BSc Education / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Pedagogic Practices in Action in Education

Course unit fact file
Unit code EDUC24042
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 2
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Available as a free choice unit? Yes


The unit bridges the understanding of the theory and research of learning theories (the study of how children learn) into their practical application (or pedagogies) in real life classroom contexts around the world.  Students are given the opportunity to explore several learning theories from distinct traditions, origins and contexts with a focus on examining, analysing and reflecting on their practical enactment in a variety of formal educational contexts around the world.

This unit offers knowledge into how learning theories are enacted, as pedagogies, and provides practical experience and critical insights of what it means to learn and teach in different educational contexts, using a variety of teaching approaches. The unit has been designed to encourage students to develop critical analysis skills as they examine different pedagogies and to equip learners with the practical knowledge of classroom practice that will be beneficial to them in employment in a variety of educational careers.


  • Explore, with students, key psychological and socio-cultural theories of how learners learn at different stages of primary (elementary) and secondary education.
  • Examine how these theories are implemented practically in pedagogic approaches in classrooms in England and other educational contexts around the world
  • support students to evaluate how political, cultural and socio-historical contexts shape pedagogic approaches in action
  • DeveloProvide opportunities for students to develop skills to apply enacted pedagogic approaches into their own practice
  • Critically evaluate how different pedagogies impact on learning for students from diverse backgrounds. 


As a starting point, the unit examines the term ‘pedagogy’ referring to the methodological approaches that are adopted in classrooms and other educational contexts for children. Students subsequently examine characteristics associated with ‘traditional’ pedagogies and ‘progressive’ pedagogies and use these characteristics as a frame of reference when exploring the different pedagogies in the unit.

The curriculum selects several specific learning theories that have been enacted as pedagogies in educational settings either globally, nationally or regionally. Students are presented with a heuristic adapted from Nind et al.’s (2017) ‘dimensions of pedagogy’ as a basis for reflection on the selected pedagogies and the links/differences between them. 
The heuristic has three dimensions that include: 
a. the contextual dimension- this involves exploring several key theorists (see below), their ideas and ideological perspectives alongside the historical/political context linked to the development of the learning theories. The examination then continues with 
b. the enactment dimension, this is the practical implementation of the learning theory that includes exploration of specific, typical pedagogic techniques and assessment methods associated with the theory. The final dimension, 
c. the subjective dimension focuses on how the actors (teachers, students, parents/carers etc.) involved are affected, positioned and transformed by the pedagogic approach

Teaching and learning methods

The course unit are delivered in a sequence of ten sessions built around two-hour lecture /workshops with additional two tutorial/seminar sessions reviewing the learning and preparing students for the assessment activities.  Workshops introduce and explore specific pedagogies using interactive elements throughout. These include digital resources, such as video and online websites that provide students opportunities to examine and analyse individually and discuss in pairs and groups the different dimensions of the pedagogies’ framework. Other workshop sessions focus on students engaging in group work using synchronous digital tools to help them identify, compare and evaluate different pedagogic approaches as a means to help develop their knowledge and skills in preparation for summative assessment activities.   
The tutorial/seminar sessions will focus particularly on preparing students for the summative assessment activities by viewing, analysing and evaluating success criteria associated with the assessment activities. There are also opportunities to independently and in pairs analyse, evaluate and mark past submissions using success criteria linked to each assessment task.

Knowledge and understanding

  • Summarise a range of learning theories and describe how these are enacted in pedagogic practices
  • Provide balanced arguments to evaluate different pedagogies based on theoretical and practical understanding.
  • Describe the enactment of pedagogic approaches from different perspectives  ( e.g. students/teachers/schools )
  • Critically reflect on how political, cultural and socio-historical contexts shape the enactment of pedagogic approaches

Intellectual skills

  • critically apply key ideas associated with learning theories and their corresponding pedagogies
  • Reflect on pedagogic approaches in practice in a variety of contexts and in relation to inclusive practices to meet the needs of learners from diverse backgrounds

Practical skills

  • Evidence the design, enactment and evaluation of a short sequence of learning using different pedagogic approaches
  • Contribute effectively to discussions about pedagogic approaches in action
  • Design and produce digital content that communicates pedagogy in practice to non-specialist audiences/educators

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • Access and utilise appropriate digital resources to obtain and share relevant information.
  • analyse and evaluate different pedagogic approaches in practice
  • Independent research  skills 

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written assignment (inc essay) 75%
Oral assessment/presentation 25%

Feedback methods

Online via VLE within 15 working days

Recommended reading

Aberšek, B. (Ed.). (2017). Cognitive science in education and alternative teaching strategies. Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Aubrey, K., & Riley, A. (2020). Understanding and using challenging educational theories. Sage.

Brown, Z. (2016). Inclusive education: Perspectives on pedagogy, policy and practice. Routledge.

Carrington, S., Saggers, B., Harper-Hill, K., & Whelan, M. (2021). Research Approaches to Supporting Students on the Autism Spectrum in Inclusive Schools: Outcomes, Challenges and Impact. Routledge.

Dewey, J. (1923). Democracy and education: An introduction to the philosophy of education. macmillan.

Ferfolja, T., Diaz, C. J., & Ullman, J. (Eds.). (2018). Understanding sociological theory for educational practices. Cambridge University Press.

Freire, Paulo (2009). Pedagogy of the Oppressed. New York, NY: The Continuum International Publishing Group Inc.

Giroux, H. (2020). Critical pedagogy (pp. 1-16). Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden.

Hattie, J. (2012). Visible learning for teachers: Maximizing impact on learning. Routledge.

Montessori, M., Hunt, J. M., & Valsiner, J. (2017). The montessori method. Routledge.

Nind, M., Curtin, A., & Hall, K. (2017). Research methods for pedagogy. Bloomsbury Publishing.

Siochrú, C. Ó. (Ed.). (2018). Psychology and the study of education: Critical perspectives on developing theories. Routledge.

Wadsworth, B. J. (1996). Piaget's theory of cognitive and affective development: Foundations of constructivism. Longman Publishing.

Waring, M., & Evans, C. (2014). Understanding pedagogy: Developing a critical approach to teaching and learning. Routledge.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 24
Seminars 6
Independent study hours
Independent study 170

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Louisa Dawes Unit coordinator

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