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Understanding Education: Global Perspectives

Module titleUnderstanding Education: Global Perspectives
Module codeEFPM003Z1
Academic year2023/4
Module staff

Dr Sarah Cole (Convenor)

Dr Sharon Morgan (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


Description - summary of the module content

Module description

It has become increasingly important for those working in the field of education to have a global understanding of current issues and debates in the field. This module will deepen your understanding of key educational issues and provide you with the opportunity to examine the implications of these for your own educational context.

This is core and therefore compulsory module for all students undertaking the MA Ed (online) programme and will be completed entirely via distance learning. 

Module aims - intentions of the module

The principal aim of this module is to enable you to develop a stronger theoretical understanding of current issues and debates in education in a global context. You will consider a variety of perspectives informed by research, theory, policy and practice and examine key questions such as:

  • What might be meant by ‘education’?
  • How do sociological and philosophical perspectives of education support or challenge our understandings of contemporary debates in education?
  • What are the big global questions, issues and debates concerning education?
  • In what ways do social forces influence educational processes and outcomes?

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. demonstrate a critical understanding of what might be meant by ‘education’ in a variety of contexts
  • 2. critically evaluate different perspectives on the aims and purposes of education
  • 3. demonstrate a critical understanding of current global issues in education

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 4. consider the relationship between educational theory, research, policy and practice
  • 5. critically reflect upon and evaluate your own understanding of current issues and debates in education and those of others

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 6. synthesise and organise ideas to present an argument;
  • 7. present ideas and engage in critical reflective debate.
  • 8. undertake both directed and independent study to recognise, justify and analyse key ideas in the literature and relate these to research, theory, policy and practice

Syllabus plan

Syllabus plan

Whilst the module’s precise content may vary from year to year, it is envisaged that the syllabus will cover the following topics:

  • The nature, aims and purposes of education in a global context
  • A variety of disciplinary perspectives on education (e.g. philosophy and sociology)
  • Current global issues and debates in education
  • The relationship between educational theory, policy, practice and research

Learning and teaching

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning & Teaching activities4812 x 4 hours per week of online seminars (weeks 1-6; 8-13)
Guided independent study48Preparatory work for taught seminars (including reading; research tasks; collaborative tasks)
Guided Independent Study104Completion of directed study tasks integral to the taught seminars.
Guided Independent Study20Completion of formative assignment tasks
Guided Independent Study80Completion of summative assignment tasks


Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Written assignment 6001-2; 4-7Written

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Written Assignment402,0001-8Written and grade
Written Assignment 502,5001-8Written and grade
Engagement log105008Written and grade


Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Written Assignment Written Assignment (2000)1-88 weeks
Written Assignment 25001-88 weeks
Engagement logCompletion and quality of engagement log88 weeks


Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

  • Aldrich, R. ?(2003)?The three duties of the historian of education,?History of Education,?32:2,?133-143,?DOI:?10.1080/00467600304154 
  • Aubrey, K., & Riley, A. (2020).?Understanding and using challenging educational theories. Sage.Bailey, R. et al. (2010)?The SAGE handbook of philosophy of education.  SAGE.? 
  • Burton, D. M., & Bartlett, S. (2020). Introduction to education studies.?Introduction to Education Studies, 1-464.Barrow, R. (2006)?An introduction to philosophy of education. 4th?edition. Routledge.??? 
  • Biesta, G. (2013) The beautiful risk of education. Taylor and Francis. Culhane, L., & Bazeley, A. (2019). Gender stereotypes in early childhood: A literature review.?The Fawcett Society
  • Eales-Reynolds, Lesley-Jane (2013) Critical thinking skills for education students (electronic resource). Learning Matters. 
  • Furlong, J., and Lawn, M. (2011) Disciplines of Education: Their Role in the Future of Education Research. Routledge  
  • Gu, M. D. (2020). What is ‘decoloniality’? A postcolonial critique.?Postcolonial Studies,?23(4), 596-600. Haut, C.M., and Kerry, T., (2008) International Perspectives on Education. Bloomsbury.  
  • Henriksen, D., Henderson, M., Creely, E., Ceretkova, S., ?ernochová, M., Sendova, E., ... & Tienken, C. H. (2018). Creativity and technology in education: An international perspective.?Technology, Knowledge and Learning,?23, 409-424
  • Matheson, C. (2004). Ideology in education in the United Kingdom. Chapter 2 in Matheson, D (ed). An introduction to the study of education. Second edition. David Fulton Publishers.  
  • Murphy, L. et al (2009) Educational Ideologies. Chapter 3 in Murphy L, et al Education Studies: An introduction. Open University Press.  
  • Pring, R. (2005) Philosophy of education: aims, theory, common sense and research. Continuum.Scholes,
  • L., Spina, N., & Comber, B. (2021). Disrupting the'boys don't read'discourse: Primary school boys who love reading fiction.?British Educational Research Journal,?47(1), 163-180..?  Social Mobility Commission. (2022). State of the nation 2022: a fresh approach to social mobility. 
  • Stoet, G., & Geary, D. C. (2018). The gender-equality paradox in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education.?Psychological science,?29(4), 581-593. 
  • Tate, N. (2015) What is education for? The view of the Great Thinkers and their relevance today. John Catt Educational Ltd.
  • Winch, C. (2012) For philosophy of education in teacher education. Oxford Review of Education 38 (3), 305–322. 

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources


Module has an active ELE page

Key words search

Education; Education studies; global issues in education; debates in education.

Credit value30
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date