• Class Number 4316
  • Term Code 2930
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr James Chouinard
    • Dr James Chouinard
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 25/02/2019
  • Class End Date 31/05/2019
  • Census Date 31/03/2019
  • Last Date to Enrol 04/03/2019
SELT Survey Results

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. 

Learning Outcomes

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:
  1. 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;
  2. Identify and interpret theoretical concepts that inform the sociological study of formal and informal education;
  3. Construct a written argument applying theoretical concepts; and
  4. Conduct a small research project involving either focus groups or content analysis.

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • Written comments on assessments via Wattle
  • Verbal feedback to the whole class, to groups, to individuals, focus groups during class sessions (and during office hours for those who seek additional input)

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Other Information

The information provided is a preliminary Class Outline. A finalised version will be available on Wattle and will be accessible after enrolling in this course. All updates, changes and further information will be uploaded on the course Wattle site and will not be updated on Programs and Courses throughout the semester. Any questions or concerns should be directed to the Course Convenor.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Review course outline and discuss course expectations / Review some fundamental sociological ideas pertinent to the topic of education. Be prepared to take notes and engage with other class participants.
2 What societies desire and what they receive from their schools. We will discuss some manifest and latent functions of education as well as assess perspectives on the state of contemporary education in Australia and elsewhere. Be prepared to take notes and engage with other class participants.
3 The politics of the curriculum We will discuss how curriculum decisions are made and identify key contextual variables implicating this and other issues related to curriculum design. Be prepared to take notes and engage with other class participants.
4 The institutional reproduction of inequality and privilege We will address how institutionalized education is ineluctably responsible for perpetuating, widening as well as mitigating social stratification. Be prepared to take notes and engage with other class participants.
5 Education in the context of diversity / Otherizing in the classroom and addressing a concern for recognition We will explore narratives articulating and critiquing concerns centered on the intersection of education and multiculturalism. We also explore of the educational implications of systemic bias and institutional discrimination. Be prepared to take notes and engage with other class participants.
6 The institutional recognition of special needs and accommodation We will address the contemporary concerns and politics surrounding the topic of disability as it relates to the context of education. Be prepared to take notes and engage with other class participants.
7 The value of education: juxtaposing neoliberal logic and the notion of a public good We will discuss the shape of education in a neoliberal context and critique the intersection of education and market logics. Be prepared to take notes and engage with other class participants.
8 Pedagogies of sex, sexuality and their vicissitudes We will address the state and politics of sex and sexualities education in Australian schools and schools elsewhere. Be prepared to take notes and engage with other class participants.
9 Issues of Higher Education We will address the contemporary debates centered on the state of higher education and its role in facilitating a "better" society. We will also discuss the politics of valuable and valued knowledge within and among the diverse disciplines. Be prepared to take notes and engage with other class participants.
10 Teaching and Learning Sociology This topic requires an act of sociological reflexivity. Previous weeks highlight how the discipline of sociology informs our understanding of education. Now we will apply the lessons of Education and Society to the discussion of how one should teach sociology in general. Be prepared to take notes and engage with other class participants.
11 Future directions in the study of Education and Society We will address some the most recent research coming out in the area of Education and Society as well as reflect upon what questions remain unanswered or unasked. Be prepared to take notes and engage with other class participants.
12 Continuing a discussion about "unanswered and unasked questions." Addressing questions and concerns about the take-home exam.

Tutorial Registration

Tutorial registration will be available via Wattle beginning Feb. 11, 2019.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Research proposal 20 % 29/03/2019 05/04/2019 [Learning Outcomes 1, 2, 3, 4]
Research report 35 % 03/05/2019 10/05/2019 [Learning Outcomes 1, 2, 3, 4]
Take-home exam 35 % 28/05/2019 06/06/2019 [Learning Outcomes 1, 2, 3]
Participation 10 % 01/01/9999 01/01/9999 [Learning Outcomes 1, 2]

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website Students may choose not to submit assessment items through Turnitin. In this instance you will be required to submit, alongside the assessment item itself, hard copies of all references included in the assessment item.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.


Academic learning is a relational-collective endeavor. Receiving information from your lecturer, tutor or course readings is necessary for your educational enrichment, but doing so  passively—i.e., without your active participation—hinders the effectiveness of class pedagogy for both you and your classmates. Wherefore, this course requires you to design a question for each of your weekly readings. You’ll pose these questions to your classmates during the weekly tutorial sessions and submit said questions to your tutor at the end of each tutorial. You must develop your questions prior to coming to the tutorials. 


Examinations and assessments are as follows:

Assessment 1 - Research proposal (20%, 1000 words) [Learning Outcomes 1, 2, 3, 4];

Assessment 2 - Research report (35%, 1500-2000 words) [Learning Outcomes 1, 2, 3, 4];

Assessment 3 - Take-home exam (35%, 1500-2000 words over 48 hours) [Learning Outcomes 1, 2, 3];

Assessment 4 - Tutorial participation (10%) [Learning Outcomes 1, 2].

The convenor will make all assessment materials available via Wattle. Students shall submit all assessments via Wattle as well.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 29/03/2019
Return of Assessment: 05/04/2019
Learning Outcomes: [Learning Outcomes 1, 2, 3, 4]

Research proposal

This project is worth 20% of the overall course mark.

The student is to write approximately 1000 words proposing a research report that addresses a specific social problem within the contemporary arrangements of Australian education. To complete this proposal the student must identify and explain the following:

1) the main contentions and debates surrounding said problem;

2) the relevant sociological theories and/or concepts that may provide further insight into the discussion;

3) a cogent, concise thesis statement (or research question) to ground and orient a complete research report.

Furthermore, the student must reference at least two academic texts outside of the weekly required readings.

This assessment addresses Learning Outcomes 1, 2, 3 and 4.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 35 %
Due Date: 03/05/2019
Return of Assessment: 10/05/2019
Learning Outcomes: [Learning Outcomes 1, 2, 3, 4]

Research report

This assessment task is worth 35% of the overall course mark and builds upon the work of assessment 1. The student is to complete the proposed report (approximately 2000 words in length) and do so by addressing the following requirements:

1) complete a review of the relevant literature--i.e., the scholarly, peer reviewed works (at least ten references outside of the required readings) that most appropriately relate to the selected sociological theories, concepts and thesis statement (or question) of the prior assessment;

2) provide a thorough yet concise analysis of the research problem that builds on and or speaks to the literature reviewed.

This assessment addresses Learning Outcomes 1, 2, 3 and 4.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 35 %
Due Date: 28/05/2019
Return of Assessment: 06/06/2019
Learning Outcomes: [Learning Outcomes 1, 2, 3]

Take-home exam

The student will receive an exam (online) with six short essay questions; however, the student is only required to answer four of these questions. Each question will address one of the topics covered during the semester and will require a response that is approximately 500 words in length (the exam requires approximately 2000 written words in total). Students will have one week to complete the exam and may reference notes and readings to do so. Students may not discuss their exam questions or individual responses with anyone in or outside of the class. Lastly, students must provide in-text citations for all works referenced (including class notes).

The exam is worth 35% of the overall course mark and addresses Learning Outcomes 1, 2 and 3.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 01/01/9999
Return of Assessment: 01/01/9999
Learning Outcomes: [Learning Outcomes 1, 2]


Students will receive assessment marks on the quality and quantity of their in-class participation. Ergo, students must make an effort to speak to one another and to the class as a whole during the tutorial hour. Moreover, engaging in intelligible discussions with the class requires that students read all assigned read materials prior to the tutorial hour.

This assessment task is worth 10% of the overall course mark and addresses Learning Outcomes 1 and 2.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of our culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically. This means that all members of the community commit to honest and responsible scholarly practice and to upholding these values with respect and fairness. The Australian National University commits to embedding the values of academic integrity in our teaching and learning. We ensure that all members of our community understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with. The University has policies and procedures in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Visit the following Academic honesty & plagiarism website for more information about academic integrity and what the ANU considers academic misconduct. The ANU offers a number of services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. The Academic Skills and Learning Centre offers a number of workshops and seminars that you may find useful for your studies.

Online Submission

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

No submission of assessment tasks without an extension after the due date will be permitted. If an assessment task is not submitted by the due date, a mark of 0 will be awarded. OR Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure The Course Convener may grant extensions for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information. In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service — including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy. If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes. Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).
Dr James Chouinard

Research Interests

Research interests for Dr. James B. Chouinard: New Media Communication, Media Studies, Psychoanalytic Sociology, Psychosocial Studies, Online Vegan Campaigns, Fan Studies.

Dr James Chouinard

Tuesday 11:00 12:00
Tuesday 11:00 12:00
Dr James Chouinard

Research Interests

Dr James Chouinard

Tuesday 11:00 12:00
Tuesday 11:00 12:00

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