History of the Faculty of Education

1857 - 1900

Quebec’s first schools for teachers

McGill Normal School (Belmont Street, Montreal) was established at McGill by agreement between the University and the Government of Quebec, with the mandate to educate Quebec's public elementary and secondary school teachers. William Dawson was the first Principal and the first class was only 40 students. From 1857 to 1907, the McGill Normal School trained 2,989 teachers and issued 4,118 diplomas.


A department is born

McGill Normal School was renamed the School for Teachers and was moved to Macdonald College (Ste. Anne de Bellevue) in 1907. The Macdonald Chair of Education was established at McGill University and a Department of Education was created within the Faculty of Arts and Science.


Improving pedagogy

The first graduate program in Education was inaugurated. For the first time, students had access to faculty advisors, and instruction was provided by a team of lecturers.


Educational programs integrate

The University established the Bachelor of Education degree in 1950. Between 1955 and 1957, the School for Teachers, the Department of Education and the McGill School of Physical Education were integrated, becoming the Institute of Education, within the Faculty of Arts and Science.


A decade of many firsts

In 1965, the Institute was reconstituted as the Faculty of Education, with work taking place on McGill's downtown and Macdonald campuses. This was a decade of many firsts, including the Faculty's first Dean, internship program, doctoral program and scholarly journal.


Diverse programs on offer

In 1970, St. Joseph Teachers College and the Faculty of Education merged. The Faculty was relocated to a new building at 3700 McTavish, on McGill's Downtown Campus. The McGill Native and Northern Education Program was created in the mid-1970s, when the Faculty partnered with the Kativik School Board (now Kativik Ilisarniliriniq) to provide community-based teacher education for Inuit school staff.


New learning centres emerge

A number of centres were established in this decade, including the Centres for the Study and Teaching of Writing, Educational Leadership, Cognitive and Ethnographic Studies, and the Laboratory for Applied Cognitive Studies.

1990 - 2006

Research and innovation expands

This decade saw the appointment of the Faculty’s first female Dean, and the establishment of McGill's first Tier 1 Canada Research Chairs in Education. The Faculty took great strides in the ‘90s and early ‘00s, establishing joint programs, local and international partnerships, and multiple education research centres.

2008 - Today

Strides in teaching and learning

New in-community programs were launched with Indigenous communities in Listuguj and Kahnawà:ke, and Canada’s first teaching and learning lab, The CoLab, was founded at the Faculty of Education. Faculty members were recognized for their contributions with a number of international awards.