MA International Education

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Schools working with children, families and communities

Course unit fact file
Unit code EDUC70272
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Available as a free choice unit? Yes


This unit aims to support students to:

  • understand how schools can work with children, families and communities to improve a wide range of outcomes  
  • think critically about the wider (‘extended’) roles schools can play in a community, beyond their formal teaching and learning remit  
  • think critically about how families and local communities can work with schools and/or provide alternative educational opportunities 
  • develop their awareness and understanding of the scope of extended education (i.e. where schools take on a wider role) as an international field
  • engage with key debates in extended education  
  • develop critical arguments about the rationales underpinning extended education

Learning outcomes


Teaching and learning methods

The approach adopted in this unit is mainly seminar based. (10 x 2 hours)

There will also be a school visit to contextualise and support learning in this unit (1 x 2 hours).  

Seminars will have a taught component and an activity component. 

Knowledge and understanding

  • Identify how schools work with children, families and communities
  • Critically appraise the rationales underpinning different approaches to working with children, families and communities

Apply relevant educational theories to these practices and rationales.

Intellectual skills

  • Analyse and compare case studies of extended education and community schools
  • Develop and sustain a coherent analysis of practices in extended education and community schools
  • Synthesise theoretical information with examples from practice and literature
  •    Reflect on their own performance

Practical skills

  • Write for academic and non-academic audiences
  • Effectively source and communicate information in oral and written formats
  • Learn to engage with professional contexts as academic researchers.

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • Develop research and evaluation skills
  • Develop group-work and discussion skills
  • Develop skills to engage with professionals in the field.

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Portfolio 100%

Feedback methods

Formative feedback will be provided in response to the poster presentations.

Summative feedback will be provided on the structured portfolio via Turnitin.

Recommended reading

Cummings, D., Dyson, A, and Todd, L. (2011) Beyond the School Gates: Can Full Service and Extended Schools Overcome Disadvantage? 1st Edition. Routledge

Ecarius, J., Klieme, E., Stecher, L., Woods J. (2013) Extended Education – an International Perspective. Barbara Budrich Publishers

James and Williams (2017) School-Based Experiential Outdoor Education: A Neglected Necessity. Journal of Experiential Education. Vol. 40(1) 58–71

Lawson, H. and Van Veen, D. (eds) (2016) Developing Community Schools, Community Learning Centers, Extended-service Schools and Multi-service Schools. International Exemplars for Practice, Policy and Research. Springer

Noam, G. (2004)  After¿School Worlds: Creating a New Social Space for Development and Learning. Jossey-Bass.

Schüpbach, M, Lilla, N. (Eds.) (2019) Extended Education from an International Comparative Point of View

WERA-IRN Extended Education Conference Volume. Springer

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 22
Practical classes & workshops 48
Independent study hours
Independent study 60

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Susie Miles Unit coordinator
Kirstin Kerr Unit coordinator

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