OISE is recognized as a global leader in graduate programs in teaching and learning, continuing teacher education, and education research. As one of the largest and most research-intensive faculties of education in North America, OISE is an integral part of the University of Toronto—Canada’s most dynamic and comprehensive institution of higher learning.
OISE is committed to enhancing the social, economic, political and cultural wellbeing of individuals and communities locally, nationally and globally through leadership in teaching, research and advocacy. A unique place to work, learn and grow, OISE addresses current and emerging challenges with the scale, academic excellence and collaborative energy that few institutions in the world can claim.
Our mission is to:
- Prepare scholars, teachers and other professional leaders to be equipped with the skills and global awareness required by an increasingly challenging and complex society, ready to influence policy and practice in their fields.
- Discover and mobilize knowledge through leading-edge research, pedagogical and technological innovation, creativity, and scholarship-driven local, national and international collaboration.
- Advance lifelong learning through innovative professional development programming and capacity building for educational change.
- Contribute to public policy dialogue regarding key societal issues.
OISE’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 multi- disciplinary research centres.
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 (OISE) 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 OISE, 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).
In 1994, the Minister of Education and Training invited the University and OISE 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 OISE 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.
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, OISE 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. OISE'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 per- student funding, and shift towards a new four-term degree framework, OISE 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.
In 2016, OISE began an inclusive and highly participatory academic planning process that resulted in the creation of the OISE Academic Plan 2017-2022 Learning and Leading from Within. The plan focuses on six themes:
- Building our Community: Learning and Leading from Within
- Commitment to Indigenization
- Equity, Diversity and Accessibility
- Wellbeing and Mental Health
- Transformative and Innovative Pedagogy
- Building our Impact: Scholarship, Collaboration and Internationalization.
In 2019, OISE rapidly pivoted all its activities online as a response to the global COVID-19 pandemic. OISE has a long history and a depth of experience offering online courses. It continues to build on its expertise in pedagogy and use of technology in order to offer online cutting-edge teaching and learning opportunities. While the return to in-person activities is being planned carefully in 2022, OISE is committed to offering exceptionally high-quality instruction and programming to support its graduate programs, while also enhancing access to these programs during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.
It is an exciting time as OISE 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.
Deans of OISE
E. Walker, beginning January 1, 2023
N. Labrie, July 1, 2021 - December 31, 2022
G.A. Jones, 2015 - June 30, 2021
J. O'Sullivan, 2010 - 2015
J.S. Gaskell, 2003 - 2010
M.G. Fullan, 1996 - 2003
Deans of the Faculty of Education
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
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