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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Moray House School of Education : Education

Postgraduate Course: The Philosophy of Education (EDUA11363)

Course Outline
SchoolMoray House School of Education CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course explores some fundamental educational questions from a wide variety of philosophical perspectives, both Scottish and international. The course is underpinned by the view that ┐education┐ does not just occur in educational institutions such as school classrooms and university buildings. Instead it can happen anywhere, at any phase of a person┐s life. The course is also founded on the view that ┐philosophy┐ is not only an academic discipline, but also a way of life. It is proposed that being philosophical entails careful thought, feeling and action - including thinking for oneself, understanding the perspectives of others and acting for the common good.
Course description Questions considered in this course may include:

What is the nature of philosophy of education inquiries? What are the possibilities and limitations inherent in a what works view of educational research? How do different epistemologies such as pragmatism, post-positivism and post-structuralism, inform different methods of education research?
What is 'education'? How does it differ from teaching, training, socialization, maturation or indoctrination? What should education be for? What educational aims are most justifiable and why? Can these aims be reached and what is the most appropriate way?
What does it mean to be an ethical and 'professional' teacher? How might education and teaching be implicated in the 'good' life, if at all? How might examinations and discipline in education interrupt pursuit of the 'good' life?
What is 'knowledge' and how is it taught/and or acquired? What types of knowledge are of educational value in different contexts of learning such as classrooms, sports halls, colleges, museums, the outdoors and workplaces?
Do educational institutions encourage or hinder the pursuit of democracy, social justice and the understanding of personal and cultural differences? What can be learned from comparing educational traditions in different communities, countries and contexts?

By the end of the course students will be able to express their own point of view in respect to these questions, issues and literatures based on a solid line of argumentation.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2018/19, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 196 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) There are three assessment tasks for this course. 1. A 500 word blog post (contributing 15% of the final course mark), 2) A group presentation (contributing 15% of the final course mark) and, 3. A 2000 word essay (contributing 70% of the final course mark). The blog post assignment is submitted mid-course and requires students to choose a topic within philosophy of education research from a list of options, and use 2-3 research articles to write a critical overview of the topic. The course tutor will award 10% of the grade for the blog post while an extra 5% will be available to students who offer critically supportive comments on blog posts compiled by their peers. Students will work together in small groups for the presentation task and deliver a 5-7 minute presentation where they critically analyse an academic article related to the course. Prior to submission of their final assignment (2000 word essay), students will receive feedforward guidance on their essay plans. Essay content will relate to one or more of the topics discussed during class. Students need to achieve an overall grade of 40% across the three assessment tasks in order to pass this course.
Feedback Prior to essay submission, students will receive feedforward guidance on their presentations and on possible approaches to their essay.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Critically consider the nature of philosophy of education research
  2. Critically explore the nature and purposes of education and teaching
  3. Critically analyse the contested nature of educational knowledge and how it is best acquired
  4. Critically engage with the ideas of key educational thinkers, both Scottish and international
  5. Develop a critical awareness of the relationship between educational institutions, democracy, social justice, community learning and cultural difference
Reading List
Biesta G (2010) Good Education in an Age of Measurement: Ethics, Politics, Democracy (Paradigm, London)
Friere (1970) Pedagogy of the oppressed, (Penguin, London)
Higgins C (2011) The Good life of Teaching: An ethics of professional practice (Wiley-Blackwell, Chichester)
MacAllister J (2016) Reclaiming Discipline for Education: Knowledge, relationships and the birth of community (Routledge, London)
Nietzsche F (2016) Anti-Education: On the future of our educational institutions (NYRB Classics, New York)
Nussbaum M (2011) Creating Capabilities:The Human Development Approach (Harvard, London)
Plato (1956) Protagoras and Meno (Penguin, London)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Group presentation skills, analytic reading and writing skills, group discussion skills
Course organiserDr James MacAllister
Tel: (0131 6)51 6631
Course secretaryMr Giorgi Amirkhanashvili
Tel: (0131 6)51 4241
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