Comparative and International Studies Tutor :: The Open University

Comparative and International Studies in Primary Education Tutor : The Open University

Apply by Thursday 24 June 2021

Lo​​​​​​cation: Home-based
Salary: £450-£551 per month
Hours: Approx 6 hours a week
Terms: Part time, October 2021 - June 2022

About the Course

This module is the compulsory level 3 (SCQF level 10) module for the BA (Hons) Education Studies (Primary) degree (Q94). It is for students with an interest in primary education, for those aspiring to become primary school teachers, or people who are working, volunteering, or aspiring to enter the wider education sector, including museum education, community education, NGOs, or educational administration.

E309 is a demanding academic and practice-focused module. It will help students develop a sound knowledge and critical understanding of the comparative contextual factors, principles, issues, theories and research which influence national and international education policy and practices for primary children. Students will explore the social, historical, political, cultural and philosophical influences on different learners, in different educational contexts, through the different approaches adopted by the context-specific settings. Students will consider the central importance of children’s voices and perspectives in the primary education community. 

If they are not already working or volunteering in a primary education practice setting, students are encouraged to arrange access throughout the module (a minimum of 10 days is suggested). This is a practice-focused, rather than a work-based module. As such, there is no requirement or support from the OU (including the tutor) for the establishment of formal mentoring arrangements in school. The Central team will provide guidance for students who began the module without a 

E309 strongly positions students who, on completion of the degree, will seek employment within the education sector, apply for teacher training in the primary age range, or consider further study at Master’s level. Assessments require students to work collaboratively with their peers and will require tutors to facilitate small group working relationships. Students will develop academic and professional skills including: 

  • The ability to critically and systematically analyse and evaluate concepts, theories, values, policy and practice relating to children’s learning in a variety of primary contexts;
  • To use a range of digital technologies effectively for study and assessment, online collaboration and to support their continuing professional development;
  • Developing as creative, imaginative and reflective learners;
  • To be able to plan and manage time and tasks and working to deadlines;
  • To identify strengths and areas for development, seeking and learning from feedback.

Job description

Apart from the printed module Reader, E309 is an online module. All tutorials are online. Tutors are expected to be proactive in supporting their students to become confident and effective in their engagement online. Tutors are expected to engage in the following support for students on a regular basis:

  • starting and supporting regular online discussion threads, moderating/teaching on your students’ tutor group forum.
  • including tutorial activities that require students to engage in a range of the module’s online features, and responding to any difficulties that students may experience with any of these
  • setting up and trouble-shooting small e-groups within your tutor group
  • regular email contact with individual students and, where appropriate, members of the central module team and your cluster manager
  • early identification of and appropriate referral of at-risk and non-engaging students, and students without a practice placement, for monitoring and support.

Tuition on this module will involve working as part of a team of associate lecturers in a cluster group. You will be working as part of a collaborative team, on occasion sharing tuition tasks for online tutorials. You will be expected to check into the Tutor Forum on a regular basis.

Person specification 

The person specification for this module should be read in conjunction with the generic person specification for an associate lecturer at The Open University. As well as meeting all the requirements set out in the generic person specification, you should have:


  • an Honours degree in one of the following: Education Studies, Early Childhood, a primary curriculum subject, international development or comparative education, education and sustainability;
  • experience as a primary school teacher or teacher educator, or extensive experience of working within the cultural sector for education or for an education section of a NGO;
  • a broad understanding of educational trends at national and international levels;
  • experience of working with adult learners in the UK or internationally who may be teaching assistants, volunteers and/or similar learning support staff in schools or the education sector;
  • experience of assessing and giving effective written feedback on assignments produced by adult learners;
  • a willingness to engage with innovative and non-traditional forms of assessment;
  • the ability to support students in online tutorials and in the use of asynchronous online discussion threads (forum) to help them to develop skills for studying effectively online;
  • the ability to support students to work collaboratively in study and assessment activities throughout the module;
  • the ability to support students in writing for academic purposes at this Level;
  • an awareness of a range of different education systems in different nations or globally and implications in global and local policies and curricula.


  • A postgraduate qualification
  • Experience of working collaboratively with others to deliver tuition
  • Experience of working at Level 3 (OU study), FHEQ level 6, or SCQF level 10

How to Apply 

Apply by downloading an application form and email your completed application form to, by no later than 12 noon on Thursday 24 June

Unless you are an existing associate lecturer, your application form must demonstrate how you fully meet the generic person specification as well as the module specification above. You should provide details of your Higher Education/additional studies and relevant employment history information. Applications from internal staff are considered ahead of applications from external applicants, where an advert is advertised externally as indicated in the vacancy advert.

The OU is an equal opportunities employer and welcomes applications from all backgrounds and nationalities. As the work for the University will be carried out in the UK or the Republic of Ireland there is a requirement for members of staff to be resident in either the UK or the Republic of Ireland (depending on the requirements of the role). Please note, modules which are supported entirely online will consider an UK wide applicant pool, whereas modules with face to face student support will consider local applicants based on geographical locations. Click here for details of those geographical locations.

Closing Date for Applications: Noon on Thursday 24 June 2021

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