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This course considers the connections and tensions between ideals and realities in education and society. Drawing on work in the sociology of education, the philosophy of education, and educational policy studies, as well as on educational practices, the course addresses questions such as these: How should society be structured? What do we hope to achieve through education? Why do some students ‘fail’ and others ‘succeed’? What role can education play in social change? This course encourages participants to deepen their understanding of education, social life, and human fulfillment.
The course is structured in two parts. The first part will discuss questions of neoliberalism and education and the principles that guide our current understandings of education. We specifically focus on questions of equality and equity in education settings and use examples such as school management & surveillance, gender and education and intersectionality. The second part of the course will focus on educational practices by looking at the idea of the hidden curriculum, testing & assessment as well as memory & school (among others). While drawing on examples from different parts of the course is designed to address the local Aotearoa context and assess education, school & teaching from a place-based perspective.
Students who successfully complete this course will:Be able to draw on sociological and philosophical work in addressing educational questions.Be aware of some of the connections and tensions between ideals and realities in education and society.Have the capacity to question commonly accepted views in education and to explore social alternatives.
This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attributes specified below:
Critically competent in a core academic discipline of their award
Students know and can critically evaluate and, where applicable, apply this knowledge to topics/issues within their majoring subject.
Biculturally competent and confident
Students will be aware of and understand the nature of biculturalism in Aotearoa New Zealand, and its relevance to their area of study and/or their degree.
Students will comprehend the influence of global conditions on their discipline and will be competent in engaging with global and multi-cultural contexts.
30 points in EDUC or YACL, or45 points of ANTH, CULT, HIST, POLS, SOCI, SPCO, orpermission of the Head of School
Students must attend one activity from each section.
Domestic fee $799.00
International fee $3,600.00
* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.
For further information see
School of Educational Studies and Leadership