emotional safety, learning readiness and community building in K-12 classroom settings. Assignments focus on the design of a personal map of salient theories and practices (praxis) to support teacher candidates’ capacity to ethically and authentically care for themselves and their students while seeding reciprocity in their living/learning environments.

This course will explore theory-to-practice connections in teaching through a combination of classwork and site-based work at the University of Toronto Schools (UTS). Students in this course will have the opportunity to develop a range of qualitative and quantitative research skills suitable for engaging in practitioner-based inquiry within a school setting. There will be a particular focus on working as part of a team to develop an inquiry question that will be examined on site at UTS, with the research results being presented to the school’s administration for consideration as part of their ongoing work on their strategic initiatives. Key themes that will be addressed in this course include: identity of the practitioner as researcher; research ethics considerations in practitioner inquiry; what counts as data in practitioner inquiry; conceptions of validity and generalizability in practitioner inquiry; and working within professional learning communities.

This course explores the theory and practice of critical and cross-curricular approaches to place-based education in school and community settings. By using the ‘city as classroom’, this course models how to use a range of community places and spaces to support place-based learning that is inquiry-based, relational, community-engaged and action-oriented. Using a variety of people and locations around the city as provocations to learning, the course aims to contextualize recent developments in place-based learning, research, policy, and practice in relation to critical pedagogy, equity, social justice, and Indigenous ways of knowing. This course is an entry point to the historical roots, theoretical foundations and pedagogical practices of place-based education to help students develop and deepen place-based education in K-12 classrooms and community settings in their own educational practice. Community-engaged learning placements are one of the assignments students can choose from in this course.

This course provides educators and those seeking to understand the current state of education, with the necessary skills to understand, deconstruct and dismantle the convergence of systems of oppression in public schools through Critical Race Theory. Specifically, this course will prepare you to take a closer look at systems (schools, universities, organizations) in tandem with how you’re showing up as educators committed to equity on all levels within your sphere of influence. We will also take note of and begin to shift to (un)learn harmful ways of engaging as an educational leader (i.e., white supremacy culture of over-productivity and lack of self/community care), therefore shifting outcomes for students, especially those of historically marginalized and multiply-marginalized groups (i.e., Black, Indigenous, 2SLGBTQ+, those who are neuro-diverse). Students will have the chance to learn, process and practice meaningful decision-making skills along with, organizational, instructional, managerial and political high leverage pivots, that directly communicate your commitment to the work of anti-racism. We will delve into various schools of thought and concrete actions to move the agenda of equity forward as leaders, and collaborators. Particular attention will be given to diversity issues regarding race, culture, gender, age, social class, national origin, language, ancestry, sexual orientation, citizenship, and physical or mental abilities. Critical Race Theory continues to be a liberation-focused praxis that requires us to do better, once we know better and is only one way to view our current social, political and educational contexts.

Popular Education and Social Action: This course involves the study of a variety of perspectives in critical and community education as they relate to development and social change. Key issues in theory and practice will be examined through the study of classic writing in popular education, community organizing, feminist, socialist, anti-racist, anti-colonial and indigenous education/organizing.

Build your experience in Student Affairs and Services by earning course credit through an internship to develop career ready skills with graduate level experience. Professional placements are in the Higher Education sector, namely in Student Affairs Offices such as Student Life.

Build your experience in Student Affairs and Services by earning course credit through an internship to develop career ready skills with graduate level experience. Professional placements are in the Higher Education sector, namely in Student Affairs Offices such as Student Life.

This course offers a historically rooted examination of Black Studies as a radical intervention in the racialized politics of education. We examine educational organizing and activism by Black people in Canada within and beyond the university, the late 1960s-1970s movement for Black Studies in the United States, and issues related to the institutionalization of Black Studies programs. We ask: What are Black Studies in Canada? What do we want Black Studies in Canada to be and to do? Do all teachers and learners in Canada “need” Black Studies? How can Black Studies strengthen teacher education in Canada?

This course focuses on literary narratives of migration and exile in the work of authors such as Tahar Ben Jelloun and Laila Lalami, two contemporary and world-renowned, award-winning novelists from the Maghreb. The purpose of the course is to critically analyze issues of power, colonization, white privilege, and identities, among other things, as they arise in the narratives and lives of the characters in the novels. Novels are not meant as a substitute for philosophical, sociological, political or historical texts. However the novels we will be reading and discussing provide an excellent venue for many aspects of the humanities and social sciences to merge as we unpack and interrogate the conditions of the human predicament. There are many implications for education and schooling that arise from an anti-oppressive and post-colonial analysis of the narratives in the novels – primarily implications regarding constructions of ‘modernity’, ‘hospitality’, ‘inclusion’, ‘othering’, ‘alienation’, ‘subversion’, ‘resistance’ and the violations that arise in human lives from such constructions. The role of the ethics of subversion and resistance will be explored as a possible way of dealing with such violations that permeate current education and schooling.

This seminar explores particular conceptual, historical and socio-political issues associated with race and ethnicity in Africa. It examines various theoretical conceptions of race and ethnicity and interrogates their relevance and implications to the study of this social phenomenon in the African contexts. It assesses both the positive and negative aspects of race and ethnicity in post-colonial Africa. The content will include colonialism and neo-colonialism, the politicization of race and ethnicity, gender and education, mechanisms of conflict regulation, immigration and displacement, and projects of democratization. We will consider the possibility to anticipate future forms of racial and ethnic articulation that will help create peace and stability and foster development in Africa.

This course explores different ethical, moral, and philosophical foundations of the teachings of the Persian philosopher-poet Rumi. We will engages in a close reading of Rumi’s oeuvre and revisit our educational praxis through the conceptualization of ethical resistance. Specifically, through a critical analysis of Rumi’s stories and poetries as well as his Sufi roots, we engage with Rumi’s ‘philosophy of ecstasy’ as a form of epistemic disobedience. The course will provide a critical overview of how Eastern ways of knowing can inform social justice practices and provides depth and dimension to Rumi’s notion of School of Ishq (Love) and the Imaginal curriculum. Further, we will discuss how Rumi’s teachings inform ethical activism as we apply the philosopher-poet’s teachings to contemporary moral and ethical dilemmas in education.