Theme 1: Pedagogy and Curriculum

Exploring the processes of designing and implementing learning experiences, including decisions regarding content (curriculum) and strategies for instruction (pedagogy).

  • Pedagogical theory and instructional practice
  • Curriculum as a program of learning
  • Educational reform in curriculum and instruction
  • Differentiating and personalizing instruction
  • Teachers’ content knowledge or pedagogical knowledge

Theme 2: Assessment and Evaluation

Investigates the processes of specifying educational outcomes and designing methods for measuring student learning, evaluating the effectiveness of educational interventions, or assessing the impact of educational programs on learners, teachers, institutions, and society.

  • Purposes of assessment (diagnostic, formative, summative)
  • The politics and practice of educational accountability
  • Intelligence or ability, competence or capacity: what are the measurable ends of education?
  • Assessment strategies (portfolio, adaptive, computer, embedded)
  • Types of educational measurement (qualitative, quantitative; cognitive, affective, performance)
  • Educational research methodologies (descriptive, experimental, participatory, action research)
  • Program evaluation: purposes, strategies, role in educational reform

Theme 3: Educational Organization and Leadership

Inquires into the organization of formal systems of education and their impact on the teaching and learning process. Examines issues of professionalism in education and the roles of administrators and governing bodies on the educational institution and environment.

  • Learning environments: the changing shape of educational institutions, and changing sites of learning
  • The role of educational organizations in society and/or social change
  • The teaching profession: teachers’ work, roles, and responsibilities
  • Educational policies
  • The changing purposes of education: shaping new kinds of worker, citizen and personal identities
  • Educational administrators: effective leadership in a changing society

Theme 4: Early Childhood Learning

Investigations of learning and development in the first seven years of life, and the impact of formal, family, and socio-cultural influences on early learning.

  • Influences of family and social/cultural environments on early learning
  • Early childhood education: the roles of daycare, preschool, kindergartens
  • Early childhood literacies, arts and communications
  • Early childhood numeracies and science

Theme 5: Learning in Higher Education

Studies of tertiary or postsecondary education: institutional concerns (admissions, funding, scope and quality of educational offerings); instructional strategies and effectiveness with tertiary learners; the postsecondary learning environment. Also includes teacher education programs: their place in the university, how to prepare today’s pre-service teachers for tomorrow’s schools; issues of requirements, licensure, balancing theoretical and applied learning.

  • The future of the university: its links to work, citizenship and identity
  • Tertiary teaching and learning
  • Knowledge ecologies: linking research and teaching in higher education
  • Pre-service teacher education: policies, programs, and practices

Theme 6: Adult, Community, and Professional Learning

Explores adult learning in a variety of contexts, from adult basic education to workplace training and professional learning. Includes in-service and professional development for teachers.

  • Formal and informal learning opportunities for adult learners
  • Lifelong learning for the society of constant change
  • Professional continuing education and workplace training and development
  • Vocational education and training for the future
  • Apprenticeship and other models of technical and further education
  • Popular and community education
  • Teacher in-service and professional development

Theme 7: Learner Diversity and Identities

Focuses on recognizing and responding to individual diversity in learners and on the dynamics of teaching and learning in diverse communities and classrooms. Considers issues of learners’ identities and inter-relationships among students, as well as strategies for promoting social justice, multicultural understanding, and tolerance.

  • Inclusive education
  • Equity, participation and opportunity
  • Minorities and Majorities: how these are changing
  • Special education, learning difficulties, disability
  • International, global, multicultural and cross-cultural education

Theme 8: Technologies in Learning

Explores the role of technologies in learning, and processes of learning about and through technologies.

  • Technology and human values: learning through and about technology
  • Crossing the digital divide: access to learning in, and about, the digital world
  • New tools for learning: online digitally mediated learning
  • Virtual worlds, virtual classrooms: interactive, self-paced and autonomous learning
  • Ubiquitous learning: using the affordances of the new mediaDistance learning: reducing the distance

Theme 9: Literacies Learning

Inquiries into the processes of learning to read, write and communicate using new media and multimodal literacies.

  • Defining new literacies
  • Languages of power: literacy’s role in social access
  • Instructional responses to individual differences in literacy learning
  • The visual and the verbal: Multiliteracies and multimodal communications
  • Literacy in learning: language in learning across the subject areas
  • The changing role of libraries in literacies learning
  • Languages education and second language learning
  • Multilingual learning for a multicultural world
  • The arts and design in multimodal learning
  • The computer, internet, and digital media: educational challenges and responses

Theme 10: Science, Mathematics and Technology Learning

Studies of best practices in teaching and learning science, mathematics and technology.

  • Science disciplines: learning physics, chemistry, biology and other sciences
  • Learning in and about the natural environment
  • Modes of instruction (didactic, inquiry, collaborative)
  • Mathematics pedagogies
  • Learning about and through technologies
  • Teachers’ pedagogical content knowledge