Mapping Education Studies

Home/ Mapping Education Studies
Course TypeCourse CodeNo. Of Credits
Foundation ElectiveSES3011022

Semester and Year Offered: Semester 2

Course Coordinator and Team: Gunjan Sharma (C)

Email of course coordinator:

Pre-requisites: Pre-doctoral

Aims/Outline: This course maps debates in education with a focus on questions such as: Is education a ‘discipline’ (or a field), professional preparation of teachers or an applied area geared towards drawing implications for practice? Do universities have a role in teacher education? How do education policy and research implicate each other? The specific aims of the course are:

  • Familiarity with the key questions on the nature and structure of education as a ‘discipline’/field.
  • Familiarity with the contemporary debates that are shaping research/study in education.
  • Contextualisation/positioning of one's own research work in relation to the key questions and debates.

Course Outcomes:

  • Identification of the key debates that shape education as a knowledge domain.
  • Explaining the preliminary linkages between one’s own research interest and the key positions in education studies.

Brief description of modules/ Main modules:

Module 1: Conceptions of education studies

Education is conceived in multiple ways – as a ‘discipline’, professional preparation of teachers and an applied area geared towards policy improvement/‘reform’ in practice. Its body of knowledge also has a distinct status and location as compared to other disciplines – as ‘derived’, ‘applied’, multidisciplinary, and interdisciplinary. This unit will engage with the different ways in which education is conceived in India and in selected international contexts as it engages with the question of what constitutes the foundation of education, and its overlaps, boundaries and specialisations.

Module 2:University and education studies: Organisational forms and contexts

The varied conceptions of education also give shape to varied organisational forms in which studies, research and/or training in education are instituted. There are several models of organisation of education studies that are observed in different contexts. These models that coexist at times, are governed by regulatory frameworks in different ways, and involve intense debates on questions such as: should universities have a role in teacher education? Who qualifies to teach education? What should scholarship and careers in education look like? This module will introduce these varied models.

Module 3:Contemporary global regimes: Research, policy and practice in Education

This Unit draws from the works that identify global trends in the funding, regulatory and network patterns in education as it considers the question of the relationship between research, policy and practice in education in contemporary times. It engages with the increasing agreement between teacher and higher education on the professional status of educational practice, and the simultaneous restructuring of the autonomy of universities.

Assessment Details with weights:

  • Assessment 1 (2 Response notes): 30%
  • Assessment 2 (Book review): 60%%
  • Assessment 3 (Participation): 10%

Reading List:

  • Ball, S. J. (2007). Education PLC: Understanding private sector participation in public sector education (pp. 27-29). London: Routledge.
  • Berliner, D. C. (2002). Educational Research: The hardest science of all. Educational Researcher, 31(8), 18-20.
  • Cochran-Smith, M., Furlong, J. and Brennan, M. (2009).Policy and politics in teacher education: International perspectives. London: Routledge.
  • Becher, T. and Trowler, P. R. (2001).Academic tribes and territories: Intellectual enquiry and the cultures of discipline. UK: Open University Press. (Chapters: Introduction & Points of departure)
  • Biesta, G. (2011). Disciplines and theory in the academic study of education: a comparative analysis of the Anglo-American and Continental construction of the field. Pedagogy, Culture & Society, 19(2), 175-192, DOI: 10.1080/14681366.2011.582255
  • Furlong, J. (2013).Education – An anatomy of a discipline: Rescuing the university project? Abingdon: Routledge. (Introduction and Conclusion)
  • Labaree, D. F. (2003).The peculiar problems of preparing educational researchers.Educational Researcher, 32(4), 13-22.
  • Sarangapani, P. (2011). Soft disciplines and hard battles.Contemporary education dialogue, 8(1), 67-84. (Modules 1 & 2)
  • Whitty, G. and Furlong, J. (2017).Knowledge and the study of education: An international exploration. London: Symposium Books. (For reading group) (Introduction)
  • Chanana, K. (Ed.) (2004). Transformative links between higher and basic education: Mapping the field (pp. 13-41). Delhi: Sage India.
  • Dhankar, R. (2014). How important is M.Ed. degree to be a teacher educator? Retrieved from
  • Judge H, Lemosse M, Paine L and Sedlak M. (1994). The University and the teachers: France, the United States, England. Wallingford: Triangle Books.
  • McCulloch, G. and Cowan, S. (2018). A social history of educational studies and research: Past, present and future? Abingdon and New York City: Routledge. (Introduction and Conclusion: 40 pages)
  • Menon, S. B. and Mathew, R. (2016). Teacher education in universities: A case from India. In Bob Moon (Ed.), Do universities have a role in the education and training of teachers? An international analysis of policy and practice (pp. 149-168). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Sarangapani, P. (2004). Universities: The invisible dimension of elementary education. In Chanana, K. (Ed.), Transformative links between higher and basic education: Mapping the field (pp. 95-107). Delhi: Sage India.
  • Nambissan, G.B. & Ball, S.J. (2010). Advocacy networks, choice & private schooling of the poor in India. Global Networks, 10(3), 324-343.
  • Verma, V. (2015).Policy networks in teacher education: A study of Justice Verma Commission on Teacher Education Report. Unpublished MA dissertation, School of Education Studies, Ambedkar University Delhi, Delhi.
  • Whitty, G. (2006).Education(al) research and education policy making: Is conflict inevitable? British Educational Research Journal, 32(2), 159-176. doi: 10.1080/01411920600568919