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Education Theory and Policy

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About this Course

About the Course

In this course, Dr Matthew Cole (University of Birmingham) introduces some key aspects of education theory and policy. In the first lecture, we explore consensus theories, most notably Talcott Parson’s views on schooling as the means by which children are prepared for a meritocratic society, and the ideas of the New Right. In the second lecture, we consider three sets of conflict theories of education – Marxism, Feminism, and Critical Race Theory. Next, we look at the historical development of education policy in Britain from 1800 to 1979 across four key phases. In the fourth and final lecture, we continue this story from 1979 to the present, focusing particularly on marketisation as the key orientation of education policy in this period.

About the Lecturer

Matthew Cole is Teaching Fellow in the Department of History at the University of Birmingham. He is a historian of modern Britain with a particular interest in twentieth century constitutional and party politics, and local history.