What you will study
This module consists of five blocks:
Block 1: Issues in comparative and international education
In this block, you’ll start with a look at classrooms around the world. It will then introduce you to some of the key concepts, theories, research methods and current topics in comparative and international education.
Block 2: Comparing through reading, watching and listening
The theme of this block is comparing and contrasting curricula for young children, how it’s taught, and the purposes of teaching it. You’ll read widely, and watch and listen to practitioners around the world, to examine how the process of teaching and learning takes different forms depending on context and participants.
Block 3: Inclusive education in different contexts
This block considers aspects of children’s lives that can have a significant influence on the development of their identity and their learning, including religion and migration experiences. You’ll also explore the way that being identified as disabled or having learning difficulties varies and may influence interactions, behaviour and educational progress in diverse contexts.
Block 4: Professionalisation, professional development and professional conversations
The theme of this study block is about teaching as a profession; how teachers continue their learning throughout their careers; and considers the many professional conversations through which different perspectives about primary education are revealed. You’ll consider the different ways teachers talk and think about teaching, and learn more about the variety of routes into teaching across the world.
Block 5: The global, the local, the national
This final block draws together key messages of the module, looking at local situations through the lens of key international initiatives including PISA (Programme for International Student Development) and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. This move to a macro and international viewpoint heightens and deepens the scope of comparisons across education systems and cultures and gives you an opportunity to review and reflect on the comparative theme implicit in all the blocks.
As appropriate for those studying at Level 3, you’ll critically and systematically analyse and evaluate concepts, theories, values, policy, curriculum and practice relating to children’s learning in a variety of primary contexts. In addition, you’ll consider your own learning and experience in the context of specific themes that take account of the local, national and global contexts for teaching and learning.
This is a practice-focused module. We advise you to arrange a placement of at least 10 days in a learning setting during your study. This experience will be essential if you wish to apply for postgraduate teacher training. As part of professional practice development, you’ll work collaboratively with other students on some assessment tasks.
You will learn
This module will provide you with knowledge and understanding of:
- the comparative contextual factors, principles, issues, theories and research that underpin and inform national and international education policy and practices for primary children
- the social, historical, political, cultural and philosophical influences on curricula in different contexts for learning
- the ways in which ethnicity, religion, class, gender, and sexual orientation impact on children’s learning and development, and how structures and provision can create or challenge inequalities
- the ways in which the diverse needs of pupils – including those with Special Educational Needs, with disabilities, of high ability, learning additional languages – influence learner identities in different contexts
- the political, legal, ethical and rights principles that guide practice in a range of national and international contexts
- the central importance of positioning children’s voices and perspectives, in relation to the roles and responsibilities of members of the primary education community in different contexts.
The module will be of relevance to:
- anyone with an interest in the education of children aged between 3 and 12
- anyone with an interest in international education and development, sustainability and globalisation
- teaching assistants, classroom assistants, school support-staff or volunteers (or similar) who wish to develop their knowledge and academic skills in their current role
- those aspiring to apply for teacher training to qualify as a teacher
- anyone currently working, volunteering, or aspiring to work in the third sector, including museum education, community education, NGOs, or educational administration.
E309 strongly positions students who, on completion of the degree, will seek employment within the education sector, wish to apply for teacher training in the primary age range, or who are considering further study at Master’s level.
If you’re thinking about training to be a teacher, see our booklet Becoming a teacher.