EDUC 902: Contemporary Approaches to Education

This is the second of my courses for this term (Winter 2013): EDUC 902 Contemporary Approaches to Education with Kieran Egan (Kieran's website). (The other being CMNS 857 Philosophy of Technology.)

Each week we prepare notes from our readings to share during seminar. I'll share some of my reflections up here under the tag educ902.

About the Course

Contemporary educational theories and theories from supporting disciplines (e.g. psychology, sociology, philosophy) will be examined and analysed. The relationship among contemporary theories, current practice and educational change will be focal.


This course focuses on some of the major ideas promoting educational innovations and we will study the ideas themselves and the attempts to put them into practice. We will focus on the main competing ideas that seek to shape the curriculum and teaching practice—and look at their disciplinary backgrounds. We will read key texts that promote these ideas in a modern context, and then examine attempts to put them into practice, focusing in some detail on various websites. Our aim will be to clarify the basic ideas each proponent wishes to put into practice and then examine how adequately their implementation attempts match their ideas.

We will also consider the purposes and context of change, the sources of pressure for educational change, and the assumptions underlying current reform movements and recent curriculum innovation in schools. We will then consider the processes of initiation, implementation and continuation, and the factors that support or impede successful implementation. We will then examine the roles of the individuals involved in change at the local and regional level, and we will close with a consideration of the implications for the professional development of educators, and the organization of the public education system.


Gardner, H. The disciplined mind. New York: Penguin.
Hirsch, E.D. Cultural Literacy. New York: Vintage.
Egan, K. The Educated Mind. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Fullan, M. Change forces with a vengeance. New York: Routledge.


  1. [...] A reflection on Michael Fullan’s “Change Forces with a Vengeance” for EDUC 902. For more information, see this linked post. [...]

  2. [...] A reflection on E. D. Hirsch’s “Cultural Literacy” project for EDUC 902. For more information, see this linked post. [...]

  3. [...] A reflection on Howard Gardner’s “The Disciplined Mind” for EDUC 902. For more information, see this linked post. [...]

  4. [...] A reflection on Kieran Egan’s “The Educated Mind” for EDUC 902. For more information, see this linked post. [...]

  5. [...] A reflection on Shirley Brice Heath’s “Ways with Words” for EDUC 902. For more information, see this linked post. [...]

  6. [...] A final reflection on my write up for EDUC 902. For more information, see this linked post. [...]

  7. Great Article. Thank you for sharing! Really an awesome post for every one.

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