Apr 24, 2018  
University of Alberta Calendar 2016-2017 
University of Alberta Calendar 2016-2017 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

The Faculty of Education

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Historical Overview

In 1942, we became the first Faculty of Education in Canada. We had only one degree program, 12 courses and three full-time professors. Today, however, we are one of the largest Faculties of Education in Canada with nine undergraduate degree programs and a wide array of graduate degrees. With four teaching departments and one school, we employ over 108 full time professors, 50 support staff and 103 full and part-time sessional instructors and we educate more than 2,750 undergraduate students and 800 graduate students.

Over the past eighty years, the Faculty of Education has evolved from a few discipline-oriented courses in Education offered by the Faculty of Arts and Science into one of the largest and strongest Faculties of Education in the country. The first education course, covering both the history and philosophy of education, was approved in 1911 and first offered in 1912. In 1928, the School of Education was created under the administration of the Faculty of Arts and Science. It opened the following year with an enrolment of seven students. The School later evolved into the College of Education; then, in 1942, into the Faculty of Education. In 1945, the Province of Alberta closed its Normal Schools in Calgary and Edmonton and turned control of teacher education over to the University of Alberta. Alberta was the first province in Canada to make teacher education exclusively a university responsibility. Since 1945, the Faculty of Education has awarded more than 45,000 BEd degrees, and developed strong graduate programs that have provided outstanding educational leaders for institutions and school systems across Canada and around the world. In 1991, the Faculty of Library and Information Studies joined the Faculty of Education and became the School of Library and Information Studies.

Mission Statement

The Faculty of Education is committed to the discovery and dissemination of knowledge about teaching and learning. We promote the view that to be a professional educator is to continue to question, to reflect, to seek knowledge, and to be open to change and diversity.

Scholarship, Research and Teaching

The Faculty of Education places a high priority on excellence in teaching, research, and community service. As a focus of excellence in scholarship, research and teaching, the Faculty is consistently ranked among the top three Faculties of Education in Canada and is considered one of the finest in North America. Our researchers provide ground breaking contributions and national/global leadership in many areas.

Education students will encounter many professors who have won distinctions such as the 3M Teaching Award, Library Journal Teaching Award, and Faculty of Education teaching awards. With 12 Rutherford Undergraduate Teaching Awards, our Faculty instructors embody excellence in teaching. The Faculty also employs Field Experience Associates, seconded from local school systems, who have demonstrated their excellence in teaching at the elementary and secondary school levels.

Undergraduate students also have an opportunity to work closely with highly competent classroom teachers during the various components of their student teaching experience.

As might be expected in a leading Faculty of Education containing departments of Educational Psychology, Elementary Education, Educational Policy Studies, and Secondary Education, as well as the School of Library and Information Studies, the research output of Faculty members is both extensive and wide ranging.


Faculty members have received top-level research grants from SSHRC, NSERC and CHIR funding agencies and major research awards such as:

  • UNESCO Prize for Peace Education
  • Whitworth Award for Education Research
  • J Gordin Kaplan Award for Excellence in Research
  • Killam Annual Professorship
  • McCalla Professorship

The Faculty of Education is a leader in service to the educational and broader communities. Many faculty members and graduates devote many hours to professional development, curriculum development, and the production of educational materials for use in the schools. Many graduates have distinguished themselves in areas as diverse as the arts, politics, and public administration as well as in the classroom. Three outstanding exemplars, all of whom have been awarded the Order of Canada, are Myer Horowitz, former Dean of Education and President of the University of Alberta; Steve Ramsanker, principal of an inner-city school who devoted his life to educating the under-privileged; and Thomas Peacocke, one of Canada's most widely acclaimed actors and directors.

Students entering the Faculty of Education will join a community with a strong tradition of teaching and research excellence and dedicated community service.

Our Graduates

Our graduates are leading the way. More than 60 percent of the elementary and secondary school teachers in Alberta are U of A graduates, 33 have become presidents of universities or colleges and over 25 percent of the current Deans of Education in Canada are alumni of this Faculty.

Areas of Expertise

The Faculty has expertise in a variety of areas including, Aboriginal populations, counseling psychology, curriculum and pedagogy, educational measurement, literacy, multicultural/international education, libraries and information management, policy development and leadership, and teacher education.