Summer Institute in Education will change to an online delivery for 2020.

Instructors will post their updated course syllabus, format and assignments on Canvas (canvas.ok.ubc.ca) once they’re available. Students must be available during the currently posted course dates and times as courses may be synchronous, asynchronous or a combination of both. More information.

For the latest updates on UBC’s response to COVID-19, including Frequently Asked Questions, visit covid19.ubc.ca.

EDST 498B/EDUC 517A: Navigating Controversial Issues in Education: Democracy, Disagreement, and the Ethics of Teaching

July 6 – 24 (MONDAY TO THURSDAY)   1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.


An in-depth-examination of the ethical and legal dimensions of teacher practice. Emphasis on contemporary controversies and ethical debates in both compulsory and post-compulsory contexts, as well as the articulation and critical reflection of educational values and aims and their relationship to professional judgement and practical decision-making.

By the end of this course, participants will

  • understand the nature and complexity of ethical judgement and how ethical judgements differ from other kinds of decisions
  • understand the role and limits of moral theory in thinking through ethical decision-making
  • understand the relationship between the values and aims of education and ethical judgement
  • acquire knowledge and understanding of the broader legal framework that Canadian teachers work within
  • identify and communicate ethical dilemmas in educational contexts and propose reasoned solutions to those dilemmas
  • practice norms of respectful deliberation, disagreement, and reason-giving/reason-taking

Dr. Christopher Martin

Dr. Martin’s research is focused on the philosophy of education. His specific areas of interest include educational ethics, the aims of higher education, and education for democracy. His work has been funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Spencer Foundation, and the Centre for Ethics and Education (Wisconsin).

how to apply

To register for courses, please visit the Student Information Service Centre (SISC).

Register for Term two (July/August) courses via the Student Information Service Centre (SISC). If you intend on taking a 400-level course, please ensure that you receive prior approval by your graduate supervisor using this form.

If you are looking to transfer a course into UBC Vancouver, or another institution, please confirm transfer credit will be approved prior to registering for a UBC Okanagan course.

*It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that the course is accepted towards the completion of a program.

Register for Term two (July/August) courses via the Student Information Service Centre (SISC). You must have 2020 Summer registration eligibility. If not, please email sie.education@ubc.ca

If you are looking to transfer a course into UBC Vancouver, or another institution, please confirm approval of transfer credit prior to registration.

*It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that the course is accepted towards the completion of a program.

Apply to take select coursework as a non-degree student at through the Non-Degree Access Studies Application.

Please note: There is no option for “May 2020 – Aug. 2020.” You will need to apply for “Sept. 2020 – Dec. 2020”, and indicate in the question “Please tell us why you are applying to take courses at UBC through Non Degree Studies” that you are applying for the Summer Institute in Education. If you require assistance, please email sie.education@ubc.ca

Register for Term two (July/August) courses via the  Student Information Service Centre (SISC). You must have 2020 Summer registration eligibility. If not, please email sie.education@ubc.ca.