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Unit (2020)

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

Great Thinkers in Education (EDN679)

Organisational Unit Education
Credit Points 3
Description Students explore the work of seminal thinkers related to the field of education, such as: Michael Apple, Stephen Ball, Jean Clandinin, John Dewey, Eliot Eisner, Michel Foucault, Paolo Freire, Howard Gardner, Maxine Greene, Jurgen Habermas, Thomas Kuhn, Maria Montessori, Nell Noddings, Jean Piaget, Lev Vygotsky. Students develop (i) broad knowledge about the ideas/theories of seminal thinkers and (ii) deep understanding of selected thinkers in their sub-discipline of relevance to their intended thesis research.
Unit Learning Outcomes 1. understand the ideas/theories of seminal thinkers in education.
2. evaluate significant ways in which these seminal thinkers' ideas/theories have been used, or possibly misused, to shape educational policies and/or practices.
3. engage in scholarly dialogue with other students to foster knowledge of and higher-order thinking about the educational implications of these seminal thinkers.
4. reflect critically and creatively on the implications of seminal thinkers for their intended thesis research.
Timetabled Learning Activities Weekly 2-hour seminars/workshops are held after 4.30pm through the semester. Students complete a final assignment independently, in consultation with the unit lecturer.
Unit Learning Experiences Students undertake self-directed study and engage in scholarly dialogue with the lecturer and other students to develop their knowledge of the topic and higher-order thinking abilities. Students compile a reflective journal that informs their participation in class discussions and preparation of the final written assignment.

Scholarly dialogue involves engaging in active and empathic listening, explaining ones' thoughts to others in a mutually helpful manner, questioning others' ideas in a respectful and compassionate way, and inviting critical examination of one's own thoughts and ideas. Higher-order thinking comprises creative, critical, reflective and visionary thinking about the ideas, beliefs and values of self and others.

Internal. The internal version of the unit meets weekly. The unit is conducted in a workshop/seminar style format during which students engage in scholarly dialogue with the lecturer and other students about the weekly readings.

External. External students engage in scholarly dialogue about the weekly readings via an online discussion board on Murdoch's Learning Management System (LMS). LMS serves as a 'virtual classroom' for the external students, which internal students also may find useful. External students should access the online unit via LMS on a regular basis. External students are required to make weekly postings to the discussion board.
Assessment Assignments are designed to develop students' critical understanding and appreciation of seminal thinkers in education as well as their higher-order thinking and written communication skills. Scholarly discussion assists with development of higher-order thinking essential for engaging deeply with the readings. Prior to planning the final assignment students receive feedback on their reflective journal (Assignment 1) and performance in scholarly discussions (Assignments 2 and 3).
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.

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