Perspectives in Education

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Course TypeCourse CodeNo. Of Credits
Foundation CoreSES3011014

Semester and Year Offered: Semester 1

Course Coordinator and Team: Gunjan Sharma (C)

Email of course coordinator:

Pre-requisites: pre-doctoral


The course begins with introducing the ‘disciplines of education’ and signposting the theories/concepts fundamental to each of these. It then engages with some selected core thematics drawn from each of these foundational perspectives. This is followed with an engagement with selected contemporary issues (particularly drawn from curriculum and policy studies) across different levels of education – including early childhood, school, higher and teacher education. The objectives of this course are:

  • Revisiting/introduction to the disciplinary perspectives in education
  • Familiarisation with the selected themes, concerns and developments in education
  • Identification of the linkages between one’s own research concerns and the perspectives and concerns presented in the course

Course Outcomes:

  • Ability to read and comprehend selected seminal texts in education representing foundations of education
  • Demonstrated awareness of major concerns in education in India
  • Identification of the linkages between one’s own research concerns and the perspectives and concerns presented in the course

Brief description of modules/ Main modules:

Module 1: Disciplines of education (12 hours)

This module will focus on providing an introduction to the foundational disciplines (i.e. philosophy, history, sociology, and psychology) of education with an aim to provide a broad overview of each of these. In this process the major concepts/theories drawn from these foundations will be identified that will be further discussed in the elective courses.

Module 2: Disciplinary perspectives and themes (18 hours)

This module is an extension of the previous one as it retains the disciplinary focus while engaging with one prominent thematic area from each of the foundations. The aim is to introduce students to the manner in which the foundational perspectives underlie certain core themes in education(al) studies, and demonstrate the scholarly approaches that constitute educational theory and inquiry.

Module 3: Interdisciplinary Issues from Curriculum and Policy (18 hours)

This module will engage with certain selected relevant contemporary concerns/issues in education that are spread across different levels of education. The focus is on presenting those kinds of analyses that may not strictly lend themselves to one kind of perspective/framework in education. These will be drawn from: a) curriculum and pedagogic studies; and b) education policy across different levels of education (early childhood, school, higher and teacher education).

Reading List:

  • Bridges, D. (2006). The disciplines and discipline of educational research.Journal of Philosophy
  • of Education, 40(2), 259-272. doi: doi:10.1111/j.1467-9752.2006.00503.x
  • Carr, D. (2010). The philosophy of education and educational theory.In R. Bailey, R. Barrow, D.
  • Carr and C. McCarthy (Eds.), The SAGE handbook of philosophy of education (pp. 37 54). London: SAGE
  • Popkewitz. T. K., Pereyra, M.A., and Franklin, B. M. (2001). History, the problem of knowledge, and the new cultural history of schooling. In Popkewitz. T. K., Pereyra, M.A.,
  • Franklin, B. M. (Eds.), Cultural history and education: Critical essays on knowledge and schooling (pp. 3-42). RoutledgeFalmer: New York and London.
  • Goodman, J. and Grosvenor, I. (2011). The history of education: A curious case? In J. Furlong and L. Martin (Eds.), The disciplines of education: Their role in the future of education research (pp. 67 – 84). London: Routledge.
  • McInerney, Dennis M. (2005). Educational psychology – Theory, research, and teaching: A 25 year retrospective. Educational Psychology, 25(6), 585-599. doi: 10.1080/01443410500344670
  • Nambissan, G. and Rao, S. (2013). Sociology of education in India: Trajectory, location and concerns. In G. Nambissan and S. Rao (Eds.), Sociology of education in India: Changing contours and emerging concerns(pp. 1 – 23). New Delhi: OUP.
  • Barrow, R. and Woods, R. (2006).An introduction to philosophy of education (4th ed.) (pp. 26 – 37). Routledge: Abingdon, Oxon.
  • Illeris, K. (Ed) (2009). Contemporary theories of learning: Learning theorists... in their own words (pp. 159-169, 209-219). London: Routledge
  • Apple, M. W. (2012). Education and power (pp. xx – xxxiii). New York: Routledge.
  • Kumar, N. (2012). India’s trials with Citizenship, Modernisation and Nationhood.In L. Brockliss and N. Sheldon (Eds.), Mass education and the limits of state-building, c. 1870-1930. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. (pp: 283-304).
  • Whitehead, C. (2005). The historiography of British imperial education policy, Part I: India.History of Education, 34(3), pp. 315-329.
  • Pring, R. (1989). Subject-centred versus child-centred education: A false dualism. Journal of Applied Philosophy, 6(2), 181-194. Retrieved from
  • Dhankar, R. (2003). The notion of quality in DPEP pedagogical interventions.Contemporary Education Dialogue, 1(1), 5-31.
  • Kumar, K. andSarangapani, P. (2005).The history of quality debate.
  • Tilak, J. B. G. (2018). Higher education, public good and markets (pp. 100 – 118). Abingdon: Routledge.
  • DeveshKapur and PratapBhanu Mehta (Eds). (2017). Navigating the labyrinth: Perspectives on India’s higher education. Hyderabad: Orient BlackSwan. (20 page selection)
  • Sarangapani, P. and Akai, H. (2017).Preparing to teach: Elementary teacher education at a District Institute.Economics and Political Weekly, 52(34), 47 – 55.
  • Kaul, V. and Sharma, S. (2017). Early childhood policies in India: A historical analysis. In L. Miller, C. Cameron, C. Dalli and N. Barbour (Eds.), The SAGE handbook of early childhood policy (pp. 32 – 48). New Delhi: SAGE.

Assessment Details with weights:

  • Assessment 1 (3 Capture/Response notes): 40%
  • Assessment 2 (Perspective paper): 50%
  • Assessment 3 (Participation): 10%