Benchmark Statements for Education Studies (QAA, 2015)
Education Studies Assessment Board of the Faculty of Education and Children's Services.
Tuesday 27th January 2015
The Education Studies Programme has the following aims:
To develop knowledge, skills and understanding in the field of education and training and of the principal features of education in a wide range of contexts.
To provide opportunities for students to appreciate the problematic nature of educational theory, policy and practice.
Undertake the study of education for wider career applications and as a subject in its own right.
Develop a secure understanding of how people learn and develop throughout their lives.
Understand the educational processes and the cultural, political and historical contexts in which they are embedded and to question the aims and values of Education and its relationship with society.
Apply and reflect on the knowledge learnt and to construct and sustain a reasoned argument which demonstrates the use of critical thinking skills.
Undertake work both independently and with others to become autonomous learners, demonstrating intellectual independence and critical engagement with evidence
Knowledge and understanding of key theoretical perspectives used to facilitate the investigation and understanding of educational issues. This will include the consideration of issues of gender, ethnicity, policy development and culture informed by the academic disciplines of philosophy, psychology, sociology and political science. The programme provides an introduction to current education research methodologies in order to foster the ability to evaluate evidence.
The Education Studies Programme at University of Chester adheres to the QAA generic benchmark statements in section 1-6. As the programme is part of a combined degree not all students will acquire the knowledge listed below depending on their study options. The statements below therefore relate to knowledge and understanding at each level and indicate the module where the knowledge and understanding is taught.
At the end of Level 4, students will have:
Understood the role of different ideological approaches to education and how these have shaped reform; examined core issues in education drawing on a number of theoretical perspectives; applied relevant theoretical concepts to the analysis of their own educational history; identified the complex relationship between teaching, learning and assessment and explained the importance of transferable/key skills in education (ED4001).
Demonstrated knowledge and understanding of psychological and sociological theories of the learning process; described and explained how best they, as individuals, learn; related theoretical concepts to their own experiences of learning and demonstrated an ability to identify learning theories in action (ED4002).
Articulated the ways in which education might be a driver of social change; appreciated how late nineteenth century debate established persistent themes in educational discourse; demonstrated knowledge of the significant events that led to a state controlled education system; understood and discussed the effects of the application of a market economy to state schooling and the measures established to drive up standards and shown an informed understanding of the effects of these national changes on pupils, parents and teachers (ED4003).
At the end of Level 5, students will have:
Described and critically evaluated different research paradigms; identified and analysed key issues in research design; selected and justified a research approach and methodology appropriate for a specific educational issue; designed, undertaken and appraised a small scale research project; collected and analysed data, and presented findings in an appropriate manner and employed ICT and a range of media to access and communicate information (ED5001).
Organised knowledge in different ways and explained how this influences curriculum design; critically evaluated alternative definitions and understandings of the term curriculum; distinguished between different educational and political ideologies and shown how these may influence the curriculum and critically analysed existing curricula in terms of educational ideologies (ED5002).
Critically evaluated different paradigms of lifelong learning; analysed the implications of lifelong learning for individuals, organisations and communities; evaluated some of the likely future roles and interrelationships of different educational sectors and analysed the role of technology in the development of lifelong learning (ED5003).
At the end of Level 6, students will have:
Identified and critically examined literature and theories relating to an education topic; effectively conducted research into an education related topic and critically analysed data from a variety of sources; synthesised and critically reflected upon data collected as well as relevant knowledge, concepts and theories and presented a written rationale and justified critiques of an education related topic in the form of a dissertation (ED6001).
Critically described a range of political ideologies; identified and analysed major influences on education policy; demonstrated informed critical awareness of the international and global developments that impact on education systems; analysed the education system of a country other than the UK with regard to educational policy and practice and critically evaluate the education systems of the chosen country in comparison to England (ED6003).
Understood and demonstrated knowledge of social and medical conceptual models in relation to educational inclusion and exclusion; identified appropriate theoretical frameworks for explaining aspects of inclusion and exclusion; demonstrated an understanding of the development of special education and inclusive education in England; described and analysed critically the development of equality and education in England through identified characteristics such a race, gender, social class or disability; critically analysed the role of governmental policy in the development and maintenance of inclusive education and critically discussed the factors which affect the level of pupils’/ students’ attainment and achievement (ED6004)
Described and critically analysed psychological and sociological influences upon the development of young people; critically analysed the role of education in the lives of adolescents; critically discussed the concept of youth culture as it relates to learning and achievement as well as being able to recognise and evaluate other agencies working to support the learning of young people especially in the context of young people not in education, employment or training (ED6005).
Emphasis on analysis, synthesis and reflection. Ability to handle cognitive complexity in order to evaluate and to apply knowledge and skills in new contexts.
In particular, the application of theoretical concepts and critical tools to enhance an appreciation of practice in the field of Education Studies.
Scholarly and literacy skills, methods and processes appropriate to evaluation and enquiry.
Analysis and synthesis of theories from a variety of sources.
The ability to construct and sustain a reasoned argument on education-related issues.
A generic set of study skills is also taught on the programme such as reading, observation and assessment skills, associated note taking skills, skills of interpretation of information and research evidence. This generic set of study skills is also assessed as part of the programme.
The oral skills involved in discussing current national and international practice in seminars, small group work, tutorials and projects. Skills of debate and argument, including the rhetorical skills of the art of persuasion. The delivery of formal oral presentations and seminar papers.
Writing skills. The composition of discursive and /or analytical essays. The writing of assessment answers, and a variety of other kinds of writing.
The appropriate use of information and communication technologies, particularly the use of word-processing software, email, the world wide web, CDRom /DVD and other audio/video materials.
The skills outlined in section 23 are transferable to any professional context in education and to places of employment in education-related settings.
Comprehension & transmission, including the ability to read, interpret, paraphrase & summarise electronic & paper sources of information lucidly and coherently.
Effective written & spoken communication. Presentation skills.
Application of numbers, the ability to interpret simple statistics and present data.
The ability to apply knowledge derived from abstract, theoretical and ideological sources to practical situations. The capacity to interrogate and critique various assertions, claims and arguments, weighting and adjudicating between alternative positions.
Problem solving skills. Project management skills. Organisational and time-management skills. Working to deadlines. Independent and collaborative skills.
IT and multimedia skills including word processing skills and the skills associated with using websites, email, CD-rom/DVD.
Personal growth and life skills.
This Education Studies Programme involves the intellectually rigorous study of educational processes, systems and approaches. It is concerned with understanding how people develop and learn throughout their lives. Education Studies facilitates a critical study of the nature of knowledge and a critical engagement with a variety of perspectives and ways of knowing and understanding, drawn from the range of parent disciplines of psychology, sociology, philosophy and history. This programme has a particular emphasis on the relationship between policy and practice at the national and international levels.
Education Studies is a subject on the Combined Honours programme which currently complies with the degree framework validated in 2013. A full-time student would normally follow six 20-credit modules (or equivalent) at the appropriate level each year, giving a total of 120 credits at each level. Only marks at level 5 and level 6 contribute towards the final degree classification. All modules at level 4 in this programme are currently compulsory modules. At level 5 all Combined Honours students undertake the Work Based Learning Module. At level 6 students have one elective choice.
At level 4, the three modules are studied by all students. If students intend to undertake the ED6001 Dissertation in Education Studies, they would benefit from undertaking the module ED5001 Research and Practice. At level 6, other than this prerequisite, students have a free choice of modules.
At level 6, students who intend to major in Education Studies will undertake the dissertation and two other level 6 modules.
Students intending to take Education Studies in equal weighting with another Combined Honours Subject will choose the equivalent of 60 credits worth of Education Studies modules
Students intending to take Education Studies as a minor subject within the Combined Honours framework must take the equivalent of 40 credits worth of Education Studies modules at level 6.
Student progression is enabled through the incremental development of student learning activity and approaches to teaching and learning specified in the table below. Higher levels build on, and further develop, characteristics of earlier levels. These generic descriptors are merely indicative; see the relevant module descriptors for specific details.
120 credits at Level 4 entitles the student to a Certificate of Higher Education
240 credits including 120 at Level 5 entitle the student to a Diploma of Higher Education
360 credits including 120 at Level 6 entitle the student to a Bachelor's degree
Combined Honours Education Studies
• Typically 112 UCAS points from GCE A Levels
• BTEC National Diploma/Certificate: merit/distinction profile
• Irish Highers/Scottish Highers: B in 4 subjects
• International Baccalaureate: 26 points
• European Baccalaureate: a minimum of 70%
• QAA recognised Access course, Open College Units or Open University Credits
Please note: A BTEC National Award or the Welsh Baccalaureate (core) will be recognised in our tariff offer.
The design of this programme is informed by the Benchmark Statements for Education Studies (QAA, 2015). The statements assert that the nature of Education Studies is that it is “concerned with understanding how people develop and learn throughout their lives. It facilitates a study of the nature of knowledge, and a critical engagement with a variety of perspectives, and ways of knowing and understanding, drawn from a range of appropriate disciplines”. It goes on to recognise that there are many kinds of Education Studies programmes “but all involve the intellectually rigorous study of educational processes, systems and approaches, and the cultural, societal, political and historical contexts within which they are embedded”. Furthermore such programmes will “provide students with opportunities to develop their critical capabilities through the selection, analysis and synthesis of relevant perspectives, and be enabled to justify their freely chosen personal positioning about educational matters”. The benchmark statements suggest a set of principles to which Education Studies programmes should adhere and these have been taken to underpin this particular provision to an extent that is appropriate for a combined honours programme. It is suggested that programmes should:
* draw on a wide range of intellectual resources, theoretical perspectives and academic disciplines to illuminate understanding of education and the contexts within which it takes place;
* provide students with a broad and balanced knowledge and understanding of the principal features of education in a wide range of contexts;
* encourage students to engage with fundamental questions concerning the aims and values of education and its relationship to society;
* provide opportunities for students to appreciate the problematic nature of educational theory, policy and practice;
* encourage the interrogation of educational processes in a wide variety of contexts;
* develop in students the ability to construct and sustain a reasoned argument about educational issues in a clear, lucid and coherent manner; and,
* promote a range of qualities in students including intellectual independence and critical engagement with evidence.
Central to the Faculty of Education and Children's Services' learning, teaching, and assessment strategy is the concept of tutor-supported, student-centred learning. The Faculty is committed to the view that students should become increasingly autonomous learners as they proceed through programme levels. This is a matter of students developing and enhancing their discipline-specific knowledge and transferable skills as they become more mature, reflective and critical readers and writers. Students are made aware that formal teaching takes up only a small amount of the study time that they should spend on each module. Teaching will employ a range of methodologies and take account of best practice, particularly those which maximise active learning and take account of the learning styles of students.
Examples of teaching and learning strategies used are:
* group lectures with students encouraged to question and discuss;
* seminars as a whole group; smaller groups, pairs as appropriate;
* project work in learner groups;
* student led discussions, seminars and presentations;
* individual and small group tutorials; and,
* use of ICT and audio-visual material. In particular, extensive use of VLE through module folders on moodle.
Teaching approaches will be regularly monitored and evaluated by tutors incorporating information from student feedback, self-reflection and peer review. The learning outcomes for each module will be made explicit and shared with students to enable them to evaluate their learning and the effectiveness of the teaching strategies. There is an expectation that as students progress though the programme they will be required to take increasingly greater responsibility for organising and managing their own learning. To facilitate progression, students will be provided with reading lists, and paper/moodle-based support material and activities designed to promote autonomous learning. Students will be strongly advised and encouraged to attend all classes, in the context of developing mature self-discipline and a culture of mutual responsibility. Contribution to group interaction will enable students to challenge assumptions and form a deeper understanding of relevant concepts as well as developing key skills.
The Programme Team subscribe to the view expressed in the Benchmark Statements that “learning, teaching and assessment will be closely inter-related” and that the adopted approaches to assessment will “support student learning, and the teaching which promotes that learning”.
Assessment will take a variety of forms e.g. examination, presentation, coursework, as detailed in module descriptors. The criteria for selection will be that the form of assessment will be the most appropriate to enable students to demonstrate their achievement of stated module learning outcomes.
In general terms, students are assessed on their ability to: demonstrate knowledge and understanding, in breadth and in depth, of the subject-matter studied; discuss, interpret, and critically analyse a range of literature; utilise effectively the transferable communication and rhetorical skills of speaking, listening, reading, writing, and arguing; conduct independent and collaborative research, using relevant skills and methods (including IT where appropriate). The assessment methods used in each module correlate with the learning outcomes for that module. A range of assessment approaches is used to provide evidence of learning for the specified outcomes for each module. In line with University of Chester policy, not all learning outcomes are explicitly assessed. Where feasible, assessment should be used to inform planning to ensure that subsequent teaching addresses the identified needs of the students. Students are kept informed about the assessment requirements of each element of their programme. The formal assessment requirements are described in each module descriptors. As well as the generic assessment criteria, students will be provided with assignment specific criteria; this will be provided in module handbooks, available to students at the beginning of each module.
Reassessment will, as far as possible, follow the original intention as detailed in the module descriptor and will be in accordance with the University regulations. Where a form of assessment cannot be repeated, e.g. as with some presentations, an alternative will be prescribed which gives the student a similar opportunity to demonstrate achievement of the specified module learning outcomes. Such arrangements will be discussed with the External Examiner.
The particular benefits of this field of study are identified in the QAA 2015 benchmark statement 2.5 as 'Graduates are able to participate in and contest changing discourses exemplified by reference to debate about values, personal and social engagement, and how these relate to communities and societies'. Students have opportunities to develop their critical capabilities through the selection, analysis and synthesis of relevant perspectives, and to be able to justify different positions on educational matters.
Students who have successfully completed this programme will have developed an understanding of a complex body of knowledge, some of it at the current boundaries of an academic discipline. Through this, the graduate will have developed analytical techniques and problem-solving skills that can be applied in many types of employment. Their studies will have enabled them to evaluate evidence, arguments and assumptions, to reach sound judgements, and to communicate effectively and they should have the qualities needed for employment in situations requiring the exercise of personal responsibility, and decision-making in complex and unpredictable circumstances (QAA. 2015:7). Many students in this cohort, on graduation, intend to embark upon a programme of professional training leading to QTS or to other professional work with children and young people. Some students have developed careers in industry as trainers within their particular organisations. The Education Studies programme will also equip graduates with the necessary key skills to continue their studies through related postgraduate programmes or research degrees.
The University is committed to the promotion of diversity, equality and inclusion in all its forms; through different ideas and perspectives, age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation. We are, in particular, committed to widening access to higher education. Within an ethically aware and professional environment, we acknowledge our responsibilities to promote freedom of enquiry and scholarly expression.
The programme adheres to the University’s policy on equality and diversity, namely:
The University can only fulfil its responsibilities to students and staff and its broader responsibility to society if it builds on a foundation of respect for the dignity of each individual.
Discrimination is unacceptable within the University community in that it represents a waste of human resources and it unjustly denies individuals the opportunity to fulfil their potential. It can also be unlawful.
The active support of the University community is sought through the commitment and involvement of all groups of staff and students in the implementation of this policy.
The University is committed to a programme of action to ensure that this equal opportunities policy is fully effective. Positive action may be needed where there are historical imbalances. To this end, the programme will:
ensure that all students, staff (including those in partnership schools) are treated with respect;·
no student or professional colleague will be knowingly discriminated against.
All participants in and contributors to the programme will be encouraged to become involved in the development, management, delivery and evaluation of the effectiveness of the programme.
Education Studies can be combined with a variety of subjects within the combined honours system. Education is increasingly seen as fundamental to economic growth and 'intellectual capital' is ever more significant in our global era. As a subject area Education studies is particularly flexible. Education Studies enhances an understanding of learning across a range of subject disciplines in the Humanities and Social Sciences and deepens our understanding of learning processes in a variety of vocations, workplaces and institutions.
The programme has been adapted to meet student need and has ensured that level 4 provision in particular offers study support to all students. Level 4 now includes a specific portion of ED4002 for teaching generic study skills which are also assessed as part of the module's overall assessment mark.
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