Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Educational Contexts: Curricula and Pedagogies

LEVEL 05 - Postgraduate Modular Diploma or Degree Course


DEPARTMENT Education Studies

DESCRIPTION ‘Education Context’ is made up of three study-units of 5 ECTs each. The third of the three study-units focuses on curricula and pedagogies. This study-unit gives attention to politics of the curricula and pedagogies. Educator-student relationships are questioned and examined. Philosophical, sociological and psychological knowledge together with inclusive theory will help the student-teachers question, inquire and re-think some of their understanding of learners and learning.

This study-unit will be offered to all those enrolled in the MTL: ECEC and Primary; Secondary; and Primary & Secondary strands. Therefore, in order to reach and provide for all the different student-teachers, the study-unit could include both whole group and small group lectures.

Study-unit Aims:

The study-unit Educational Contexts aims to discuss those practical professional skills, attitudes and dispositions of teaching which are informed by the latest educational theories. The interdisciplinary lectures will help students heighten their awareness on educational issues, in particularly for this study-unit, on issues on curricula and pedagogies. The aim of this study-unit is to help students develop a capacity for critically understanding curricula and pedagogies and the political nuances in these in order to develop a critical attitude towards policies and pedagogical practice. This study-unit is aimed at examining the curriculum as a social construct, in the sense that it is contextually and historically embedded and shaped by a multiplicity of forces. Emphasis, therefore, will be placed on institutional cultures with their hidden messages and how these serve as contexts for curriculum practice. What makes for stability and change in the curriculum will also be critically examined.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
- Question, through the ideas presented during lectures and readings, assumptions about curricula and pedagogies;
- Critique assumptions of curricula and about pedagogies;
- Analyse and evaluate how curricula and pedagogies are constructed through various relations developed in education;
- Compare various curricula and pedagogies;
- Describe various conditions that influence curricula and pedagogies.

2. Skills:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
- Transfer the issues discussed in lectures to his/her daily practice in school;
- Reflect on his/her daily practice as a teacher;
- Use better the main texts published by the Ministry of Education and other policies;
- Apply the ideals of justice and fairness in his/her daily dealings with children and their families;
- Analyse texts from a critical perspective, and creatively come up with alternative solutions to perceived problems;
- Synthesise the theories discussed in lectures, and create his/her own theories as resulting from his/her daily practice;
- Value his/her role as a 'political' agent in schools;
- Communicate his/her ideas about important issues in education;
- Engage in a critical description of what the curriculum is through engaging with a set of concepts;
- Articulate their own experience (both past when they attended compulsory schooling and now as students reading a MTL course) and read this experience through particular concepts;
- Engage in a critical and deconstructive reading of the texts relevant to processes of pedagogies.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Main Texts:

- Andy Hargreaves, Lorna Earl and Jim Ryan (1996) Schooling for Change: Reinventing Education for Early Adolescents, London, Falmer Press.
- Marsh, C.J. (2005) Key Concepts for Understanding Curriculum, Vols.1-2. London: Falmer Press.
- Borg, C., Cardona, M. and Caruana, S. (2009) ‘Letter to a Teacher’: Lorenzo Milani’s Contribution to Critical Citizenship, Malta: Agenda.
- Wain, K. (1991) The Maltese National Curriculum: a critical analysis. Mireva Publications.
- Sultana, R.G. (1997) Teachers and the struggle for democracy: educators as political actors, in Sultana, R.G. (Ed.) Inside/Outside Schools: Towards a Critical Sociology of Education in Malta, Malta: PEG.
- McInerney, D & McInerney, V (2009). Educational Psychology-Constructing Learning (4th ed.)

Supplementary Readings:

- Lynch, K. and A. Lodge (2002) Equality and Power in Schools: Redistribution, Recognition, and Representation.
- Korn, C. and A. Bursztyn (2002) (Eds) Rethinking Multicultural Education, Westport, Bergin adn Garvey.
- Lindon, J. (2006) Equality in Early Childhood: Linking Theory and Practice, Abingdon, Hodder Arnold.
- Thrupp, M. and R. Lupton (2006) Taking school contexts more seriously: the social justice challenge, British Journal of Education, vol. 54, no 3, pp 308-328.
- Mills, M. and A. Keddie (2007) Teaching boys and gender justice, International Journal of Inclusive Education, vol. 11., no 3 pp335-354.
- Lingard, B. (2007) Pedagogies of indifference, International Journal of Inclusive Education, vol. 11, no 3, pp245-266.

A reading pack will be provided containing the following readings:

- Barrow, R. (1981) The Philosophy of Schooling. Harvester Wheatsheaf. Schooling: Its Nature and Point.
- Burwood, L., (1996) How Should Schools Respond to the Plurality of Values in a Multi-Cultural Society, Journal of Philosophy of Education, Vol. 30, No. 3. pp. 415-428.
- Carr, W., & Hartnett, A. (1996), Education and the Struggle for Democracy. Open University Press. Chapters 3, and Conclusion.
- Freire, P. (1972) Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Penguin. Chapter 2.
- Hunter, I. (1994) Rethinking the School. Allen and Unwin. Introduction.
- Illich, I. (1971) Deschooling Society, Penguin. Chapter 1’.
- Peters, R.S. (1966) Ethics and Education, Allen and Unwin, Chapter 3.
- Wain, K. et al. (1995) Tomorrow’s Schools, Ministry of Education, Malta. Chapter 2.
- White, P. (1972) Socialization and Education. In Dearden, R.F. et al. Education and the development of reason, Routledge and Kegan Paul.


Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Take Home Examination (24 Hours) SEM1 Yes 100%

LECTURER/S Barbara Baschiera
Carmel P. Borg
Mark Borg
Maria M. Brown
Colin Calleja
Mary Darmanin
Victor Martinelli
Francois Mifsud
Kenneth Wain

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.