This programme will explore the key debates in national and international education policy. You will engage with a critical analysis of the different concepts underlying the evolving landscape of educational policy globally, such as new forms of funding and delivery, privatisation, evaluation and inspection.
Students will examine key education policies in the UK and other countries, with a particular focus on social justice, and consider the possibilities for more socially fair and democratic policy enactments. You will also explore a range of identities including, but not limited to, social class, gender and ‘race’/ethnicity, and how these aspects of identity shape the policy formation and enactment process in the UK and internationally.
This course has a particular focus on social justice within education, and allows participants to reflect on the varied and linked aspects of education in a contemporary domestic, and globalised, world. You will benefit from our relationships with international organisations and contacts such as UNESCO, which open up educational study and employment opportunities.
While providing an introduction to the key theories and concepts in the fields of education policy and social justice, this course will offer students an understanding of the established techniques of research and enquiry, and how these are used to create and interpret knowledge. With these skills, you will be well placed to be able to critically evaluate research and advanced scholarship, in order to understand the basis of educational policy nationally and internationally.
You will develop the confidence and knowledge to become a professional practitioner, researcher or developer in the field of education policy. With the necessary skills and understanding for reflecting on your own and others’ practice, you will be able contribute to improving educational processes and outcomes. As such, the course is well-suited to current teachers and school leaders, professionals working in policy related areas, and national and international recent graduates.
Students will undertake a study of the recent history of Education policy, studying the key parliamentary acts from 1988 to the present time. Students will evaluate these policies in relation to social justice, looking critically at how inclusive or exclusive they have been, and from there consider the possibilities for more socially just policy enactment. Other modules will broaden this understanding, as students investigate global theoretical perspectives on education policy, and the different models and policy schemes in use, and the outcomes and implications of these policy choices in different contexts. Further, students will explore how discourses on teaching vary over time and across national contexts, and analyse the effects of education policies on the teaching profession, including looking at teachers’ contribution to social change.
Students can also explore the way in which policy is enacted and governance undertaken across the world. Particular modules will look at the new actors (philanthropists, social entrepreneurs, edu-businesses, community organisations, etc.) that have served as the driving force for recent political change, and study four conceptual principles underlying the concept of ‘network governance’.
Other modules will focus on developing your critical perspective on the political nature of education as well as offering chances to engage with new methods and tools to perform policy analysis. Especially, you will strengthen your ability to undertake and evaluate research, and you will be able to study a variety of theoretical concepts underlying social and educational research, carrying out a research project of your own.
The programme is designed for current teachers and school leaders, professionals working in policy related areas (including, for example, government at different levels, think tanks, foundations and trusts, voluntary and community sector), and national and international recent graduates, looking to develop and broaden their knowledge and a critical perspective on the political nature of education as well as engage with new methods and tools to perform policy analysis.