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Unit information: The Teacher as Leader (WA4) in 2015/16

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Unit name The Teacher as Leader (WA4)
Unit code EDUC30020
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Academic Year (weeks 1 - 52)
Unit director Mrs. Lythgoe
Open unit status Not open



Creating inclusive learning environments: the role of the teacher (WA1); Theories of learning and teaching (WA2) Special Educational Needs (WA3) Becoming a reflective practitioner (Reflective Journal/RJA);

School/department School of Education
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law

Description including Unit Aims

This unit allows students to use the experiences of practical activities in schools to explore professional issues in teaching in secondary schools. The main focus of the unit is to reflect on issues of leadership in the classroom and in the school, and the role of expectation-setting in promoting pupil progression. The role of the teacher is to make pupil learning possible, and accordingly this unit aims to reflect upon the impact the Participant has had on their school placement.

Participants will carry out formative tasks in schools, which will support the development of their professional skills. The unit promotes evidence and research-based practice as a foundation for career-long personal and professional development.

The timing of the summative assessment for this unit is toward the end of the PGCE programme, and accordingly, participants are expected to be able to situate their personal experience of developing as a professional within both the context of the school placement, and within the academic and professional literature. The unit also explores the role of professional teachers as peers supporting their colleagues, by providing opportunities for sharing experiences with colleagues in other subject areas, and with the next cohort on the programme. Participants will choose from a range of topics to explore in greater depth and on which to present to an audience of peers and tutors, leading a discussion on their work, and incorporating a piece of written work for grading.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Participants will be able to: • Set high but achievable expectations which inspire, motivate and challenge pupils. • Undertake a systematic study of an autonomously-selected aspect of teaching • Evaluate their professional practice in the light of critical reflection on relevant education theories and models. • Present their learning to an audience of peers and tutors in an engaging and stimulating way, and lead a formal discussion on a chosen aspect of their work. • Demonstrate the impact of their developing practice on the progress of pupils in their placement school.

Teaching Information

Teaching will take a variety of stimulating formats, including, inter alia, seminars, lectures, workshops, laboratory sessions, practical classroom experience of teaching, personal tuition with university- and school-based staff, and private and group study. Much of this study takes place during the school placement, and this experience provides an essential source of reflection and stimulation for the learning activities.

Assessment Information

Participants will carry out a range of formative activities during the year which will provide feedback on the key issues addressed by this unit.

Participants will be required to achieve a satisfactory standard in their practical teaching. This will be assessed summatively through observations by tutors during the school placement.

Participants will complete a summative assessment task, drawing on their experiences. Participants will deliver a 10-minute presentation to Teach First Participants and to tutors. The presentation will be judged on form, content (theory and practical), and delivery, and participants should ensure that the material they produce is suitable for publication on the website, observing appropriate ethical protocols. Participants must produce handouts of 1,000 words to accompany the presentation for the small audience. An additional five minutes is permitted for an explanation of the school context – groups of participants at the same school are encouraged to collaborate on this element.

A further handout, the speaker's notes (2000 words), should be submitted to the tutor for grading. This will include documentation of planning, teaching and evaluation activities to illustrate the participant’s skills in a chosen topic.

Reading and References

Due to the potential variety and breadth of study covered by this unit, participants will select appropriate readings from the core reading list, subject reading lists, their own wider reading and in discussion with their tutors.

However, the following readings will be of general interest to all participants:

Bolton, G. (2010) Reflective Practice. London: Sage.

Cohen, L., Manion, L. & Morrison, K. (2011) Research Methods in Education (7th edition) London: RoutledgeFalmer.

Hopkins, D. (2008) A Teacher’s Guide to Classroom Research (4th edition): McGraw Hill -Open University Press. (available as an e-book)

Pettyk, G. (2006) Evidence Based Teaching: a Practical Approach. Cheltenham: NelsonThornes. (available as an e-book)

Somekh, B. (2006) Action Research: a Methodology for Change and Development. London: Sage. (available as an e-book)