EDUC30050 Schools and Society

Academic Year 2022/2023

Education is one of the most significant and effective lenses through which we examine how society operates. How an individual society operates, assesses and shapes the way it educates its people is a powerful reflection of its own values and mores. This is particularly the case for marginalized groups, whose othered status is often reinforced and reproduced, wittingly or unwittingly, by seemingly unchanging and inflexible systems of education.
This module draws upon the discipline of sociology of education and examines the key ideas, movements and forces that have shaped education systems today, both nationally and internationally. Underpinned by principles/concepts of equality and social justice, this module will employ sociological perspectives to interrogate key concepts, ideas, values and discourses which continue to influence contemporary education. Grounded in the practice of teaching, the module includes: the role and function of the education system; access and experience of the system mediated by social class, gender, sexuality and ethnicity; power and control, inclusion and exclusion. It will question the concept of educational “success” and, by challenging taken-for-granted truths about the function of education, will challenge students to posit alternative perspectives to meet the needs of a modern, pro-active society.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

• Critically analyse the role of various stakeholders in the formation of the education system in Ireland as well as the complexities and contradictions inherent in the historical record of education;
• Interpret aspects of the Irish education system in the context of sociological developments in education internationally;
• Interrogate educational policies from a sociological perspective;
• Demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between the nature and purpose of education and the wider experience of education.
• Recognise and evaluate any structural impediments to an equitable education system and suggest creative, agentic solutions to address these obstacles.

Indicative Module Content:

1. Equality, social class and schooling
2. Gender, Sexualities and Schooling
3. Race, Migration and ethnicity in Schools

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
Combination of lectures/seminars and workshops with small group work, emphasis on critical reflective enquiry and discussion 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations
Learning Recommendations:


Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Assignment: 2,000 word essay End of Year Transition n/a Graded No


Carry forward of passed components
Remediation Type Remediation Timing
In-Module Resit Prior to relevant Programme Exam Board
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Peer review activities

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Not yet recorded.

Name Role
Dr Margaret Crean Lecturer / Co-Lecturer