Year of entry: 2018
Course unit details:
Education and Society
|Unit level||Level 2|
|Teaching period(s)||Semester 2|
|Available as a free choice unit?||Yes|
Key topics will include an overview of the relationship between educational outcomes and social inequalities; different theoretical perspectives on the purpose of education, including functionalism and cultural reproduction theory; higher education, employability and the knowledge economy; schooling and the negotiation of masculinities and femininities; schooling and sexuality; and schooling, ethnicity and whiteness.
- To introduce students to sociological perspectives on education and schooling
- To explore how experiences of schooling are affected by variables such as social class, gender, ethnicity and sexuality
- To consider how formal schooling systems shape individual and collective identities and reflect and reinforce dominant societal values
On successful completion of this unit students will:
(i) be able to distinguish between key sociological perspectives on educational inequalities and demonstrate how these may be applied to a range of contemporary educational concerns.
(ii) have identified a range of topics of contemporary concern to educational sociologists and evaluate the validity of different approaches to those topics, drawing upon relevant theoretical perspectives and empirical evidence.
(iii) be able to reflect on their own experiences of schooling in a theoretically-informed manner.
Teaching and learning methods
Weekly lecture and tutorial/workshop, incorporating small group discussion of key readings focussed upon questions set by the lecturer, focused small group tasks, student presentations, and whole group interactive learning.
- Written communication
Exam and essay (50/50) with a mid-semester essay and end of semester exam.
GEWIRTZ, Sharon and CRIBB, Allan (2009) Understanding Education: A Sociological Perspective, Cambridge: Polity Press – again, particularly useful for the first half of the unit.
COFFEY, Amanda (2001) Education and Social Change, Buckingham: Open University Press (370.193/C165) – some sections are a bit dated now, but by no means all.
Gordon, T., Holland, J. & Lahelma, E (2000) Making Spaces: Citizenship and Difference in Schools, Basingstoke: Macmillan
FRANCIS, Becky and SKELTON, Christine (2002) (eds) Investigating Gender: Contemporary Perspectives in Education, Open University Press (376/F13) – very useful for the second half of the unit.
|Scheduled activity hours|
|Assessment written exam||2|
|Independent study hours|
|Suzanne Heath||Unit coordinator|
Monday 10:00 - 12:00, plus a separate one-hour tutorial (range of times available)