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Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

EDUC 5041: Diversity: Constructing Social Realities

NOTE: To register for this course, please email or call 250-377-6067.

Students investigate fundamental questions about the relationship between education and society. Inequalities based on class, gender, race, and sexual orientation and how they are socially constructed in contemporary society are considered, in addition to how they operate in educational environments. Students identify the effects of identity constructs such as race, class, gender, and sexual orientation on the educational experiences of students and how these constructs shape student access, achievement, and attainment. Students are challenged with the following questions: How do schools reproduce, reinforce, and challenge social inequalities? How do educational materials embrace inclusive approaches within the broader contexts of multiculturalism, globalization and cosmopolitanism? How can educators promote inclusive education that values diversity and equity?

Learning outcomes

After you have completed the work in this course, you will be able to:

  • Identify your own social location and relate it to your past and current educational experiences.
  • Articulate the ways in which identity constructs intersect and may affect the educational experiences of teachers, learners, and administrators.
  • Analyze how educational approaches may advantage and disadvantage various social groups based on diversity characteristics like race, culture, language, social class, gender, sexual orientation, (dis)ability status, ethnicity, or religion.
  • Reflect personally or professionally on an "out-of-your-comfort-zone" diversity experience and relate it to scholarship on specific diversity topic(s).
  • Discuss the literature, including the methodology and findings of relevant research studies, on issues relating to the relationship between education and race, ethnicity, class, gender, and sexual orientation.
  • * Critically review educational approaches to diversity within the broader context of multiculturalism, globalization, and cosmopolitanism.

Course topics

Module 1: Canadian Diversity

  • Demographic statistics
  • Social location
  • Difference and Education

Module 2: Concepts of Identity, Social Location and Intersectionality

  • Identity
  • Intersectionality

Module 3: Concepts of Power and Privilege

  • Power and privilege
  • Aboriginal learners
  • Social reproduction theory
  • Social and cultural capital

Module 4: Immigrants, Refugees and Ethnocultural Communities

  • Ethnic and cultural diversity
  • Linguistic diversity
  • Religious diversity

Module 5: Concepts of Race and Racism

  • Anti-racist pedagogy
  • Decolonization

Module 6: Concepts of Gender, Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation

  • Gender norms in education
  • Hidden curriculum

Module 7: Ability and Inclusion

  • Supporting students with disabilities
  • Physical, mental, and learning disabilities

Module 8: Multicultural Education

  • Canadian multiculturalism
  • Policy and practice

Module 9: Critical Multicultural Education

  • Critical pedagogy
  • Critical approaches

Module 10: Education and Globalization

  • Global influences on education
  • Canadian responses

Module 11: Intercultural Learning and Global Citizenship Education

  • Intercultural competence development
  • Global Citizenship perspectives

Module 12: Cosmopolitanism, Inclusion, and Equity

  • Cosmopolitanism
  • Universal design
  • Inclusive pedagogy

Required text and materials

Online MEd students are responsible for sourcing and/or ordering their own books. Please see the list of required textbooks here:

You may be able to order the text through the TRU Bookstore at Please note, if you choose to source your own textbooks, publishers may offer several package options that include additional resource material not required in your course. You may choose to purchase any package as long as it includes the correct author, title and edition listed for your course.

If you have any questions about obtaining the correct textbook, please contact They will be happy to assist you.


In order to successfully complete this course, students must obtain at least 50% on the final project and 70% overall. The following chart shows how the final grade is determined for this course.

Discussions 10%
Assignment 1: Digital Autogiography Blog 10%
Assignment 2: Self Reflective Paper on Social Location and Educational Experiences 20%
Assignment 3: Moving out of your Comfort Zone 30%
Final Project * 30%
Total 100%


Open Learning Faculty Member Information

An Open Learning Faculty Member is available to assist students. Students will receive the necessary contact information at the start of the course.

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