Field of Equity, Diversity, and Social Justice

MPEd | Field of Equity, Diversity, and Social Justice

This program is designed to build both professional knowledge and expertise, and to encourage leadership, in equity and diversity education. The courses that are offered in this program equip professionals to build a deeper understanding of major equity concerns in education. The focus of the program is on building capacities for critical reflection, particularly in terms of infusing equity into everyday practices in education and policy contexts.


Case studies are used across all courses as a basis for supporting practice-based and critical reflective inquiry into infusing equity in education. Participants will be required to undertake a professional learning project in which they are encouraged to reflect on the application of fundamental principles of equity and social justice to their specific professional contexts.

Important Note

The successful completion of a Master of Professional degree does not lead to certification with the Ontario College of Teachers (OCT).


The objective of this MPEd program is to provide in-depth, graduate level courses to educational professionals who will be competent in identifying and responding to complex problems in teaching students with exceptionalities. It is appropriate for classroom teachers, special education teachers, and educational administrators. The program will do the following:

  • Support the professional learning of educators who can construct and apply knowledge to make a positive difference in the lives of individuals, families, organizations, and communities;
  • Provide opportunities for candidates to develop and demonstrate collaboration, communication skills, and leadership skills to work with diverse professionals and communities and to build partnerships;
  • Provide field-based opportunities to analyze problems of practice and use multiple frames to develop meaningful responses;
  • Draw on and develop a critically reflective professional knowledge base that integrates both practical and research knowledge and that links theory with systemic and systematic inquiry; and,
  • Emphasize the generation, transformation, and use of critically reflective professional knowledge and practice.


The MPEd is designated as a full-time program. Full-time status requires that students complete four half-courses in one year. MPEd students will complete one course a time (i.e. one course in the fall, winter, intersession, summer sessions) for two years. Full-time students have access to all Western student services. See SGPS for details.

This program of study is a course-based cohort model. Approximately 20 students will be admitted to each cohort. This cohort structure will provide ongoing support within the course work, enabling students to develop a professional community of practice. To ensure the integrity of the cohort model, continuous enrollment is required, and will necessitate that students complete all the required courses within the timeframe stipulated.


Course Summary

Year 1 Fall : ED 9440A Introduction to Equity and Social Justice Education

This course is intended to provide a broad overview of major equity and social justice issues that practitioners encounter in their everyday practice. Major equity concerns related to race, Aboriginality, ethnicity, culture, gender, sexuality, social class and poverty are identified and specific frameworks for thinking about and making sense of equity and social justice in education are provided.

Year 1 Winter: ED 9443B Anti-Poverty Education

This course is designed to offer important insights into the significant impact of poverty on access and achievement in education. It also focuses more broadly on issues of social class and economic inequality. A framework for understanding economic inequality and class privilege is provided, with implications for teaching and learning. Participants will become familiar with organizations and programs committed to providing support for economically disadvantaged populations. There will be opportunities for students to learn more about partnerships with community organizations which are active in the provision of anti-poverty initiatives.

Year 1 Intersession: ED 9441L Gender Equity in Education

This course provides insights into recent developments in gender equity and education as they relate to professional practice. The course will deal with some of the topical and current issues related to gender equity such as those pertaining to issues of both masculinity and femininity in education, student achievement, gender-based harassment and bullying, gendered division of labour, role modelling in education. Attention will be given to both policy and practice, specifically in relation to reflecting on how to address gender inequities in education.

Year 1 Summer - Summer Session: ED 9442L Aboriginal Education: Implications for social justice education

This course examines Indigenous ways of knowing and knowledge systems and how these perspectives and frameworks inform equity infused approaches to teaching and learning in educational contexts. The focus will be on decolonizing approaches and alliance building (or the roles of allies), as well as on the need to build a deeper understanding of historical accounts of colonization and their implications.

Year 2 Fall: ED 9446A Sexual Diversity and Transgender Equality in Education

This course introduces participants to important approaches to addressing anti-homophobia education. It also provides important insights into transgender issues and gender non-conformity and how these impact on practitioners’ knowledge and understanding of gender diversity in education contexts. It encourages practitioners to reflect on their own assumptions and biases about gender and sexuality through a case study approach involving both the specific needs of sexual minority and transgender individuals.

Year 2 Winter : ED 9445B Race, Ethnicity and Education

This course deals with building a deeper knowledge about multicultural and anti-racism approaches in education. It focuses on a range of topics including, addressing race, cultural and religious diversity. It will provide a framework for dealing with discrimination on the basis of racial, ethnic, and cultural differences. Indigenous issues in education will also be addressed. Attention will be on promoting critical reflective practice at both individual and institutional levels.

Year 2 Summer - Intersession: ED 9444L Researching Equity Issues

This course introduces students to a 'reflective practitioner' approach to conducting equity focused research in professional settings. It provides them with methods and tools of analysis for enhancing their own professional learning and for examining equity issues in their own professional contexts.

Year 2 Summer: ED 9447L Capstone Project: Infusing Equity

The Capstone Project is a student’s culminating experience in the Equity, Diversity and Social Justice Program. Students will choose a specific topic that is relevant to their professional interests and develop a research project that would involve sustained reflection on addressing equity concerns in their practice. The main goal of the capstone project is to encourage students to take the acquired knowledge gained in the program and apply critical and reflective skills to address equity concerns in their professional contexts.

Faculty Research

Faculty Program Coordinators

Wayne MartinoView Profile

Goli Rezai-RashtiView Profile



  • A four-year degree (20 full courses or equivalent) from an accredited university.
  • Minimum "B" standing (70%) or equivalent in the final two years of study.

Notes & Exceptions:

  • Bachelor of Education and Additional Qualification course grades are not used in calculating admission averages.
  • Applicants with 3-year degrees will be considered on a case-by-case basis if seats are available in programs. Successful experience as an educator in a professional setting may be considered in the selection process.
  • Probationary Status: If an applicant does not meet all of the minimum admission requirements (e.g. average below 70% and/or has only a 3-year degree plus B.Ed.) the applicant may be offered admission as a Probationary Student with Conditions.
  • Conditions: Applicants will be required to maintain a 75% average in each of these courses to clear conditions.
  • The successful completion of an MPEd degree does not lead to certification with the Ontario College of Teachers (OCT).


Tuition amounts are set each year by Senate and then published on the Office of the Registrar's Fees Schedules web page. Fees are assessed once each term (Fall, Winter, Summer).

Current students can access fee information by logging into the Student Centre (use your Western email log in and password). Students are notified each term once fee amounts have been posted in the Student Centre; it is each student's responsibility to log into the Student Centre and pay fees by the due date indicated. Failure to do so may result in a late payment fee or deregistration.

For questions about fees, including how to pay fees and the methods of payment that are accepted, students should go to the Student Financial Services pages of the Office of the Registrar's website or contact Student Financial Services (Office of the Registrar) at 519-661-2100.


The Faculty of Education recognizes the financial commitment required to pursue professional graduate studies.

As the majority of our programs are fully online, we offer students flexible learning that allows them to fund their education by remaining in their current employment. Some employers offer subsidization or time release opportunities for the professional learning of their employees. As a result, internal funding is not available for these programs.

There are also many external funding opportunities for competitive candidates in our professional programs. Download this PDF file for an additional list of over 30 external awards (see more information below). Also, visit online sites that contain numerous award opportunities.

Please note that students must apply for these awards individually. Read the qualifications carefully, and contact the award provider for more criteria and award information. Some application support is available from the Research Office for research-based awards only.

Many private financial institutions offer financing options (with particular rates and payment plans) to full-time students. Please contact a representative of your preferred financial institution for more information.

Provincial governments offer a variety of loan programs to help students finance their studies. Ontario residents may be eligible to apply for OSAP.

The Government of Canada's CanLearn website provides a listing of contact information for the offices of all government student financial assistance programs. Please visit CanLearn to find your province or territory listing. The Government of Canada implemented the Lifelong Learning Plan (LLP) to encourage higher education and training. The LLP allows you to withdraw up to $10,000 a year from your registered retirement savings plan (RRSPs) to finance training or education for you or your spouse or common-law partner. For further information on this plan, visit the government's website at


Fully online and hybrid professional programs will provide students with asynchronous and synchronous learning opportunities.

Online and onsite courses are available via the Sakai OWL platform, although instructors may use other online/digital tools as well. Access to a course in Sakai OWL is typically opened the first business day of each term. Please note that although your own access may be granted prior to the first business day, course content may not be posted until closer to the scheduled term start. A Western University login and password is required to access the course (Western email without the and its accompanying password). Access to Sakai OWL is found here:

For online courses, students are required to have access to the following:

  • High speed Internet access
  • Access to a computer that enables connection to outside websites (flexible firewall restrictions)
  • Multimedia playback capabilities (video/audio using Adobe Flash Media Player v11 or higher, as an example)
  • WebCam (in classes where synchronous learning will be used)
  • Computer capable of running a recent version of Internet Explorer, Safari, or Firefox; and/or Cisco MOVI client for PC or Mac
  • Audio headset and microphone for computer(in classes where synchronous learning will be used)