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Professional Master of Education (Primary) Year Two Module Listings

Module Code:PM9201ECTS Credits:20

Overview

Field experiences in teacher education programmmes are excellent opportunities for pre service teachers to learn to teach in complex and authentic learning situations. Sawyer (2006) posits that knowledge is now considered as ‘situated, practised and collaboratively generated.’ Indeed it is because of this that learning to teach through the practice of teaching while on school placement is a critical component of teacher education programmes (Furlong and Maynard, 1995). Darling-Hammond (2006) called for tighter coherence and integration between course work and work in schools, intensively supervised clinical work and closer, proactive relationships with schools that model good teaching. This module has been designed to extend and deepen the knowledge, skills and competences developed by students through the school placement module in the first year of the Professional Master of Education. Opportunities are provided for the personal and professional growth of students to facilitate the development of professional dispositions essential to their work as primary school teachers. Students are prepared to participate fully in all aspects of the role of the teacher, competently and effectively. In their second year of the Professional Master of Education, students should continue with observations and reflections and will have increased responsibilities for planning and teaching to include a significant period when they will have total responsibility for the teaching and learning within the classroom. Students reflect on their practice during the placement and discuss this with their tutor during feedback sessions. Students will be required to set learning goals for themselves based on their reflections and learning from their first year. This will form part of their teaching file and will form part of their discussions with their tutors during feedback sessions. Students will also be expected to engage in an element of research on their placement. This will be assessed through their research dissertation.

This module aims to:

  • Foster an awareness of the Teaching Council Code of Professional Conduct and ensure that students are fully versed with associated responsibilities
  • Prepare the students for the multi-faceted role of the 21st century primary school teacher
  • Develop in students an understanding of the educational needs of primary school pupils in Irish classrooms 
  • Provide opportunities for students to observe experienced teachers teaching and be involved in a wide range of school activities
  • Provide opportunities for students to plan cohesively for teaching, learning and assessment using a wide range of methodologies and approaches
  • Provide opportunities for students to apply and further develop the competencies required to facilitate quality teaching and learning
  • Develop knowledge and skills required to provide a stimulating, purposeful learning environment catering for the holistic development of their pupils
  • Promote a commitment to lifelong learning based on an understanding of the continuum of education and to provide opportunities for students to engage in practice-based research
  • Enable the students to engage in professional discussions with relevant members of the school community and Institute staff
  • Equip students with skills necessary to respond to current and emerging issues in Irish education

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module, the student will be able to:

  • engage in appropriate long and short-term planning for senior classes which recognises and facilitates whole-class, group and individual learning styles.
  • select from, plan and apply, a wide and creative range of teaching methodologies, including collaborative and active methodologies, that are age and stage appropriate for senior classes and that motivate pupils and enhance their learning 
  • choose and employ appropriate skills and strategies to evaluate and support pupils’ learning using both summative and formative assessment 
  • Integrate meaningfully the use of creative technologies to support teaching and learning
  • critically reflect on their teaching experiences and use these reflections to inform future practice and identify areas of focus for future professional development, acknowledging that learning is a life-long process 
  • establish and maintain a stimulating classroom environment using a variety of classroom management strategies which contribute to the development of positive self-esteem among pupils whilst at all times being sensitive to the complexity of the classroom environment
  • exhibit the ethical values and professional standards set out in the Teaching Council’s Code of Professional Conduct for Teachers and the Institute’s School Placement Handbook in all engagements with pupils, school and Institute staff 
  • actively participate in a professional learning community which engages in group planning and practice 
  • demonstrate a deepening understanding of the breadth, depth and range of relationships integral to the teaching profession and the educational community and demonstrate informed opinions and positions in relation to issues based on an understanding of their role as teachers

Method of Assessment

Placement Grade (75%)

Interview (25%)

Professional Portfolio

Module Code:PM9203ECTS Credits:5

Overview

A recent report (DES, Inspectorate Report 2008) recommends that students are appropriately prepared to effectively use ICT for teaching and learning (p.32). This course aims to address this issue by enabling students to identify, develop and apply the digital skills and competencies, required for teaching and learning, in an experiential way. It integrates a wide range of creative technologies available to a student and develops the pedagogical understanding behind their integration into a classroom based on the TPACK Model (Mishra & Koehler, 2006). This will be achieved in the following ways: observation of experienced practitioners; micro-teaching; teaching and completion of a reflective professional portfolio.

This module aims to:

  • To introduce and familiarise students with the variety of digital technologies available for teaching and learning.
  • To enable students to effectively use ICT for planning, teaching, learning, assessment and critical reflection.
  • To create realistic and meaningful opportunities for students to connect with and experience a range of school settings using ICT.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

  • Students will interpret and critically analyse the theoretical frameworks underlying technology and its use for teaching and learning. 
  • Students will evaluate and experiment with various digital tools and demonstrate how their application in a classroom can support teaching and learning. 
  • Students will understand the concepts of constructivism, behaviourism; users generated content, 21st century learners, digital natives, digital learning objects/resources, peer digital learning, creative commons, copyright and publishing and understand how these concepts apply when using technology for teaching and learning.
  • Students will experience emergent technologies (eg. mobile tools, MUVEs, Web 2.0 etc) and critically analyse how their application can enhance teaching and learning. 
  • Students will create their own digital learning objects/resources, having researched and evaluated appropriate technological and pedagogical interventions for their intended audience/classroom/age group. 

Method of Assessment

Creation of a 'Digital Learning Object' (65%)

Reflective Essay (35%)

Module Code:PM9206ECTS Credits:5

Overview

Recent years have seen calls for a greater focus in education on the development of practical competencies (Ball and Forzani 2009; Grossman 2011; Kazemi, Franke and Lampert 2009; Lampert and Graziani 2009; Windschitl, Thompson and Braaten 2011), with the “foundation” modules (Psychology, Sociology, History and Philosophy) sometimes even deemed “nonessential” (Walsh and Jacobs 2007). However, some writers such as Zeichner (2012), Ryan and O’Toole (2013) and Kelly (2009; 112) maintain that these approaches reduce educators to “technician rather than professional, operator rather than decision-maker, someone whose role is merely to implement the judgements of others and not to act on his or her own”. While it may be acknowledged that attention during their preparation to student teachers’ enactment of high-leverage educational practices is necessary, even essential, it is not sufficient for their overall development as competent professionals.  As Olson and Bruner (1996, 17) put it simply demonstrating ‘how to’ and providing practice at doing so is known not to be enough. Studies of expertise demonstrate that just knowing how to perform skilfully does not get a learner to the same level of real skill as learning to perform skilfully while knowing in some conceptual, reasoned way why one performs as one does.

As such, a thorough grounding in the foundation studies and research methodologies is vital for the development of excellent educational practitioners. In this module therefore, the ‘foundational’ approach to the disciplines is, as recommended (Darling-Hammond, 2006; Conway et al., 2009; Ryan and O’Toole, 2013) reconfigured to promote students’ integrated learning across disciplines, their curriculum methods and other course work, and their classroom practice. Students are introduced to specific theories of each discipline and where relevant their interrelationships, so that they might develop appropriate ‘perspectives’ (Anderson et al., 1995) that enable them to better understand the dynamics and issues of school life and successful classroom pedagogy, as well as the potentially transformative role of education in the lives of children (Freire, 1972). The ultimate aim is that students can employ well-founded and highly appropriate perspectives in their analyses, interactions and research in classrooms and schools.

A critical component of the Professional Master of Education is the development of the necessary practical skills towards the completion of a research dissertation. This component of the module has been designed to provide students with a critical grounding in the principles and practices that underpin the generation of research-based evidence, with a specific focus on its effect on policy and practice in the domain of education. The knowledge, skills and understanding and, in particular, the competence to engage critically with empirical and non-empirical research which students will gain from this section of the module, will be directly transferable to their development as pedagogical experts. More generally, the development of educational practitioners’ abilities to critically reflect on and deconstruct secondary research has long been a core set of competencies in the area of continuing professional development since the late 1960s. In developing this tradition, it is intended to provide students with the capacity to undertake their own research, but to do so from a theoretically and methodologically informed perspective. It also essential that this is situated with the reflective and reflexive practitioner tradition, to provide a meaningful link between theory, research and practice within the primary school context.

The Educational Theory and Research module is divided into three sections:

  1. Psychology and Sociology of Education
  2. History and Philosophy of Education
  3. Research Methods and Dissertation

Aims of Psychology and Sociology of Education:

  • To develop in students an understanding of various sociological and psychological perspectives and their interconnections and implications in education
  • To facilitate understanding of the processes of learning and motivation from both a psychological and sociological perspective, and to inform the practical application of such understanding in the field of primary education
  • To consider how sociological and psychological theories can make a major contribution to understanding how micro-level dynamics and macro-level social factors impact in schools
  • To explore through the lens of psychological and sociological knowledge, specific aspects of professional practice in education (e.g. ability grouping; cooperative learning; classroom management etc.)
  • To empower future teachers to fulfil their potential as transformative educators through the development of psychological and sociological 'perspectives' on learning and development

Aims of History and Philosophy of Education:

  • To explain how religious, ethical, economic, political and social thought is reflected in educational systems
  • To analyse and engage in discussion on educational and social policies
  • To develop students' capacity for critical and coherent thinking and analysis
  • To provide an overview of major philosophical and historical trends and developments in education
  • To encourage course participants to develop their own responses to the philosophical questions arising by engaging in personal critical reflection

Aims of Research Methods and Dissertation:

  • To provide students with a critical grounding in the key debates around research-based evidence both within and outside of education (e.g. medicine, social work, nursing);
  • To introduce students to the range of research methodologies and research tools applied by research-based evidence practitioners
  • To develop students' critical understanding of the reflexive dimensions associated with research-based evidence
  • To develop students' understanding of the analytical techniques applied in the context of evidence-based research
  • To develop students' capacity to interpret and critique, from a methodological perspective, empirical and non-empirical forms of evidence
  • To facilitate students in carrying out their research dissertations with appropriate guidance from their supervisor

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

Psychology and Sociology of Education

  • Critically analyse the implications of specific psychological and sociological theoretical perspectives for education.
  • Articulate from an informed perspective, concepts of ability / knowledge / learning and how these might impact on practice as a teacher.
  • Identify the multitude of psychological and sociological factors interacting with, and impacting on, motivation and learning.
  • Draw on psychological and sociological insights gained with respect to the dynamics and issues of children’s interrelated home and school lives, to offer explanations for educational achievement / underachievement and to evidence an understanding of potentially successful pedagogical strategies.
  • Confidently research, interrogate, synthesise and interpret the findings of up-to-date journal articles and other sources in the psychological and sociological literature, and explore application of these insights to their work in education.

History and Philosophy of Education:

  • Analyse the implications of specific philosophical and historical theoretical perspectives for education 
  • Critically analyse the role of various stakeholders in the formation of education systems
  • Interrogate educational policies from a historical and philosophical perspective 
  • Provide a detailed discussion of a topic, justify and evaluate their position and counter-claims. 
  • Employ appropriate examples and arguments, including their own thoughts and experiences that reflect a degree of personal critical reflection
  • Recognise a philosophical question and provide a balanced and purposeful inquiry I
  • Deconstruct concepts of knowledge and ways of learning 
  • Demonstrate an ability to engage with dialogue on philosophically sensitive ideas such as justice, equality and non-discrimination 
  • Develop an ethical approach to practice informed by an understanding of ethics and the Codes of Professional Conduct for Teachers
  • Establish a personal philosophical position which will inform future practice

Research Methods and Dissertation

  • Show a critical understanding of the range of methodological approaches (e.g. case study, life history, quasi-experimental, evaluation, narrative, ethnography) that can be applied in the domain of educational research
  • Articulate an informed awareness of the different reseearch traditions (e.g. feminism, critical theory, critical realism, historiography) which inform the domain of research-based education policy and practice
  • Comprehend the epistemological, axiological, ontological axioms which underpin research-based evidence
  • Evaluate the interrelationship between research questions, methodologies and the generation of evidence
  • Appraise the range of research methods used in the generation of evidence
  • Construct a rsearch proposal which critically applies the key concepts covered in the module
  • Comprehend the ethical and political dimensions of research-based evidence
  • Deconstruct published educational research in its application to educational policy and practice
  • Complete a substantial, intellectually challenging research project related to their particular field fo study, within a set time-frame, and with appropriate guidance from a supervisor

Method of Assessment

Psychology and Sociology of Education: Group Presentations

History and Philosophy of Education: Essay (2,000 words)

Research Methods and Dissertation: Dissertation (10,000 words)

Module Code:PM9204ECTS Credits:5

Overview

Music has the ability to enhance and intensify the other art forms yet contains an intensive degree of intellectual and emotional content within its own right (Bloomfield & Childs, 2000). Drama can play a particular role in the ‘fulfilment of the child’s cognitive and affective needs and in providing for his/her future personal, social, emotional and intellectual development’ (DES, 1999). This module examines content, concepts, skills and teaching approaches addressed in curricula: musically from a listening, responding, performing and composing perspective, while a process drama approach focuses on exploring life through the creation of plot, theme, fiction and make-believe. (DES, 1999). This module also explores the philosophical foundations for teaching integrated arts in the primary school from a cross curricular, child-centred and creative classroom perspective. It examines when children experience of the arts from a integrated approach, ‘their learning in the humanities, sciences, technology, literacy and numeracy is complemented and enriched’ (Bloomfiedl & Childs, 2000). It examines how integrated arts nurtures the creative self of the child as well as facilitates the integrative nature of children’s learning.      

This module introduces students to arts-based approaches to educational research that aim to elicit, process and share understandings and experiences that may not be fully accessed through more traditional fieldwork approaches (Greenwood, 2012).

This modules aims to enable students to:

  • Further develop initial foundation arts 'connoisseurship' and understanding of the music and drama elements
  • Develop their receptive and expressive abilities through participation, repertoire, critical and contextual skills development in music and drama
  • Examine lesson planning and evaluation, and key teaching methodologies in relation to music and drama education in the senior classes
  • Extend their receptive, expressive and evaluative abilities through integrated arts learning projects
  • Examine the potential of integrated arts learning from a learning within, through and from the arts perspective 
  • Explore the potential of integrated arts from a multi-literacy perspective (visual, musical, emotional, cultural, critical, digital as well as language development)
  • Examine, experience and evaluate integrated arts units of work
  • Examine the potential of creative technologies in relation to enhancing learning in arts and integrated arts education

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

  • Reflect upon the centrality and transformative potential of integrated arts education
  • Describe key elements of music and drama as experienced through direct exploration of some music and drama curricula components
  • Reflect on how ideas, feelings and experiences can be explored through music, drama and integrated arts
  • Consider the use of stimuli to realise an idea using various arts modes
  • Reflect on the expressive character of compositions, performances, productions and exhibits for music drama, and integrateed arts
  • Critically explore the merits of arts integration education at primary level from a cross-curricular, child-centred and creative classroom perspective
  • Explain the rationale, structure and key emphases of the music and drama curricula
  • Design and evaluate imaginative and informed music lessons using a variety of stimuli and appropriate methodologies
  • Design and evaluate integrated arts schemes from a learning within, through and from the arts perspective 
  • Critically examine a variety of arts-based approaches to educational research

Method of Assessment

Essay (3,000 words)

Module Code:PM9202ECTS Credits:5

Overview

‘Effective teaching and learning in language and literature depends upon strong subject knowledge, of both a range of texts and approaches to studying them’ (Gamble and Yates, 2008). Teachers aiming to foster a love of reading in children and to facilitate meaningful engagement with literature must themselves have a strong knowledge of and enthusiasm for children’s literature. This course aims to extend students’ knowledge, understanding and appreciation of children’s literature, including its historical, sociological and ideological dimensions, and to develop their ability to apply this to their appraisal of selected texts from a range of genres.

This unit aims to:

  • To deepen students' knowledge, understanding and appreciation of children's literature, including its historical, sociological and ideological dimensions
  • To enable them to critically evaluate works from a range of genres and forms including: picture books, traditional stories (myths/legends/fairytales/folktales), poetry and fiction (realistic/historical/fantasy)
  • To explore the evolution of children's literature in the context of a) literary history generally and b) evolving societal concepts of childhood
  • To consider contemporary developments and theoretical approaches
  • To develop the students' appreciation of the value of children's literature in education and to raise their awareness of national and international children's literature organisations, children's book awards and school-based initiatives.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

  • Critically analyse and appraise children's literature from a range of genres
  • Consider historical, sociological and ideological dimensions of children's literature
  • Apply children's literature theory to their criticism of children's books
  • Critically evaluate the literary merit and educational value of children's books
  • Reflect on contemporary developments in children's literature

Method of Assessment

Essay (1,500 words)

Module Code:PM9202ECTS Credits:5

Overview

There is a significant number of Gaeltacht and all-Irish schools in existence and there is a significant number of students who wish to teach through the medium of Irish. Latest research shows the value of teaching other subjects through the medium of Irish in schools where Irish is the second language. The Teaching Council recognises that it is necessary for every student teacher to complete a module on “Teaching Through the Medium of Irish: Language and Culture”. 

This unit aims to:

  • Give the student an understanding of immersion education in general and of the evolution of Irish-Medium Education in Ireland from 1831
  • Investigate and explain the Gaelscoil System
  • Analyse the situation/conditions of Gaeltacht schools
  • Inform the student about support organisations for Irish-Medium Education
  • Browse teaching and learning resources for education through the medium of Irish
  • Discuss the challenges and controversies associated with Irish-Medium Education
  • Investigate pre-schooling through the medium of Irish

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

  • Give an informed description of, and engage in debate about, the Gaelscoil System
  • Demonstrate a clear understanding of the circumstances of Gaeltacht schools
  • List comprehensively the support organisations for Irish-Medium Education and explain their roles
  • Clearly identify and source teaching and learning aids for Irish-Medium Education and explore the most realistic possibilities for teaching other subjects through the medium of Irish in schools where Irish is the second language
  • Recognise the challenges and the controversies surrounding Irish-Medium Education, express opinions about them and take a stance in regard to them
  • Give an informed description of the Irish-Medium Preschool System and Aistear and analyse their worth

Method of Assessment

Reflective Journal (1,500 words)