Graduate Degree-Level Expectations: Masters-Level

The objective of the Master’s program is to develop in graduates critical scholarly skills in the pursuit of deeper understandings and more rigorous questions pertaining to education.  At the end of the program graduates will be in a position to support their professional practice based on their scholarly work, provide leadership in their places of work and community and/or be academically prepared for further study at the doctoral level. These objectives are achieved through course work, supervisory relationships, diploma programs and/or the completion of a sustained inquiry in the form of a major research project or thesis.

To further qualify and specify the program’s objectives, the Curriculum Committee for the Graduate Program in Language, Culture and Teaching has developed a set of learning expectations and outcomes that reflects the academic and pedagogical philosophy and modes of delivery of the program. The learning expectations and outcomes presuppose that knowledge production is a human endeavor, one that relies directly on the supervisory relationship and on the types of knowledge, experiences and training opportunities supported by faculty and available to students.  The program provides an informed context for students to design a program of study that meets their specific academic and professional interests and needs.

The Graduate Degree Level Expectations (GDLES) in the context of Masters studies are derived from a synthesis of the following foundational and accountability documents:

  • Council of Universities Quality Assurance Framework
  • Mission Statement of York University
  • Graduate Program in Culture Language and Teaching Brochure
  • OCGS Appraisal Self-Study Brief for Graduate Program of Language, Culture and Teaching at the Faculty of Education

These expectations have also been produced in consultation with members  (faculty and students) of the Graduate Curriculum Committee, Graduate Executive and Graduate Faculty Council. To meet these objectives the Graduate Curriculum Committee has outlined a number of key expectations that Masters students are expected to attain by the end of the program.  The expectations are organized through the following headings:

  1. Depth and Breadth of Knowledge
  2. Research and Scholarship
  3. Application of Knowledge
  4. Professional Capacity/Autonomy
  5. Communication Skills
  6. New Relations to Knowledge

In what follows, each expectation is linked to a main objective which is then broken down into specific outcomes that candidates will attain by the end of the program.

1. Depth and Breadth of Knowledge

Overall Objective:  To gain an understanding of relevant knowledge in a field and/or discipline in education and some awareness of current issues, debates and insights in their academic discipline, field of study or area of professional and community practice.

Specific Outcomes:  Upon successful completion of the program, the student will be able to:

  1. Explore understandings of theory, methodology and practice in the field through multiple conceptual frameworks
  2. Understand that knowledge construction, dissemination and use are situated and shaped by various socio-political forces, worldviews and discursive practices
  3. Respond to and evaluate knowledge gained from various sources and scholarly activities including readings, course work, discussions and independent study
  4. Engage in scholarly oral and written conversations regarding the state of knowledge in their chosen field(s) of study
  5. Demonstrate in oral and written work a sound understanding of knowledge in the field

2. Research and Scholarship

Overall Objective:  To attain exposure to research approaches and practices in education and to be able to design, conduct, interpret and report on research for specific educational purposes and contexts (or for purposes and contexts relevant to the student's work).

Specific Outcomes:  Upon successful completion of the program, the student will be able to:

  1. Describe the value and importance of research in informing theory, practice and policy in education
  2. Apply all the stages of the research or scholarly process (e.g., generating research questions, data collection, analysis, interpretation, and presentation)
  3. Design, conduct and report on research studies to investigate questions that are relevant to his/her own goals and contexts
  4. Converse in a broad array of research activities and methodologies designed to support various approaches to the study of education.
  5. Examine and evaluate research reports
  6. Examine complex theoretical ideas, claims, arguments and judgments in the field
  7. Formulate scholarly arguments and positions through the analysis of conceptual, historical or theoretical knowledge and/or research findings
  8. Build arguments to evaluate, analyze and synthesize conceptual, empirical and policy texts (e.g., to write a scholarly essay, review, or a research study)

3. Application of Knowledge

Overall objective: To evaluate and apply research data and/or conceptual investigation to the field

Specific Outcomes: Upon successful completion of the program, the student will be able to:

  1. Identify research problems and develop research questions that are relevant to their field(s) of study
  2. Articulate contemporary debates and questions in their field(s) of study or professional practice
  3. Transfer theoretical and practical insights learnt to new contexts
  4. Disseminate scholarly insights and research projects and findings that contribute to knowledge, theory, policy and practice in the field

4. Professional Capacity/Autonomy

Overall Objective: To attain knowledge, qualities and skills necessary for employment

Specific Outcomes: Upon successful completion of the program, the student will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate a sound understanding of a field of study and/or professional area in education in both oral and written forms
  2. Exercise judgment, initiative and personal responsibility to further their understanding and knowledge of a particular field of study and/or a professional area
  3. Conduct independent scholarly inquiry required for their continued learning and professional development
  4. Pursue further graduate study or higher education
  5. Adopt practices that are consistent with academic integrity and ethical and professional guidelines and procedures for the responsible conduct and use of research
  6. Appreciate the value and broader implications of conducting research and applying knowledge for particular educational purposes and contexts and for the public good

5. Communication Skills

Overall Objective: To communicate ideas, issues and conclusions clearly and effectively to academic and non-academic audiences (e.g., interested stakeholders and the general public).

Specific Outcomes:  Upon successful completion of the program, the student will be able to:

  1. Share research findings and conclusions with others
  2. Communicate research findings and conclusions in articulate, effective, creative and shareable forms, both written and oral
  3. Use various modes and forms of scholarly and social communication and media to mobilize and disseminate knowledge

6. New Relations to Knowledge

Overall Objective:  To gain renewed insight into the purposes, processes, products and power of knowledge in a changing society and globalized world.

Specific Outcomes: Upon successful completion of the program, the student will be able to:

  1. Understand that knowledge is situated, tentative and shaped by various socio-political forces, worldviews and discursive practices
  2. Apply current knowledge to enhance professional practices and policies and for the public good
  3. Understand the limits of knowledge and research in defining, determining, understanding and explaining the complexities of educational contexts, processes, experiences and outcomes

Apply responsible and ethical practices for the application of knowledge and research findings in new learning contexts.

(Approved February 2012)