Graduate Academic Calendar Header

General Information

The “foundations of education” are three distinct scholarly traditions of practice – philosophy of education, history of education, and sociology of education – that inform education and conceptualize frameworks for education research. Sociologists of education study social phenomena such as racism and homophobia and how they exist in and are affected by formal and informal educational contexts. Historians of education research documents and artifacts of value to our understanding of past educational practices and their influence today. Philosophers of education analyse key educational concepts such as ‘teaching’ and ‘authority’ and make significant distinctions for educational policy-making and practice.

Our core course offerings in Foundations of Education are the GFDD courses described in the graduate calendar. (To do Foundations at the PhD level, consult webpage.) In our Master’s programs GFDD credit is also given for courses called “foundations designates.” These are courses designated from other graduate programs to support our suggested areas of study. View the list of Desginated Foundational Courses. Students may take a limited number of graduate courses from another Mount program or from another university if, in consultation with the Coordinator, this is deemed appropriate to their program.

Here are three suggested areas of study in Foundations, each built around core course offerings:

  • Philosophy, History & Sociology of Education: study all the foundations or specialize in one; learn how to use a method of inquiry for individual or collective practice.
  • Value, Bias & Social Justice: examine key themes, their socio-historical influence and value for decision-making in policy and practice.
  • Arts, Media & Culture: study the arts as historical, sociological, and philosophical projects in teaching, learning and research.

Please note that these areas of study are only suggestions of how you might concentrate your program. Our Program Coordinator will help you design a program plan. Once admitted, you will be assigned a faculty advisor for on-going consultation.

Periodically, Educational Foundations will offer a MEd cohort program (e.g. Feminist Leadership, Foundations of Leadership) in which a specific cohort of students takes a pre-designed program of courses over a two-year period including the summer session. The courses to be taken are all specified in advance and the students in the cohort take the program together. Typically, information sessions are advertised and held in March and the programs commence in September.

Admission RequirementsStudents admitted to the Master of Education or Master of Arts in Education programs will possess a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent and minimum average of B (GPA 3.0). Both MEd and MA candidates are required to write a short essay in which they outline their reasons for wanting to undertake graduate study in Educational Foundations. Academic referees should evaluate a student’s skill in writing, research and critical analysis. MA candidates should demonstrate advanced research and writing competencies. Candidates may be asked to submit samples of academic writing to verify adequate preparation for MA work.


Academic Note: This web-based calendar information is applicable for the 2024-2025 academic year which runs from September 01, 2024 to August 31, 2025.

For information on previous years, please consult the University Academic Calendars web page.

Copyright Mount Saint Vincent University. All Rights Reserved – Disclaimer