We are all ‘experts’ in education, embedded in it and invested in it, with our own personal experience of being schooled, making educational choices and so on. But what does it mean to look sociologically at education? What is education, or what should it be?
This module takes a critical and analytical look at the design, development, experience and outcomes of the education system. We take the UK education system as a case study for helping us to understand the ways in which political, social, moral and economic agendas have shaped, (and continue to shape), schools and universities.
Paying close attention to key policy-making, we will ask critical questions about the role and purpose of education in relation to wider society. Who makes key decisions about the educational system, and on what basis are these decisions made? What kinds of knowledge and ways of knowing are permitted or excluded in traditional educational settings? Has the education system served to challenge or reproduce social inequalities?