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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Education Theory - Advanced
Module Code ED3301
School 78
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Aideen Cassidy
Semester 2: Aideen Cassidy
Autumn: Aideen Cassidy
Module TeachersAideen Cassidy
NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None
Coursework Only

This foundation studies module has two components (a) the history of Irish Education and (b) the Philosophy of Education. The history of education component provides students with knowledge and understanding of how the history of Irish education is reflected in current developments in education. It aims to enhance students’ understanding of the Irish education system, locate it in context and enable students to think critically about it. The philosophy of education component of the module aims to explore the role of philosophical enquiry in educational discourse by introducing students to selected themes in the philosophy of education. This is approached through the study of selected works by foundational Philosophers of Education.

Learning Outcomes

1. Demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of how the history of Irish education is reflected in current developments in education.
2. Display a nuanced understanding concerning the relationship between Church and State in relation to education.
3. Show an understanding of the major themes in the philosophy of education
4. Display a capacity to provide and defend sound arguments regarding aspects of educational practice
5. Consider and reflect upon the implications of the topics covered for the post-primary school and teacher.

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture24No Description
Independent Study101No Description
Total Workload: 125

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

History of Irish Education
In order for students to gain knowledge and understanding of how the history of Irish education is reflected in current developments in education, several key themes will be explored in this section of the module: - The genesis and historical evolution of the Irish system of primary and post primary education - Education and the Constitution - Issues of control and management in Irish education since the 1960s

Philosophy of Education
This section of the module includes engagement with several of the major themes in the Philosophy of Education, involving exploration and analysis of the work of a number of Philosophers (including Locke, Rousseau, Dewey, Noddings and others).

Professional Identity and Agency
How the concept of teacher identity has changed over time is addressed in the Philosophy of Education by examining key changes in the definition of the teacher as a professional. Within the History of Education module, student teachers are encouraged to understand their role and those of relevant parties (Teaching Council, Parents, Pupils, Unions etc.) as a professional and independent cohort who are included in consultation.

Professional Relationships and Working with Parents
The evolution of the school-parent relationship as it evolved from the late 1980s is addressed in the History of Education. Parental school choice and its attendant frictions are examined through engagement with foundational texts in the Philosophy of Education. The school as a learning community and the significance of parental involvement in education are implicit themes discussed across the module.

Research-Informed Insights
The module is informed by research pertaining to individual disciplines, and students are encouraged and supported to engage with current research on teaching and learning in particular as it pertains to the Irish Education system (for example, policy documents, relevant academic journals, materials such as personal reflective journals etc).

Critical, Creative and Reflective Thinking Skills
Students are prompted to think critically about the topics covered across the module. This is fostered through detailed lectures, significant support via digital resources coupled with extensive reading. Critical, creative and reflective thinking is encouraged via the type of assignment employed, in-’class’ discussion where possible, and the nature of readings students are encouraged to engage with.

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
EssayThe History of Irish Education and the Philosophy of Education will be assessed by Continous Assessment.100%n/a
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 1
Indicative Reading List

  • Coolahan, J.: 1980, Irish Education: History and Structure, Institute of Public Administration, Dublin,
  • Tom O'Donoghue: 2021, Piety and Privilege, Oxford University Press, 9780192843166
  • Brendan Walsh: 2017, Essays in the History of Irish Education, Palgrave Macmillan, 9781349703203
  • Williams, K.: 2005, Faith and the Nation: Religion, Culture and Schooling in Ireland, Dominican Publications, Dublin,
  • O’Buachalla, S.: 1988, Educational Policy in Twentieth Century Ireland, Wolfhound Press, Dublin,
  • Dewey, J.: 1916, Democracy and Education: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Education, Macmilllan,
  • Dewey, J.: 1915, The School and Society, University of Chicago Press,
  • Boyd, W.: 1963, The Educational Theory of Jean Jacques Rousseau, Russell & Russell,
  • Locke, J.: 1728, Some Thoughts Concerning Education, Available online,
  • Rousseau, JJ.: 1763, Emile 'On Education', Available online,
  • Nel Noddings: 2013, Caring, Univ of California Press, 9780520275706
  • NEL. NODDINGS,Taylor & Francis Group: 0, Philosophy of Education, 9780367098063
  • Nel Noddings: 2015, The Challenge to Care in Schools, 2nd Editon, Teachers College Press, 9780807773147
  • Nel Noddings: 2004, Happiness and Education, Cambridge University Press, 0521614724
Other Resources

49743, Academic Journal, 0, Journal of Philosophy of Education, Online ISSN:1467-9752, Wiley Online Publication, 49744, Academic Journal, 0, Irish Educational Studies (ESAI Journal), http://esai.ie/journal/, 50755, Website, The Teaching Council of Ireland, 0, The Teaching Council of Ireland, https://www.teachingcouncil.ie/,
Programme or List of Programmes
BREBachelor of Religious Education &English
BRHBachelor of Religious Education &History
BRMBachelor of Religious Education & Music
HMSAStudy Abroad (Humanities & Soc Science)
HMSAOStudy Abroad (Humanities & Soc Science)
IESAStudy Abroad (Institute of Education)
IESAOStudy Abroad (Institute of Education)

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