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: 2021/2

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 an d 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?;

  • Why is the education system as it is in any given country

  • 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 place of e-learning in education?;

  • How do we measure educational ‘success’?;

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

Global context:

This module will enable students to compare and contrast their respective country education systems, 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 24
Guided independent study: 176
Total hours by term 200 0 0
Total hours for module 200

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 of 500 words.

Penalties for late submission:

The below information applies to students on taught programmes except those on Postgraduate Flexible programmes. Penalties for late submission, and the associated procedures, which apply to Postgraduate Flexible programmes are specified in the policy “Penalties for late submission for Postgraduate Flexible programmes”, which can be found here: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/files/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmissionPGflexible.pdf
The Support Centres will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.
The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

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:

Where applicable, core textbooks recommended for student purchase may cost around £20 to £30 per module; there may be other books/resources which you would find it convenient to buy. Some books may be available second-hand, which will reduce costs. A wide range of resources to support your curriculum, including textbooks, more specialist studies, and electronic resources, are available through the library. 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: Printing and photocopying facilities are available on campus at a cost per A4 page of £0.05 (black and white) and £0.30 (colour). Essential costs in this area will be low as most coursework is submitted electronically.

5) Computers and devices with a particular specification: A computer would be needed but nothing additional is needed

6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence: 

Last updated: 6 December 2021


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