module specification

SS5030 - Knowledge, Ideologies and Curricula (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Knowledge, Ideologies and Curricula
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Social Professions
Total study hours 300
81 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
219 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 50%   Reflection on debate (2,500 words)
Coursework 50%   Essay on curriculum organisation (2,500 words)
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year North Monday Afternoon

Module summary

This module builds on themes introduced in Year 1 relating to the social construction of knowledge and the power relationships that play out in the design and delivery of the curriculum.  It explores a number of different ideologies and their impact on the education system with particular reference to the curriculum.

Module aims

The module aims to:

  • Critically explore the role of schooling
  • Consider how a range of ideologies have influenced education policy and practice in particular time periods
  • Identify and analyse competing ideological positions surrounding current curriculum debates
  • Provide an understanding of the inter-relationships of the workings of power, ideology and the curriculum


This module builds on themes introduced in Year 1 of the course. It highlights significant theory relating to ideology and the role of schooling. It explores the centrality of ideology in shaping the curriculum and educational practice through historical examples with focus on different or competing ideologies (eg social elitism, Marxism, feminism, colonialism, romanticism etc). It encourages students to analyse contemporary debate around educational policy and practice and in relation to particular curriculum subjects as well as cross curricular themes and areas,  e.g.  language education; science; drugs education; environmental education; health education; etc

Learning and teaching

The module will utilise a range of teaching and learning strategies. It will include:
• Lectures, seminars, workshops and tutorials;
• Set piece debates focusing on competing ideologies of education in relation to controversial curricular themes;
• Production of poster artefacts to be published as a module exposition;
• Embedding assessed work in e-Portfolio

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:

  • Apprehend how ideological positions and political processes may impact on curriculum content and design;
  • Demonstrate a critical awareness of how the curriculum may affect the lived experience of the learner;
  • Draw on a range of sources to construct a reasoned argument.

Assessment strategy

Assessment of this module will comprise of two coursework essays on the topics covered for the year. The reflection on debate essay will reflect topics covered during the Autumn Semester e.g. The Enlightenment, Marxism, Multiculturalism.  Lectures in the Spring term will critically evaluate the applicability of such perspectives for the curriculum. The second essay students will be writing critically evaluates the applicability of such perspectives.


Apple, M.W. (2004) Ideology and Curriculum, London: RoutledgeFalmer.
Ball, S. (2006) Education Policy and Social Class: The Selected Works of Stephen J. Ball, London: Routledge.
Conway, D. (2010) Liberal Education and the National Curriculum, London: Civitas.
Datta, M. (Eds) (2007) Bilinguality and Literacy: Principles and Practice, London: Continuum.
Evans, N. (2005) Curriculum Change in Secondary Schools, 1957-2004: An Educational Roundabout?, London: Routledge.
Francis, B. (2000) Boys, Girls and Achievement: Addressing the Classroom Issues, London: Routledge.
Goodman, J., McCulloch, G. & Richardson, W. (2008) Social Change in the History of British Education, London: Routledge.
Issa, T. & Williams, C. (2009) Realising Potential: Complementary Schools in the UK, Stoke-on-Trent: Trentham.
Kelly, A.V. (2009) The Curriculum: Theory and Practice, London: Sage.
Moore, A. (Eds) (2006) Schooling, Society and Curriculum, London: Routledge.
Nind, M., Sheehy, K. & Rix, J. (Eds) (2005) Curriculum and Pedagogy in Inclusive Education: Values into Practice, London: Routledge.
Race, R. (2011) Multiculturalism and Education, London: Continuum.
Ross, A. (2000) Curriculum: Construction and Critique, London: Routledge.
Skelton, C., Francis, B. & Smulyan, L. (Eds) (2006) The Sage Handbook of Gender and Education, London: Sage.
Spencer, S. (2005) Gender, Work and Education in Britain in the 1950s, Basingstoke: Palgrave.
Tomlinson, S. (2008) Race and Education: Policy and Politics in Britain, Maidenhead: McGraw Hill/OU.
Walford, R. (2001) Geography in British Schools, 1850-2000: Making World of Difference, London: Woburn Press.
White, J. (Eds) (2004) Rethinking the School Curriculum: Values, Aims and Purposes, London: RoutledgeFalmer.