Education and Society

Curriculum Guideline

Effective Date:
Course Code
SOCI 2245
Education and Society
Humanities & Social Sciences
Start Date
End Term
Semester Length
Max Class Size
Contact Hours
Lecture: 4 hours per week / per semester
Method(s) Of Instruction
Learning Activities

Some or all of the following methods of instruction may be used:

  • Lecture
  • Small Group Exercises
  • Class Discussion
  • Audio-Visual Materials
  • Guest Speakers
Course Description
This course explores sociocultural issues affecting education. It provides a sociological analysis of the educational system and its relationship to major social institutions. Aspects examined may include classroom and student culture, education and socialization, the bureaucratization of education, the politics of teaching, education and social inequality, education and labour markets, and the social context of educational policy.
Course Content
  1. Sociological approaches to studying education
  2. Classical theoretical approaches and their application to educational issues
  3. Contemporary theoretical perspectives and their application to educational issues
  4. Historical dimensions of Canadian education
  5. Education and socialization
  6. The social organization of teaching and learning
  7. Schooling and work
  8. Social inequality and education
  9. The social context of educational policy
  10. Contemporary educational challenges and reforms
Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the course, students should be able to:

  • Discuss how ideas about education have changed over history
  • Define intended and unintended consequences of schooling
  • Use classical sociological theories (Marx, Weber, and Durkheim) to understand schooling
  • Apply contemporary sociological theories to current educational issues
  • Discuss the informal socialization that occurs in the educational system
  • Define “hidden curriculum”
  • Describe the relationship between formal education and labour markets
  • Describe the relationship of social class to education
  • Describe the relationship of gender to education
  • Describe the relationship of race and ethnicity to education
  • Explain social influences on educational curriculum
  • Discuss the nature of schools as workplaces
  • Distinguish between teaching and pedagogy.
Means of Assessment

Evaluation will take place in accordance with Douglas College policy.  Evaluation will be based on course objectives and may include quizzes, exams, critical essays, literature reviews, term/research projects and/or oral presentations.  The specific evaluation criteria will be provided by the instructor at the beginning of the course.


An example of one evaluation scheme:

Two midterm exams  40%
One annotated bibliography        10%
One research project  25%
One final exam  25%
Total 100%
Textbook Materials

Textbooks and Materials to be Purchased by Students


Examples of textbooks that may be used for this course include:


Barakett, Joyce and Ailie Cleghorn (2008).  Sociology of Education: An Introductory View from Canada.  Toronto: Pearson Prentice Hall.

Davies, Scott and Neil Guppy (2006).  The Schooled Society: An Introduction to the Sociology of Education.            Toronto: Oxford University Press.

Wotherspoon, Terry (2004).  The Sociology of Education in Canada: Critical Perspectives.  Toronto: Oxford University Press.