MEd Concentrations in Educational Psychology program overview
Welcome! It is my distinct pleasure to introduce you to our MEd program in Educational Psychology.
The MEd and its three active Concentrations (described below) share a focus on the impact of education on learners’ success in a variety of contexts. Our creative and multitalented MEd graduates have been positively impacting diverse communities of learners for nearly 40 years!
We value the school and community connections our students bring and are committed to offering a program that allows our students to enhance their skills while maintaining these important links. We strive to offer a supportive and collegial environment in which students are supported in their quest to develop applied and research skills that are associated with best practices in applying psychological knowledge to education in its broadest sense as well as schooling, and especially to promoting success among learners.
The MEd program is designed to provide students with an appropriate foundation through course work, with opportunities to apply skills and theories though a variety of field placements, and with the possibility of delving further into an area of interest through research or curricular-development activities. The MEd can be completed on a full-time basis in 2 years or on a part-time basis over 3 to 5 years. Most of our courses are offered in the evening to accommodate students who are working during the day. Although many of MEd students have a teaching degree, a significant proportion of our students hold degrees in psychology, sociology, the health sciences, or other related disciplines.
There are five active concentrations in the MEd: Inclusive Education, Inclusive Education Project, Learning Sciences, General Educational Psychology, and General Educational Psychology Project. Each provides a specially tailored path to the common goals as described above and enabling innovative educators to add advanced knowledge, skills, and abilities to contribute to new knowledge and skills in their areas of specialization.
The Inclusive Education concentration has its roots in Developmental Science, Philosophy, and Human Rights. This concentration prepares students to work with diverse individuals in a variety of settings that emphasize inclusive practice. As most professional and educational contexts are becoming more diverse, this program is designed to have wide appeal and is relevant to current teachers, consultants, other professionals working in the education system, and to those wishing to understand human development and potential in all inclusive contexts. This concentration includes a defined course progression that emphasizes the philosophies and pedagogical practices associated with positive outcomes for diverse learners, as well as opportunities for research and practice in the field.
Inclusive Education: Project
The Inclusive Education: Project concentration is to educate students on the major theories and practices of inclusive education. The program’s focus is on diversity in development behavior and attainment, and eco-systemic and cultural models of teaching, learning, and assessment. Similar approaches are taken to understand disability. Graduates will be able to implement effective teaching programs for students across all spectrums of development. Students will develop a strong foundation in the core content and theories of development, disability, inclusion, and methods. The role of schools and communities is also examined. Students will be trained in application and practice through behaviour, literacy assessment and intervention, differentiated teaching planning objectives, and the completion of a Research Project.
General Educational Psychology
The General Educational Psychology concentration permits students with specific experiences and career paths to tailor the program to their particular situations. In addition to small number the core required courses that are to be taken at the beginning of the program, students may select courses from other Concentrations within the MEd including Inclusive Education, Learning Sciences, or other Departmental courses. To ensure that course choices are possible in a reasonable sequence, course prerequisites are met, and a cohesive program sequence is created, students in this Concentration are required to meet with the Program Coordinator or Program Director before registering.
General Educational Psychology: Project
The General Educational Psychology: Project concentration provides students the flexibility to design a program that satisfies their professional and academic needs. The program provides a foundation in core areas of educational psychology (inclusive education, learning sciences) through courses on learning theories, motivation, human development and diverse classroom populations, complemented by research skill development. The role of schools and communities is also examined. Graduates will have the skills to understand and contribute to the growth and enhancement of knowledge and practice in educational psychology and develop tools for implementing new teaching models in the classroom. The program also provides opportunities to study one area in greater depth or to add diverse course experiences, and complete a Research Project.
The Learning Sciences concentration has its roots in cognitive science and instructional psychology, and focuses on the study of learning as it occurs in real-world situations, and in the ways in which learning may be facilitated in designed environments. This concentration includes a clear course progression, with some opportunity for complementary and elective courses, that emphasizes an understanding of learning from a scientific standpoint as well as how to apply pedagogical principles to the construction of effective learning communities and contexts, both with the larger aim of promoting success for learners in a variety of realms.
Note: no Project concentration was created for the Learning Sciences concentration; those interested in a more research-based program please visit M.A. in Educational Psychology: Learning Sciences concentration page.
Difference between the Project and 'Standard' Concentrations
The 3 ‘standard’ or more curricular concentrations differ from the Project concentrations in the research component of the program. In terms of course offerings, this is reflected in one significant change, which is a substitution of 12 Complementary or Elective credits (equivalent to 4 standard 3 credit courses) for 12 required credits in Research Project courses. The Required courses remain the same in both versions of each concentration, ensuring the core concepts, philosophy, and scholarly foundations of the degrees remain the same in both cases. Instead of exploring a few different areas of Educational Psychology through further course work or completing a more practical/applied Special Activity, students can narrow their focus to a particular area or issue in the field and develop expertise in that area by completing a Research Project under the supervision of a faculty member.
Advantages of the Research Project
There are a number of reasons students might want to complete a Research Project during their M.Ed. studies. To begin, there is the aforementioned acquisition of a level of expertise in a particular area that would be gained by doing so. Additionally, the Research Project allows you to work closely with a Faculty Member in the program who serves as your Research Supervisor. This will allow for a unique, one-on-one learning experience for students, and may also grant you the opportunity to work as a part of a research team. As well, being enrolled in a Research program at a full-time level (12 credits per semester) also opens up many more opportunities to secure funding. From entrance awards (available to new students applying directly to a Project concentration), university and faculty awards, and external fellowships, students would be eligible for all of the awards available to Masters Thesis students.
The completion of a Research Project will also open up doors to potential Doctoral studies should this be of interest to you. It remains possible to apply from any M.Ed. Educational Psychology Concentration to the PhD in Educational Psychology, but it is normally required that aptitude for research have been demonstrated at the Master’s level. MA students do so with a thesis, M.Ed. students in the Project Concentrations do so with their Research Project, and students in the Special Activity-based concentrations may do so with a research-oriented undertaking in their Special Activity project. Other evidence of research aptitude will also be considered. If you are interested in the PhD, please speak with faculty members having research interests related to yours, and to the Program Coordinator and Director of your desired Concentration.
Note that some fellowships, particularly external fellowships, have stipulations regarding the number of hours students are allowed to work while pursuing studies, as well as Canadian and/or Quebec residency status requirements. Students are responsible for being familiar with the various agencies’ award holder’s guides and eligibility criteria.
For assistance or additional information, please contact:
Graduate Program Coordinator
Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology
Faculty of Education, McGill University
3700 McTavish Street, Room 614
Montreal, QC H3A 1Y2