MA Digital Technologies, Communication and Education

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Theories of Teaching and Learning (Distance)

Course unit fact file
Unit code EDUC77501
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Available as a free choice unit? No


The course unit will introduce the following content areas:

  • Major schools of thought and teaching and learning theory
  • Applying learning theories in different social and cultural contexts
  • Assessing learning
  • Teacher and learner identities and learning theory
  • Conceptions of children and young people in learning theory
  • Education policy, teaching and learning theory and globalisation


EDUC77501 DTCE DL Conditions (Programme 05872 & 07737)


This unit aims to develop students' knowledge and understanding of teaching and learning theories and to reflect upon their application in different contexts. 

Knowledge and understanding

  • An understanding of major schools of thought on learning theory
  • An understanding of key ideas underpinning theories of teaching and learning
  • An understanding of educational practices as they have developed in the context of educational institutions, education policy and in different social and cultural contexts

Intellectual skills

  • Critical thinking in relation to teaching and learning theory and its potential application to different learning contexts
  • Critically examine theoretical perspectives on teaching and learning theory and the assessment of learning
  • Critically examine the implications of teaching and learning theories for young people and teachers in different social and cultural learning contexts

Practical skills

  • Effectively contribute to debates about teaching and learning and learning in different insitutional, policy and socio-cultural contexts
  • Examine educational practices in the light of emerging understandings of teaching and learning theory
  • Examine the implications of teaching, learning and assessment policies, strategies, frameworks and discourses for classroom practice

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • Conceptual and analytical skills
  • Information handling 
  • Group working

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written assignment (inc essay) 100%

Feedback methods

Feedback is available via Blackboard

Recommended reading


Bruner, J. S. (1961) The act of discovery, Harvard Educational Review 31 (1), 21–32. 

Fox, R. (2005) Teaching and Learning: Lessons from Psychology, Oxford, Blackwell.

Overholser, J. C. (1993). "Elements of the Socratic method: II. Inductive reasoning". Psychotherapy, 30, 75–85.

Piaget, Jean. (1950) The Psychology of Intelligence. New York: Routledge

Pollard, A. (Ed) (2014) Readings for Reflective Teaching (Second Edition), London, Continuum.

     Reay, D. and William, D. (1999) `I’ll be a nothing’ : structure, agency and the construction of

     identity through assessment, British Educational Research Journal, 25 (3), 343-354.

Rizvi, F. and Lingard, B. (2010) Globalizing Education Policy, Oxford, Routledge.

Skinner, B.F. (1953) Science and Human Behavior,

Tobin, J., Hsueh, Y., Karasawa, M. (2009) Pre School in Three Cultures: Revisited, Chicago, University of Chicago Press.

Vygotsky, L.S. (1978). Mind in society: The development of higher mental processes, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 24
Tutorials 6
Independent study hours
Independent study 120

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Paul Smith Unit coordinator

Additional notes



Hours Allocated

Staff/Student Contact




Private Study


Directed Reading


Assignment Preparation


Total Hours



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