Guía Docente 2021-22


Id.: 32480
Subject type: OBLIGATORIA
Year: 1 Teaching period: Segundo Cuatrimestre
Credits: 3 Total hours: 75
Classroom activities: 36 Individual study: 39
Main teaching language: Inglés Secondary teaching language: Castellano
Lecturer: Email:


In this subject we trace the origins of education and schooling as concepts and practices. To this end, the evolution of educational theories and teaching practices are analyzed in relation to one another. We will do this by reflecting on some key educational philosophies and theories as well as important innovators throughout the history of education. The socio-political and economic contexts of learning theories will be discussed, especially when reflecting on the history of education in Spain. That said, we will make forrays into other cultural contexts and learn about a few educational pinioneers from marginalized groups from across the globe.


General programme competences G01 Capacity to analyse and synthesise information from different sources.
G03 Capacity to organise, plan and self-assess the work undertaken.
G07 Capacity for interpersonal communication in English (oral and written) at a minimum B2 level (per the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) to adapt to the academic and professional requirements of the Degree.
G10 Capacity to generate new ideas through initiative, innovation and creativity for effective adaptation to educational needs and the job market.
G11 Capacity to establish and fulfil the most suitable quality criteria and to employ work methods and strategies oriented towards continuous improvement.
G12 Capacity to self-assess, nurturing learning, scientific research, practice based on evidence and scientific and social progress.
Specific programme competences E01 Understand the educational and learning processes for the 0-6 age group in family, social and school contexts.
E02 Know the advances in childhood psychological development for the 0-3 and 3-6 age range.
E03 Know the basics of early care.
E04 Recognise the identity of this stage and its cognitive, psychomotor, communicative, social and affective characteristics.
E05 Know how to engender habits with regard to independence, liberty, curiosity, observation, experimentation, imitation, acceptance of rules and limits, and symbolic and heuristic play.
E06 Know the pedagogical side of interaction with equals and adults and know how to encourage participation in group activities, group work and individual effort.
Regulated profession competences P01 Know the objectives, curricular content and assessment criteria for Preschool Education.
P14 Know the organisation of preschools and the variety of activities that comprise how they work.
P15 Accept that teaching is a matter of getting better and adapting to scientific, pedagogical and social changes over the course of the career.
P17 Reflect on classroom practices to innovate and improve teaching. Acquire the habits and skills to learn alone or with others and foster this among the pupils.
P18 Understand the function, possibilities and limits of education in modern society and the fundamental competences that affect preschools and their employees.
P19 Find quality improvement models that can be applied to educational establishments.
Learning outcomes R01 Analyse the main modern educational schools of thought and their influence on the present conception of educational processes and curricular development.
R02 Formulate and defend positions with regard to educational problems.
R03 Design education as a holistic process that affects everyone and continues throughout their lives.
R04 Reflect on educational concerns, coming up with well-rounded judgements.
R05 Experience the ethical commitment that comes with educational intervention.


Students should have a solid B1 level to be enrolled in this degree program and course. If you have not reached this level yet, you will need to take extra steps to improve your level of English in order to be happy and successful in this class. It is your responsibility to reach the level required through independent study and language support courses. USJ offers fantastic courses through the ILM (Instituto de Lenguas Modernas) that provide language support for students who have not reached the required B1 level. These courses are highly recommended. Speak to your lecturer about how you can enroll in one of these courses. 



The subject programme below includes the main topics to be covered in this class. Section 2.3 contains the individuals that can be studied for the group project. Depending on the group's interests and ability as well as time constraints, the subject programme may be modified. Any modifications will be anounced on the PDU in the "Novedades" forum.


Some of the topics covered in this course will be familiar from the first semester. In these cases, this course offers an important opportunity to delve deeper into thinkers, theories and ideas that have guided and continue to effect education in the 21st century.

Subject contents:

1 - Getting Oriented
    1.1 - A Lay of the Land: Schools and Currents of Thought in Educational Discourse
       1.1.1 - Idealism, Realism, Pragmatism, Existentialism and Postmodernism
       1.1.2 - Perennialism, Essentialism, Progessivism, Reconstructionism and Critical Theory
    1.2 - Nature and/or Nurture: Two Guiding Ideas for this Course
       1.2.1 - What Are Nature and Nurture?
2 - Historical Perspectives on Learning and Schooling
    2.1 - Education in Ancient Athens
       2.1.1 - Socrates and the Socratic method
       2.1.2 - Plato and Aristotle
    2.2 - A Brief History of Assessing "Intelligence"
       2.2.1 - What Is Intelligence?
       2.2.2 - Alfred Binet and the IQ Test
       2.2.3 - Howard Gardner and MI Theory
       2.2.4 - Standardized Testing Today
    2.3 - Some important figures over the ages
       2.3.1 - Confucius
       2.3.2 - Mary Wollstonecraft
       2.3.3 - Jean Jacques Rousseau
       2.3.4 - John Dewey
       2.3.5 - Maria Montesorri
       2.3.6 - Booker T Washington
       2.3.7 - Friedrich Froebel
       2.3.8 - Paolo Freire
       2.3.9 - John Locke
       2.3.10 - Urvashi Sahni
       2.3.11 - Horace Mann
       2.3.12 - María de Maeztu
3 - Learning Educational Theories
    3.1 - Socio-emotional and Moral Development of the Child
       3.1.1 - Erik Erikson
       3.1.2 - Lawrence Kohlberg
    3.2 - Behaviourism
       3.2.1 - Thorndike and Watson
       3.2.2 - Pavlov and Skinner
    3.3 - Constructivism
       3.3.1 - Cognitive - Piaget
       3.3.2 - Social - Vygotsky
4 - History of Education in Spain
    4.1 - Educational reform in the late 19th and early 20th centuries
    4.2 - The Spanish Civil War and School under Franco
    4.3 - Educational Reform since 1970

Subject planning could be modified due unforeseen circumstances (group performance, availability of resources, changes to academic calendar etc.) and should not, therefore, be considered to be definitive.


Teaching and learning methodologies and activities applied:

A wide range of teaching and learning methodologies will be used in this course. Given the results of academic research on learning, students will be required to participate actively in class and hence will construct their learning and opinions on a variety of topics. Students will be introduced to new ideas through participative lectures and relevant readings. Since the material covered in this class is complex, subjective and personal, students are expected to develop and justify their own opinions and ideas about a range of topics. 

Different active methodologies will also be present during the course. Since the subject will be taught through English, a CLIL approach will be used by the lecturer throughout the course.

Students will also be expected to attend tutorials in which they can discuss individual and group work. The lecturer will inform students about tutorial times. Students will be asked to make a previous appointment with their lecturer.



Student work load:

Teaching mode Teaching methods Estimated hours
Classroom activities
Master classes 13
Other theory activities 6
Practical work, exercises, problem-solving etc. 3
Coursework presentations 5
Workshops 2
Assessment activities 4
Tutorials 3
Individual study
Individual study 15
Individual coursework preparation 5
Group cousework preparation 5
Research work 6
Compulsory reading 5
Recommended reading 3
Total hours: 75


Calculation of final mark:

Written tests: 25 %
Individual coursework: 20 %
Group coursework: 20 %
Final exam: 35 %
TOTAL 100 %

*Las observaciones específicas sobre el sistema de evaluación serán comunicadas por escrito a los alumnos al inicio de la materia.


Basic bibliography:

BATES, B. (2016). Learning Theories Simplified:... and how to apply them to teaching. SAGE.
FLECHA GARCIA, C. (2011). Education in Spain: Close-up of Its History in the 20th Century. Analytical Reports in International Education 4 (1), pp. 17-42.
GRAY, C. and MACBLAIN, S. (2015). Learning Theories in Childhood. Sage.
SWIM, T. (2007). Building blocks for developmentally appropriate practices. Retrieved from http:/ / earlychildhood/ article_view.aspx?ArticleID=411
THOMAS, G. (2013). Education. A Very Short Introduction. London: Oxford University Press.
VIÑAO, A. (2014). From dictatorship to democracy: history of education in Spain, Paedagogica Historica, 50:6, 830-843, DOI: 10.1080/ 00309230.2014.948006
YOUNG, M. (2015). What is learning and why does it matter?. European Journal of Education, 50(1), 17-20.

Recommended bibliography:

ADAIR, J.K., TOBIN, J. (2011). The dilemma of cultural responsiveness and professionalization: listening closer to immigrant teachers who teach children of recent immigrants. Teachers College Record.
BELOGLOVSKY, M and DALY, L. (2015). Early Learning Theories Made Visible. Readleaf Press.
DANIELS, H., LAUDER, H and PORTER, J (Eds.) (2011). Educational Theories, Cultures and Learning: A Critical Perspective. London: Routledge.
KROGH, S. and SLENTZ, L.(Eds.) (2011). Early Childhood Education: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow. New York: Taylor
WALSH, D. (2005). Developmental theory and early childhood education: necessary but not sufficient. In N.J. Yelland (ED.) Critical Issues in Early Childhood. Buckingham: Open University Press.
VIÑAO, A. (2004) Escuela para todos: Educación y modernidad en la España del siglo XX. Marcial Pons.

Recommended websites:

The Learning Classroom. Theory into Practice
The History of Early Childhood Education
A research-based, comprehensive bullying prevention education webpage
Articles about Education and Theories (EarlyChildhoodNEWS). Can be used for Group Interview
How people learn. Vanderbilt University Centre for Teaching

* Guía Docente sujeta a modificaciones