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 2021 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 group presentation which is peer assessed (10%) during the online tutorial

Further Information: more detailed information will be available separately

Part B) 1250 word written submission (40%), students submit an individual written submission
Further information: Students submit their individual written submission a week after their in-class, group 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%

1,750 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.

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., (2017). 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.

Recommended texts

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


Bartholomaeus, C., Riggs, D. W., & Andrew, Y. (2016). Exploring trans and gender diverse issues in primary education in South Australia. Flinders University.

Blaise, J. (2019). Overcoming the odds: a study of Australia’s top performing disadvantaged schools. The Centre for Independent Studies.

Burridge, N., Chodkiewcz, A., Payne, A. M., 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., Buchanan, J., Chodkiewicz, A. (2009). Dealing with Difference: Building Culturally Responsive Classrooms. Cosmopolitan Civil Societies Journal, 1(3), pp. 68-83.

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

Keddie, A., & Ollis, D. (2020). Context matters: the take up of Respectful Relationships Education in two primary schools. Australian Educational Researcher.

Keddie, A., Wilkinson, J., Howie, L., & Walsh, L. (2019). ‘… we don’t bring religion into school’: issues of religious inclusion and social cohesion. The Australian Educational Researcher, 46(1), 1-15.

Mayes, E., & Holdsworth, R. (2020). Learning from contemporary student activism: towards a curriculum of fervent concern and critical hope. Curriculum Perspectives, 40, 99-103.

Graham, A., & Sahlberg, P. (2020, March 26). Schools are moving online, but not all children start out digitally equal. The Conversation.

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.

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

McGregor, G., Mills, M., Te Riele, K., Baroutsis, A., & Hayes, D. (2017). Re-imagining schooling for education. Palgrave Macmillan, London.

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

Nassbaum, M. C. (2016). Education for profit, education for freedom. Nómadas, (44), 13-25.

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

Selwyn, N., Nemorin, S., Bulfin, S., & Johnson, N. (2016). Toward a digital sociology of school. In J. Daniels, K., Gregory & T. McMillan Cottom (Eds.) Digital Sociologies (pp. 147-162). Policy Press, Bristol, UK.

Sriprakash, A., Proctor, H., & Hu, B. (2016). Visible pedagogic work: Parenting, private tutoring and educational advantage in Australia. Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 37(3), 426-441.

Steinberg, S. R., & Down, B. (Eds.). (2020). The SAGE Handbook of Critical Pedagogies. SAGE Publications Limited. SAGE.

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.