This fully updated, fourth edition of An Introduction to the Study of Education provides a comprehensive and reflective introduction to the study of education, inviting students to question what education is, who it is for and what purpose it serves. Taking the reader from the early years through to lifelong learning, it examines all forms of education and learning.

This new edition includes ten completely new chapters and a step-by-step guide to essay writing. There is also a companion website to accompany the book, featuring additional chapters which can be visited at www.routledge.com/cw/matheson.This fully updated, fourth edition provides:

  • a full exploration of the historical, sociological, philosophical and psychological roots of education;
  • a clear focus on the individual levels of education – preschool, compulsory, post-compulsory and lifelong learning;
  • the latest debates within special educational needs;
  • an in-depth examination of learning styles;
  • insights into the historical development of education and the role of, and background to, research in education;
  • a focus on current educational practice and diversity across the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Written in a clear and accessible style, this is the essential core text for all beginning students on undergraduate and postgraduate courses in Education Studies and all those interested in education today, where it came from and where it is going.

chapter 1|18 pages

What is education?

chapter 3|28 pages

Theories of learning

Constructive experience

chapter 5|15 pages

Psychology in education

chapter 6|20 pages

Learning styles

Implications for teaching and learning

chapter 7|16 pages


chapter 9|13 pages

Schooling in Ireland

Policy and practice from penal times to the present day

chapter 10|23 pages

Education in Scotland

chapter 11|10 pages

Education in Wales

chapter 15|15 pages

Lifelong learning

chapter 16|13 pages

Comparing educational systems

chapter 17|16 pages

Education and development

The contribution of comparative education

chapter 18|13 pages

Special educational needs in context

A historical overview

chapter 19|21 pages

‘Race', ethnicity and education

The English experience

chapter 20|13 pages

Schooling and social class

chapter 21|16 pages

Gender in education

chapter 24|18 pages


Now that I have read about education, how do I write about it?