What you will study
The module is divided into five sections. The first:
- welcomes you to the Leadership and Management route within the Masters degree in Education
- provides a brief overview of the field of educational leadership
- introduces some key concepts that will be used throughout the module, including: views of knowledge, agency, power and identity
- gets you to set up your learning journal and to start reflecting on your professional practice
- helps you to engage with the other students in your tutor group through a structured discussion forum
- explains some of the research skills that you will develop as you work through the module (e.g. searching the literature, reading critically, evaluating ideas)
The second section looks at views of leadership and challenges some commonly held notions of what it means to be a leader. Taking your practice as an educator as a starting point you will consider issues to do with agency, power and structure, and how they impact on you and other stakeholders, including students. Inevitably this involves thinking about your views of learning and the purposes of education. You will start to develop your ability to read individual research articles with a critical eye, and will extend the focus of your discussions with your peers in the tutor group forum. You will also have the opportunity to enrich your understanding of educational leadership by engaging with other students from a diverse range of educational contexts (e.g. schools, adult education and nurse education) across the world (e.g. the UK, Africa, the Middle East). The first assignment is linked directly to this section of the module.
The third section of the module looks at leading professional learning. You will start by exploring characteristics of effective professional development, linking your own experience with evidence from research and theoretical constructs such as power, agency and views of knowledge. Different approaches to professional learning will be examined and analysed, including traditional courses, Personal Learning Networks, communities of practice, and practitioner research. Given the focus on leadership, you will consider the implications of this work on the leadership of professional learning. You will refine your ability to search for relevant literature and reflect critically. Engaging in the discussion in your tutor group forum, which is an essential requirement of the module, will extend and deepen your understanding, thus contributing directly to your response to the second assignment.
The next section of the module considers the leadership of educational change. You will examine theories of change and the management of change. You will analyse the practice(s) in your own setting in the light of these theories and concepts such as agency, power and identity. You will further extend your ability to engage critically with the literature (and your own practice) and to synthesise evidence from a range of sources. The compulsory structured tutor group forum discussion will enable you to collaborate with your peers to deepen your understanding of the issues of educational change, drawing on a wider range of contexts and multiple perspectives. The third assignment will focus on the leadership of educational change, giving you the opportunity to demonstrate your growing expertise in making use of the literature and your ability to use concepts and theories explored in the module to analyse practice.
The final section provides the opportunity to review and critically reflect on the module as a whole, pulling together all of the strands that have been addressed and consolidating your understandings and research competences in preparation for the final assessment (EMA) which accounts for 50% of your overall grade.
As you progress through the module you will take on progressively greater responsibility for managing your own learning. Studying the module requires an average of 15 hours per week, the balance of which will shift from guided study to independent study as you move through the module. Throughout there is an expectation that you will take part in both tutor group discussions (as part of your guided study) and module forum discussions (as part of your independent study). The tutor group forums feed directly into the assignments.