Educational Foundations Department

The Educational Foundations Department is rooted in the core values of integrity, inclusiveness, and inquiry. Educational Foundations is an interdisciplinary field of study that examines the social, historical, philosophical, cultural, economic, and political contexts of education. The field explores the ethical implications of educational policy and practice; and investigates the impact of local, national, and global issues upon teaching and learning. Educational Foundations approaches education as an important public good, essential for the development of a robust democracy.

In Educational Foundations courses, which are integrated into all College of Education programs, candidates explore diverse ways of knowing, interrogate assumptions underlying practice and policy, and critically analyze dominant power structures. This helps them understand how education is influenced by social and structural forces, local contexts, and personal belief systems. It also enables them to advocate for their own students and communities, and to support democratic practices in society.


Department Chair: Dr. Mary Bair

Academic Department Coordinator: Lynnea Santoyo

Faculty & Staff Department Directory

Office Location

490C Richard M. DeVos Center [map]

401 Fulton St. W
Grand Rapids, MI  49504

(616) 331-6285


Educational Foundations courses are integrated into each of the College of Education's programs: