Philosophy of Education (Module 26283)

This module will provide an introduction to the discipline of philosophy of education.

It is divided into three blocks:     

  1. Key Concepts in Education will examine the core concepts of education, learning, teaching, indoctrination, knowledge, rationality and intelligence;       
  2. The Aims of Education asks what children should learn and why, exploring influential ideas about worthwhile activities, forms of knowledge, critical thinking, vocational education, character education and child-centred education;       
  3. Fairness, Freedom and Control will consider key questions about the organisation, governance and distribution of education, opening up debates about selective, private and faith-based education, access to higher education and equality of educational opportunity.      

The School of Education is home to one of the largest groups of Philosophers of Education in the UK.


  • By the end of this module you should be able to:
  • A philosophically-informed understanding of key concepts in education and theoretical approaches to curriculum design
  • a basic understanding of conceptual, epistemological and ethical problems and the methods of inquiry by which philosophers tackle them
  • a basic appreciation of the arguments for and against a range of established positions in the field of philosophy of education
  • an ability to think independently and intelligently about conceptual, epistemological and ethical questions
  • an ability to communicate philosophical ideas and arguments clearly and persuasively

Module Lead

Professor Michael Hand


20 credits

Contact time

Lectures (20 hours), Seminars (20 hours); Guided independent study (160 hours)


Two 2,000 word essays (50% each)

Programmes associated with this module