module specification

AE6008 - Teachers, Learners, and Schools in the 21st Century (2022/23)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2022/23
Module title Teachers, Learners, and Schools in the 21st Century
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Social Sciences and Professions
Total study hours 300
210 hours Guided independent study
90 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 10%   Compiled thematic resource using digital media format
Coursework 90%   Poster identifying local impacts of global phenomena
Running in 2022/23

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year North Friday Morning

Module summary

The emergent 21st century has brought with it significant challenges for education and for educators.  This module explores and investigates these challenges along with some informed speculation on likely directions for educational development.  It examines the emergence of diverse societies under the impact of globalisation, economic restructuring and encounters with cultural difference as well as the impact of climate change.  The relationship of these phenomena to technological change is examined along with its implications for the future of schooling and teachers in an age of rapid communication, robots and institutions with fuzzy boundaries.  The module encourages students – whose careers will undoubtedly span an era during which the pace of change will gather momentum – to consider possible educational responses to these challenges at policy, curricular and institutional scales as well as at a personal level; thereby preparing them for a role as active professional agents.

The module aims to:

• Situate education, schooling and teaching within a broad, but accessibly interpreted social, political, economic and technological context and encourage students to take a wider view of educational phenomena and practice;
• Offer students knowledge of a number of pressing challenges at global and local scales and to open up consideration of educational responses to them, along with possible linkages between them;
• Develop skills supporting formal discussion, informed debate and the judicious use of evidence to form and substantiate arguments;
• Consider their standpoint in relation to the themes and issues examined as well as the meaning of being a teacher in light of these challenges.


1. The module works from a consideration of the local classroom to examine education in its broadest setting and in relation to global phenomena and their impacts close to home, it is, therefore underpinned by the concept of the ‘glocal’.  This, in turn, is situated in relation to questions surrounding technology and its relation to the nature, uses and meaning of knowledge - examples of historical knowledge technologies include:  writing and printing; mathematics and other symbolic technologies; cartography and representations of the world; images and iconography; spreadsheets and big data.  These historical examples are followed by reflections on the emergence global communications and their challenges for current and future social realities.

2. Topics and their impact on global and local educational practice and experience, include:  OECD/PISA, PIRLs, economic restructuring and comparisons of global performance; human rights, global conventions and local communities; culturally-responsive pedagogies and de-colonial education; gender, sexuality and difference; climate change and the future of ‘spaceship Earth’; science, reason and faith.

3. Alongside these explorations students will be encouraged to boost their technological literacy through ‘hands-on’ activity and exploration of blogging, social media and bespoke learning technologies. Using these technologies will support dialogue surrounding the nature of knowledge, truth and belief in relation to rapid technological change and liquid, networked realities.

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Students will be offered a blend of lectures, seminars, workshops, synchronous learning at distance.

Learning outcomes

At the end of the module students will be able to:

1. Discuss current global challenges for education and educators based on knowledge of evidence and thereby demonstrate their understanding;
2. Identify linkages between global challenges and local impacts and possible pedagogic responses to them;
3. Formulate and present arguments in a variety of modes drawing on research evidence and reason;
4. Express their understanding of teacher’s responsibilities in relation to contentious or controversial material that may be based on conflictual evidence;
5. Demonstrate an emerging professional identity and articulate a value setting for their work as agentic, critical professionals and its relation to their personal lifeworlds and life course.

Assessment strategy

Students will identify a topic of interest and then compile a digital resource based comprising material from a range of sources concerning their topic and present this in digital media format that elicits self and peer review and feedback.  This will provide a resource for a summative poster identifying the issue, its construction through a range of media and impacts on educational practice.  A short reflection on local and global linkages will accompany this.


Core reading

Apple, M., (Ed.) (2010), Global Crises, Social Justice and Education, London: Routledge
Blundell, D., (2016), Rethinking Children’s Spaces and Places, London and New York: Bloomsbury  
Blundell, D., “Eurocentrism, Modern Childhood and children’s globalised lives” in Race, R., (Ed.)(2017), Advancing Multicultural Dialogues, London: Palgrave MacMillan
Blundell, D., ‘Education and the Global City: urbanisation and some ‘lived spaces’ of childhood’, in Simon, C. and Downes, G., (Eds.) (2018 – in preparation), Sociology for Education Studies, London: Routledge

Additional reading

Ansell, N., (2008), Children, Youth and Development, London: Routledge
Elliott, G., (Ed.) (2010), Education and Social Change: connecting local and global perspectives, New York: Continuum International
Hoque, A., (2015), British Islamic Identity: third generation Bangladeshis from East London, London: IOE/Trentham
Jones, P. and Welch, G., (2011), Rethinking Children’s Rights: attitudes in contemporary society, London: Continuum
Pacini-Kethchabaw, V. and Taylor, A., (eds.)(2015) Unsettling the Colonial Places and Spaces of Early Childhood Education, New York: Routledge
Shields, R., (2013), Globalization and International Education, London: Bloomsbury
Verger, A., Novelli, M., and Altinyelken, H.K., (Eds.) (2012), Global Education Policy and International Development: new agendas, issues and policies, New York: Bloomsbury
Wells, K., (2009), Childhood in Global Perspective, Cambridge: Polity Press