The early years of a child's life are critical years that play a major role in determining the child's developmental trajectory throughout life. A significant body of research literature has documented the importance of early childhood education and the difference that quality early childhood education makes in these early formative years. The Faculty of Education at UBC is fortunate to have a number of faculty members whose research and professional interests focus on children from birth to age 8. The strength of this group is in its breadth across disciplinary areas, the variety and the high calibre of its research, and its commitment to professional development. As a collective, this group represents a significant strength within the Faculty of Education that attracts outstanding students, new faculty, and research funding.
The Masters of Education (MEd) is a course-based degree; while the MEd also includes research courses, its focus is primarily on knowledge of professional practice. Students may choose from either the course-only option or courses plus ECED 590 (3 credits), which is recognized as a capstone experience by the British Columbia Teacher Qualification Service (TQS).
The Master of Arts (MA) in Early Childhood Education is a research-oriented degree, requiring the completion of a Master's Thesis. As such, it is the preferred route for individuals planning to pursue a doctoral degree after the Masters.
Graduate programs in UBC's Early Childhood Education program are designed for educators and child care professionals who wish to explore issues in early childhood research, theory, and practice. The MA in Early Childhood Education program is an interdisciplinary, faculty-wide program that consists of core courses in early childhood education (ECED) and related courses in other Faculty of Education departments. Key areas of focus include: theorizing early childhood and early childhood education, research and research methodologies, issues in early childhood curriculum, instruction, assessment and evaluation, and cross-departmental inquiries in early childhood education.
While the majority of students in the MA or MEd are teaching professionals, this program is also appropriate for individuals in other professions related to early childhood education and care, such as child and youth care, nursing, psychology, and social work.
Students may also aspire to pursue administrative or leadership roles in the education sector, as well as higher coordination/directorship positions in public offices and NGOs.
Many students have gone on to pursue doctoral studies in the field of Early Childhood Education in other departments at the Faculty of Education and elsewhere.
The MA and MEd degree concentration in Society, Culture and Politics in Education (SCPE) addresses the history of education, sociology of education, politics of education, philosophy of education, and cultural aspects of education.
We define education very broadly to include formal school contexts, as well as non-formal education and informal learning at all levels and life stages. The SCPE concentration examines the meaning and outcomes of critical theories of education, policies, and practices for public life in Canada and across the world. As scholars working within and across many disciplines, we view education as a central field within the arts, social sciences, and humanities.
Students and faculty associated with the SCPE concentration share interests in the part played by education in developing socially, ecologically, politically and culturally just societies.
The SCPE MEd is a 30-credit program that is primarily course based. The focus of the M.Ed. program is inquiry into educational practice, and students applying to this program should have an interest in connecting their coursework to educational practice. Examples of educational practice include (but are not limited to) K-12 teaching, community education, outdoor education, art education, educational practice as part of international development, and facilitation practice.
Educational Studies does something that’s quite unique: it focuses on education as a political, social, and cultural phenomenon. We have a strong group of scholars from a variety of disciplines who broaden the aperture on what education means to, and in, different communities.
The Adult Learning and Education (ALE) program is the oldest graduate adult education program in Canada with historical roots in traditions of social welfare, community development and extension education. ALE is concerned with the development of scholars and practitioners who will shape society in ways that promote lifelong learning for all. Our ALE program challenges students to understand the diverse contexts in which adult learning occurs and their role in these from a wide variety of theoretical, conceptual and philosophical perspectives.
The mission of the Adult Learning and Education graduate program at UBC is to contribute to the creation, elaboration, exchange and application of knowledge concerning the education and learning of adults in diverse contexts. This includes the development of scholars and reflective practitioners who will shape society and its institutions in ways that promote lifelong education and learning for all in critical ways.
“Education is life — not a mere preparation for an unknown kind of future living. . . The whole of life is learning; therefore, education can have no ending. This new venture is called adult education — not because it is confined to adults but because adulthood, maturity defines its limits. – Lindeman, E. (1926). The Meaning of Adult Education. New York: New Republic
We welcome students from a wide variety of backgrounds and diverse sites of practice including: community development, higher education, adult basic education, ESL, social movements, business, and international development. Students bring diverse interests in how adult learning and education contributes to many areas of concern including: health education, gender and women’s learning, social activism, online learning, workplace learning, intercultural and multicultural issues, anti-oppression, program planning, adult literacy, English as an Additional Language, environmentalism, and internationalization.
The Higher Education Program (HIED) at UBC focuses on the study of all facets of institutions of higher learning. The multifaceted, interdisciplinary program draws on aspects of history, philosophy, sociology, economics, political science, psychology, sociology, law, and administrative studies. The program addresses several core themes:
Our mission is to inspire, engage and provoke educators to understand, inquire into, and model curricular and pedagogical possibilities of deep involvement with the visual arts in culture and society. Within a large research orientated university situated on traditional Musqueam land, the Art Education Program strives to:
The research interests of faculty in Art Education are diverse. They encourage a wide spectrum of student inquiry: art based research, a/r/tography, art curriculum, early childhood, teacher education, First Nations art and education, histories of art education, multiculturalism, museum and gallery education, perception and cognition, studio practices, technology and visual culture, theory/practice relationships, and gender studies.
The University of British Columbia Art Education Program ranks in the top eight in North America and is one of two PhD programs in Canada.
Our programs in Literacy Education engage teachers and other professional educators in the study of rich language and literacy practices from early childhood through adolescence and adulthood. Literacy studies have expanded dramatically in recent years and our internationally known Faculty draw on many disciplines that inform the study of language and literacy education, including cognitive, linguistic, anthropological, cultural, literary, critical and post-structural perspectives.
The graduate program in Literacy Education (LITR) in the Department of Language and Literacy Education offers opportunities to study in the areas of English Education, Drama Education and Reading from cognitive, social, cultural, and poststructuralist perspectives. Research areas within the program include: child language development in education, composition (writing); early, intermediate, adolescent and adult literacy; family literacy; children's and young adult literature; Aboriginal literacy; teacher librarianship; and arts-based and multimodal approaches to literacy learning.
The MA/MEd in Science Education offers a wide range of opportunities to pursue interests in STEM Education with the emphasis on science education. The program is ideal for those seeking leadership roles in order to make a difference in teacher education; learning and teaching at the elementary, secondary, and post-secondary levels; industry; teaching and research institutions; government and private sectors; museums; outdoor settings and other science-based organizations. The degree prepares graduates to pursue doctoral studies.
The program’s philosophy is that advances in educational theory influence practice to improve the quality of education. Educators are empowered by research collaboration across disciplines, countries, and contexts. Accordingly, this program values diverse expertise, experience, research collaborations, mentorship, and innovative ideas. Through individual and collective research, graduate students will develop and enhance their knowledge, theoretical understandings, and practice of Science Education. Graduate students will be mentored by experienced faculty members to conduct independent research studies driven by their own interests and contemporary issues and problems in the field.
The Program will prepare graduates to advance the quality of education at their institutions and is offered on-line with on-campus options to accommodate working professionals in British Columbia and worldwide.
We offer specialized, individualized and interdisciplinary graduate programs in French immersion, French as a Second or Foreign Language [FSL, FFL], Asia-Pacific and the other modern languages education. These programs involve study in second language curriculum, assessment, second language acquisition, bilingualism and intercultural education.
The MEd degree is a course-based degree (no thesis required) whereas the MA degree is research-based.
Recent thesis topics include teaching, instruction, acquisition, curriculum development, evaluation, language planning, interlanguage pragmatics, sociolinguistic and other applied linguistic approaches to modern languages education as well as post-structural, critical theory and feminist approaches to Asia-Pacific literature. Autonomous learning, multi-media, distance education, language acquisition, the role of the L1 and L2 in teaching, and the study of language loss are additional recent thesis topics.
Although there are formal course requirements for the advanced degrees, students in the graduate programs are encouraged, with the aim of individualizing each program of studies, to take graduate courses in the Departments of Anthropology/Sociology, Psychology, and Linguistics in the Faculty of Arts, as well as in the Departments of Educational Studies, Curriculum and Instruction, Administrative Education, and Educational Psychology in the Faculty of Education. In this way, each program is individually tailored to suit students' talents and interests.
UBC graduate programs in Music Education are designed to meet a variety of needs and interests, including those of the busy professional teacher, the researcher, the administrator, the curriculum developer, and the future university professor. Specializations include conducting, music pedagogy, early childhood music, curriculum development, cultural studies, music and media studies, music and related technologies, and teacher education.
Music Education faculty members have a wide range of research interests and specialties, using methods that are both qualitative (based in philosophy, history, psychology, sociology, arts-based educational research, and a/r/tography) and quantitative (involving quasi-experimental research, survey research, and large-scale multivariate designs). Courses across the university are also available to our graduate students, and cross-faculty inquiry is actively encouraged.
UBC Music Education graduates have successful careers and have risen to leadership positions in North America, Europe, and Asia.
The Physical Education program will appeal to elementary, middle, and secondary school educators with interests in: integrated and thematic approaches to curriculum and pedagogy; development and evaluation of outdoor environmental, leadership or experiential education programs; active living, health promotion and wellness; movement education concepts; teaching games for understanding; inclusive models of education and issues of equity and social justice.
The Special Education program at UBC concerns the education of students with exceptionalities, such as students with visual impairments, developmental disabilities, emotional or behavioural disorders, learning disabilities, gifts and talents, and those who are deaf or hard of hearing. Faculty are committed to promoting practices that facilitate inclusion, empowerment, and self-determination of individuals with disabilities and other special needs in home, school, and community settings.
Technology Studies Education provides a forum for exploring and studying information and communication technologies (ICT), new media, and the philosophy of technology. Curriculum, pedagogy, research, and development interests of faculty and students include affective computing, cyberculture and cyborg relations, digital ecology and diversity, distributed cognition, gaming, ICT integration in K–16 formal and informal learning environments (face-to-face, hybrid, and online distance education), intellectual property, open source, and cultural studies. The program offers a common core of courses, a range of electives, and a variety of professional education opportunities.
Graduate studies in Home Economics Education is a small but very lively program. Over the years Home Economics faculty have worked closely in areas of shared interest in research and practice with colleagues throughout the Faculty of Education and related units across campus. Interests include global education, critical inquiry, food, health, environment, and inquiry into practice.
The graduate programs (MEd & MA) in Mathematics Education are part or the graduate offerings in the Department of Curriculum and Pedagogy. Students can pursue a wide variety of research and professional interests in mathematics teaching and learning. The math education program has a legacy of large-scale research projects, such as the Early Numeracy Project and the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMMS), which involve a network of regional, national, and international scholars.
The MA program in Educational Studies is a department-wide thesis based program that can be completed full-time over a two year period or part-time over a longer period.
MA students can focus their studies in one of four MA concentrations:
MA students may also enroll in a general concentration.
The EDST MA is for students who are interested in learning and writing education research or in becoming educational researchers. The program also prepares students for continuing doctoral work in education (PhD and EdD), should they wish to pursue this option.
A MEd degree can be completed full-time over a one year period or over a longer period for part-time students, and is excellent preparation for professional practice.
MEd students enrol in one of the following programs:
In addition, it is possible to follow a Ts"Kel concentration in the ALE, EDAL, HIED, or SCPE programs, or to enroll in an MEd in Educational Studies cohort with a concentration in Education for Sustainability. We also offer an MEd in Curriculum and Leadership (CULE) which is collaborative program between the Educational Administration and Leadership Program (EDAL) and the Department of Curriculum and Pedagogy (EDCP).