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Education and British Values

1. Sociological Perspectives on Values in Education

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In this lecture, we think about sociological perspectives on the role of values in education, focusing in particular on: (i) how sociologists think about the purpose of shared values in society and define what a value is; (ii) how different theoretical traditions within sociology, such as functionalism, Marxism and feminism, think about the role of values in society; (iii) Émile Durkheim’s idea of social facts as something produced by common values and his work Moral Education, which argues that the purpose of education is to both socialise people into common values and prepare them to work within the modern division of labour.


In this course, Dr Shaun Best (University of Winchester) explores the role of British values in education in both sociological theory and policy. In the first lecture, we think about different theoretical perspectives on values and their role in education, focusing especially on the ideas of Émile Durkheim. In the second lecture, we consider education policy around the promotion of British values in schools. In the third lecture, we turn to the Prevent strategy and the duty since 2015 on schools to promote British identity as a means of countering terrorism. Next, we think about the ideas of Michael Foucault within sociology. In the fifth an final lecture, we think about how they can be used to understand the role of values in education.


Dr Shaun Best is Senior Lecturer in Education Studies at the University of Winchester. He researches and teaches on social theory, particularly the work of Zygmunt Bauman, and the sociology of education. His recent publications include The Emerald Guide to Zygmunt Bauman (2020), Zygmunt Bauman on Education in Liquid Modernity (2019), and Talcott Parsons: Despair and Modernity (2016).

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APA style

Best, S. (2021, August 23). Education and British Values - Sociological Perspectives on Values in Education [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Best, S. "Education and British Values – Sociological Perspectives on Values in Education ." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 23 Aug 2021,

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