СƵ's History

Ontario Institute for Studies in Education: Then

СƵ’s proud history dates back to 1906, when the Faculty of Education at the University of Toronto was founded following a Royal Commission report arguing that the "Teaching of education is best performed where the theory and practice can be made to supplement each other." The Faculty established the University of Toronto Schools (UTS) in 1910, to serve as a laboratory to improve the practical and experimental aspects of its program.

In 1926, the St. George's School of Child Study became the first university laboratory preschool in Canada. In 1939, it became the Institute of Child Study (ICS), the first of the University of Toronto's multidisciplinary research centres.

СƵ building being built - Archive photo.
СƵ building being built - Archive photo.

In 1920, the Faculty of Education became the Ontario College of Education (OCE), University of Toronto. During a period of forty-five years, directly funded and controlled by the Ministry of Education, "OCE" was the sole institution in the province preparing secondary school teachers.

In 1965, a special act of the Ontario legislature established the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (СƵ) to offer graduate programs, conduct research and disseminate its findings, and to engage in field development activities in education. In 1966, the departments of Graduate Studies and Research were transferred from OCE to СƵ, while teacher education remained at the University of Toronto. Effective July 1, 1972, the College was formally designated the Faculty of Education, University of Toronto (FEUT).

Five people standing by a computer - Archive photo.
An individual standing by a table with СƵ Press books and papers - Archive photo.

In 1994, the Minister of Education and Training invited the University and СƵ to explore the possibility of full integration. On December 16, 1994, the Ministry of Education and Training, the Governing Council of the University of Toronto and СƵ signed an agreement outlining the broad terms for the integration of OISE and FEUT, including UTS and ICS with its Laboratory School, into a new professional faculty of education under the Governing Council of the University of Toronto.

People standing by partition walls and talking - Archive photo.
A woman using a typewriter at СƵ - Archive photo.

The new faculty, named the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the university of Toronto, began operations on July 1, 1996.

In 2004, UTS became an independent ancillary corporation within the University of Toronto, with its own Board of Directors. In 2010, in recognition of the Dr. Eric Jackman's gift to the Institute of Child Study (ICS) to support early childhood development and education, the University of Toronto renamed ICS as Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study.

In 2012, СƵ restructured its academic departments from five to four with programs grouped under four distinct yet interrelated areas of scholarship within the broader field of educational studies. СƵ's academic departments are:

  • Applied Psychology and Human Development (APHD)
  • Curriculum, Teaching and Learning (CTL)
  • Leadership, Higher and Adult Education (LHAE)
  • Social Justice Education (SJE)

In 2014, in response to the Government's decision to substantially reduce the enrolment of students in teacher education programs, decrease perstudent funding, and shift towards a new four-term degree framework, СƵ repositioned itself as an all-graduate faculty of education in line with the University of Toronto's differentiated role as Ontario's leading research-intensive university.

People talking at an СƵ event - Archive photo.
People sitting in an СƵ lecture hall - Archive photo.

In 2016, СƵ began an inclusive and highly participatory academic planning process that resulted in the creation of the СƵ Academic Plan 2017-2022 Learning and Leading from Within. The plan focuses on six themes:

  1. Building our Community: Learning and Leading from Within
  2. Commitment to Indigenization
  3. Equity, Diversity and Accessibility
  4. Wellbeing and Mental Health
  5. Transformative and Innovative Pedagogy
  6. Building our Impact: Scholarship, Collaboration and Internationalization

It is an exciting time as СƵ builds on historical strengths in research and graduate studies and explores new challenges and opportunities as the only all-graduate faculty of education in Canada. It will continue to incorporate leading-edge pedagogical approaches to improve the quality and accessibility of its programs, domestically and  internationally, while continuing to make a difference in how, where and what people learn as part of the Institute’s commitment to the genuine value of lifelong learning.

Ontario Institute for Studies in Education: Now

СƵ in its current form dates from 1996, when the Faculty of Education at the University of Toronto and the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education merged to form the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto. Today, СƵ provides an exciting context for teaching, learning and research. With approximately 100,000 alumni worldwide, over 3,000 students in teacher education and graduate degree programs, 7,500 continuing education registrants annually, 4 academic departments and 19 research centres and institutes, СƵ is among the University of Toronto’s largest faculties and is one of the largest and most research-intensive faculties of education in North America. 

СƵ professors, staff and alumni standing with Dean Erica Walker
Some СƵ 2022 Graduates at СƵ Swag Day.

Deans & Directors

Deans of the Ontario Institute for Studies in EducationTerm
Erica N. Walker2023 - Present
Normand Labrie 2021 - 2022
Glen A. Jones2015 - 2021
Julia O'Sullivan2010 - 2015
Jane S. Gaskell2003 - 2010
Michael G. Fullan1996 - 2003
Deans of the Faculty of Education Term
M.G. Fullan 1988 - 1996
M.A. Millar 1987 - 1988
J.W. MacDonald 1981 - 1987
J.C. Ricker 1975 - 1981
H.O. Barrett 1974
D.F. Dadson 1963 - 1973
B.C. Diltz 1958 - 1963
A.C. Lewis 1944 - 1958
J.G. Althouse 1934 - 1944
W. Pakenham 1907 - 1934
Directors of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education Term
A. Hildyard 1995 - 1996
A. Kruger  1992 - 1995
W. Pitman 1986 - 1992
B. Shapiro 1980 - 1986
C.C. Pitt 1975 - 1980
R.W.B. Jackson 1965 - 1975

100 Years of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education

The book, Inspiring Education A Legacy of Learning 1907-2007 Celebrating 100 Years of Studies in Education at the University of Toronto, celebrates and explores one hundred years of a great institution, and the contributions that an enormous number of people have made to its growth and development.

The book is available in .pdf format. For more accessible options, please contact dean.oise@utoronto.ca.