This course examines recent cultural and institutional changes in school environments at primary, secondary and tertiary levels. The topics will include theoretical approaches to education, a socio-historical examination of the development of education systems, the relationship between education and the economy, including the debate over neo-liberalist reforms emphasising students’ performance testing. Other issues discussed will include the role of the state and transnational agencies in shaping educational policy, critical approaches to literacy and numeracy, youth subcultures within schools and the challenges facing teachers.
All topics will be treated in a comparative perspective, although the Australian context will receive considerable attention.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:Upon successful completion of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- Evaluate the leading themes in the research on education as an institutional system, the locus of social inequality, and the socialization process. This includes empirical research about students, teachers, and parents as well as the role of national and global organizations that regulate the provision of education;
- Identify and interpret theoretical concepts that inform the sociological study of formal and informal education;
- Construct a written argument applying theoretical concepts; and
- Conduct a small research project involving either focus groups or content analysis.
Research proposal (20%, 1000 words) [Learning Outcomes 1, 2, 3, 4]
Research report (35%, 1500-2000 words) [Learning Outcomes 1, 2, 3, 4]
Take-home exam (35%, 1500-2000 words over 48 hours) [Learning Outcomes 1, 2, 3]
Tutorial participation (10%) [Learning Outcomes 1, 2]
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Workload130 hours of total student learning time made up from:
a) 36 hours of contact over 12 weeks: 24 hours of lectures, and 12 hours of tutorials; and
b) 94 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.
Requisite and Incompatibility
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- Unit value:
- 6 units
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