Guía Docente 2020-21


Id.: 32531
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 origin 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 the founding figures of educational philosophies and theories as well as important innovators within today's educational landscape. The socio-political and economic contexts of learning theories will be discussed, whenever relevant, with special focus on the Spanish educational context. 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 to communicate in English 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 E07 Analyse and understand the educational processes in the classroom and outside for the 6-12 age group.
E08 Know the basics of primary education.
E09 Analyse teaching and the institutional conditions that form its background.
E10 Know the historical evolution of the education system in this country and the political and legislative factors that affect it.
E11 Know classroom interaction and communication processes.
E12 Address and solve discipline problems.
E13 Foster group work and individual work and effort.
E14 Encourage educational action in values oriented towards preparing an active democratic citizenry.
E15 Know how to tackle multicultural school situations.
E16 Design, plan and assess classroom teaching and learning.
E17 Be aware of and apply innovative primary school experiences.
E18 Participate in the definition of an educational project and in the general activity at the school, paying heed to quality management criteria.
E19 Be aware of and apply basic educational research techniques and be able to design projects for innovation, identifying assessment indicators.
Regulated profession competences P04 Encourage reading and critical commentary on texts from the diverse scientific and cultural domains in the school curriculum.
P07 Stimulate and value the effort, persistence and personal discipline of the pupils.
P10 Accept that teaching is a matter of getting better and adapting to scientific, pedagogical and social changes over the course of the career.
P12 Take on the educational side of teaching and foment democratic education for an active citizenry.
P16 Acquire the habits and skills to learn alone or with others and foster this among the pupils.
P19 Understand the function, possibilities and limits of education in modern society and the fundamental competences that affect primary schools and their employees.
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 classes for those students who have not reached the required B1 level. These courses are highly recommended. Speak to your lecturer regarding how you can enroll in one of these courses. 



See the proposed subject prgramme below. The contents in section 2.3 are the possible topics from group work. Accordingly, they will be taught by students and will most certainly be on the final exam. 

Subject contents:

1 - Getting Oriented
    1.1 - Personal Beliefs about Education and Learning
    1.2 - A Lay of the Land: Schools and Currents of Thought in Educational Discourse
       1.2.1 - Idealism, Realism, Pragmatism, Existentialism and Postmodernism
       1.2.2 - Perennialism, Essentialism, Progessivism, Reconstructionism and Critical Theory
    1.3 - Nature and/or Nurture: Two Guiding Ideas for this Course
       1.3.1 - What Are Nature and Nurture?
       1.3.2 - Carol Dweck on "Mindsets"
2 - Historical Perspectives on Learning and Schooling
    2.1 - Education in Ancient Athens and Rome
       2.1.1 - Socrates and the Socratic method
       2.1.2 - Plato and Aristotle
       2.1.3 - Quintilian
    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 - Other key thinkers 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
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 - Education under the Second Republic and the Dictatorship
    4.2 - Educational Reform since 1970
5 - Final Reflection
    5.1 - Changes in Personal Beliefs about Education and Learning Theories

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 such as "Flipped Classroom" activities and Cooperative Learning. Since the subject will be taught through English, a CLIL approach will be used by the lecturer throughout the course. Students will be expected to work a portfolio on a regular basis in which they review material covered in class and work to develop their own opinions.

Students will be encouraged to attend activities outside the classroom which may be of interest to them, such as Learning Space sessions or diverse exhibitions.

Students will also be expected to attend tutorials in which they can discuss individual or 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 10
Other theory activities 5
Practical exercises 3
Practical work, exercises, problem-solving etc. 8
Coursework presentations 6
Assessment activities 4
Individual study
Tutorials 3
Individual study 10
Individual coursework preparation 8
Group cousework preparation 10
Research work 5
Compulsory reading 3
Total hours: 75


Calculation of final mark:

Written tests: 24 %
Individual coursework: 21 %
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.
MOORE, T. W. (2010). Philosophy of Education. An Introduction. Routledge
SCHUNK, D. (2012). Learning theories. An educational perspective. Pearson
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.

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

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