EDM174-Values and Practices in Education

Module Provider: Institute of Education
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Prof Helen Bilton

Email: h.o.bilton@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:

This module is and its theoretical basis is intended to act as an overview of key philosophical, social, cultural and political debates about education. The education ‘system’ is a reflection of the society in which we live and an aspiration for the society we would like to live in; consequently an understanding of these debates is central to a study of education, and provides insights into the nature and purpose of education. Through the consideration of the media, political, practice and research -driven information new insights and perspectives should inform the work of those in the educational and training sector and serve to enhance their understanding of what they do, why and how they approach their work.


• To develop a critical understanding of fundamental educational issues;

• To reflect critically on the educational context in which students work and/or the philosophical, social, cultural and political context within which education is provided;

• To compare and contrast educational contexts.

Assessable learning outcomes:

• Present a rationale for adopting and/or a critique of a particular position towards educational provision, such as policy, curriculum, assessment, teaching approaches;

• Draw reflectively and critically upon their own educational experience and literature about the nature of education and educational provision;

• Compare and contrast critically the educational provision from different contexts;

• Explore the relationship between theory and practice in educational contexts.

Additional outcomes:

  • Develop academic writing, critical thinking and evaluation skills through examining different types of writing; 

  • Develop effective study skill approaches; 

  • Present ideas orally, thereby developing academic English; 

  • Develop skills of collaboration;

  • Summarise and present key ideas to peers;

  • Produce well-structured and well-argued assessments;

  • Evaluate a range of information and question validity and reliability of each. 

Outline content:

The specialist skills, knowledge and understanding will be around themes such as these: 

  • What is the purpose of education?;

  • Global approaches to education

  • How can education support social justice?

  • What is knowledge and what is worth knowing? What should be taught in a curriculum and who decides?;

  • How do people learn and what is the role of the learner in education?;

  • What is the role of the teacher in education?;

  • How do we measure educational ‘success’?;

  • What are the challenges of making and enacting educational policy?;

  • How do we educate future teachers?

Global context:

This module will enable students to compare and contrast their respective country education systems, and will be expected to work in mixed groups to construct a wiki therefore there will be a good deal of discussion of global issues.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Teaching will be conducted using lectures, group discussions, and guided independent study. The sessions will draw upon key readings and the students’ own experience of education.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 25
Practicals classes and workshops 5
Guided independent study 170
Total hours by term 200.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 70
Oral assessment and presentation 30

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Presentation: one formal individual oral presentation (30%).  Written coursework: one essay of 3,000 words consisting of a detailed written study (70%).

Formative assessment methods:

Students will be set regular reading which will be receive feedback through discussions in class and set one formative assessment for those new to the Masters programme of 500 words.

Penalties for late submission:
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guidePG.aspx

Assessment requirements for a pass:


Reassessment arrangements:

Resubmissions must be submitted within one calendar month of the notification of failure.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
1) Required text books: There are no required texts for this module. The following texts provide useful background reading and are available in the library:
Adey, P. and Dillon, J. (2012). Bad Education: Debunking Myths in Education. Maidenhead: OU Press.
Arthur, J. and Peterson, A. (2012). The Routledge Companion to Education. London: Routledge.
Semel, S.F. (2010). Foundations of Education: the Essential Texts. London: Routledge.

2) Specialist equipment or materials:
3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
4) Printing and binding:
5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

Last updated: 20 April 2018


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