Success and Failure at School

Subject EDUC90634 (2010)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2010.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2010:

Semester 1, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 24 hours
Total Time Commitment: 125 hours
Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements: Attendance at all classes (tutorial/seminars/practical classes/lectures/labs) is obligatory. Failure to attend 80% of classes will normally result in failure in the subject.


Prof Richard Teese, Prof Stephen Lamb


Education Student Centre
Subject Overview: In all OECD countries, student achievement displays marked social patterns. These tend to persist over time, even while changing in form. A major question for educational research and policy is to understand how these patterns arise and why they persist. This subject provides an introduction to theories of social inequality in education. It draws on writings from a wide range of contexts, both geographical and historical, to capture differences in approach and developments over time. The aim is to see how researchers have sought to explain and interpret social patterns in achievement at different stages of schooling and tertiary education and in different national contexts, and thus to help evaluate policies aimed at reducing inequality.
  • to understand the different ways in which under-achievement amongst disadvantaged groups has been explained by researchers;
  • to examine different explanations in their historical and geographical context;
  • to study the connections between how inequality is explained and how concepts of equity as a policy goal are framed.
Assessment: One 5,000 word essay (80%) and one seminar presentation involving a power point display with notes for class distribution due in class during the semester (20%)
Prescribed Texts: A.H.Halsey, H.Lauder, P.Brown & A.S.Wells (eds.), Education, Culture, Economy, Society (2007) ISBN 978-0-19-878187-5
Teese, R., Academic Success and Social Power (2000)
OECD, No more failures (2008)
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills: On completion of this subject, students will be able to:
  • critically assess arguments about the origins of under-achievement amongst disadvantaged groups
  • relate arguments to changing historical and geographical contexts
Related Course(s): Master of Education (Stream 100B)Coursework
Master of Education (Stream 150)

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