Developing Educational Programs and Practices in Diverse Educational Settings – Spring 2015

New educational programs and practices are continually being introduced into schools and into community-based educational settings and other non-traditional settings. Yet, often there is little thought given to the effectiveness of these programs or practices, or whether there is a strong theoretical base for their development or implementation. Do these programs or practices operate from pedagogically sound principles? Are the programs supported by research? What are the values that are communicated? Have the program developers considered the diversity of their audiences? Does the curriculum developed match the intended goals? What about the informal curriculum and modelling? What about implementation strategies? Is stakeholder involvement important? Where does formative or summative evaluation fit in?

These are just some of the questions we will address in this course, as we critically examine the theory and practice of educational program development and practices in diverse settings. After examining foundational principles of program development, we will turn our attention to programs and practices related to the theme of this cohort – contemplative approaches and perspectives in education.

The course is designed around three parts:

  1. Developing an understanding of some of the key principles involved in effective educational program development;
  2. Applying these principles to an analysis of selected educational programs/practices;
  3. Applying these principles to the development of one’s own educational program or practices.

The following are some of the topics addressed in the course:

  • The importance of philosophy, vision and values
  • The role of the educational leader
  • Research as it informs practice
  • Diverse settings and diverse learners
  • Pedagogical considerations
  • Collaboration and stakeholder involvement
  • The informal or hidden curriculum
  • Care, compassions and modelling
  • Our “humanness” and our needs
  • Emotional and spiritual engagement
  • Meditative/contemplative traditions and practices (e.g. Christian traditions)

Instructor: Dr. Wanda Cassidy

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