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ETP102 - Social Contexts of Education

Note: You are seeing the 2013 view of this unit information. These details may no longer be current. [Go to the current version]
Enrolment modes:

(B, G, W)

Credit point(s):1
Offerings: Trimester 2
EFTSL value:0.125
Unit chair:S Rawolle
Campus contact:

C Charles (B), S Rawolle (G), B Walker-Gibbs (W)


ETP101 Approval to enrol in this unit is required from the Course Director for A200 students.


Students must be enrolled in course E359 or A200

Contact hours:

3 hours per week, 1 lecture and 1 tutorial and equivalent of 5 days of professional experience


Students must pass all components of this unit in order to progress to the next ETP unit in the professional education sequence.


Online teaching methods require internet access. Please refer to the most current computer specifications.


This unit introduces and explores the field of education from two aspects of a broadly sociological framework, namely social issues and social theories and concepts.  First, the unit deals with different ways that the field of education has emerged as an institution with a distinct structure and function. The unit will therefore cover some of the history and structure of education in Australia and the effect of global processes on education.  In particular the unit will cover different educational sectors, the division and use of time, space and place in schools and the production and rewarding of different kinds of students. This will entail specific treatment of social, cultural, religious, gender and sexuality issues in schooling. This will also lead to some coverage of federalism, policy development and implementation, and public, private and hybrid models of provision of education.


Second, the unit will consider different sociological theories, concepts and research approaches that help to understand and explore these issues. In particular, the unit will introduce the concepts of power, practice, policy, discourse, structure, agency, social and cultural capital and field as descriptive and explanatory concepts.  In addition the unit will introduce normative theories to explain pressures for change in education, including social justice, equity, inclusion, educational markets and globalization. The unit will also introduce different approaches to educational research.


This unit includes 5 days professional experience during which, as part of a team, the preservice teacher will:

  • undertake an orientation to the school environment
  • conduct and record observations of class, teacher and school routines
  • observe and analyse the nature and impact of social, cultural, religious, gender and sexuality issues in their school setting
  • attend meetings, yard duty, school activities etc.
  • supervise the work of small groups of students and work with individuals.
  • collect and analyse policy documents relating to inclusivity
  • keep a journal (electronic and/or hardcopy) in which evidence of their planning, observations, collected documents, participation in school activities and reflections are kept.  Pre-service teachers will be expected to share their journal with their supervising teachers and appropriate University teaching staff. 


Analysis of School Space, 1800 words, 50%

Collaborative Research Task, 1800 words, 50%


Hurdle Requirement

Professional Experience, 0%

This component is assessed primarily by the supervising classroom teacher in consultations with the pre-service teacher. Satisfactory completion of the Professional Experience component is compulsory in order for the student to progress.


Field Days: Three days of field experience will contribute towards this degree: Observations in sites of learning such as museums, swimming pools, personal training. This will be followed by an analysis informed by a series of observations conducted at one site. Students will also be required to complete a written report informed by these observations in this learning space. Students will be required to document these three days in their Field Day Portfolio.


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8th June 2007