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Course Overview

Are schools too focussed on assessments? Is education just about profit? Does the classroom affect children’s creativity? These are some of the questions that surround education in the present day.

On this course, you will discuss these questions in depth and understand some of the recent major changes in education. You will explore a range of key concepts, including how education might now be considered a business and the link between education and economic growth. You will reflect on your own schooling experiences as well as look at possible educational alternatives for the future.

  • What education means in an era where assessment rules and where big data and key performance indicators are key.
  • In what ways education is now routinely linked to economic progress.
  • Whether the purpose of education has changed in the 21st century.
  • What positive alternatives exist to challenge dominant instrumental thinking? How have these been enacted and how can we learn from them in our own educational thinking?
  • Whether education can be considered as a business or corporate activity?
  • Other visions of education including social justice.

This course is for anyone with an interest in education, including teachers, students, and parents. This course will also be of interest to an international audience. No prior qualifications in education are required.

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to…
  • Reflect on your own educational experiences and consider how these might relate to contemporary concerns.
  • Describe some of the major changes which have occurred in education in recent years and also identify thoughts, ideas and practices which might have remained the same/similar over time.
  • Discuss forms of alternative education which are practiced in current education systems.
  • Investigate some of the affordances of technology and creativity in education.
  • Explore possibilities for social justice in the current education system.
  • Evaluate a range of perspectives to identify some alternative answers to the big questions asked about contemporary and future education.