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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Education Theories 1
Module Code PR110
School 78
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Paul Grimes
Semester 2: Paul Grimes
Autumn: Paul Grimes
Module TeacherNo Teacher Assigned
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 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

General: Psychology and human development
Overview of theories of human development Social and emotional development from childhood to adolescence and adult life with particular reference to the concepts of identity and role The implications of developmental theory for the work of the teacher at second-level.

Introduction to the module and key principles that underpin the study of human development The factors that influence human development (developmental themes) Basic Human Needs The interplay between nature/nurture, inherited traits and environmental influences, maturation and experience Individual difference Development and teaching An introduction to cognitive development What is cognition? Cognitive development perspectives (multistore model, development of memory, evaluation of perspectives).

Psychology 2
Piaget’s theory of cognitive development Concepts of scheme, assimilation, accommodation and equilibrium Influencing factors (maturation, activity, social interaction/peer learning) Stage of cognitive development (sensorimotor, preoperational, concrete operations, formal operations) Focus on concrete and formal operations and the post-primary classroom Limitations of Piaget’s theory (Margaret Donaldson’s critique, other critique and analysis). Applying developmental themes to Piaget’s theory of cognitive constructivism and the post-primary classroom (adolescent)

Psychology 3
Defining Adolescence & development of the concept of adolescence; Understanding adolescence as a period of transition (biological development, puberty, brain changes etc). The challenge of the adolescent period - to develop a sense of personal identity (social and emotional development); Historical approaches to identity development (e.g. rites of passage - Hamar of Ethiopia - Cattle Jumping etc.); Erik Erikson’s Theory of Identity Development Epigenetic principles Stages of psychosocial development Focus on stage five - Identity v. Role confusion Limitation and evaluation Classroom implications and considerations

Psychology 4
James Marcia’s Identity Status Model (identity diffusion, moratorium, foreclosure, achievement) Identity v. role confusion process (physiological changes, distancing, autonomy and freedom, peer group, sexual development etc.) Influencing factors in identity development (school, parental, societal influences) Focus on Practice: Supporting students’ identity development Current issues: Impact of social restrictions on adolescents’ social and emotional development.

General: Philosophy
Introduction to philosophy/philosophical method in education through analysis of core educational themes.

Philosophy 1
This section of the course introduces students to the major themes and theories in the philosophy of education. In their study of this topic students are encouraged to reflect on a range of questions including, but not limited to: What is Education? Why do we Educate? What is the aim and purpose of Schooling / Education? How do we Educate? What should schools teach? What values and norms does the Curriculum reflect? What philosophers or theorists or theories inform your understanding of education? The themes will be explored through the work of philosophers of education focusing on core introductory texts in Education Theories 1. John Locke Key Text ‘Some Thoughts Concerning Education’ (1) The importance of developing a healthy body (physical and mental) (2) The importance of developing and forming a virtuous mind (good habits, good character, learning to live in society) (3)The importance of following an appropriate curriculum (acquisition of wisdom & useful knowledge) Links will be made to the topics discussed during Section A of the module (e.g. identity development and Locke’s work on developing ‘good character’)

Philosophy 2
Jean Jacques Rousseau Key Text ‘Emile’ Key Themes Education from Man Education from Nature Education from Things Links will be made to the topics discussed during Section A of the module (e.g. the importance of learning through social interaction, the role of the peer group, Covid social restrictions and their impact on adolesecent development)

Philosophy 3
John Dewey Key Text: My Pedagogic Creed Article I - What education is Article II - What the school is Article III - The subject matter of education Article IV - The nature of method Article V - The school and social progress Key Themes for Discussion Does concern with creativity and growth miss the importance of knowledge and understanding? ● Is ‘growth’ too woolly and vague a concept? ● Who decides what’s valuable in the curriculum? The child? The parents? The teacher? The school? standardisation? Links will be made to the topics covered in Section A of the module, the other philosophers studied in this module and broader questions relating to the post-primary teacher and classroom.

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

Sociology 1
Education Disadvantage 1: Highlight the inequities that exist in terms of educational provision, participation and attainment. Examine the strategies employed to combat educational disadvantages. Give an overview of the DEIS report. Identify the criteria that are used to identify "DEIS" schools. Examine the findings of an ESRI report on Education Disadvantage and pay particular attention to the profile of schools that are categorised as DEIS schools

Sociology 2
Education Disadvantage 2: Further students’ understanding of the profile of the structure of the DEIS (2005) Action Plan and recent DEIS developments. Develop students’ understanding of the DEIS themes and the associated measures (Analysis of two post-primary DEIS action plans); Examine inspectorate reports to consider what schools are doing well and where they could improve with regard to each DEIS theme; Identity of the role of the class teacher in supporting the DEIS Action Plan (in-class activity) Support student teachers to identify examples of how the post-primary teacher can support at least one DEIS theme.

Sociology 3
Considers the factors that might influence a young person to leave school early: Draw on relevant research to outline the factors that contribute to early school leaving; Critically appraise how the risks of early school leaving might be minimised; Identify the measures in place through The School Completion Programme (SCP)(Tusla) and other initiatives.

Consolidating the link
Consolidating the link - how the foundation disciplines inform and shape the role and function of teacher at second level.

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
AssignmentSection A: Psychology of Education • Infographic (40%) • Approx. Word Count Equivalent. - 90040%n/a
AssignmentSection B: Philosophy of Education • Recorded Presentation of Personal Philosophy for Education (30%) • Approx. Word Count Equivalent. - 80030%n/a
AssignmentSection C: Sociology of Education • Written Assignment (30%) • Word Count - 80030%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

  • Walsh, B.: 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,
  • René Descartes: 1998, Discourse on Method and Meditations on First Philosophy, 4th Edition, Penguin, Indiana, USA, 0872204200,
  • Plato: 2005, Early Socratic Dialogues, Penguin, London,
  • 1974: 0, Republic, Penguin, London, PLATO
  • Alasdair MacIntyre: 1998, A Short History of Ethics, 2nd Edition, Routledge, UK,
  • Roger Scruton: 1981, A Short History of Modern Philosophy: From Descartes to Wittgenstein, Routledge, London,,
  • Philip Banyard, Mark N.O. Davies, Christine Norman & Belinda Winder: 2010, Essential Psychology: A Concise Introduction, Sage, London, 978184787538,
  • Daniel Schacter, Daniel Gilbert, Daniel Wegner & Bruce Hood: 2011, Psychology, Palgrave Macmillan, London,
  • Anita E. Woolfolk, Malcolm Hughes & Vivienne Walkup: 2012, Psychology in Education,, Pearson, London,,
  • Clyde Chitty: 2004, Education Policy in Britain, Palgrave Macmillan, London,
  • Sheelagh Drudy and Kathleen Lynch: 1993, Schools and Society in Ireland, Gill and Macmillan, Dublin,
  • Kathleen Lynch & Anne Lodge: 2002, Equality and Power in school : redistribution, recognition and representation, Routledge Falmer, London,
  • C. Renehan: 2006, Different Planets? Gender attitudes and classroom practice in post-primary teaching, Liffey Press, Dublin,
  • Perry Share, Mary Corcoran & Brian Conway: 2012, A Sociology of Ireland, Gill and Macmillan, Dublin,
Other Resources

49183, Website, 0, 39336, Website, National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA), 0, NCCA Website, http://www.ncca.ie/, 39337, Website, Department of Education and Skills (DES), 0, DES Website, http://www.education.ie/,
Programme or List of Programmes
BEDTEGBachelor of Education - TEG Post Primary

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