University of Technology Sydney

028225 Issues in Education: Local and Global Contexts

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2020 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Education: International Studies and Global Societies
Credit points: 6 cp
Result type: Grade, no marks

There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.


The aim of this subject is to enhance students' understanding of major issues in Australian education in the context of an ever-changing world that has become a global village through innovative technology, transnational migration and internationalisation of economic systems. What impacts do these changes have in shaping educational outcomes for students?

Through and introduction to social theory the subject enables the development of an understanding of the social, cultural, economic and political forces shaping education in Australia and globally. It explores the ways in which these forces interact in the Australian context to influence educational outcomes. This subject focuses on a critical-reflective approach to educational practices and beliefs highlighting the importance of discussion and dialogue in the development of our understanding of educational issues. The following issues are examined: the construction of knowledge and the curriculum in schools and tertiary institutions, social theories and socialisation, poverty and disadvantage, globalisation, gender, cultural diversity, global citizenship, development and human rights.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

a. Explain how education systems now operate in a global context and how social, economic and political factors and trends impact on these systems. (GTS 1.3,1.3.2, 1.4.2);
b. Explore differing viewpoints on issues of gender, diversity, human rights, poverty and social justice their impact on educational attainment in the global context; (1.4, 1.3, 1.5, 2.6,3.2, 3.6, 4.1, 5.4)
c. Critically reflect on how social, economic and political issues and policies impact on education systems and schools and in the workplace (GTS 1.3 1.4.2 1.5 1.5.1);
d. Explain the contested nature of key aspects of education within Australia and in other countries, including in the Asia-Pacific region (GTS 3.1, 4.1.1);
e. Describe global challenges and opportunities for education in the 21st Century (GTS 1.3, 6.1.1, 7.1).

Contribution to the development of graduate attributes

This subject addresses the following Course Intended Learning Outcomes:

2. Critical and Creative Inquiry
2.1 Analyse and synthesise research and engage in inquiry (GTS 3)
2.2 Make well-informed contributions to contemporary debates pertinent to education (GTS3)

3. International and Intercultural Engagement
3.1 Respond critically to national and global changes that affect learners, learning and the creation of a well-informed society (GTS 3)

5. Active Citizenship
5.1 Operate ethically with a commitment to social justice (GTS 4, 7)

6. Effective Communication
6.1 Communicate effectively using diverse modes and technologies (GTS 2, 3, 4)
6.2 Exhibit high level numeracy and literacies (GTS 2)

Teaching and learning strategies

The subject will be delivered on a weekly basis comprising a 1 hour lecture and 2 hours tutorial. At each lecture different key issues related to teaching in schools will be covered.

Students will experience the learning in this subject through a combination of lectures, tutorial discussions, online communication and web blogs, group presentations and observations of workplace practices and research based assignments.

Assessment feedback

Brief written comments will be provided on assignments. Some early feedback on progress will be provided. Students may seek clarification of these comments, or their grade, by consulting with their designated lecturer. Students should request appointments for such consultations. Assignments submitted by the due date should be returned within three weeks of submission. If an assignment is not returned within this timeframe please call your lecturer or the Subject Coordinator responsible for your subject.

Content (topics)

The subject is organised around ‘Key Issues’ which are addressed by themes as shown below:

Key issues in Education (PA 1.7, 2.1, 2.4, 4.1. 4.2)

  • Sociological theories and education (PA 6.1);
  • Globalisation; a brief history of globalisation (PA 2.4, 2.5);
  • Economic; cultural; impact of trans-national migration (PA 2.4, 2.5 );
  • Education and globalisation – highlighting the issues (PA 6.1).
  • Poverty and disadvantage and its impact on education;
  • Gender and Education;
  • Social justice and human rights;
  • Global citizenship
  • Multiculturalism

CONTENT Themes linked to key issues

  • Australia in a Global context including in the Asia-Pacific (PA 6.2, 6.3, 6.10)
  • Thinking globally;
  • International conventions and Australia’s role;
  • International responsibilities.
  • Diversity and identity in a globalised world (PA 6.1, 6.2)
  • Old ties new ties : Australia’s connection to the Asia-Pacific region;
  • Trans national migration and its impact;
  • Working within diversity;
  • Workers’ rights and conventions.
  • The pedagogy of Active Citizenship (PA 1.1, 1.5, 2.10, 6.11 )
  • Explanations and definitions of active citizenship in a global context;
  • Engaging people to be active world citizens;
  • Case studies – eg human rights; gender.
  • Sustainable futures (PA 1.2, 2.9, 3.9, 4.7)
  • Reflecting on economic, cultural and social sustainability;
  • Building sustainable communities;
  • Global challenges.
  • Connecting Globally (PA 3.1, 3.2, 3.14)
  • Social media and technology centred teaching;
  • Challenges and possibilities of mutual learning from global communities;
  • Establishing partnerships with global communities. Aid and Development
  • Subject Overview and Governance issues (PA 5.8 5.9)
  • Ethical behaviour;
  • Professional practices;
  • Peace building and conflict resolution in a global context.

Weekly Tutorial outlines will be provided during Orientation week.


Assessment task 1: Policy submission to the Minister of Education


a, b, c, d and e

Weight: 50%

Part a) 15 min ppt (peer assessment of (10%): to be marked in class)

Further Information: more detailed information will be available separately

Part b) 1500 word written submission (40%) -Students submit individual written submissions.
Further information: Students submit their INDIVIDUAL written submission a week after their in- class presentation.

Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
Part A
Provide effective and well researched arguments and an analysis of the main facts of their case 10 c, e 6.1
Provide a set of recommendations and the resources needed to meet them 10 d 3.1
Part B
Clarity of the introduction and outline of your submission 10 a, b 6.1
Relevance of scholarly readings, lecture notes and online materials applied 30 c, e 2.2
Soundness of arguments, and recommendations 30 d, e 3.1
Competence in written expression of arguments and understanding of referencing system 10 b 6.1
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

Assessment task 2: Report on a specific critical issue in Education studied in this subject


a, b, c, d and e

Weight: 50%

2,000 words

Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
Clarity of the introduction 10 a 2.1
Relevance of the issue to school, community and education sectors 30 b, c 5.1
Reference and understanding of interplay of key social, political and economic concepts 20 c, e 3.1
Strength of arguments, evaluations and conclusions on the issue 30 d 2.2
Competence of and clarity in explanations and referencing 10 e 6.2
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

Minimum requirements

Attendance at tutorials is essential to discuss and share ideas about this topic and its place in contemporary society. An attendance roll will be taken at each class. Students who fail to attend 8 out of 9 tutorials will be refused to have their final assessment marked (see UTS Rule 3.8).

Required texts


Welch, A., Connell, R., Mockler, N., Sriprakash, A., Proctor, H., Hayes, D., Foley, D., Vickers. M., Bagnall, N., Burns, K., Low, R., and Groundwater-Smith, S., (2018). Education, Change and Society. Fourth Edition Oxford University Press, South Melb. VIC.

The Text book can be ordered online or through Glebe books, 49 Glebe Point Rd (they offer a 10% discount). Subject Reader will contain relevant articles on key issues in this subject. UTS Printery will print on demand. More information will be provided on where you order the readings. In addition an ereadings list will be added to UTSonline

Recommended texts

Teacher Education Ministerial Advisory Group (2014) Action Now : Classroom Ready Teachers. Australian Government, Department of Education. Available at: accessed 27th June 2015.

NSW DEC (2013) Great Teaching, Inspired Learning. What does the evidence tell us about effective teaching. Centre for Education Statistics and Evaluation, NSW Department of Education teaching-inspired-learning

Buchanan, J.D., Burridge, N. & Chodkiewicz, A. (2018), 'Maintaining Global Citizenship Education in Schools: A Challenge for Australian Educators and Schools', Australian Journal of Teacher Education, vol. 43, no. 4

Buchanan, J. & Burridge, N. (2016). Education for human rights: Opportunities and challenges arising from Australian Curriculum reform. Curriculum Perspectives, 36(2), 41-51.

Burridge, N., Chodkiewicz, A., (2016) Educating Teachers About Human Rights: A Study of Australian Schools and the Curriculum. Asia Pacific Journal of Teacher Education: DOI: 10.1080/1359866X2016.120.1201044

Burridge, N (2019), 'Classroom Perspectives on Australia's Contact History' in Allender, T, Clark, A & Parkes, R (eds), Historical Thinking for History Teachers A New Approach to Engaging Students and Developing Historical Consciousness, Allen and Unwin, Crows Nest, Sydney, pp. 279-29823.View/Download from: UTS OPUS


Austin, H, Dwyer, B, and Freebody, P., (2003), Schooling the child : the making of students in classrooms, RoutledgeFalmer. London,New York.

Brady, L., & Kennedy, K., (2010) Curriculum Construction (4th Ed) Frenchs Forest, NSW: Pearson Aust.

Burridge, N., Chodkiewcz, A., Payne, AM., Oguro, S., Varnham, S., & Buchanan, J. (2015) Human Rights Education in the Australian School Curriculum . The Asia-Pacific Human Rights Center . Osaka, Japan pp.167-201

Burridge, N. (2013) Promoting Cultural Diversity and Human Rights Education in Australian Schools: Intersecting Pathways to Socially Just Communities, in Hashemi K., & Briskman L., (2013) Non Aligned Movement Year Book of Human Rights and Cultural Diversity Vol 2, 2013 pp 27-56. Centre for Human Rights and Cultural Diversity, Teheran, Iran (online

Burridge, N., Whalan, F., & Vaughan, K., (2012) Indigenous education in practice: learning pathways for students, teachers and schools. Sense Publishing, Rotterdam.

Burridge, N. & Chodkiewicz, A. (2008). Representations of cultural diversity in school and community settings. Sydney: University of Technology, Sydney.

Burridge, N., (2009). Education, Racism and Human Rights in a Globalised World – Perspectives from Australia. Printed in P. G. Kirchschläger/T. Kirchschläger (Hrsg.), Menschenrechte und Religionen. Internationales Menschenrechtsforum Luzern (IHRF) Band VI, 2009, Stämpfli Verlag, Bern.

Burridge, N., Buchanan, J., Chodkiewicz, A.,(2009) Dealing with Difference: Building Culturally Responsive Classrooms Cosmopolitan Civil Societies Journal CCS journal vol 1, No 3.

Calder, M. & Smith, R. (1992). A better world for all. (Vols 1 & 2). Canberra: Australian Development Assistance Bureau.

Chodkiewicz, A., & Burridge N., (2013) Addressing diversity in schools: Policies, programs and local realities in Jakubowicz, A., & Ho, C., (2013) For those who have come across the sea: Australian Multiculturalism Theory, Policy and Practice. Australian Scholarly Publishing.

Connell, R. W. (1994). Poverty and education. Harvard Educational Review, 64 (2), 125-149.

Connell, R. W. (1995). Social justice and education. In M. Kalantzis (ed.) A fair go in education (pp. 4 - 10). Belconnen, ACT: ACSA.

Connell, R., et al 2007, Education, Change and Society. Oxford University Press ,South Melb.

Curriculum Corporation (2008). Global perspectives: A framework for global education in Australian schools. Carlton South, Vic: Curriculum Corporation.

Gilbert, R. (2004). Studying society and Environment: A guide for teachers. Southbank, Vic: Social Science Press.

Haberman, M. (1997) The pedagogy of poverty. In E. Hatton (Ed.). (1998). Understanding teaching: Curriculum and the social context of schooling, (2nd ed.) Sydney: Harcourt Brace. 370.1 HATT (ED.2) KRG.

Hofstede, G. (2001). Culture’s consequences: Comparing values, behaviors, institutions and organizations across nations. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications.

Holmes, D., Hughes.K, and Julian, R. (2003) Australian ?Sociology: A Changing Society Pearson Longman French’s Forest, NSW.

Jakubowicz, A., & Ho, C., (2013) For those who have come across the sea: Australian Multiculturalism Theory, Policy and Practice. Australian Scholarly Publishing.

Marsh C. (2008). Studies of society and environment: Exploring the teaching possibilities (5th Ed.). Frenchs Forest, NSW: Pearson Education Australia.

Mills, C., & Gale, T.,(2009) Schools in Disadvantaged Communities. Playing the Game from the back of the Field. Springer, Heidelberg, Germany.

McCloskey, S., (2014) Development education in policy and, Centre for Global Education.

Basingstoke : Palgrave Macmillan, 2014.

Nieto, S., & Bode, P., (2008) Affirming Diversity, Sociopolitical contexts of Multicultural Education,

Ngangan,L., and Kambutu, J., (Eds) (2016) Social justice education, globalization, and teacher education University of Wyoming at Casper. North Carolina , Information Age Publishing, Inc., North Carolina

McLaren, P. (1995). Critical pedagogy in the age of global capitalism: Some challenges for the educational left. Australian Journal of Education, 39(1), 5-21.

Nussbaum, M., (2009) Education for Profit, Education for Freedom. Liberal Education, Summer 2009 pp6-13.

O’Brien, R. & Williams, M. (2004). Global Political Economy: Evolution and dynamics. Houndmills, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan.

Orwell, G. (1949). Nineteen eighty-four. London: Secker & Warburg.

Ratvich, D. (2010) The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education Basic Books NY.

Regan, C. (2002). 80:20: Development in an unequal world. Wicklow, Ireland: 80:20 Educating and Acting for a Better World.

Reynolds, R. (2009). Teaching Studies of Society and Environment in the primary school. South Melbourne: Oxford University Press.

Rizvi, F. (2006). Imagination and the globalisation of educational policy research. Globalisation, Societies and Education, 4(2), 193-205.

Rizvi, F., & Walsh, L. (1998). Difference, globalisation and the internationalisation of curriculum. Australian Universities Review, 41(2), 7-11.

Schirato, T. & Webb, J. (2003) Understanding globalization. London: Sage Publications.

Stiglitz, J. (2006). Making globalization work: The next steps to social justice. London: Penguin Books Ltd.

Tait, G., (2014) Making Sense of Mass Education. Cambridge University Press. Melbourne ,VIC.

Tabb, W. (2002). Protecting the planet. In W. Tabb, Unequal partners: A primer on globalization. New York: The New Press. 195-211.

Te Riele, K. (2009) Making Schools Different. Alternative Approaches to Educating Young People. Sage, Warriewood, Sydney, Australia.