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

Undergraduate Course: Children, Education and Social Justice (EDUA08092)

Course Outline
SchoolMoray House School of Education and Sport CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe Children, Education and Social Justice course is designed to develop your thinking around questions of social justice in childhood practice and education.

We hope that through this course you will strengthen your analytical and academic skills. The course will enable you to continue to develop your reflective, questioning and critical approach to thinking about your own work with children, families and other practitioners.

The course has three interconnected themes:
- Personal and professional self-reflection
- Theories and dimensions of social justice (e.g. gender, sexuality, social class, race, ethnicity, dis/ability)
- Social Justice in childhood practice, education and inter-agency working

Course description This course aims to presents early childhood and educational settings as significant institutional sites in the lives of children. It introduces students questions of social justice in pedagogy, assessment & curriculum and links these to current educational contexts in Scotland and internationally. Students will be asked to investigate and analyse a range of policy that is relevant to the intersection between school and social services. The course also introduces students to a range of social justice issues and how they may be manifest in schooling.

The course will take an interdisciplinary and multi-agency perspective, encouraging students to undertake critical analysis of the place and purpose of schooling in both the broader context of children's lives and of the students' own workplaces. Through analysis of the intersecting research and policy for school and social services, the students will be encouraged to undertake critical and creative evaluation of their own services and practice. This course builds upon the theory, research and management evident in courses undertaken by the students in the previous year of study.

***This is a core course of the BA Childhood Practice. Students from other programmes need to contact the course organiser before they enrol on the course.***
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements This course is only available to students on the BA Childhood Practice. Please note that there is a maximum number of students who may be enrolled on the course and we are currently not able to accept students from other programmes.
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2020/21, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  0
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 22, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 174 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Children, Education and Social Justice is assessed via one summative 2,000 word essay. With focus on one specific aspect of social justice you should consider concepts, research and academic writing to produce an essay on 'Improving Social Justice in Our Workplace'. (You can title the essay to suit the focus of your study if you so wish). Aspects of social justice covered during the course are: - Social Class - Gender - Race and ethnicity - Dis/ability
You should set yourself one or more key questions to explore within the essay and make these clear and justified in your introduction. The essay should include the following sections: - Cover Page and Title - Introduction outlining your rationale for exploration of the specific aspect of equality, relating this to your own workplace and setting out your key question(s) with clear justification. - Theoretical analysis of your chosen aspect of social justice, drawing on literature and research and with reference to intersectionality and other relevant key theories of social justice discussed during the course - Conclusions/ Recommendations Each section should include clear and relevant referencing to contrasting academic literature from the course and wider reading. The use of sub-headings is recommended to steer your reader and help structure your essay.
Feedback Formative Assessment Opportunities
1. GROUP DISCUSSIONS Learning activities for this course have been designed to include interactive group activities. Information about these activities can be found in the learning materials in advance of each class. You should come fully prepared and able to share ideas and questions. Through discussion, your tutor and other students will help clarify any misunderstandings, and work on applying theoretical ideas to practical examples. Such discussions are very important opportunities for feedback. Your tutor will comment on your understanding of the ideas covered in the course, and may give you specific advice regarding your progress. Such feedback is intended to help you understand what your strengths and development points are, and to enable you to take informed responsibility for your learning and progression. To really make the most of them, you may find it helpful to write up notes from the discussions.
2. ASSIGNMENT EXAMPLES Children, Education and Social Justice is assessed by an essay. Examples of essays from previous years are available via the course assessment folder, together with other guidance including the grade-related marking criteria. You can use these in a number of ways. For instance, you could discuss them with another student or small group of students, you might want to try 'marking' them yourself and comparing your assessment with the actual marking sheet.
3. FEEDBACK ON ESSAY PLANS Course time will also be devoted to providing individual and group feedback to your essay plans/mind maps, from tutors and peers. Students are welcome to submit essays plans/mind maps earlier via email and receive feedback. Making good use of feed-forward and feedback is a skill which, like any other, needs to be learned, practised and honed. You can find information and resources to help you make good use of feedback on the University of Edinburgh's Enhancing Feedback website available at: If you feel you would benefit from guidance on making good use of feedback, you can talk to your PT, and/or ask whether the topic can be discussed at one of your PT group meetings. Formal Feedback Formal written feedback will be given to each student on their assignment at the end of the course.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate an understanding of, and an ability to critically evaluate the complex inter-relationship between children, schooling (in the broad context of children's lives), social services, issues of social justice and the students┐ own workplaces, especially in terms of the students┐ leadership responsibilities
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of the place of schools and social services in the life experiences of childhood, including health, well-being and aspirations
  3. Develop, articulate and justify a professional position regarding childhood, school and social services that is based in current research literature
  4. Demonstrate an understanding and critical evaluation of current developments in pedagogy, curriculum and assessment and the relationship between these within the Scottish context
  5. Demonstrate critical engagement with issues of social justice and the relationship between social divisions, life experiences and academic achievement, an understanding of the implications for educational policy and practice for social and cultural change
Reading List
Some key readings are:
Arshad, R., Wrigley, T and Pratt, L., (eds) (2012) Social Justice re-examined. Trentham Publications
Cole, M. (Ed.) (2006) Education, Equality and Human Rights: Issues of gender, 'Race', Sexuality, Disability and Social Class. Abingdon: Routledge
Connolly, P. (1998) Racism, Gender Identities and Young Children. London: Routledge
Connolly, P. (2004) Boys and Schooling in the Early Years. London: RoutledgeFalmer
Lareau, A. (2003) Unequal Childhoods: Class, Race, and Family Life. Berkley & Los Angeles: University of California Press
Siraj-Blatchford, I. & Clarke, P. (2000) Supporting Identity, Diversity and Language in the Early Years. Buckingham: Open University Press
Whalley, M.E., & Allen, S. (2008) Leading Practice in Early Years Settings: Achieving EYPS. Exeter: Learning Matters, Ltd. (Particularly Chapter 3, Leadership of Equality Practice)
Yelland, N. (2005) Critical Issues in Early Childhood Education. Maidenhead: Open University Press
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills A. Research and Enquiry
Graduates of the University will be able to create new knowledge and opportunities for learning through the process of research and enquiry. This will be understood in terms of the following:
-be able to identify, define and analyse problems and identify or create processes to solve them
- be able to exercise critical judgment in creating new understanding
-be ready to ask key questions and exercise rational enquiry
-be able to critically assess existing understanding and the limitations of their
own knowledge and recognise the need to regularly challenge all knowledge
-search for, evaluate and use information to develop their knowledge and
- have an informed respect for the principles, methods, standards, values and
boundaries of their discipline(s) and the capacity to question these
-understand economic, legal, social, cultural and environmental issues in the
use of information
-recognise the importance of reflecting on their learning experiences and be
aware of their own learning style
B. Personal and Intellectual Autonomy
Graduates of the University will be able to work independently and sustainably, in a way that is informed by openness, curiosity and a desire to meet new challenges. This will be understood in terms of the following:
-be open to new ideas, methods and ways of thinking
-be creative and imaginative thinkers
-be able to identify processes and strategies for learning
-be independent learners who take responsibility for their own learning, and
are committed to continuous reflection, self-evaluation and self-improvement
- be able to make decisions on the basis of rigorous and independent thought,
taking into account ethical and professional issues
-be able to use collaboration and debate effectively to test, modify and
strengthen their own views
-be intellectually curious and able to sustain intellectual interest
-be able to respond effectively to unfamiliar problems in unfamiliar contexts
-have a personal vision and goals and be able to work towards these in a
sustainable way
C. Communication
Graduates of the University will recognise and value communication as the tool for negotiating and creating new understanding, collaborating with others, and furthering their own learning. This will be understood in terms of the following:
-make effective use of oral, written and visual means to critique, negotiate, create and communicate understanding
-use communication as a tool for collaborating and relating to others
-further their own learning through effective use of the full range of
communication approaches
- seek and value open feedback to inform genuine self-awareness
- recognise the benefits of communicating with those beyond their immediate
- use effective communication to articulate their skills as identified through self-
D. Personal Effectiveness
Graduates of the University will be able to effect change and be responsive to the situations and environments in which they operate. This will be understood in terms of the following:
- appreciate and use talents constructively
- be able to create and harness opportunities
- be able to manage risk while initiating and managing change
-be responsive to their changing surroundings, being both flexible and
- have the confidence to make decisions based on their understandings and
their personal and intellectual autonomy
- be able to flexibly transfer their knowledge, learning, skills and abilities from
one context to another
- understand social, cultural, global and environmental responsibilities and
- be able to work effectively with others, capitalising on their different thinking,
experience and skills
- work with, manage, and lead others in ways that value their diversity and
equality and that encourage their contribution to the organisation and the wider community
Special Arrangements This is a core course of the BA Childhood Practice. Students from other programmes need to contact the course organiser before they enrol on the course. There is a requirement for students to be working an in a childhood setting in order to take the course.
Additional Class Delivery Information Teaching will involve a combination of direct and independent learning, including: tutorials, short set lectures, project work, online interactions, web-based research, group collaborative discussion and
the setting of individual study tasks that encourage students to contribute to the curriculum by sharing knowledge.
You will be required to keep a weekly note/journal of how your perspectives of children and young people have developed throughout the course. This journal then becomes your learning record and enables you to complete reflection tasks in the final year of the course.
Keywordssocial justice,childhood,schooling,social services,pedagogy,curriculum and assessment,leadershi
Course organiserDr Maggie Morrison
Tel: (0131 6)51 4237
Course secretaryMiss Gabriella Szel
Tel: (0131 6)51 4906
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