Social justice, equity and equality: inclusive practice for all

This module focuses initially on two globally recognisable areas of challenge in education – literacy and assessment. It highlights the universally applicable issues within these areas which relate to social justice, equity and inclusion. You will then be introduced to theorists who provide lenses and tools for investigating social justice (Pierre Bourdieu, Amartya Sen and Barbara Rogoff), before exploring some contemporary areas of challenge within education, including gender, language use, and poverty. Finally, you will consider how researchers have addressed questions of social justice in education.


EE845 is a compulsory module in our:

EE845 is an optional module in our:

Excluded combinations

Sometimes you will not be able to count a module towards a qualification if you have already taken another module with similar content. To check any excluded combinations relating to this module, visit our excluded combination finder or check with an adviser before registering.


Module code


  • Credits measure the student workload required for the successful completion of a module or qualification.
  • One credit represents about 10 hours of study over the duration of the course.
  • You are awarded credits after you have successfully completed a module.
  • For example, if you study a 60-credit module and successfully pass it, you will be awarded 60 credits.
Study level
Across the UK, there are two parallel frameworks for higher education qualifications, the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications in England, Northern Ireland and Wales (FHEQ) and the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF). These define a hierarchy of levels and describe the achievement expected at each level. The information provided shows how OU postgraduate modules correspond to these frameworks.
OU Postgraduate
Study method
Distance learning
Module cost
See Module registration
Entry requirements

Find out more about entry requirements.

What you will study

Section 1: Introduction
This section presents an overview of the support available to you, and strategies you will need to develop when studying this module. You will examine different ways of looking at learners and the implications for how teachers interact with them and consider the examples of autism and dyslexia, which many teachers encounter daily.

Section 2: Problematising literacy for all
You will explore the global agenda for inclusion and literacy for all, and examine different understandings of what constitutes ‘a literate person’ and the implications of these understandings for educational and inclusive practice; the distinction between ‘functional’ and ‘critical’ literacy; and the interaction between ‘the individual’ and ‘the social’ (agency and structure), which is a recurrent theme throughout the module. In Section 2, you will also examine the debates about reading, and their social historical development and implications for inclusive practice and explore other emerging educational dilemmas and their implications for establishing effective practice for all.

Section 3: Issues of Assessment
This section considers issues of assessment applicable internationally and central to the consideration of social justice, equity and inclusive practice in education. These issues challenge the dominance of systems of assessment that treat learners and their learning in isolation from their social worlds in which the possibilities for their learning are made available. You will explore literacy as an individual, social, and sociocultural attribute as it is understood and used within assessment. These understandings are problematised in terms of who is included/excluded, and whose learning is recognised and valued.

Section 4: Introduction to theorists and application of their lenses
After considering what theory represents and why it is needed, this section introduces you to three theorists relevant to the exploration of social justice in education – Bourdieu, Sen and Rogoff. Each of these writers not only exemplifies a distinct way of perceiving social activity but also provides conceptual tools for use by those undertaking an investigation of issues of social justice in education. You will also explore three areas of concern within education – gender, language use and poverty.

Section 5: Researching social justice, equity and inclusion
In this section, you will consider how issues of social justice, equity and inclusion are investigated and how this knowledge is produced and furthered by researchers. You will begin to think about a small-scale practitioner study that you might prepare for further development and/or execution when studying an appropriate Stage 3 module.

Section 6: Concluding observations
This single unit presents three articles which challenge the approaches studied in this module.

At the end of each section, there will be a consolidatory activity week during which you will work collaboratively with other learners on a specified activity.

Teaching and assessment

Support from your tutor

You will have a tutor who will help you with the study material and mark and comment on your written work, and whom you can ask for advice and guidance. You and your tutor will primarily communicate with each other through email and tutorials. Tutorials are offered via online meeting rooms and support is also facilitated asynchronously in online tutor group forums.

If you have a learning difficulty or disability that could impact on studying online please do speak with us and your tutor so that where possible reasonable adjustments can be made to facilitate your participation.

Working with other students

Peer interaction, collaboration and support are of great importance. While these are not formally assessed and there is no compulsory requirement for you to interact or collaborate with others in your tutor group, we strongly encourage the sharing of ideas and experiences with your peers through asynchronous forums. There may also be some activities that ask you to work with other students as this is a critical way in which you can broaden your knowledge and understanding of children, young people and education across different contexts, and challenge your own and others’ ideas. If you choose not to collaborate with peers then you will miss out on a valuable experience and may have difficulty executing an assignment.

Contact us if you want to know more about study with The Open University before you register.


The assessment details for this module can be found in the facts box.

Course work includes

3 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
End-of-module assessment

Future availability

Social justice, equity and equality: inclusive practice for all (EE845) starts once a year – in October.

This page describes the module that will start in October 2024.

We expect it to start for the last time in October 2030.


As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the academic regulations which are available on our Student Policies and Regulations website.

Entry requirements

You should be prepared for study at postgraduate level and have the minimum of a bachelors degree (in any subject) from a UK University or an equivalent professional qualification. We warmly welcome applications from students who have an undergraduate degree level qualification from universities outside the UK and which is deemed equivalent to a UK higher education degree.

This module is designed to follow Equity, inclusion and social justice in educational practice (EE844). To study EE845 you must have passed Learning and teaching: educating the next generation (EE830) or one of the discontinued modules EE811, EE814 or EE817.

Your spoken and written English must be of an adequate standard for postgraduate study. If English is not your first language, we recommend that you will need a minimum overall score of 7 under the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Please see the IELTS website for details.

You do not need to be employed in an educational setting to study this module. However, it is important that you have some experience of engaging or working with learners, children or young people as our pathway disciplines (Childhood and Youth Studies, Learning and Teaching, Inclusive Practice, Applied Linguistics, and Leadership and Management) are all explored through the lens of education. Therefore you will need to be able to apply your learning to an educational setting with which you are familiar: this could be as a parent/carer, a volunteer or a learner yourself.

You need to be able to spend approximately 12-15 hours per week studying for this module.

If you have any doubt about the suitability of the module, please speak to an adviser.


Start End England fee Register
05 Oct 2024 Oct 2025 £2720.00

Registration closes 12/09/24 (places subject to availability)

This module is expected to start for the last time in October 2030.

Future availability

Social justice, equity and equality: inclusive practice for all (EE845) starts once a year – in October.

This page describes the module that will start in October 2024.

We expect it to start for the last time in October 2030.

Additional costs

Study costs

There may be extra costs on top of the tuition fee, such as set books, a computer and internet access.

Ways to pay for this module

We know there’s a lot to think about when choosing to study, not least how much it’s going to cost and how you can pay.

That’s why we keep our fees as low as possible and offer a range of flexible payment and funding options, including a postgraduate loan, if you study this module as part of an eligible qualification. To find out more, see Fees and funding.

Study materials

What's included

All study materials are provided on the module website. This includes the module study guide and activities, audio/video material and a range of tools to support your study, including real-time conferencing and online forums.

Computing requirements

You’ll need broadband internet access and a desktop or laptop computer with an up-to-date version of Windows (10 or 11) or macOS Ventura or higher.

Any additional software will be provided or is generally freely available.

To join in spoken conversations in tutorials, we recommend a wired headset (headphones/earphones with a built-in microphone).

Our module websites comply with web standards, and any modern browser is suitable for most activities.

Our OU Study mobile app will operate on all current, supported versions of Android and iOS. It’s not available on Kindle.

It’s also possible to access some module materials on a mobile phone, tablet device or Chromebook. However, as you may be asked to install additional software or use certain applications, you’ll also require a desktop or laptop, as described above.

If you have a disability

Written transcripts of any audio components and Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) versions of printed material are available. Some Adobe PDF components may not be available or fully accessible using a screen reader (and where applicable: musical notation and mathematical, scientific, and foreign language materials may be particularly difficult to read in this way). Other alternative formats of the module materials may be available in the future. 

To find out more about what kind of support and adjustments might be available, contact us or visit our disability support pages.

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