The purpose of this assignment is to demonstrate your understanding of theoretical frameworks which have been used to understand social dynamics and student outcomes in the area of education.


It requires you to: (1) produce an individual essay examining a social justice issue which you feel passionate about; (2) use concepts associated with one or two key theoretical frameworks to gain intercultural understandings about this issue and (3) draw from empirical evidence from the field (e.g. research in K-12 schooling environments) and reference departmental policies to support your evaluation of this issue.





In order to complete this assignment you need to choose one of the following three topic suggestions below as the focus of your essay:

Understanding Intersectionality:  Critically analyse how intersections of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and/or class might impact upon a students’ educational aspirations and life chances. 

Classroom Diversity in the Media:  Chose one contemporary social justice issue currently being focused upon in the media such as:  sexuality and/or gender diversity, linguistic diversity, migration, race or ethnicity and discuss how Australian schools are meeting/failing to meet the challenge of equity and access for impacted minority groups. 

Policy for Inclusion:  Focusing on a specific area of classroom diversity, investigate how Australian educational policies work to meet the needs of identified students.  How are these departmental documents framing this area of diversity? 



The following TIPS for SUCCESS apply to all three choices:


Clearly identify the social justice issue/s;

Use one or two sociological theories (and associated concepts) to aid your understanding of this issue and support your analysis/argument;

Discuss how forces of power, equity and access influence students’ educational/life chances in relation to this issue;

Reflect critically on broader Australian/global societal discourses which impact this issue and influence your own and others’ teaching practices; 

Demonstrate your awareness of how departmental policies might impact on your chosen issue by including some discussion and reference to these.  [NB: For choice #3, these policy documents will be the focal point of essay analysis.]


Please Note: 

This assessment requires a focus on research, analysis and links to theory, rather than on description and unsubstantiated opinions. Your discussion of the question should demonstrate your understandings of the issues and research on the topic. Note that Internet references (such as Wikipedia/google/social media sites) should not be the focus of your discussions.



4.     A fully referenced essay of 2000 words incorporating at least 8 references from the following sources: prescribed unit text book, other academic book chapters (rather than books in their entirety) or journal articles, readings from the unit reading list and/or no more than 2 credible newspaper sources.



Identify the main social justice issue selected and impact on student outcomes;

Apply sociological theory to explain inequity;

Reflect critically on broader Australian/Global societal discourses which impact this issue;

Explain how governance and power impact teaching and learning;

Present work professionally, with clear academic writing and within the word limit; and

Use the APA referencing style correctly for both in-text citations and reference list.



The assessment standards outline what is expected for each of these criteria in order to pass this assignment, and to gain higher grades of credit, distinction and high distinction. All markers use these standards when assessing your work and you are strongly advised to use them to self-assess prior to submitting your assignment.


Please be aware that your work may be de-identified and reproduced in part or in full as an example for future students and for course accreditation.


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