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Registration for the Winter 2020 semester begins soon.  Watch your email for more details.
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Education and Society

Course Code: SOCI 2245
Faculty: Humanities & Social Sciences
Department: Sociology
Credits: 3.0
Semester: 15
Learning Format: Lecture
Typically Offered: TBD. Contact Department Chair for more info.
course overview

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

Methods of Instruction

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

  • Lecture
  • Small Group Exercises
  • Class Discussion
  • Audio-Visual Materials
  • Guest Speakers

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%

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.

course prerequisites

SOCI 1125 or SOCI 1145 or SOCI 1155

curriculum guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester/year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

course schedule and availability
course transferability

Below shows how this course and its credits transfer within the BC transfer system. 

A course is considered university-transferable (UT) if it transfers to at least one of the five research universities in British Columbia: University of British Columbia; University of British Columbia-Okanagan; Simon Fraser University; University of Victoria; and the University of Northern British Columbia.

For more information on transfer visit the BC Transfer Guide and BCCAT websites.


If your course prerequisites indicate that you need an assessment, please see our Assessment page for more information.