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2021/22 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

EDUC1213 Contemporary Issues and Debates in Education - Level 1

20 creditsClass Size: 75

Module manager: Michael Inglis

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2021/22

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This dynamic and responsive module draws on contemporary debates about education to introduce you to key ideas and issues in educational research and practice. Over the module you will explore the political and pedagogical challenges facing schools and educational systems by looking at issues currently under discussion in the wider world. You will learn about the wider social issues in engaging all communities with education and consider how this impacts on learners. How children and schools are measured will be discussed with a focus on the underlying pedagogy behind these practices. You will consider and compare educational systems from other parts of the world to allow you to critically engage with UK practices.


This module explores the contemporary challenges facing schools and educational systems. The focus of this module is to examine how the education system meets with the changing landscape of political, cultural and social expectations. Within this a focus on current research will explore models of educational pedagogy and apply this to current educational practice. The module aims to be flexible and responsive to the changing contexts of education and educational research.
Specifically it aims to
- Explore emerging ideas within academic research, the media, policy and practice in relation to education
- Critically evaluate research and practice in relation to key debates in education
- Explore how educational systems respond to conflicting motivations in educational research and policy
- Support students in exploring a number of positions in relation to key debates in the study of education

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module, students should be able to:
- Identify and understand the wider implications of educational research and policy;
- Demonstrate a critical engagement with contemporary issues in research into education;
- Demonstrate an ability to select and justify appropriate source and support materials;
- Demonstrate an ability to develop and sustain a research informed argument;
- Evaluate source materials and demonstrate an awareness of suitability and reliability


The Language of education
e.g. how the discourse around education shapes thinking about educational issue, how language forms educational identity (for example free schools, academies), language as political
Politics and education
e.g. a historical understanding of the states intervention in educational practice and policy, state education, the National Curriculum, dismantling state education
Evaluating how schools run
e.g. Current state of school administration, who runs schools, what types of schools, how this affects parental choice
Evaluating teacher training and pedagogy
e.g. models of teacher training and how these relate to pedagogy and practice, media influences on these debates
Key debates in measuring schools and measuring children
e.g. Ofsted and standards, principles behind measurement, league tables and parent choice, discussing empirical evidence for measuring children, social implications for measuring children, media influences on these debates
Exploring alternatives
e.g. exploration of school systems outside of the UK context, comparative studies and alternative pedagogies will be analysed

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Independent online learning hours22.00
Private study hours150.00
Total Contact hours28.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Students will be required to prepare for lectures and seminars by completing weekly required reading. Students are expected to use private study time for wide reading and research around the set topics and to prepare questions for lectures and seminars.
Students will be required to use private study time to prepare for and reflect on the online debates.
After extensive research, planning and preparation they will prepare and submit their assessments using the VLE.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Student progress will be monitored via their contribution to lectures, seminar discussions and reflective log.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay2000 words100.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 11/01/2022 15:43:20


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