module specification

SS6012 - Educators as Social Pedagogues (2022/23)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2022/23
Module title Educators as Social Pedagogues
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Social Sciences and Professions
Total study hours 318
20 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
237 hours Guided independent study
61 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 50%   Essay
Coursework 50%   Spoken Assessment
Running in 2022/23

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

Module summary

This module reflects on the meaning, purposes and role of the educator in democratic societies.  It explores notions of social pedagogy and ideas around the role of a public intellectual. It considers value settings for the educator and for education and seeks to help students develop a personal philosophy of education.
The module aims to:

● Examine a number of important approaches to understanding the role of the educator and professionalism in democratic societies, including theoretical contributions from a reading of social pedagogy, citizenship education and the meaning of the public intellectual;
● Familiarise students with complementary and competing conceptions drawn from theorists such as Freire and Dewey as well as work on leadership, management and professionalism;
● Critically examine the characteristics, aspirations and convictions of the educational workforce and ideological constructions of the educator.


Formal introduction and discussion of a number of value settings for education and the work of the educator, including theoretical perspectives such as those found in the field of: social pedagogy; citizenship education; professionalism and leadership; and, the role of the public intellectual.  These will be illustrated by reference to historical and contemporary understandings of the education workforce across all sectors.  The module is designed in three parts.

In Part I, students are introduced to the concept of social pedagogy and different theoretical perspectives that underpin such practice. In doing so, a number of theorists and their work are analysed (eg Dewey, Freire, Alinsky, Crick).

In Part II, the applicability of such theories to the present education system is explored with respect to a number of contexts, including formal, informal and non-formal contexts. Emphasis is given to citizenship education in a broad sense with discussion of democratic learning in school in relation to purposes of schooling and school policy, curriculum and practices.

Competing notions of the role of the public intellectual are explored in Part III, with particular reference to teachers in settings from school to higher education. In this context debate surrounding free speech in the university context is included.

Throughout, students will be encouraged to reflect on the above and their positioning in relation to their emerging and future professionalism. The module also links to student employability with sessions on, for example, applying for a PGCE, run by the careers service.

The syllabus also includes assignment briefings, seminars in which students present and discuss their work, and individual tutorials, in relation to both assignments.

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Lectures and seminars delivered, once a week. These contact sessions will be accompanied by some opportunities to extend understanding and analysis of key ideas and issues in the virtual learning space for the module. Additional time is spent with students informally discussing aspects of the module outside the classroom.

Learning outcomes

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

1. demonstrate knowledge and understanding of theories and practices of social pedagogy
2. articulate their awareness of the problematics surrounding education in a plural society.
3. reflect on their own value system, and that of others, in relation to the theoretical and ideological areas explored in the module;
4. express knowledge and understanding of their own emergent professional identities;

Assessment strategy

The assessment comprises the following elements:

1. Essay (2500 words) on a theoretical topic of the student’s choice but building upon the content of the module and extensive self-directed reading (50%)

2. Choice of spoken assessment format (equivalent 2500 words) that reflects on practice (50%)


Core texts:
Part I
Alinsky, S (1971) Rules for Radicals, New York: Random House
Crick, B. (1982) In Defence of Politics Harmondsworth: Penguin.
Dewey, J (1916) Democracy and Education New York: MacMillan
Freire, P., (2004), Pedagogy of Hope: reliving Pedagogy of the oppressed, London: Continuum
Kryiacou, C (2009) The five dimensions of social pedagogy in school, Pastoral Care 27(2) 101-108.
Part II
Apple, M. (2018) The Struggle for Democracy in Education, London: Routledge.
Brighouse, H. (2006). On education. London New York: Routledge 
Fullan, M., (2001), Leading in a Culture of Change, New York: Jossey-Bass
Part III
Furedi, F (2017) What’s happened to the Universities?, Abingdon: Routledge

Other texts
Alred, G., Bryam, M.  and  Fleming, M. (Eds 2006)  Intercultural Citizenship: Concepts and Comparisons. Cleveden: Multilingual Matters

Apple, M. and Beane, J [eds] (1999), Democratic Schools: Lessons from the Chalk Face Buckingham :OU Press

Ball, S. (2007) Education plc: Understanding private sector participation in public sector reform, Abingdon: Routledge

Bourdieu, P. and Passeron, J-C., (1990), Reproduction in Education, Society and Culture, London: Sage

Cameron, C. And Moss, P., (2011), Social Pedagogy and Working with Children and Young People: where care and education meet, London: Jessica Kingsley

Crouch, C. (2003) Commercialisation or Citizenship: Education policy and the future of public services, London: Fabian Society

Chapman, T.K. and Hobbel, N., (2010), Social Justice Pedagogy Across the Curriculum: the practice of freedom, Abingdon: Routledge

Giroux, H., (2001),  Theory and Resistance in Education: towards a pedagogy for the opposition, Westport, Conn.: Bergin and Garvey

Hoque, A. (2015), British-Islamic Identity Third-generation Bangladeshis from East, London: IOE Press

Issa, T. and Williams, C., (2009), Realising Potential: complementary schools in the UK, Stoke-on-Trent: Trentham

Jerome, L (2012) England’s Citizenship Education Experiment, London: Bloomsbury

Lave, J. and Wenger, E., (1991), Situated Learning: legitimate peripheral participation, Cambridge: CUP

Osler, A. (ed) (2000) Citizenship and Democracy in Schools: diversity, identity, equality, Stoke on Trent: Trentham

Petrie, P., (2011), Communication Skills for Working with Children and Young People: introducing Social Pedagogy, London: Jessica Kingsley



House of Commons Library (2021) Briefing Paper - The School Curriculum in England

DfE (2014) National curriculum in England: framework for key stages 1 to 4 Updated 2 December 2014

DfE (2014) The National Curriculum in England

DfE (2011) The Framework for the National Curriculum: A report by the Expert Panel for the National Curriculum Review, [online] URL:, (accessed 20.3.18).

Dewey, J, works by: (accessed 20.3.18)

Fullan, M. Motion Leadership (accessed 20.3.18)

Curriculum Review
Journal of Curriculum and Pedagogy
British Journal of Sociology of Education