Sociology of Education: Gender Equality, Culture and Values

MQF Level: 6

ECTS Value: 3 ECTS

Self Study Hours: 35

Contact Hours: 15

Assessment Hours: 25


Overall Objectives and Outcomes

Gender equality is a fundamental characteristic of democratic citizenship, one that is intrinsically immersed in all aspects of society. While significant global progress towards gender equality has been made, women and girls in many parts of the world still endure inequality in several spheres of society including those of politics, the economy and education. This study-unit will delve into the issue of gender equality in the educational context from a sociological point of view.  It will enable learners to gain a better insight into the influence of society in determining the relationship between gender and education while making them more aware of the measures being adopted for the promotion of gender equality on a national, European and international level.

The definition of gender roles and the discourse on the distinct behaviours and achievements of men and women are, to a great extent, shaped by the culture of a society.  Meanwhile, a person’s values and cultural identity are the foundation of his or her well-being, determining the person’s life choices and influencing his or her relationship with other members of society. Education, culture and values are core aspects of society which are interrelated and have a profound impact on each other.  With reference to the works of various sociologists, this study-unit will approach the aspect of culture and values in a twofold manner.  While examining the role of education in the transmission of culture and values, it will discuss how cultural dispositions and values impact students’ participation in education.

By the end of this programme, participants should be able to:


a. Create a presentation outlining a number of sociological perspectives with regard to gender equality in education;

b. Collaborate with others in evaluating the local measures taken in promoting gender equality vis-à-vis those taken at European and international levels;

c. Establish the relationship between education, culture and values and determine the ways in which these aspects of society impact each other.


a. Distinguish different sociological perspectives pertaining to gender equality within an educational context;

b. Identify the various measures taken by national (ex. NCPE and MEDE), European (ex. EU and Council of Europe) and international (ex. UNICEF, EIGE and UNESCO) organisations and institutions for the promotion of gender equality;

c. Demonstrate a sound theoretical background on the function of education in the transmission of culture and values.


a. Demonstrate a deep understanding and knowledge of the various sociological theories of education which centre on gender equality;

b. Use a variety of sources to gather information on the initiatives taken by various organisations and institutions which focus on eliminating gender inequalities within the educational system;

c. Show that s/he can critically review key texts and policy documents which highlight the impacts of culture and values on education and vice versa;

Assessment Methods


This module will be assessed through: Crtical analysis, presentation, online forum discussions.

Suggested Readings

Core Reading List
  1. Briguglio, B. and Brown, M. (eds.) (2016). Sociology of the Maltese Islands. Malta: Agenda.
  2. Haralambos and Holborn (2013) Sociology:  Themes and Perspectives (8th edition).  Harper Collins Publishers Ltd. 
  3. Suarez, O. and Baolian Qin-Hilliard, D. (2004). Globalization, Culture and Education in the New Millennium. London, England:  University of California Press, Ltd. 
Supplementary Reading List
  1. European Union (2016). Strategic Engagement for Gender Equality 2016 – 2019. Retrieved from
  2. IASC (2006) Women, Girls, Boys and Men: Different needs, equal opportunities.  Retrieved from
  3. NCPE (2017). Annual Report 2016.  Retrieved from
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