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The Faculty of Education was one of the three founding faculties of Simon Fraser University and began operations in September 1965 with the opening of the university. As of this writing (May 2008), it continues as an active faculty with a mandate to engage in research and scholarly inquiry, advance knowledge, and improve the practice of teaching and the learning experience.
The Faculty of Education was founded with a broad mandate. In addition to courses relating to education and the teacher-certification Professional Development Program (PDP), the faculty was also responsible for instruction in the fine and performing arts, campus arts programming, campus recreational services, and intercollegiate athletics. This broad scope was reflected in the original structure of the faculty, which was organized into three distinct Centres, each with their own departments. (i) The Physical Development Centre included the departments of Physical Development Studies, Athletics, and Recreational Services. (ii) The Centre for Communications and the Arts was responsible for courses in fine and performing arts and communication studies, and provided a range of non-credit courses and public-events programming. (iii) The Educational Foundations Centre offered courses through the departments of Behavioural Sciences Foundations, Social and Philosophical Foundations, and Professional Foundations.
Re-organization occurred in 1970. The Centre for Communications and the Arts moved out of the faculty to become a separate unit for arts programming and non-credit instruction. Communication Studies remained within the faculty, moving to the Educational Foundations Centre. Athletics and Recreational Services merged, separated from the Physical Development Centre and left the faculty. Professional Foundations moved out of the Educational Foundations Centre to become its own Centre.
This new arrangement did not last long, and in 1972 the faculty abolished the entire structure based on centres and departments. Physical Development Studies (renamed Kinesiology) and Communication Studies moved out of Education to become academic departments in the newly established Faculty of Interdisciplinary Studies. The Faculty of Education became a unitary body with functional divisions for Undergraduate Programs, Graduate Programs and Professional Programs. Professors were now affiliated to the faculty as a whole, able to cross over different program areas. Two further divisions were later added. Field Relations and Teacher In-Service was established in 1994 for professional development programs for BC school teachers and administrators (renamed Field Programs in 1998). International Programs was created in 2000 for coordinating the faculty's many internationalization activities. In both cases, the new divisions did not represent the accrual of a new function as such, but rather provided a more coherent organizational structure for activities and programs that were already underway in the faculty.
Administratively, the faculty is headed by the Dean of Education, assisted since 1983 by an Associate Dean. The Dean originally reported directly to the President, but since 1970 has reported to the Vice-President, Academic whose office was established in that year. The number and composition of the faculty's committees has varied over time. The Faculty Meeting has always been the principal governing forum, while the Executive Committee prepares matters for the Faculty Meeting, makes recommendations, and reviews and coordinates the activities of the different program areas. Each program area is headed by a Director, with program committees that review and make recommendations relating to the program as a whole.
Since the 1972 re-organization, teaching in the Faculty of Education focuses on provision of Education courses to undergraduate and graduate students; teacher certification through the Professional Development Program (PDP); and professional development activities for in-service teachers. From 1965, the faculty has offered degrees for the Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.), the Master of Arts (Education) (M.A.) and Master of Science (Education) (M.Sc.). The Master of Education (M.Ed.) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) were offered from 1983, and the Doctor of Education (D.Ed.) was added in 1998. Teaching is carried out by faculty members, assisted in the PDP program by faculty associates and program coordinators (teachers in the BC school system seconded to assist in teaching and classroom supervision activities). Since the early 1970s, decentralization has allowed PDP students to complete part of their requirements in communities across the provinces, as well providing in-service professional development activities beyond the Lower Mainland region.
See fonds Appendix B for a visual representation of the Faculty of Education's organizational structure and how this has changed over time.