Faculty of Education

print version

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2016 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

Monash University

12 points, SCA Band 1, 0.250 EFTSL

Postgraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.




Dr Damon Anderson (Clayton); Dr Julie Harrington (Term 2); Associate Professor Shane Phillipson (Term 4)



  • First semester 2016 (Flexible)
  • Second semester 2016 (Flexible)


  • Term 2 2016 (Online)
  • Term 4 2016 (Online)


In this unit students are involved in identifying and investigating current contemporary issues in education through a variety of lenses that may include local, national, regional or global perspectives and emphases on school, adult or higher education learning, both formal and informal, depending on the interests of the student cohorts. The unit begins with the identification of issues at each of these spatial and sectoral levels, relevant to the students and their work and roles in education. Opportunities are provided for students to critically engage with theory, contemporary policy documents and accounts that are relevant to the issues they are investigating. Students further define key questions for investigation, gather appropriate data to research the issues and present and share in debates through peer-led forums. Through shared learning, the unit provides an orientation for students to a broad range of debates across education contexts and develops understanding of the complexities in this field.


Upon successful completion of this unit students should be able to:

  1. identify, investigate and understand contemporary issues in education relevant to their roles and interests and work
  2. broaden their understanding of education debates through appropriate resources and shared peer learning
  3. present their developing views on education in various forms
  4. demonstrate understanding of complexities in this field
  5. apply the knowledge and understanding to their own learning context and work.


Online learning activities (1000 words equivalent, 10%)
Individual or shared oral presentation and written commentary (3000 words equivalent, 40%)
Critical essay on contemporary issues in education (4000 words, 50%)

Workload requirements

Flexible mode offers a stand-alone online offering that allows students to learn and engage in content and assessment in a supported way. It also provides a face-to-face component over the semester to engage students with the online learning content, which students can attend if they are able and interested.

Minimum total expected workload equals 288 hours per semester comprising:

(a.) Contact hours for flexible students:

  • 18 contact hours and 18 hours equivalent of online activities over the semester or
  • 36 hours equivalent of online activities over the semester

(b.) Requirements for offshore Kaplan-based students:

  • one intensive block (usually from Thursday to Sunday)
  • at least 14 hours of online study per term

(c.) Additional requirements (all students):

  • independent study to meet the minimum required hours per semester

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study