Education and Society
The course can be offered both spring and autumn, but the offer will wary from semester to semester
Objectives and Content
The course SOS108 is connected to one of the main research groups of the Department of Sociology: Work, Classes and Education. The aim of the course is to introduce students to some of the theoretical traditions, research problems and debates within this field. This in-depth course will also provide a good base for choosing a topic for one's bachelor thesis.
The course provides knowledge about central research problems, concepts and sociological perspectives on the relationship between education and society, with examples from Norwegian and international contexts. It explores the historical connection between the development and growth of schooling and societies' modernization processes in several countries. The course imparts insight into how countries have built up different education systems, how these work, and how types of education differ. Students learn about how the content of schooling and schools' curricula differ for different levels of schooling and in different countries. The course also addresses sociological research on social inequalities in schooling.
A student who has completed the course should have the following learning outcomes defined in terms of knowledge, skills and general competence:
After having completed the course, the student will have acquired knowledge about:
- Central research problems, concepts and sociological perspectives in the study of the relationship between education and society, with examples from Norway and other countries.
- The historical relationship between schooling and societies' modernization processes in several countries
- Why the education system grows.
- Why different countries have developed different education systems, how these work, and how types of education differ.
- The demands regarding content and curricula of schools for different levels of schooling and in different countries.
- Sociological research on social inequalities in schooling.
After having completed the course, the student can
- Answer research questions about education and society in an analytical way
- Regard the school as an institution, an arena for socialization and a communicator of culture in society under different historical conditions, in developing as well as developed countries
- Analyze the role of the school as a selection mechanism in society and contributor to the reproduction of inequality
- Understand how school systems can support different forms of socialization and attitudes towards knowledge among students in different countries
- Collect information about education systems in different societies, and on such a base consider how different levels and types of schooling are connected with each other and with different educational and career paths
- Understand national education systems as structures with their own inner workings.
After having completed the course, the student has
- Developed an international and comparative perspective on education.
- General competencies in analyzing social institutions.
Required Previous Knowledge
Recommended Previous Knowledge
Access to the Course
Open for all students at UiB
Teaching and learning methods
20-24 hours of lectures
Compulsory Assignments and Attendance
Compulsory essay (3000 words, +/- 10%). The essay will be commented on and must be approved before the student can take the written exam.
Forms of Assessment
6 hour written exam
Assessment in teaching semester and the following semester (ordinary exam for students with valid and approved compulsory requirements).
All courses are evaluated according to UiB's system for quality assurance of education.