EDUC 304 : Educational Philosophy and Policy

Education and Social Work

2024 Summer School (1240) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

Examines the competing ideologies of individualism and community, their influence in recent educational reforms in New Zealand, and their wider implications for education, society and culture. Introduces the basic concepts and themes of classical liberalism, comparing and contrasting them with versions of neo-liberalism, and outlines the case for a community-based social policy and the renewal of social democracy.

Course Overview

The course examines philosophies of education that have informed education systems in modern democratic nations. The history and current state of New Zealand education will be examined to illustrate debates about the purpose of education in liberal democracies today.  The issues include secularism, the tension between government and local decision-making, and knowledge in the curriculum.

Course Requirements

Prerequisite: Any 45 points passed at Stage II

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 3: Knowledge and Practice
Capability 4: Critical Thinking
Graduate Profile: Bachelor of Arts

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Analyse the influence of philosophical ideas that inform the nature and function of education within modern society. (Capability 3 and 4)
  2. Evaluate prominent themes in education that include the relationship of national education systems and democracy, liberalism and communitarianism, and curriculum knowledge. (Capability 3 and 4)
  3. Apply theoretical concepts to a range of recent and current education policies in New Zealand. (Capability 3 and 4)
  4. Demonstrate an understanding of an approach to education policy which will enable the making of informed and critical judgements on important educational issues. (Capability 3 and 4)
  5. Utilise research and theory from a range of foundational disciplines (Capability 3 and 4)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Quizzes 60% Individual Coursework
Essay 40% Individual Coursework
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5

Please note: To pass this course students must get an overall course mark of at least 50%.

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard 15 point course and students are expected to spend 10 hours per week involved in each 15 point course that they are enrolled in.

For this course, each week you can expect 2 hours consisting of lecture delivery and tutorial activities, 4 hours of reading and thinking about the content and 3 hours of work on assignments and quiz preparation.

Delivery Mode


Attendance is expected at scheduled online activities to complete components of the course.
The course will include live online events including lectures and these will be recorded.
Where possible, study material will be released progressively throughout the course.
This course runs to the University quarter timetable and all the associated completion dates and deadlines will apply.

Learning Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.

The majority of resources for the course are available in a Talis reading list.

Student Feedback

At the end of every semester students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback and respond with summaries and actions.

Your feedback helps teachers to improve the course and its delivery for future students.

Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the department and faculty staff-student consultative committees.

Not available at the time of publication. 

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed for potential plagiarism or other forms of academic misconduct, using computerised detection mechanisms.

Class Representatives

Class representatives are students tasked with representing student issues to departments, faculties, and the wider university. If you have a complaint about this course, please contact your class rep who will know how to raise it in the right channels. See your departmental noticeboard for contact details for your class reps.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Learning Continuity

In the event of an unexpected disruption, we undertake to maintain the continuity and standard of teaching and learning in all your courses throughout the year. If there are unexpected disruptions the University has contingency plans to ensure that access to your course continues and course assessment continues to meet the principles of the University’s assessment policy. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator/director, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the university website for information about how to proceed.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course students may be asked to submit coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. In exceptional circumstances changes to elements of this course may be necessary at short notice. Students enrolled in this course will be informed of any such changes and the reasons for them, as soon as possible, through Canvas.

Published on 01/11/2023 05:09 p.m.