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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Education Theories
Module Code PR108
School 78
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Sabrina Fitzsimons
Semester 2: Sabrina Fitzsimons
Autumn: Sabrina Fitzsimons
Module TeachersSabrina Fitzsimons
NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None
Coursework Only

Following a spiral curriculum approach Education Theories (1) aims to introduce students to the fundamental concepts and themes in the foundation disciplines as these bear on the work of the teacher at second level Psychology of Education The psychology of education component of the module aims to introduce students to the theoretical framework of child and adolescent development within the context of educational settings. Specifically, it will integrate research findings to assist students to develop best practice in helping them to identify developmental milestones across physical, social, emotional and cognitive domains from childhood to adolescence. Philosophy of Education 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. Sociology of Education The sociology of education component of the module introduces students to the major themes in the sociology of education and to the socio-cultural issues that have an impact on the school/classroom community in Ireland.

Learning Outcomes

1. Identify key developmental theorists from childhood to adolescence.
2. Demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of the physical, intellectual/cognitive, social and emotional aspects of development as these bear on the work of the second level teacher.
3. Show an understanding of the philosophical analysis of core educational themes through critical comparison of contrasting philosophical interpretations.
4. Critically appraise the influence of philosophical approaches on the communication and structuring of knowledge in the curriculum.
5. Describe and be able to analyse a number of key socio-cultural issues and their impact on the second level school community.
6. Begin to consider how the foundation disciplines inform the work of the teacher at second level.

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

Psychology and human development
Within the study of the psychology of education, students consider the importance of learning theories which helps to provide a foundation for the understanding of changes to the syllabi and curricular enactment. This introduction to psychology and human development includes the study of theories of cognitive constructivism and socio-emotional development - with particular reference to the period from childhood to adolescence. It also considers the implication of these theories for the teacher's work at the second level.

Philosophy of Education
Introduction to philosophy/philosophical method in education through analysis of core educational themes. These themes include the changing understanding of the role and function of the teacher, education and the school. Implicit within this study is critical reflection and engagement with the concept of 'learning'.

Sociology of Education
Introduction to key socio-cultural themes such as access, disadvantage and equality. The implication of the key socio-cultural themes as they impact the second level school community.

Professional Identity and Agency
Within the Sociology of Education, students interrogate what it means to be a professional and work within a professional framework. From a philosophical perspective, students examine the varying understandings of the role and function of the teacher ‌(through the examination of key foundational philosophers of education in this area). Professionalism is also encouraged and fostered through a growing understanding of varying abilities and learning styles within the psychology of education module pertaining to the student cohort range (12-18).

Creative, Critical and Reflective Thinking Skills
Students are prompted to think critically, and creatively and be reflective about the topics covered across the module. This is fostered through detailed lectures, and significant support via online digital resources coupled with required reading. Critical and creative 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. Students are encouraged and supported to reflect on their values, beliefs and opinions as they relate to the themes covered in this module.

Research Informed Insights
This foundation discipline module is informed by research pertaining to individual disciplines. 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 etc.).

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
AssignmentContinuous Assessment Assignment100%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

  • Dennis McInerney,David Putwain: 0, Developmental and Educational Psychology for Teachers, 1138947725
  • Philip Banyard, Mark N.O. Davies, Christine Norman & Belinda Winder: 2010, Essential Psychology: A Concise Introduction, Sage, London, 978184787538
  • Brendan Walsh: 2011, Education Studies in Ireland: The Key Disciplines, Gill and MacMillan, 9780717147663
  • Christopher Brooke, Elizabeth Frazer: 2013, Ideas of Education: Philosophy and Politics from Plato to Dewey, Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group, London, New York, 9780203817544
  • NEL. NODDINGS,Taylor & Francis Group: 0, Philosophy of Education, 9780367098063
  • René Descartes: 1998, Discourse on Method and Meditations on First Philosophy, 4th Edition, Penguin, Indiana, USA, 0872204200
  • Plato: 2005, Early Socratic Dialogues, Penguin, London,
  • Roger Scruton: 1981, A Short History of Modern Philosophy: From Descartes to Wittgenstein, Routledge, London,
  • Anita E. Woolfolk, Malcolm Hughes & Vivienne Walkup: 2012, Psychology in Education,, Pearson, London,
  • Perry Share, Mary Corcoran & Brian Conway: 2012, A Sociology of Ireland, Gill and Macmillan, Dublin,
  • John Dewey: 1997, Democracy And Education, Simon and Schuster, 0684836319
  • John Dewey: 0, My Pedagogic Creed, 1790324777
  • John Locke: 1996, Some Thoughts Concerning Education, Hackett Publishing, 0872203344
  • Jean-Jacques Rousseau: 0, Emile: Or on Education, 1094762717
Other Resources

49784, Academic Journal, ESAI, 0, Irish Educational Studies, www.esai.ie, 49785, Academic Journal, Wiley, 0, Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, ISSN: 0193-3973, 49786, Academic Journal, Philosophy of Education Society of Great Britain, 0, Journal of Philosophy of Education (JOPE), Wiley Online Library, https://www.philosophy-of-education.org/jope/, 49787, Academic Journal, Sage Publications, 0, Sociology of Education (SOE), https://journals.sagepub.com/home/soe, 0, Website, The Teaching Council of Ireland, 0, The Teaching Council of Ireland, www.teachingcouncil.ie,
Programme or List of Programmes
BEDLANBachelor of Ed. in Gaeilge and FR/GE/SP

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