The Graduate Diploma in Education (GDE) addresses the inquiry skills fundamental to quality professional thinking and action and is part of the Faculty of Education’s laddered-credential online program. Specifically, the GDE curriculum is designed to improve professional problem solving and decision-making processes at the individual, team, program, classroom and organizational levels. Currently in Education, as in other professions, there is an emphasis on evidence-informed decision making. Inquiry practices are the processes used to guide such an approach. Students will be required to draw from their professional experience to engage with the research literature in their area of concentration.
Admission requirements for students entering the diploma program are consistent with those set by the School of Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs and will include:
- A baccalaureate degree from a recognized university
- Graduation with a B- graduating average or higher (70% graduating average or a ranking in the top third of the graduating class where number grades are not available)
- Under exceptional circumstances, consideration will be given to highly motivated individuals with relevant field experience who do not meet the B- requirement
- A statement of interest in the program will be required in order to ensure alignment of the applicant’s academic background, work experience, and career aspirations with the objectives of the program.
- Applicants whose native languages do not include English must obtain a passing score in one of the accepted tests of English language proficiency. Information can be found in the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs here: International Students.
Areas of Concentration
Students will choose from one of the following concentrations:
Indigenous Education: The Indigenous Education concentration will focus on (a) Ways of Knowing: Indigenous Leadership and Knowledge in the Classroom (b) Policy and Models in Canadian Indigenous Education, and (c) Indigenous Languages and Language Teaching. As a set these themes examine approaches to education, leadership, and knowledge from the perspective of culture-based education; the policies that have and continue to shape Indigenous education in Canada; and, the diversity and current status of the Indigenous Languages of the Americas. Understanding how a cultural lens contributes to an individual’s ‘coming to know’ is a relevant for teachers and leaders working in every school system and multi-cultural organization. In support of their learning, all of these themes will be offered as electives for students enrolled in other concentrations.
Assessment and Evaluation: The practices of assessment and evaluation lead to judgments about performance that ultimately inform decision-making. In assessment, these judgments are typically about learning and achievement; in evaluation they focus on program merit, worth, significance and value. As a set, the themes structuring this concentration target three different contexts in which data must be collected, analyzed and acted upon. The focus across themes is how to optimize the accuracy, adequacy, and utility of these judgements and subsequent decisions. This concentration will focus on (a) Planning and Implementing Effective Classroom Assessment, (b) Using Classroom and Large-Scale Assessment Data, and (c) Conducting Quality Program Evaluations. Given the relevance of assessment and evaluation across school and organizational contexts, all of these themes will be offered as electives for students enrolled in other concentrations.
Classroom Specialist: Classroom specialists focus their attention on the decisions that foster quality teaching and learning processes. They assume that their own decisions about how, when, and where to learn, in large part, shape the meaning students take from planned educational experiences. This concentration will focus on (a) Innovative Curriculum Planning, (b) The Connected Classroom, and (c) Supporting Innovative Thinking. As a set, these themes invite classroom teachers to reflect on their own practices and be proactive in continuously improving the frameworks, contexts and outcomes for learning. Given that each theme is relevant to teachers of all subjects and grade levels, all of these themes will be offered as electives for students enrolled in other concentrations.
Literacy Education: Literacy in its broadest sense is the foundation for learning. Literacy allows us to acquire and exchange knowledge and to make sense of and communicate our experiences and is thus at the heart of formal schooling. This concentration will examine three important dimensions of literacy (a) Theoretical and Historical Foundations, (b) Literacy Development, and (c) Effective Intervention. As a set, these themes invite classroom teachers to examine perspectives on how learners become literate, the complex mental functioning required for literacy and how teachers can target and support the development of these functions. Because literacy underpins achievement across the curriculum and needs to be reinforced, at least informally, by all teachers, all of these themes will be offered as electives for students enrolled in other concentrations.
Global Education: Global Education students take an in-depth look at the community and climate of international education. Students completing this specialization gain a greater appreciation for the many voices and stakeholders at play when education attempts to meet the needs of a global community. Students will examine: (a) Creating Connection in Culturally Diverse Schools, (b) International Education in a Globalized World, and (c) The Business of International Education. As a set, these themes invite current or prospective overseas leaders and educators to understand and participate in the spectrum of learning opportunities available to them from their unique standpoint. All of these themes will be offered as electives for students enrolled in other concentrations.
Educational Administration: In the Educational Administration concentration, students explore change management in educational organizations and the impacts of funding models, policy, and politics on educational administrators and stakeholders. Students completing this specialization develop an appreciation for evidence-informed administrative decision-making that supports student, institution, and community success and well-being. Students will examine: (a) Change Management in Educational Organizations, (b) Preparing and Organizing Schools for Instruction, and (c) Political Implications for Administration. All of these themes will be offered as electives for students enrolled in other concentrations.