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How do we establish what is the best practice or policy? How do we assess and attune conflicting interests or claims? How do we decide in the case of strong differences of opinion and perception?
In education, upbringing and youth care there are a number of different interests to consider. These interests, of the children, their parents, the groups to which they belong (e.g. religious or ethnic minorities), and the interests of society are often difficult to define and they can often be at odds with each other.
Educational professionals need to have the competences to analyse and discuss moral, legal and policy-related issues. Some of them need to be extra-proficient in this area in order to be able to advise other professionals, managers, policy makers, politicians, and governments.
Read more about this course
Students with a:
- Related university degree (e.g. Psychology, Sociology, Philosophy, Law, Theology, Religious Sciences)
- Bachelor's degree in Educational Sciences at a university other than the University of Groningen.
Application deadline for this master programme is 1st June 2021 for the September intake 2021.
Fees & funding
Start dates & study options
The University of Groningen is a top 100 research university with a global outlook. We are currently ranked 80th on the Times Higher Education ranking and offer over 30 English-taught Bachelor's programmes and over Master's programmes. Founded in 1614, the university is one of the oldest research universities in the Netherlands. We are a truly international university, with over 30,000 students and 6,000 international students from over 120 different nationalities.Read more
My name is Rosa María Guttiérez. I am Mexican and I am 20 years old. I am following the Master's track 'Ethics of Education: Philosophy, History and Law'. Before starting this programme, I gained a Bachelor's degree in Pedagogy in Mexico City. Before studying Pedagogy, I started a programme in International Relations and Political Science, but I didn't finish it. I was looking for a Master's programme that would enable me to combine my interest in politics with my background in education.
I compared programmes offered in Amsterdam, Utrecht and Nijmegen with the programme in Groningen, and the latter appealed to me most. The name of the programme indicates that it involves philosophy, which interests me, and I also didn’t want to go to a very big city. Mexico City is huge, and I was looking for a different lifestyle.
I really like Groningen. It’s very nice. Because it is not a big city, everything is within cycling distance. It is a real student city, with a young and interesting population. There is a lot of art and there are different festivals. It’s also very international.
Ethics of Education has helped me to understand what happens behind the scenes before decisions are made in the education field. We still have to find a way of giving voice to all the children we are trying to help or provide for. In this programme, you follow course units in the first semester. In the second semester you complete a placement and write your thesis. I am currently doing a placement at SLO, the Netherlands Institute for Curriculum Development. Some course units focus on the legal background. I really like the course unit ‘Citizenship of Education’, which looks at how education influences our democratic societies and how or why education should be responsible or not.
After finishing the 'Academic Pabo', I felt a little too young to start working immediately. I wanted to learn more before I would start to teach others.
I chose the Master’s programme ‘Ethics of Education’ because I was ınterested in moral issues that concern education. For me, that is more interesting than only focussing on policy issues in education. In this master’s programme, you examine what is best for a child. That is very often hard to say, because who decides what is best? The parents, the school or perhaps the child itself? It is very interesting to dive into those issues. I am happy that I decided to study this.
A course İ really liked was ‘In the best interest of the child’. You learn how to make decisions when there is a dilemma and people have different opinions on what might be best for a child. An example would be if it is good for a child to skip a grade. Teachers, parents and children might all want something different. What would be a proper solution for that?
My thesis is about parent involvement. I have always been interested in that. During my internship at a primary school, I found out that the communication between parents and teachers is often poor. I studied a project at a school where parents coach their children individually in class. I am going to examine how that influences the inequality of opportunity for children. In The Netherlands, there is a lot of inequality of opportunity caused by shadow education like private supplementary tutoring or homework coaching. Especially highly educated parents send their children to such courses. I am going to research if this project will have a positive or perhaps a negative effect on this.
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