USQ LogoCourse specification
The current and official versions of the course specifications are available on the web at
Please consult the web for updates that may occur during the year.

EDU5704 Popular Culture as Curriculum and Pedagogy

Semester 2, 2012 Online Toowoomba
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Education
School or Department : Education
Version produced : 30 December 2013

Contents on this page


Examiner: Andrew Hickey
Moderator: Jacinta Maxwell


As the popular cultural turn increasingly enters the work of educators, having facility to actively read, critique and deploy popular cultural artefacts as pedagogical devices is central to maintaining engaged learning environments that respond to the challenges of life in the 21st Century. Central to this concern is the development and deployment of critical and pedagogical practices that provide the contemporary educator with a basis to 'read' the social as an educative force. Building on work in the areas of Critical Pedagogy and Cultural Studies, this course will explore the implications of pedagogies of popular culture and will be of interest to educators and those concerned with the effects of 'pop'.


Students in this course will work through a number of cultural tropes presented in popular cultural forms including the media, music, art and literature in order to develop a 'pedagogy of the popular'. Working from a theoretical foundation grounded in the traditions of Critical Pedagogy and Cultural Studies specifically, a range of prominent popular cultural forms will be explored in order to identify the nature of informal pedagogical practices, 'public pedagogies' and the possibilities of formal, school based pedagogies to transform the 'popular' as a site of emancipatory and participatory social practice.


The course objectives define the student learning outcomes for a course. The assessment item(s) that may be used to assess student achievement of an objective are shown in parenthesis. On completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. demonstrate a facility with critical practices for 'reading' popular cultural forms. (Project: Pop Culture Case Study and Project: Pedagogical Artefact)
  2. explain and discuss major theoretical approaches for decoding popular culture. (Project: Pop Culture Case Study and Project: Pedagogical Artefact)
  3. explain the implications of popular culture for emancipatory pedagogical practices. (Project: Pop Culture Case Study and Project: Pedagogical Artefact)
  4. demonstrate a facility to transform popular cultural forms as pedagogical devices. (Project: Pedagogical Artefact).
  5. demonstrate a facility to utilise visual research methods for decoding popular cultural forms. (Project: Pedagogical Artefact).
  6. demonstrate a high level of competence in scholarly, written and academic literacies. (Project: Pop Culture Case Study and Project: Pedagogical Artefact).


Description Weighting(%)
1. Reading the Popular: critical practices for making sense of pop 10.00
2. The Politics of Pop 20.00
3. Transforming the Social 30.00
4. Developing a Pedagogy of the Popular 30.00
5. Future Directions in Popular Cultures/Popular Pedagogies 10.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

  • There are no texts or materials required for this course.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
  • Dalton, M (2004), The Hollywood Curriculum: teachers in the movies, Peter lang, New York.
  • Flores-Koulish, S. A (2005), Teacher Education for Critical Consumption of Mass Media and Popular Culture, RoutledgeFalmer, New York.
  • Giroux, H (1994), Disturbing Pleasures: learning popular culture, Routledge, New York.
  • Hickey, A., & Austin, J (2005), (Re) Presenting Education: teachers, students, schools and the public imagination, Pearson, Frenchs Forest.
  • McLaren, P (2006), Rage + Hope: interviews with Peter McLaren on war, imperialism and critical pedagogy, Peter Lang, New York.
  • Sandlin, J., Schultz, B., & Burdick, J. (eds.) (2009), The Handbook of Public Pedagogy, Routledge, London.
  • Whether you are on, or off campus, the USQ Library is an excellent source of information

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Directed Study 82.00
Independent Study 83.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    WEB There are no attendance requirements for this course. However, it is the students' responsibility to participate appropriately in all activities including discussion fora scheduled for them, and to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    If students submit assignments after the due date without (prior) approval of the examiner then a penalty of 5% of the total marks gained by the student for the assignment may apply for each working day late up to ten working days at which time a mark of zero may be recorded. No assignments will be accepted after model answers have been posted.

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    There is no examination in this course.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    As there are no examinations in this course, there will be no deferred or supplementary examinations.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. APA style is the referencing system required in this course. Students should use APA style in their assignments to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The APA style to be used is defined by the USQ Library's referencing guide.

Other requirements

  1. Students will require access to e-mail and have Internet access to UConnect for this course.