DCU Home | Our Courses | Loop | Registry | Library | Search DCU


Module Specifications

Archived Version 2020 - 2021

Module Title
Module Code

Online Module Resources

NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None

The module aims to explore the role of philosophical enquiry in educational discourse by introducing students to selected philosophies and philosophers of education. The module offers an overview of the epistemic and moral dimensions of teaching and learning through an historical exploration of key philosophical approaches to knowledge and ethics.Themes such as democracy, curriculum and knowledge (declarative and procedural knowledge), competence versus competencies, accountability and responsibility in the workplace, educational standards and education as a relation of care are critically examined. Furthermore specific attention will be paid to highlighting different concepts of education & training will also be explored to guide students towards the development of a personal philosophy of education with the view to establishing a personal model of educational theory informing curent and future practice.

Learning Outcomes

1. Examine the moral dimension of teaching through the themes of care, respect and engagement as means to establish ethical relationships with students, colleagues and parents
2. Critically appraise the influence of philosophical approaches on the communication and structuring of knowledge in the curriculum
3. Develop a systematic understanding of philosophical analysis of core educational themes through critical comparison of contrasting philosophical interpretations
4. Develop an abiliy to self-evaluate and reflect on relevant literature as means to articulate a personal philosophy of education informing professional practice
5. Develop an ability to assume the role of change agents and life-long learners in their professional context by critically evaluating how knowledge is controlled and disseminated and offering alternative critical perspectives on practice
6. Deductively analyze and research the themes of truth, forms of knowledge and morality as means to innovatively contribute to current debates on educational & training practice

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture24active participation in lecture based discussions
Assignment Completion40preparation and writing and redrafting of assessment
Independent Study35reading of materials for classroom based discussion
Independent Study26researching assessment topics
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

Introduction to Philosophy /Philosophical method in education
philosophical inquiry, argumentation dialectics, second-order questioning inductive/deductive approaches Hermeneutics Aims and Meaning of Education Making philosophy relevant to teachers: introduction to the moral and epistemic/gnoseological dimensions of teaching and learning

The epistemic and gnoseological dimension of teaching and learning
The quest for knowledge and truth over the centuries Epistemic approaches influencing education Classics: Metaphysics Plato vs Aristotle Heuristics: Socrates Christendom: Ontology: Augustine Scholasticism & paternalistic approaches The birth of scientific method Dualism, Mind and body problem and the birth of scientific method from Descartes onward A new dogmatism? Modern & contemporary approaches From Montaigne to Pragmatism : Enlighted and democratic approaches; critical thinking Post-moderninsm Relativism, hermeneutics and multiplicity of knowledge perspectives Knowledge and the curriculum

The moral dimension of education
philosophical developments and iinfluencing educational theory and practice Aristotle: phronesis practical wisdom and teaching Rousseau : developing natural talents Dewey: Democracy & participantion Freire: moral implications of the banking concept of education Gadamer, Habermas: Respect for otherness

Teaching as a moral activity
The teacher role: attitudes professionalism and competence Teachers'personal and professional values Teaching between practice and vocation Cultivating moral values Teaching as a relational activity Teaching and care Teaching and engagement Teaching and respect Teaching and care

Dialogue in education
From Socrates to contemporaries: is there a continuum? Dialogue as a teaching method and classroom interactional practice Engaging and promoting critical thinking through Socratic dialogue.

Knowledge and the curriculum
Philosophical influences on curricular choices What knowledge? Whose knowledge? How is knowledge is knowledge communicated? Knowledge ownership? negotiation of meaning teaching as semiotic apprenticeship Knowledge and interpretation: implications for teachers Indocrination; Knowledege-how and knowledge-that and the implication of different forms of knoweldge for education and training

Accountability and Professional Responsibility
The interplay and tension between concepts of responsibility and accountability. Sources of of Obbligation. Professional responsibility and standards. Examination of Teaching Council Code of Conduct and the implication for professional responsibility.

Professionalism and Competence
Professional attitudes, dispositions and behaviours. Competence versus competencies. Critical appraisal of the role of competence in defining professionalism.

Philosophy for Children
Critical evaluation of the arguments in favour and against the introduction of Philosophical thinking to young persons. The implications of Philosophy for chidlren for citizenship and moral education. The contribution to Philosophy for Children by Matthew Lipman.

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment% Examination Weight%
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

  • Dewey, J.: 1938, Education and Experience. New York: Collier Books,
  • Barrow R. and Woods R: 2007, An Introduction to Philosophy of Education, Routledge, London,
  • Winch,C.& Gingell J.: 1999, Key Concepts in the Philosophy of Education, Routledge, London,
  • Curren, R: 2008, Philosophy of Education. An Antology, Blackwell Publications, Oxford,
  • Pring R.: 2004, Philosophy of Education, Continuum, London,
  • Nel Noddings: 1994, Caring. A Feminine Approach to Ethics and Moral Education, University of California Press, Berkley,
  • Lipman M.: 2003, Thinking in Education, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge,
  • Mayeroff, M.: 1990, On Caring, Harper Perennial, US,
  • Sockett, H, Talbot, S.: 1980, Accountability in the English Educational System, Hodder and Stoughton, London,
  • edited by Wilfred Carr: 2005, The RoutledgeFalmer reader in philosophy of education, Routledge, London, 0415345723
  • Richard Bailey,: 0, Philosophy of Education, Continuum, London, 978-1847060198
  • Ciaran Sugrue (Editor), Tone Solbrekke (Editor): 2011, Professional Responsibility, 978-0415614634
  • Hogan, Padraig: 1995, The Custody and courtship of Experience: Western Education in Philosophical Perspective. Dublin: The Columba Press,
  • Popper, K. and Camiller P.: 2001, All Life is Problem Solving, Routledge, London,
Other Resources

Programme or List of Programmes