Masters of Education

Curriculum & Instruction: Contemplative Inquiry and Approaches in Education M.Ed.

September 10, 2019 - 0 Comments
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10/09/2019 - 15/07/2021
4:30 pm

Simon Fraser University, Downtown Campus


Dear Readers of Avraham Cohen’s website:

Since you read Avraham’s writings in his website, I thought you may be interested, or know people who might be interested, in a graduate program that is designed to support folks to inquire deeply into ‘what really matters’ in life in an academic setting through a process of intellectually vigorous and collectively supportive learning engagement. Transformational education is the learning paradigm within which our program is conducted. Please see the attached program brochure. This program is designed for working professionals and otherwise busy people like us!

Best wishes, Heesoon

Curriculum & Instruction: Contemplative Inquiry and Approaches in Education M.Ed.

This program is designed to fill the growing hunger for contemplative perspectives, practices, and ways of being in our educational institutions, communities, and world at large:

  • Develop a mindful disposition that contributes to excellence in all professional and personal life practices;
  • Cultivate resilient, sustainable, and thriving selves in an age of distraction and anxiety;
  • Grow contemplative-holistic capacity through integration of cognitive, emotional, motivational, and somatic aspects of us;
  • Learn within a robust, broad, deep and coherent conceptual framework that builds on the knowledge, wisdom, and understandings developed so far in the contemplative education field;
  • Learn from and work with leading scholars in the field.

Ideally Suited For

Educators, leaders, service-providers and decision-makers in all professional settings who are seeking deeper levels of inquiry and personal transformation, and also who wish to apply contemplative theory and practices in their respective institutions. Program details and application information can be found here:

Program Format

The Master of Education (MEd) program is designed for working professionals. This two-year degree program offers the opportunity to obtain a high-quality Master’s degree in your local community.

  • Cohort-based model allows you to work through the program courses together (18-24 students).
  • Focus of improvement of practice through study of educational theory, philosophy and practice.
  • Seven 5-unit courses over six terms.
  • Classes every second or third week on Friday evenings and Saturdays at the program location.

Details of the Contemplative Inquiry Master of Education (M.Ed.) Program

In an era in which conventional wisdom is being rapidly upended, institutional authority is increasingly questioned, and the social contract is gravely threatened, professionals in all fields are summoned to respond with discernment, compassion, vision, and skillful practicality.  It therefore behooves us educators in higher education, expecting such enlightened leadership, to provide education to professionals as they navigate through challenging, untraveled terrain. We cannot expect worthwhile ends without well-crafted means.

Our Master’s program in Contemplative Inquiry is about building the foundational capacity for exemplary professional conduct; leadership infused with wisdom, discernment, focus, and perspective; and inquiry that has depth and is holistically grounded in all parts of our being. What is this foundational capacity and how is it built? The short but precise answer: contemplative disposition and practice.

A longer answer: from contemporary neurobiological and psychological research literature, from advances in educational theory, research, and practice, as well as from studies in leadership and organizational management, evidence is clear that, for us to do our work well, meaningfully, effectively, and without succumbing to debilitating stress, it is crucial to have the capacity to stay centered, balanced, grounded, attuned to self and others, and capable of wise decision-making.  Today’s professionals must have not only technical competence, but also relational skills. As well, they must have a deep and enduring capacity for vulnerability and compassion, and the capacity to not only be in the thick of things but also to “go to the balcony” and take in the broader perspective, integrating that knowledge into nurturing body, mind, and spirit.

Our Master’s program in Contemplative Inquiry builds such capacity through dialogic cohort community building, individual and collective cultivation of contemplative dispositions and skills, and enactment-based knowledge building in educational subject matters ranging over curriculum design, pedagogy, educational programming, assessment, leadership, embodiment, indigenous knowledge, arts-based inquiry, and social and moral philosophy/ethics. Our program is taught by instructors who themselves are ongoing learners and practitioners of various forms of contemplative inquiry and practice, and we endeavor to model what we espouse.

Program Courses

 EDUC 833-5    Social and Moral Philosophy in Education A study of the ethical foundations of education. Areas in education where ethical questions arise are identified and elucidated, including the field of contemplative inquiry.

EDUC 816-5    Developing Educational Programs and Practices for Diverse Educational Settings Investigates theories and issues associated with developing educational programs and practices in various educational contexts. Addresses development of new programs and their implementation in schools and other educational settings.

EDUC 843-5    Embodiment & Curriculum Inquiry We explore embodiment, the body as a site for knowledge, and its relationship to contemporary curriculum inquiry with specific emphasis on the area of performative and narrative inquiry and arts education. We explore philosophical, contemplative, and  literary/poetic perspectives.

EDUC 823-5    Curriculum & Instruction in an Individual Teaching Specialty An examination of developments in a curriculum area selected by the student. The course will deal with major philosophical and historical factors that influence the present state and future directions of curriculum and instruction.

EDUC 820-5    Current Issues in Curriculum & Pedagogy Focuses on educational theories and research, issues, trends and practices which impact teaching and learning in educational settings. As in all the courses, the instructors bring a contemplative perspective to the course material.

EDUC 904-5    Fieldwork III The Faculty Sponsor will provide further information regarding the Fieldwork course. This is usually paired with the EDUC 883 course. It includes a portfolio that is developed through the entire program.

EDUC 883-5    MEd Comprehensive Examination This is a portfolio-based examination. During the entire program, students will create and develop a portfolio (digital and/or non-digital) that serves both as a reflective space and an opportunity to integrate their learning. The comprehensive examination consists of a presentation of that material for faculty and fellow students. The examination is graded on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis.

Program Faculty

Heesoon Bai

 Following Raimon Panikkar’s (1918-2010) lead, I understand philosophy’s task for today’s troubled world to be “to know, to love, and to heal.” I bring this three-fold task of philosophy into my teaching and research. In my work I call for reanimation of our selves within all spheres of human beingness in the service of living ethically and in beauty. Ethics and aesthetics are one. Through contemplative inquiry and practices, I offer ways to experiment with replenishing, nourishing, and animating our being.

Laurie Anderson

Dr. Anderson is the Executive Director of Simon Fraser University, Vancouver. Laurie is also the co-developer of SFU’s popular Masters in Contemplative Inquiry and Approaches to Education. Before coming to SFU, Laurie spent 30 years in the public education system, as a teacher, principal, Director of Curriculum, Associate Superintendent and Interim Superintendent of Schools for the Vancouver Board of Education.

Vicki Kelly

My areas of teaching focus are: Indigenous Education, Art Education, Ecological Education and Health Education; more specifically: Indigenous knowledges, literacies, and cultures; Indigenous pedagogies or aesthetic and Indigenous ways of knowing; holistic learning as well as integrative art practices and art therapy; spirituality and contemplative inquiry; teacher education and teacher inquiry.

Wanda Cassidy

My scholarship and cross-disciplinary research focuses on three main areas:

Legal literacy of youth; cyberbullying at K-12 and university, including ways to foster cyber-kindness; ethics of care as understood and enacted in schools, with particular attention to engaging marginalized or vulnerable populations. A primary aim of my research is to impact policy and practice in schools and post-secondary institutions through a program of research, teaching, curriculum development, and community-based initiatives schools.

Kumari Beck

My primary area of research is internationalization of higher education; my research interests span international education, internationalization of curriculum, social education, anti-racist and multicultural education, globalization, postcolonial theory, pedagogy in post-secondary institutions, and the ethics of care. The courses I teach reflect these diverse and inter-related interests, including : contemporary issues in curriculum and how they shape contemplative inquiry and social justice

Celeste Snowber

 My research has been dedicated to bringing the body to ways of knowing and learning in relationship to researching, writing, creating and teaching. As a scholar who is also a dancer and poet, my research is located within the fields of curriculum theory and arts-based research. My career long contribution to these fields has been to develop embodied ways of inquiry as a way of knowing. I teach embodied forms of writing in my graduate classes on Embodiment and Curriculum Inquiry which are taught across three cohorts: arts education, health education and contemplative inquiry.

 Charles Scott

My areas of passion in both research and teaching are contemplative inquiry; curriculum, pedagogy, and assessment; dialogue and I-Thou relationships in education; and meaning-making and spirituality in education. My own contemplative practices are based in the Raja Yoga tradition. I am also interested in student narrative and the roles narrative plays in identity formation.

Program details and application information can be found here:

Contacts for more information: Drs. Heesoon Bai (, Laurie Anderson (, and Charles Scott (

Please note that actual start date and times will be fine-tuned closer to the program start.