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Unit (2020)

Information on this page, including unit offerings, is from the 2020 academic year.

Current Debates in Education (EDN669)

Organisational Unit Education
Credit Points 3
Availability MURDOCH: S1-internal, S1-external
Teaching Timetables Murdoch S1
Description This unit examines current debates and controversies in the field of education in order to better understand how education could meet 21st Century challenges. Topics are drawn from a wide range of sub-disciplines and include the major debates discussed by educational researchers and practitioners, as well as the lay public. Participants will gain a solid, research-based understanding of the complexities of current debates in education and be well prepared to critically analyse and explain these issues with stakeholders.
Unit Learning Outcomes By the end of this unit, students will know or be able to do the following:
1. Have a nuanced understanding of major debates in the field of education.
2. Be able to explain and analyse the pros and cons of competing perspectives.
3. Be able to critically analyse presentations of these debates as they occur in the media and other lay forums.
4. Be able to locate and analyse research literature related to these educational debates.
5. Be able to articulate and defend a personal standpoint that is grounded in theory and research.
6. Be able to present a balanced, persuasive and well-written argument about a selected debate of their choice. In addition, the unit will provide an opportunity for students to:
7. Develop an analytical and critical thinking skills.
8. Develop enhanced written and oral communication skills.
Timetabled Learning Activities Seminars and workshops delivered after 4.30pm: 8 meetings of 3 hours each spaced through the semester. Students will complete research assignments independently, in consultation with teaching staff.
Unit Learning Experiences The internal version of the unit meets weekly. The unit is held in a workshop/seminar style format, during which we use discussion to critically examine each week's readings. It is therefore essential that students come to class prepared to discuss the readings. There are no lectures for this unit. Lectures are an efficient way to transmit knowledge in large undergraduate units. They are not appropriate for small postgraduate units, especially those that concern complex debates.
External students will also discuss the readings via an online discussion board on Murdoch's Learning Management System (LMS). LMS serves as a 'virtual classroom' for the external students, but internal students may find it useful as well. External students should access the online unit via LMS on a regular basis. External students are required to make a posting to the discussion board five times throughout the semester.
Assessment Assessments are designed to develop students' understanding of current debates in education, and their analytical and written communication skills. Discussion and analysis of the readings will develop critical thinking skills and ability to critically engage with competing perspectives. A student-led seminar engages students in a major debate developing critique and effective communication skills. The major assignment, a research paper on a topic of your own choice, will help develop writing, research, and analytical and critical thinking skills. Prior to submitting the research paper, students will have an opportunity to receive feedback on their writing from other assignments and oral presentation (discussion questions, discussion board postings).
Prerequisites Enrolment in a graduate-level qualification or permission of the Unit Coordinator.
Appears in these Courses/Majors:
see individual structures for context
Master of Education (Coursework) (MEd)
Internet Access RequirementsMurdoch units normally include an online component comprising materials, discussions, lecture recordings and assessment activities. All students, regardless of their location or mode of study, need to have access to and be able to use computing devices with browsing capability and a connection to the Internet via Broadband (Cable, ADSL or Mobile) or Wireless. The Internet connection should be readily available and allow large amounts of data to be streamed or downloaded (approximately 100MB per lecture recording). Students also need to be able to enter into online discussions and submit assignments online.


Unit Coordinator
Dr Peter Wright
Associate Professor

e: P.Wright@murdoch.edu.au
Unit Contacts

MURDOCH: S1-External
MURDOCH: S1-Internal
Dr Peter Wright
Associate Professor

e: P.Wright@murdoch.edu.au
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