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EQ107-15 Education Today

Education Studies
Undergraduate Level 1
Module leader
Mark Pulsford
Credit value
Module duration
10 weeks
100% coursework
Study location
University of Warwick main campus, Coventry
Introductory description

What are the contemporary issues and entrenched concerns in education today? What are the narratives dominating educational debates at this stage of the 21st century? What forms of educational practice and policy can be seen to be increasing social justice and which perpetuate injustices? What does 'inclusion' really mean? What should be taught in our schools? Launching into the big questions, expect a module full of debate!

Module web page

Module aims

To introduce students to key debates in contemporary education, including: educational ideologies; policy frameworks; academies and free schools; inclusion; religion; curriculum; assessment.

Outline syllabus

This is an indicative module outline only to give an indication of the sort of topics that may be covered. Actual sessions held may differ.

This module concerns understanding and debating contemporary trends within education and the social values they reflect. It will encourage students to become familiar with the dominant areas of debate, controversy and innovation that can be seen to characterise contemporary education discourse. The module will approach the topic of education through many contrasting perspectives. It will encourage students to critically appraise the social, cultural and political factors that affect students, teaching professionals, parents and other key stakeholders as they negotiate and participate in the contemporary education 'offer'. Practical approaches and philosophical perspectives will be introduced and debated as students consider how factors such as inclusion, equality, diversity, community, religion, attainment, quality, excellence, economic growth and political instability interact within the contemporary education marketplace. Students will be encouraged to identify particular areas of debate and controversy that interest them and to investigate the strengths, weaknesses and opportunities within contemporary education policy and practice.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module, students should be able to:

  • To comprehend and articulate the key debates within contemporary educational theory and practice.
  • To be able to distinguish between different ideological and political orientations as expressed in policy and practice in education.
  • To be able to debate and articulate a view on how contemporary education should develop in future.
Indicative reading list

Abbott, 1., Rathbone, M., & Whitehead, P. (2013) Education Policy, London: Sage
Bartlett, S. & Burton, D. (2012) Introduction to Education Studies (Third Edition), London: Sage Bates, J., Lewis, S. & Pickard, A. (2011) Education Policy, Practice and the Professional, London: Continuum International Publishing Group
Chitty, C. (2009) Educational Policy in Britain (Second Edition), Basingstoke : Palgrave Macmillan Collini, S. (2012) What are Universities for? London: Penguin Books
Curtis, W. & Pettigrew, A. (2009) Learning in Contemporary Culture: Perspectives in Education Studies Series, Exeter, Learning Matters
Duff, L. (2003)Spiritual development and education: A contemplative view, International Journal of Children's Spirituality, Vol. 8 (3).
Garrat, D. & Forrester, G. (2012) Education Policy Unravelled, London: Continuum International Publishing Group
Jackson, P.W. (2012) What is Education? Chicago: The University of Chicago Press
Pratt-Adams, S., Maguire, M. & Burn, E. (2010) Changing Urban Education, London: Continuum International Publishing Group
Ward, S. & Eden, C. E. (2009) Key Issues in Education Policy, London: Sage

View reading list on Talis Aspire

Subject specific skills

Students should demonstrate a critical understanding of:

  • the underlying values, theories and concepts relevant to education
  • the diversity of learners and the complexities of the education process
  • the societal and organisational structures and purposes of educational systems, and the possible implications for learners and the learning process
  • theories, practice and research in the area of education.
Transferable skills
  • Active listening
  • Communication skills
  • Confidence
  • Coordinating with others
  • Creativity
  • Critical thinking
  • Judgement and decision making
  • Managing others/People Management
  • Motivation, tenacity, commitment
  • Negotiation
  • Passion
  • Personal development skills
  • Persuading/influencing
  • Planning and organisational skills
  • Problem solving
  • Reasoning
  • Team working

Study time

Type Required
Lectures 10 sessions of 1 hour (8%)
Seminars 10 sessions of 2 hours (17%)
Private study 90 hours (75%)
Total 120 hours
Private study description

Independent study hours include background reading, completing reading/other tasks in preparation for timetabled teaching sessions, undertaking research using the library resources, follow-up reading work, working on individual and group projects, the completion of formative and summative assignments, revision


No further costs have been identified for this module.

You must pass all assessment components to pass the module.

Assessment group A1
Weighting Study time
Policy Briefing Paper 100% 30 hours

Throughout the module, students will work on a formative group project to devise their own school, taking the weekly module themes as impetus for each stage of development. Students then choose one of the issues they engaged with as part of this ongoing project (e.g., the weekly module topics) and write a briefing paper for policy makers in their fictional school's city/region.

Feedback on assessment

Individual assignment feedback


This module is Core for:

  • Year 1 of UEQA-X35B Undergraduate Education Studies
  • Year 1 of UIPA-XL38 Undergraduate Education Studies and Global Sustainable Development
  • Year 1 of UPSA-C804 Undergraduate Psychology with Education Studies