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Education Studies

What is Education Studies?

LectureEducation Studies is at the heart of the B.Ed. degree and is unique in that it draws upon a wide range of academic disciplines (such as history, philosophy, psychology and sociology) to further our understanding of learning and educational contexts.  Since these contexts and our understanding of learning are continually evolving, so the nature of Education Studies is dynamic and changing.  Education Studies is concerned with understanding more about how we learn, from early childhood through the years of compulsory schooling and into adulthood.  As well as this focus on the individual learner, Education Studies offers a rigorous analysis of broader educational systems (for instance curricula, policies, schools) in their societal context, drawing upon the most recent research evidence.

 Why is Education Studies important?

Education Studies is at the core of the B.Ed. degree programme: encouraging students to consider fundamental questions about the nature and aims of education; providing opportunities to engage with the problematic nature of educational theory, policy and practice; and allowing students the possibility to develop and express their own reasoned viewpoint on a wide range of issues.  For instance students engage in debate on the philosophical aims of education (What is education for? What are we trying to do through the curriculum?); they analyse international research reports into effective classroom strategies to meet the needs of children with special and additional educational needs or to address pastoral concerns (Should all children with SEN be educated in mainstream schools? How can schools do more to prevent cyberbullying?); and they critically examine current policy and practice (e.g. What are the benefits of Assessment for Learning? Can more be done to tackle educational underachievement?)

How is Education Studies organised at Stranmillis University College

Education Studies is offered in each year of the Primary and Post-Primary B.Ed. degree programme.  In years 1-3 modules are compulsory; in year 4 students can choose from a wide range of options including Working with Parents, ASD and Sensory Issues, Pastoral Care and Social Disadvantage.  Many students also opt to complete their final year dissertation in Education Studies.  Students are taught using innovative methodologies in lectures and follow-up seminars, where they critically consider evidence from a range of media such as visual media, electronic journals and library texts. 

 Education Studies is a constantly-changing, diverse and exciting subject of study offering opportunities for critical reflection and debate as students learn to challenge traditional assumptions and develop their own personal, reasoned position as professional teachers.