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Module Specifications

Archived Version 2016 - 2017

Module Title Sociology of Education and Training
Module Code ES226
School 76

Online Module Resources

Module Co-ordinatorDr Justin RamiOffice NumberCA114
NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None

Recognising that the increase in the levels of educational attainment is a trend common to all modern society, the role of education in society is explored in this module. It is also acknowledged that social class/race/ethnic origin continues to be a differentiating factor in individual educational achievement. A number of issues have also been raised in relation to gender in the sociology of education. These include gender differences in access to the curriculum and gender differences in attainment. A number of sociological theories (both micro and macro) have been put forward as explanations for class/race/ethnic/gender inequalities in the education system. In this course a number of these perspectives will be explored. In this module too, there is an acknowledgement of the transformative potential of the education system. This has been brought to light by the new sociology of education –mostly in evidence in the field of further, adult and continuing education – whereby inequality is being challenged and there is a real potential for transforming, as opposed to reproducing, inequality in all these areas. In this module these issues will be explored

Learning Outcomes

1. Engage in the debate regarding the role that education plays in society. Democratic equality/social efficiency/or social mobility?
2. Discuss coherently theoretical aspects of the sociology of education
3. Distinguish between macro and micro theories on class /race/ethnic inequality in the Irish education system.
4. Critically apply sociological theory to the issues that emerge in students' own work based practice settings
5. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of ability grouping/streaming and banding as part of school organization and processes.
6. Provide theoretical accounts of how inequality may be challenged and overcome, particularly in the field of further, adult and continuing education

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture24No Description
Independent Study51No Description
Assignment Completion50No 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

The Role of Education in Society. Democratic equality/social efficiency/social mobility

Theoretical Perspectives from the Sociology of Education. Schools agents of social reproduction?

Processes of inequality in the education system relating to class/race/gender/status/disability

Structural and Cultural explanations for class inequality in the Irish education system

Gender differences in access to the curriculum and in attainment.

What are the dominant explanations for race/ethnic/immigrant inequalities for educational attainment in the Irish education system?

Education Centre / School School Organisation and Process

Ability Grouping and other aspects of school organisation and process

Transformative potential of the educational system

Resistance theory

Critical race/class/feminist/theory

The new sociology of education and the potential for change in further, adult and continuing education

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
Reassessment Requirement
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
Indicative Reading List

  • Lynch, K. and Lodge, A. (2002): 0, Equality and Power in Schools, London: Routledge Falmer,
  • Sadovnik, A: 2007, Sociology of Education, UK: Taylor and Francis,
  • Slattery, M. (2003): 0, Key Ideas in Sociology, UK: Nelson Thornes,
  • Lodge, A. and Lynch, K. (2004): 0, Diversity at School, Dublin: IPA / Equality Authority,
  • Bourdieu, P. and Passeron, J.C. (1990): 0, Reproduction in Education, Society and Culture, London: Sage,
  • Goffman, E. (1963): 0, Stigma, London: Penguin,
  • Young, I.M. (2000): 0, Inclusion and Democracy, New York: Oxford University Press,
  • Rabinow, P. (1984): 0, The Foucault Reader, Harmondsworth: Penguin,
  • Bernstein, B. (1971): 0, Class, Codes and Control, London: Routledge and K. Paul,
  • McCoy, S., Byrne, D., O’Connell, P.J., Kelly, E. and Doherty, C: 2010, Hidden Disadvantage? A Study of the Low Participation in Higher Education by the Non Manual Group, Dublin:, Higher Education Authority,
  • Ball, S.J.: 2004, The Routledge Falmer reader in sociology of education, Routledge Falmer,
  • Sadovnik, A.R: 2007, Sociology of Education: A critical reader, Routledge, New York,
  • Byrne, D. and Smyth, E: 2010, Way Back? The Dynamics of Early School Leaving. Dublin:, The Liffey Press in association with the Economic and Social Research Institut, Dublin,
  • Clancy, P.: 2007, Contemporary Ireland: A Sociological Map, University College Dublin Press, Dublin,
Other Resources

Programme or List of Programmes
BETBSc in Education & Training
BETFBSc Education & Training (FACE) - Flexi