The role of the social foundations of education in programs of teacher preparation in Canada


  • Donald Kerr Lakehead University
  • David Mandzuk University of Manitoba
  • Helen Raptis University of Victoria


This paper argues that the social foundations of education, and particularly the disciplines of history, philosophy and sociology of education, must continue to play an integral role in programs of teacher education. We report on the decline of the study of history of education within Faculties of Education in Canada as an example of the marginalization of the role of the social foundations in teacher education programs generally. In this context we furnish what we take to be some of the strongest reasons for the requirement for future teachers to engage with the social foundations—some of these arguments apply to all of the foundational areas, and some apply to specific foundational disciplines. Some of these arguments will be familiar, some new. We conclude that if a teacher education program in Canada is to be of a very high quality then it must include a strong social foundations component.

Keywords: teacher education, sociology of education, history of education, philosophy of education, social foundations of education

Author Biographies

Donald Kerr, Lakehead University

Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Professional Development in Education

David Mandzuk, University of Manitoba

Associate Professor and Associate Dean

Helen Raptis, University of Victoria

Associate Professor



How to Cite

Kerr, D., Mandzuk, D., & Raptis, H. (2012). The role of the social foundations of education in programs of teacher preparation in Canada. Canadian Journal of Education/Revue Canadienne De l’éducation, 34(4), 118–134. Retrieved from