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Unit information: Education, Schooling and Diversity in 2021/22

Unit name Education, Schooling and Diversity
Unit code SPOL10039
Credit points 20
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Twum-Danso Imoh
Open unit status Not open




School/department School for Policy Studies
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law

Description including Unit Aims

This unit will consider the diverse and often competing purposes of education and the relationship between discourses of education and formal schooling. We will take a critical and post-structural perspective on contemporary education not only in England, but also in other societies and consider the nature of formal schooling that has evolved since the advent of the social welfare state and the impact of politics and ideologies on these. Themes that we will study in depth are the curricula developments in compulsory schooling and the relationships between knowledge, learning and assessment. Underpinning this unit will be a consideration of the diversity of learners and learning contexts and we will address some of the complexities of gender, culture, ethnicity, ability and special educational needs in classrooms and the role that education can play in combating societal inequalities. Through assessment we will encourage critical reflection on students’ own learning processes.

Unit aims:

  • To provide an understanding of the education system in England as well as other contexts;
  • To demonstrate that curriculum developments are never value neutral and that political will and ideological commitments always impinge upon decisions related to education and schooling;
  • To illuminate the diversity of learners and some of the complex issues faced by teachers and educators in responding to this;
  • To be critical of assessment processes and understand the limitations of these in providing information related to learning and achievement;
  • To have a broad understanding of the variety of schooling provisions and some of the informal learning environments that exist.

Intended Learning Outcomes

After completing this unit successful students will be able to:

  1. Develop their self-reflection and self-awareness through understanding the importance of reflection in the learning process;
  2. Have a critical understanding of schooling and education processes;
  3. Keep a reflective learning journal and understand its contribution to their learning;
  4. Develop skills of innovation and creativity through collaboratively designing learning activities and resources;
  5. Critique learning provisions created by museums, galleries and outdoor environments for the exploratory for a certain group of learners.

Teaching Information

Teaching will be delivered through blended learning involving a combination of synchronous and asynchronous sessions, including weekly lectures, practical activities supported by study-group sessions and self-directed exercises. Outside of lectures learning will be more applied, substantive and in-depth and will take the form of self-paced, material delivered which is undertaken individually or supported by pair and group work, and involving elements of tutor feedback and peer-assessment. We will make use of a range of collaboration tools to foster a collaborative, creative and community mindset. Feedback will be provided for formal assessments, preparation for which will be supported through weekly studygroup sessions.

Assessment Information

Part 1: Learning resource and report 50% (1500 words) - this will assess ILOs 4+5

Part 2: Theorised reflective essay (50% marks) (1500 words) - this will assess ILOs 1-3


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. SPOL10039).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.