Doctorate of Philosophy in Education Studies

Please note: the information on this page is intended for students that started the Ph.D. program in fall 2014 or prior.

Our Doctorate of Philosophy in Education Studies challenges students to engage with foundational theories and focused areas of educational research. Through developing expertise in a specific field, candidates will also contribute to existing bodies of knowledge and extend the reach of research to influence theory, policy, and practice.

Areas of Faculty Research and Specialization

The Faculty of Education supports active research programs in four areas:

  • Applied Educational Psychology
  • Curriculum and Pedagogy
    • Applied Linguistics
    • Language and Literacy Education
    • Mathematics and Science Education
  • Equity and Inclusive Education
  • Leadership and Policy Studies in Education
    • Educational Leadership
    • Globalization and International Education

You will be asked to identify your one choice of research specialization on the on-line application.

Areas of research are established around a number of centers of specialization, research groups, and projects. Students admitted to the program will normally hold a Master's degree in an area or specialization congruent with, or subsumed within, one of these. Doctoral students are also encouraged to consider research projects that span more than one area.

Prospective students must secure a Supervisor before applying to the program. One of the criteria taken into account in the admissions process is the potential to work with a faculty member in the Faculty of Education who researches in a student's area of interest. Applicants are strongly advised to review the Faculty Research page and contact faculty members in their area of interest to confirm that this potential exists.

Faculty Members conducting research in the specialized areas:

  Applied Educational Psychology

Bob Sandieson Jacqueline Specht Alan Edmunds Perry Klein
Alan Leschied Peter Jaffe Elizabeth Nowicki Vicki Schwean
Susan Rodger Jason Brown    

Curriculum and Pedagogy - Applied Linguistics

Farahnaz Faez Julie Byrd Clark Shelley Taylor

Curriculum and Pedagogy - Language and Literacy Education

Rachel Heydon Roz Stooke Farahnaz Faez Perry Klein
Kathy Hibbert John Barnett Shelley Taylor Michael Kehler
Carol Beynon Julie Byrd Clark    

Curriculum and Pedagogy - Mathematics and Science Education

George Gadanidis Immaculate Namukasa Allan Pitman

Equity and Inclusive Education

Bob Sandieson Jacqueline Specht Rebecca Coulter Wayne Martino
Goli Rezai-Rashti Michael Kehler Susan Rodger Jason Brown
Jerry Paquette Shelley Taylor Brent Debassige Farahnaz Faez
Julie Byrd Clark Paul Tarc Aniko Varpalotai  

Leadership and Policy Studies in Education - Educational Leadership &

Derek Allison Katina Pollock Jerry Paquette
Greg Dickinson Pam Bishop  

Leadership and Policy Studies in Education& - Globalization and International Education

Marianne Larsen Goli Rezai-Rashti Paul Tarc
Wayne Martino Allan Pitman Rebecca Coulter

Degree Requirements

The PhD in Education Studies program is a full-time, onsite program which normally takes 4 years to complete. All candidates for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Education Studies will be required to complete successfully:

  • 2 Required Courses (one full course and one half course)
    • ED 9715 Ph.D. Seminar (full course)
    • One of the following research courses (half courses)
      • ED 9675 Mixed Research Methods
      • ED 9705 Quantitative Research Methods
      • ED 9711 Qualitative Research in Education
  • 3 Elective Courses (half courses)
  • 2 Milestones
    • ED 9789 Ph.D. Qualifying Examination
    • ED 9790 Ph.D. Thesis

Note:
ED 9622, 9678, or equivalents are prerequisites for ED 9675, ED 9705, and ED 9711. If not taken previously must be taken in place of one of the electives.

Students may take an additional research course in place of one elective

Typical Program of Study

Term Course/Milestone
Fall Year 1 ED 9715 Ph.D. Seminar
2 electives
Winter Year 1 ED 9715 Ph.D. Seminar (continued from Fall)
1 of:
  • ED 9675 Mixed Research Methods
  • ED 9705 Quantitative Research Methods
  • ED 9711 Qualitative Research in Education
1 Elective
Summer Year 1 ED 9789 Ph.D. Qualifying Examination (1-2 terms to complete)
Fall Year 2 ED 9789 Ph.D. Qualifying Examination (1-2 terms to complete)
Winter Year 2 ED 9790 Ph.D. Thesis
Thesis Proposal Presentation; submit Proposal and ethics, if applicable for approval
Summer Year 2 ED 9790 Ph.D. Thesis
Thesis Proposal Presentation; submit Proposal and ethics, if applicable for approval
Fall Year 3 ED 9790 Ph.D. Thesis
Winter Year 3 ED 9790 Ph.D. Thesis
Summer Year 3 ED 9790 Ph.D. Thesis
Fall Year 4 ED 9790 Ph.D. Thesis
Winter Year 4 ED 9790 Ph.D. Thesis
Summer Year 4 ED 9790 Ph.D. Thesis

Required Courses

Although students will have been introduced to educational theory and educational research from a particular perspective in their master's studies, during their doctoral studies they will be expected to acquire a more comprehensive understanding of how different theoretical perspectives and alternative approaches to research inform scholarship and practice in education. The required courses are designed to this, providing both breadth and depth. These courses are taught by members of faculty who bring a variety of perspectives and a range of expertise to the courses, and so engage students in the study of educational ideas, problems, and issues in ways that cross traditional boundaries in this field.

ED 9715 Ph.D. Seminar
Using an inter-disciplinary approach, this seminar will provide doctoral students with a background in a variety of theoretical and methodological frameworks that are relevant to the practice of educational research. Topics presented will reflect students’ research backgrounds and interests. The seminar will emphasize the connections between theory and method, and prepare students to develop methodological and theoretical frameworks for their own doctoral research. Through the seminar, we aim to prepare students to become reflexive members of a scholarly community through focused, intellectual discussion and inquiry, as well as through the development of specific skills such as the preparing conference proposals, submitting research grants and submitting writing for publication.
Pre-requisites: At least one graduate course in each of research methods and theories of education.
Anti-requisites: The former ED 9700 Theories of Education and ED 9701 Research in Education.
Full course; two terms.

Students are required to take at least ONE of the following research methodology courses.

Research Course Calendar Description
ED 9675 Mixed Research Methods This half course will examine what mixed methods are, examine the critical issues involved in using mixed methods, show how different research methods can be used in combination, provide examples for such analyses, identify the problems and advantages when using them, and provide practical guidelines for researchers when using mixed methodologies.
Prerequisites: ED 9622 or ED 9678 or equivalent
Half course; one term.
ED 9705 Quantitative Research Methods This course focuses on the design of quantitative research and the appropriate selection of quantitative research methods in educational research. Topics include reliability and validity; observational, correlational, and survey research; experimental and quasi-experimental methods; test construction; and critical analysis of published quantitative research. An introductory course in statistics is a pre-requisite or co-requisite for this course.
Half course; one term.
Pre-requisites: ED 9622 and/or ED 9678 or equivalent
ED 9711 Qualitative Research in Education An investigation of key philosophical and theoretical underpinnings of qualitative research and data analysis in education. Specific attention will be given to the significance of case study, ethnography, narrative inquiry, grounded theory methodology, discourse analysis, interviewing, and observational techniques.
Half course; one term.
Prerequisites: ED 9678, or ED 9622 or equivalent

Course Offerings in the Fields of Specialization

It is recommended that students choose their elective courses in consultation with their Supervisor. Courses in the fields of specialization are listed below.

Students are strongly encouraged to select elective courses from multiple fields of specialization.

For calendar descriptions of the courses listed below, please see the Course Descriptions page.

Not all courses are offered every year. Some courses are offered every other year. Please check the Timetables & Calendars page for course offerings.

Applied Educational Psychology

  • ED 9523 Developmental Psychology & Education
  • ED 9526 Psychology in Education: Issues, Theories & Practices
  • ED 9550 Ethics and Human Development
  • ED 9621 Introduction to Statistics in Education
  • ED 9622 Research Design in Education
  • ED 9629 Equity & Social Justice in Education
  • ED 9640 Safe Schools: Emerging Research, Policy and Practice for School Systems
  • ED 9641 Testing & Assessing Student Learning
  • ED 9652 Students with Autism, Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
  • ED 9657 Problems & Issues in Special Education
  • ED 9658 Psycho-educational Perspectives & Learning in the Gifted
  • ED 9660 Special Topics in Educational Psychology & Special Education: Learning Disabilities
  • ED 9660 Special Topics in Educational Psychology & Special Education: Behaviour

Curriculum and Pedagogy - Applied Linguistics

  • ED 9537 Multilingualism and Multiliteracies: Teaching Language and Literacy in a Globalized World
  • ED 9538 Minority Language Issues
  • ED 9588 First & Second Language Acquisition
  • ED 9625 Critical Issues in Language & Literacy Education

Curriculum and Pedagogy - Language and Literacy Education

  • ED 9535 Language and Literacy Curriculum, Pedagogy, and Learning in a Changing World
  • ED 9536 Multiliteracies: Texts and Contexts
  • ED 9537 Multilingualism and Multiliteracies: Teaching Language and Literacy in a Globalized World
  • ED 9557 Adolescent Literacy: Curriculum, Pedagogy, and Learning
  • ED 9576 Narrative Inquiry: Teachers, Stories & Critical Pedagogy
  • ED 9580 An Introduction to Curriculum
  • ED 9581 Writing, Reading & Representing Across the Curriculum
  • ED 9586 Early Literacy Curriculum, Pedagogy, and Learning
  • ED 9625 Critical Issues in Language & Literacy Education

Curriculum and Pedagogy - Mathematics and Science Education

  • ED 9520 Teaching in a Virtual World
  • ED 9564 Teaching & Learning in Mathematics
  • ED 9575 The Analysis of Teaching: Bridging Theory & Practice
  • ED 9621 Introduction to Statistics in Education

Equity and Inclusive Education

  • ED 9500 Power, Politics & Policy in Education: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives
  • ED 9508 Educators and the Law
  • ED 9538 Minority Language Issues
  • ED 9576 Narrative Inquiry: Teachers, Stories & Critical Pedagogy
  • ED 9577 Action Research: Teachers as Researchers
  • ED 9580 An Introduction to Curriculum
  • ED 9626 Gender Theories in Education: Implications for Policy, Pedagogy and Practice
  • ED 9628 Masculinity & Schooling: Images Constructed, Voices Interrupted
  • ED 9629 Equity & Social Justice in Education

Leadership and Policy Studies in Education - Educational Leadership

  • ED 9500 Power, Politics & Policy in Education: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives
  • ED 9501 Theories of Educational Administration
  • ED 9503 Education Finance for School Leaders
  • ED 9507 Graduate Seminar in Leadership
  • ED 9508 Educators and the Law
  • ED 9575 The Analysis of Teaching: Bridging Theory & Practice
  • ED 9623 Developmental Psychology & Education

Leadership and Policy Studies in Education - Globalization and International Education

  • ED 9500 Power, Politics & Policy in Education: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives
  • ED 9514 Comparative & International Education
  • ED 9537 Multilingualism and Multiliteracies: Teaching Language and Literacy in a Globalized World
  • ED 9600 Ontario Education Policy in a Global Context
  • ED 9617 Globalization & Educational Restructuring: The Dialectic of Global & Local
  • ED 9629 Equity & Social Justice in Education
  • ED 9688 Special Topics in Educational Policy Studies: Internationalizing Education: Agendas, Contexts, Pedagogies

Qualifying Examination

Students who started the program in Fall 2012 or later

Students may register for 9789 Ph.D. Qualifying Examination only after all required courses have been satisfactorily completed. Qualifying Papers must be completed in one term.

Students who started the program in Fall 2012 or later are required to satisfactorily complete one qualifying paper. The purpose of the paper is to allow students the opportunity to situate their chosen area of research in broad educational context. The paper serves as the Qualifying Examination.

Please refer to the Ph.D. Qualifying Examination Guide for details on the qualifying paper, registration, submission, formatting, and grading.

Students who started the program prior to Fall 2012

Students may register for 9789 Ph.D. Qualifying Examination only after all required courses have been satisfactorily completed. Qualifying Papers must be completed in one term.

Students who started the program prior to Fall 2012 are required to satisfactorily complete two qualifying papers. The purpose of the papers is to allow students the opportunity to situate their chosen area of research in the broad educational context. The papers serve as the Qualifying Examination.

Please refer to the Ph.D. Qualifying Examination Guide for details on the qualifying paper, registration, submission, formatting, and grading.

Thesis

Please note that ED 9790. Ph.D. Thesis is a milestone and not a course.

Below is a summary of the rules and process of the Ph.D. Thesis. Candidates must consult the Ph.D. Thesis Guide, Program Policies web page, and the School of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies' Thesis Regulation Guide for complete thesis guidelines and regulations.

Following successful completion of the qualifying examination and when the candidate is ready to begin work on the thesis, the Thesis Supervisor, at the candidate's request and after consulting with the faculty members concerned, will formally appoint a Thesis Supervisory Committee. The Committee will consist of a Chief Supervisor and at least two additional faculty members. The Chief Supervisor must be a member of the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies with Ph.D. supervisory status, as approved by the Credentials Committee of the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.

Within six months following successful completion of the qualifying papers, candidates must submit a written research proposal to their Thesis Supervisory Committee, and make an oral presentation to the Committee in which the research problem, theoretical framework and methodology are explained and satisfactorily defended. The presentation will be open to all members of Graduate Faculty and to all graduate students. The Committee must approve both the written proposal and the oral presentation before the candidate will be allowed to proceed.

The Thesis Supervisory Committee will be chosen prior to submission of the PhD Thesis Proposal.  When the Thesis Supervisory Committee is satisfied with a candidate's written proposal and the oral presentation made to the Committee, the student may submit the proposal for approval.

  1. If the proposal requires Ethical approval, the student submits the proposal, 4 copies of the Ethical Review form and signature "Form A" (found in the Graduate Programs Thesis Guide) to the Research Office for ethical approval. Once the Ethical Review has been approved The Research Office forwards the proposal to the Graduate Programs Office for approval by the Associate Dean.
  2. If the proposal does not require Ethical approval, the student submits the proposal and and signature "Form A" (found in the Graduate Programs Thesis Guide) to the Graduate Programs Office for approval.

Only after all approvals have been obtained may the candidate proceed with the research and the preparation of the thesis under the guidance and review of the Chief Supervisor and the Thesis Supervisory Committee.

When the thesis has been completed and approved by the Chief Supervisor and the Thesis Supervisory Committee, necessary arrangements will be made by the Dean of the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies for the examination of the thesis, and the oral examination will proceed in accordance with the appropriate University regulations.

The examination shall include a Public Lecture which will provide both a valuable means of disseminating research findings within the academic community, and an opportunity for all graduate students of education to participate in and contribute to the scholarly discourse of the university. In accordance with the appropriate regulations, the public lecture will be advertised in the University's Western News and on the University's web site, and be open to all members of the community. The School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies oral examination will normally follow within 24 hours of the lecture.

Program Planning

Every year in June or July, students are provided access to enter course and program choices for the following year (fall, winter and summer terms). Program Planning is a mandatory process done annually for planning purposes; students do not register for courses one term at a time. Program Planning instructions and related documents can be found on the Program Planning web page. Students will receive notification via email when Program Planning begins. Please consult with your Academic Advisor (or Thesis Supervisor if your course work is complete) in regards to your course and program choices.