EDUC 6550 - Educational Policy Studies

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2016

The history of education and educational philosophy will be analysed in terms of the impact on educational policy in schooling, training and/or higher education in contemporary times and in the future. Policy will be critiqued through a number of frameworks with a view to understanding the complex relationship between policy and practice and the implications for educators at the level of curriculum, pedagogy and assessment. The process of informing, shaping, implementing and evaluating educational policy will also be explored in the context of change and educational reform. The course will examine educational policy from ethical, sociological, cultural, international, comparative and historical perspectives.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code EDUC 6550
    Course Educational Policy Studies
    Coordinating Unit School of Education
    Term Semester 1
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Incompatible EDUC 7053NA Educational Issues in a Global Community
    Assessment Poster or presentation 30%, essay 60%, Participation 10%
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Joyleen de Leo

    Joyleen DeLeo
    Ph: +61 416 274 177
    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    On successful completion of this course students will be able to:
    1 Identify education policies and analyse the impact of these on education and practice and the role of effective leaders in informing, shaping and implementing educational policy
    2 Examine underlying themes of change and implementation challenges in domestic and international environments and examine the impact of various reform strategies on teaching capacity, accountability, resources and learning
    3 identify diverse, local and global factors influencing education policy and analyse policy documents from a sociological, comparative and historical perspective
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    1, 2, 3
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    1, 2, 3
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    2, 3
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    Three-hour lecture-tutorials including group work with numerous opportunities to discuss international standard setting documents, policy development and educational policies from various countries. Sessions will include guided and open discussions, practical activities relating to educational policy at national and local institutional levels.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    Total 156 hours comprising:
    36 hours contact time
    48 hours reading
    8 hours online review of My Uni materials/notices
    24 hours research & preparation for active weekly discussion & one slide presentation
    40 hours research and preparation of major written assignment
    Learning Activities Summary
    Week Topic Lecture Learning Outcomes
    Week 1 Introduction to Course
    Policy – definitions, types, structure

    What is policy? Distinguish from strategies, action plans, guidelines and procedures.

    What is the purpose of policy? What is shaped by policy?

    Discuss different policy levels.

    Common features and structure of policy documents.
    Week 2 Policy process – Educational Policy Development Who formulates and contributes to policy development? (Governance)

    How is policy formulated? Processes and contexts. Role of Government, public officials, educators.

    Policy Development Cycle and Evaluation.

    Factors to be considered in integrated policy development – unintended consequences.
    Week 3 Evidence & Research-based & practice-driven policy development Sources of evidence. Types of research. Sources of good practice.

    What role do research, evidence from student results, and the outcomes of educational program evaluations have on policy development?

    How can educators contribute to research to inform policy change?
    Week 4 Historical perspectives and change Factors influencing change in educational policies – Locally and Globally in the past and present.

    Factors & drivers influencing education policy today.

    Futures Thinking applied to educational policy development.
    Week 5 International perspectives and forces for change Key international standard-setting agencies & documents.

    Values and priorities expressed in international documents.

    Comparative International Education Policy contexts  and documents.

    Impacts of global factors on education policy.
    Week 6 National and local perspectives on educational policy and their impact on education

    Examine priorities and values in national, state and local education policy documents.

    Identify features of local education policy documents.

    Comparisons between educational policy documents in Australia and other countries.

    Similarities and differences between the approaches and emphases and reasons for these.
    2, 3
    Week 7 Quality teaching and learning Quality teaching & learning.

    PISA Test results and how they affect education policy.
    2, 3
    Week 8 School-based policy Examine examples and discuss
    Week 9 Developing implementing and evaluating policy at the school level What type of policy is developed nationally and what is developed in the local school?

    How do approaches differ from national policy processes? Who is involved? How is it evaluated?

    Impacts of local current/recent policy reforms 

    Nature of current/recent local reforms and reasons for their introduction?

    Difference between incremental change and reform.
    Week 10 Student presentations Current contentious Issues in education policy

    Student presentations and facilitated discussion on selected policy topics
    1, 2, 3
    Week 11 Student presentations Student presentations and facilitated discussion on selected policy topics 1, 2, 3
    Week 12 Student presentations Student presentations and facilitated discussion on selected policy topics 1, 2, 3
    Week 13 Research for written assignment 1, 2, 3
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Task Task Type Due Weighting Learning Outcome
    students engage in interaction in class activities and sharing of materials and information
    Formative Ongoing during lectures/tutorials 10% 1, 2, 3
    A solo presentation using power point (10 mins) and facilitation of group discussion (5 minutes) Formative and Summative Weeks 10-12 30% 1, 2, 3
    Written assignment 3000 words Summative Week 15 60% 1, 2, 3
    Assessment Detail
    Participation – students are required to attend at least 80% of lecture tutorials and to participate actively in class discussion.

    Power point presentation of a present a significant educational policy issue in a specific context during class for 10 mins followed by questions and facilitation of class discussion (5 mins)

    Major Written Assignment (3000 words) on one of the topics below:
    1. Analyse one or more education policies relating to a chosen area with reference to relevant international and/or national standard-setting policy documents, and identify where the policy standards and values are/are not reflected.
    2. Compare and contrast the education policies relating to a chosen area with those in another State or country and analyse the possible reasons for the differences and potential consequences of such differences in each context.
    3. Negotiate a topic with your lecturer.
    Submission is online through MyUni.

    Assessment pieces submitted late will receive a 5% deduction per day past the due date except where prior approval is sought and granted in writing beforehand.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

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  • Policies & Guidelines
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