Understanding Contemporary Education offers an essential exploration of key concepts and issues in education that will allow education studies students, as well as trainee and practising teachers to engage in reflection, not only on work at the classroom level, but on education more broadly. Using detailed examples, the book problematises many popular and taken-for-granted views, allowing the reader to challenge and seriously consider the nature of the education enterprise. In each chapter, a concept is carefully considered, with major features, controversies, and strengths and weaknesses highlighted. Key follow-up questions challenge the reader to reflect on specific issues, and encourage involvement, not just in their own teaching, but in the planning and determination of the total programme of their school, and where possible, that of the nation. The book is divided into seven main parts: The Social Context of Education Education Policy Curriculum Teaching and Learning Leadership in Education Teacher Preparation International Developments in Education. Drawing upon a wide variety of theoretical positions, Understanding Contemporary Education provides an accessible introduction to key themes and concepts in education, challenging readers to fully consider the purpose of education and to reflect intelligently on issues that affect all schools. It is a must-read book for those on education studies courses, as well as trainee and practising teachers.