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Unit Co-ordinator Contact Details 4
Some Organisational Details 4
Learning Outcomes for EDUC1100 5
Teaching & Learning Responsibilities 9-11
Assessment criteria (essay) 12
Welcome to ‘Education in Australia’ (EDUC 1100)! For most of you this will be your first academic unit in a subject broadly termed EDUCATION. While it never featured in your school curriculum you were and continue to be subjected to it! This introductory course, given the broad title of 'Education in Australia', will introduce you to the various dimensions of the subject and set them within an Australian context. The study of Education encompasses a wide range of fields including the Politics of Education; Sociology of Education; Philosophy of Education; History of Education; Economics of Education; Comparative Education; Special Education; Curriculum Studies; the Study of Teaching and Learning, Educational Psychology, and Measurement and Evaluation, to name but a few. This unit is designed to introduce you to a new area of study and to familiarise you with some of the leading ideas and issues of contemporary debate about education in Australia. Education is a highly political subject in most countries, and no more so than in Australia, where it is widely regarded as the means to the 'good life', power and status in society. Parents and Commonwealth and State governments alike, spend vast sums on educating youth for a variety of reasons. Parents see education as an investment in their offspring while governments view it as a form of national investment in the future well-being of society and the national economy.
Whether you choose a career in teaching or not, it is important that as an 'educated person' you are well-informed on educational matters. You will need to clarify where you stand on many controversial issues and know why, in order to be able to talk meaningfully with professional colleagues and the parents of children you subsequently teach. To be well-informed on educational issues is part of being a professional in the same way as lawyers and doctors play a leading role in debates about justice and public health matters.
In this unit, a strong emphasis will be placed on the complex and contested nature of education and therefore the weekly topics have been organised around a series of key questions that are designed to open up a wide array of controversial issues in contemporary education and to challenge your thinking.
THE AIM IS TO BECOME A
‘CRITICALLY REFLECTIVE PRACTITIONER’
AN ACTIVE PARTICIPANT IN AUSTRALIAN EDUCATION.
Unit Co-ordinator Contact Details
Research Assistant Professor Elaine Lopes
2.04 GSE Building
08 6488 2396
Some Organisational Details
Lectures and tutorials
Lectures are scheduled for Friday mornings from 9am to 10.45am in Arts Lecture Room 8. In addition, students will be expected to attend a tutorial on Tuesday mornings between 9am and 10am or 10am and 11am in G.09 in the Graduate School of Education (tutorial groups will be arranged during the first lecture). The session on Fridays will usually take the form of an interactive style lecture in the first hour followed by a workshop in the second. The lecture in the first hour will be recorded on lectopia, but it is not possible to lectopia the workshop (small group activities) and therefore it is strongly recommended that students attend both of these sessions to participate in active face–to-face learning. The lectopia is a useful tool for revision purposes. Students will make presentations in the tutorials on Tuesdays. The same theme will generally apply to the Friday lecture & workshop, and the tutorial on the following Tuesday, although different approaches to the topic will be featured. The arrangement is designed so that tutorial discussions can be informed/enriched by the work completed in the preceding seminars. The programme is structured around a different key question each week, although many of the topics are closely related and you are encouraged to explore linkages between them.
The text book is:
Connell, R. et al. (2010), Education, Change and Society. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
A number of journal articles and book chapters of direct relevance to each weekly topic, selected to stimulate and challenge your thinking. These reading materials are available in Course Materials Online (CMO).
UWA Educational Principles
The educational principles governing all programmes at the University of Western Australia can be found at:
The learning outcomes stipulated below identify what a student is expected to know, understand or be able to do as a result of the teaching and learning process.
Overarching learning outcomes
Upon completion of this unit students should be able to:
Describe and discuss the nature of education as a field of inquiry.
Appraise the complex and contested role of education in society, past and present.
Analyse and evaluate some of the leading ideas and issues in contemporary Australian education.
Apply an understanding of leading issues in Australian education in the construction of their own approaches to education as ‘reflective practitioners’.
Specific learning outcomes
Upon completion of this unit, students should be able to:
Differentiate between education, training and indoctrination.
Describe the multiple roles of education in society, and analyse how they can change over time.
Analyse the ‘bigger picture’ of Australian education in terms of changing ideologies, structures and processes, as well as the relative roles of various pressure groups (stakeholders) in shaping education policies and practices.
Appreciate, and discuss, the complex nature of the relationship between education and social justice, with particular reference to social class, and include the respective roles of the government (public) and non-government (private) sectors in Australian education.
Analyse the relationship between gender and the processes/outcomes of education, and then discuss the implications for teachers.
Analyse issues of social justice in education in relation to the so-called rural/urban divide in Australia.
Analyse the impact of Australia’s cultural diversity on education and the implications for teachers.
Identify key issues in the education of Indigenous Australians and argue your views about the implications for both social justice and for teachers.
Discuss the complex and contested nature of the school curriculum, illustrating with contemporary examples.
Analyse the changing nature of assessment, reporting and teacher accountability in Australian schools, as well as the links between them.
Critique the different forms of teacher professional development appropriate to the globalised world of the 21C (including appreciation of the contribution of research to the development of teachers and education).
1. 4 March
What is education?
2. 11 March
What are the roles of education in society?
Text ch 2, 3;
Holmes et al.
3. 18 March
What are the changing ideologies, structures & processes in education?
Text ch 9;
4. 25 March
What is social justice?; How does social class impact on education?
Text ch 5, ch 10;
5. 1 April
How does gender impact on education?
Text ch 8;
6. 8 April
What are the implications of cultural diversity for education?
Text ch 6;
Noble & Poynting
7. 15 April
How should the curriculum be organised and taught?
Text ch 11;
Wadham et al.
26 April ANZAC DAY
8. 29 April
9. 6 May
How should teachers assess, report and be accountable for their professional practice?
Groundwater-Smith et al. (2003).
10. 13 May
How should the teaching profession be developed for C21?
Text ch 12, ch 13, ch 14;
Bottery; Groundwater-Smith et al. (2007).
11. 20 May
What are key issues in education for Indigenous Australians? (guest speaker)
Text ch 7;
12. 27 May
To what extent is there a rural/urban educational divide?
Text ch 4
13. 3 June
Assessment for this unit is outlined below. There are two assignments (the first is worth 10% and the second assignment is worth 35% of the unit mark). The combination of tutorial presentation and participation is worth 25%. The final 1.5 hour test is in the last week of lectures and is worth 30%. All components of the assessment for the unit must be completed to pass the unit. Assignment 1 :
An educational biography (10%) Due: Tuesday 29 March
The first written assignment is An educational biography of myself and my family. It should be typewritten and double-spaced, and a maximum of 1000 words. In your essay trace the educational background of yourself and your siblings if you have any, your parents, grandparents, and where possible your great grandparents. How much education did each of them receive? What schools, colleges, universities did they attend? What occupations did they pursue in life? Were/are any of your family teachers of one sort or another? Do you consider education has figured prominently in your family background? How do you account for being at university? What influence have your parents had on your education to date? Who has been the most influential person in shaping your educational career to date? This is an early opportunity to reflect about education and its meaning in your particular family.
Assignment 2 :
Essay (35%) Due: Tuesday 17 May
The second written assignment comprises a 2000 word typewritten essay. You are required to write on ONE of the topics outlined below. Please attach the separate Assessment Criteria sheet (at the back of the Unit Outline) to the front of your completed assignment. Please use a standard referencing system;
the American Psychological Association (APA) is preferred in Education:
[a] Some commentators argue that the liberal/humanist tradition is under siege in Australian education as the principles of an economic rationalist (or instrumental) ideology increasingly determine the structures and processes of education across the country. Explain this view, illustrating with examples, and then offer your own critical reflections on the ideological underpinnings of contemporary education policy and practice in Australia.
[b] What is social justice? Explain and exemplify in relation to the education of Australian children from different socio-economic and cultural backgrounds.
Tutorial presentation & participation (25%) A. The tutorial presentation will be worth 15% of the assessment for the unit. The main aims will be to demonstrate your ability to present material to a small group in a stimulating and original way, including generating lively group discussion, and to demonstrate your grasp of the topic. Students will be asked to work in pairs to review a selected reading; summarise the key points; produce a summary handout for the group; and lead group discussion. The presenters should talk for no more than 10 minutes (penalties will apply if you go beyond this time) and then lead discussion for 15 minutes (Total: 25 mins). In the remainder of the tutorial time, the tutor will lead discussion on the major theme for the week.
The following should guide the content and presentation of your tutorial:
Make sure that your topic is clearly understood, that
ask thoughtful and insightful questions of the group, and that
you demonstrate considerable effort.
B. A mark will also be given for tutorial participation over the semester which will be worth 10%. You are expected to attend weekly tutorials and to actively engage with the ideas presented.
Final test (30%) The final 1.5 hour test will occur in the last week of lectures (Friday 3 June). The examination will consist of:
TEN QUESTIONS which will require short written answers of four or five sentences (20%).
ONE QUESTION which will require a mini essay or extended written style answers. There will be a choice of questions to choose from (10%).
Teaching and Learning Responsibilities
Ethical Scholarship, Academic Literacy and Academic Misconduct
Ethical scholarship is the pursuit of scholarly enquiry marked by honesty and integrity.
Academic Literacy is the capacity to undertake study and research, and to communicate findings and knowledge, in a manner appropriate to the particular disciplinary conventions and scholarly standards expected at university level.
Academic misconduct is any activity or practice engaged in by a student that breaches explicit guidelines relating to the production of work for assessment, in a manner that compromises or defeats the purpose of that assessment. Students must not engage in academic misconduct. Any such activity undermines an ethos of ethical scholarship. Academic misconduct includes, but is not limited to cheating, or attempting to cheat, through:
Plagiarism [see more detailed statement below]
Misrepresenting or fabricating data or results or other assessable work
Inappropriate electronic data sourcing/collection
Breaching rules specified for the conduct of examinations in a way that may compromise or defeat the purposes of assessment.
Penalties for academic misconduct vary according to seriousness of the case, and may include the requirement to do further work or repeat work; deduction of marks; the award of zero marks for the assessment; failure of one or more units; suspension from a course of study; exclusion from the University, non-conferral of a degree, diploma or other award to which the student would otherwise have been entitled.
For further information, please refer to the guidelines on Academic Conduct at:
The University has a responsibility to the community at large to set high standards in all fields, including literacy. It is imperative that we ensure our graduates possess the skills of tertiary literacy and can communicate well in their chosen disciplines. Literacy in this context can be conceived of in two ways:
generally, the competence to express oneself using a standard variety of English appropriate to a tertiary level;
specifically, the ability to think, read, listen, and write well within particular contexts, according to the traditions and usages of particular disciplines.
Throughout the University Policy Statement the use of the term literacy embraces both of these concepts.
If you wish to apply for an extension on a particular assignment, please write to the Unit Co-ordinator prior to the due date. An extension of more than a fortnight will normally require presentation of a medical certificate.
Introduction All forms of cheating, plagiarism and copying are condemned by the University as unacceptable behaviour. The Faculty’s policy is to ensure that no student profits from such behaviour.
What is Plagiarism? Plagiarism is the presentation of the work of other people as one’s own work, without referencing its source or attributing it to its intellectual proprietor. Such misuse of the work of others constitutes plagiarism, whether that work is in published or unpublished physical form, or in the form of thoughts or ideas. Plagiarism is the most serious of academic offences because it is a form of cheating.
Principles to be Applied All work submitted by any student in the Faculty of Education is to be the work of that student alone, unless otherwise indicated, such as in group assignments. Students may, and indeed are encouraged to, draw upon the work of others, but it must be duly acknowledged and referenced in accordance with standard academic conventions. Work that, in whole or in part, is not that of the student or students submitting it will be regarded as plagiarised, and will be dealt with in the manner outlined below.
Dealing with Plagiarism For a brief introduction to academic misconduct and how it is dealt with at UWA, students are advised to complete the Academic Conduct Online (ACO) Module, accessible through WebCT.
More detailed information on plagiarism and its consequences can be found in the “Academic Conduct” Guidelines of the University, which may be viewed in full at:
http://www.teachingandlearning.uwa.edu.au/tl4/for_uwa_staff/policies/student_related_policies/academic_conduct Please also consult the University’s documentation on student discipline, accessible at:
If students feel they have been unfairly assessed, they have the right to appeal their mark by submitting an Appeal Against Academic Assessment form to the Head of School and Faculty Office. The form must be submitted within twelve working days of the formal despatch of your unit assessment. It is recommended that students contact the Guild Education Officers to aid them in the appeals process. They can be contacted on +61 8 9380 2295 or at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Full regulations governing appeals procedures are available in the University Handbook, and at:
This Charter of Student Rights and Responsibilities upholds the fundamental rights of students who undertake their education at the University of Western Australia.
It recognises that excellence in teaching and learning requires students to be active participants in their educational experience. It upholds the ethos that in addition to the University's role of awarding formal academic qualifications to students, the University must strive to instil in all students independent scholarly learning, critical judgement, academic integrity and ethical sensitivity.
The Charter also refers to the responsibilities of students. In particular, it is important to understand that despite all efforts to promote successful teaching and learning outcomes, a student may still not reach the required standard to pass a unit.
Please refer to the full Charter of Student Rights and Responsibilities at: