What future for education?

University of London

Everyone has experienced education as a learner: these experiences shape how we view and value education, and how we think it should develop in the future. In this course we critically examine a range of ideas around education: including learning, teaching and schooling. Our aim is to consider what our preferred future for education might look like.

The course aims to get you to critically examine your own ideas about education, teaching and learning. The critique will be developed through engagement with theories and ideas developed through educational research. You will be encouraged to use these ideas to challenge or support your own ideas about education.   

Each week we will focus on one key question, using video lectures, key readings and challenges to explore some commonplace notions about education. With the guidance of the course team, you will be asked to use these ideas to critically reflect on your own understandings and experience. By the end of the course, you will have developed a personal response to the main question: what is your preferred future for education?

Announcement for US based teachers:

Coursera and its partners are proud to offer eligible teachers free verified certificates for this course and other high-quality teacher professional development courses, through the ConnectED effort announced by President Obama.

To participate in this opportunity, district leaders simply need to approve Coursera teacher professional development by completing a brief form at: www.coursera.org/tpd.

Teachers interested in this opportunity are also encouraged to follow the link to learn more and complete the form.  

Once a district’s form has been verified, the district leader will be notified and teachers in the district will receive access to free verified certificates for Coursera professional development.

Coursera and its partners thank educators for the hard work they do every day and hope this opportunity will allow them to continue developing their craft in a meaningful and flexible way.


Week 1 - How do we learn?  This week we explore the learning approach of the course, and start to question what "learning" means.  Through exploring different models of learning you will gain an understanding of different approaches to, and perspectives on learning.

Week 2 - What is intelligence and does it matter? The focus this week is to challenge popular ideas around intelligence. We will consider what is meant by IQ, fixed intelligence, multiple intelligences and emotional intelligence, and the role that ideas about intelligence can play in encouraging or dissuading learning.

Week 3 - What makes a good teacher? This week we challenge images of teachers, and “good” teaching. We will be considering how teachers can support the learning process.

Week 4 - Can schools make a difference?  The focus this week is to consider what roles schools play.  We will explore assumptions that school improvement initiatives, and evidence on what makes a “good” school. Consideration will also be given to informal learning settings and other institutions of learning.

Week 5 - Why do governments fund education? This week the emphasis is on the relationship between education and schooling, and we shall explore neo-liberal ideas about education and economic prosperity, social justice and individual development and fulfilment.

Week 6 - What future for education? In this last week of the course we will consider the main challenges are for education and schooling into the future. By exploring different utopian visions for education, you will consider you own views on how education should develop into the future.

Recommended Background

The course will be suitable for anyone with an interest in education (teachers, educators, parents, or interested individuals), and no prior experience or expertise in education is assumed (except for the experience of having been a learner).  

Suggested Readings

The lectures are generally self-contained, but, for those interested in learning in more depth, we will provide links to relevant resources for you to explore. 

Course Format

The learning process is guided by a learning cycle that consists of:

  • A brief introductory video setting out the “challenge” for the week.
  • An initial reflection task for your personal learning journal and to share with the discussion forums.
  • Short video introductions, supplemented with discussions and video extracts with experts, supported by brief follow-up readings and some optional further readings.
  • A critical reflection task for you to discuss with colleagues and to reflect on in your journal. 


  • What can I earn for completing this course?

    You can earn a Verified Certificate by verifying your work with a risk-free, no obligation Signature Track trial. Payment for Signature Track can be made anytime until the week before the course ends — so you’ll be more certain that you’ll earn your Verified Certificate.

    If you choose not to verify your work, you can still participate in the complete course. While your final score will be noted on your course records page, this course will not offer a Statement of Accomplishment.
  • What resources will I need for this class?

    For this course, all you need is an Internet connection, and the time to take part in the activities.

  • What is the coolest thing I'll learn if I take this class?

    That it doesn't matter how intelligent you think you are, there are no limits to what you can learn!

  • Where can I find out about more information regarding this subject and the University of London programmes?

    The content of this course is drawn from the MA in Education programme offered as a flexible study programme by the University of London International Programmes. The University of London International Programmes is a collaboration between the University of London International Academy and 12 Colleges of the University of London.  Established in 1858, the University of London International Programmes is the world’s oldest provider of flexible learning. Today there are 54,000 students in 180 countries studying through the University of London International Programmes, for more than 100 qualifications at degree, higher education diploma and certificate level.  The University also works with a network of independent teaching centres worldwide, all of which provide teaching, tutoring and pastoral care. For more information please visit http://www.londoninternational.ac.uk/coursera 

    For more information on the MA in Education programme, please visit: http://www.londoninternational.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/institute-education/education-ma This programme has been developed in a collaboration between the UCL Institute of Education and the University of London International Academy.

    In addition, you may be interested to look at some of our other education related programmes such as the MA in Applied Educational Leadership and Management and the Masters in Educational Research http://www.londoninternational.ac.uk/education

  • 2014年9月29日, 6 星期
  • 日期还没有被通知, 6 星期
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  • 语言: 英语 Gb



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