Sociology of Education
Cod: 41119
Department: DCSG
Scientific area: Sociology
Total working hours: 156
Total contact time: 15

In this unit, students develop a sociological knowledge on educational phenomena in current societies, privileging the contact with original and innovative research. Main features of the education systems evolution are characterized, as well as the schooling patterns in different world regions. School failure and drop-out are discussed, considering their relation with social inequalities, according to reproduction theories. The unit will provide a reflection on the experience of teachers and students at school, based on resistance theories. Recent changes in educational policies linked to globalization are problematized. Recent improvements in non-formal education and lifelong learning are explored. During the semester, besides papers reading, students are oriented towards the use of sociological perspectives to the problems solving and the development of research activities in the educational field.


•    To develop a sociological perspective on the multiple formal, informal and non-formal educational processes;
•    To recognise key theories in sociology of education;
•    To analyse the relation between schooling patterns, social inequalities and public policies, in different countries;
•    To use theoretical and methodological tools to intervene in educational contexts.

1. The sociological perspective on education
1.1 Socialization and education: Durkheim’s legacy
1.2 The school model and the structuration of educational systems
1.3 Schooling patterns in different countries and historical periods
1.4 Informal and non-formal education

2. Education and social inequalities
2.1 Bourdieu and Passeron’s reproduction theory
2.2 The young people against school? The resistance theories
2.3 Education and gender inequality
2.4 Capitalist globalization and educational policies

3. Sociology and educational intervention
3.1 School, family and community: which relations?
3.2 Sociologists involved in inclusion and innovation processes
3.3 Teachers: training and culture(s)
3.4 Educational pathways and labour careers

Abrantes, P. (org.) (2010). Tendências e Controvérsias em Sociologia da Educação. Lisboa: Mundos Sociais.
Almeida, A. N & Vieira, M. M. (2006). A Escola em Portugal. Lisboa: Imprensa de Ciências Sociais.
Enguita, M. F. (2007). Educação e Transformação Social. Mangualde: Pedago.

Note: key texts are available for students in the virtual classroom.

Continuous assessment is privileged: 2 or 3 digital written documents (e-folios) during the semester (40%) and a presence-based final exam (p-folio) in the end of the semester (60%). In due time, students can alternatively choose to perform one final presence-based exam (100%).