Advert

Reaching out to schools with professional learning

New postgraduate programme starts in February

The Faculty of Education has a long-standing history in teacher education. Over the past 40 years, it has contributed significantly to develop the professional learning of educators at all levels – from learning support educators to those in or aspiring for leadership positions, and lately in teacher mentoring.

More recently, in its aim to reach out to more schools and work more closely with educators, the faculty has invested in the area of continuing professional learning. Besides the work currently being carried out in a number of schools to create and cultivate collaborative professional learning communities through lesson study, the Department of Leadership for Learning and Innovation will be launching an innovative professional learning programme of studies for all educators.

As part of our department’s commitment for outreach to address the needs of schools and educators, we have designed the postgraduate Developing the Educator programme of studies that will start in February. This programme has four key research-informed features that educators today need to better balance their work-life plans.

Our programme of studies primarily offers practice-based courses that originate from the needs as identified by educators following a training needs analysis conducted in May 2017. In addition, the courses we provide are designed and developed through the joint expertise of academic researchers and practitioners.

Tax credits on successful completion of certificate level

Through these courses we have once again reached out to work with and alongside educators who are making a difference in various areas of education. Hence, courses will be taught by both faculty staff members and educators who currently work in schools. We deem this to be extremely important as we aim to focus on themes and learning approaches that are relevant and pertinent to help today’s educator address the myriad challenges schooling and education bring with them.

The programme offers a wide variety of courses, thus supporting the request of educators to take the responsibility to create their own personalised education experience. It also offers a blended learning approach with face-to-face lectures taking the form of workshops, seminars and discussions, online learning or a combination of both. The teaching and learning approach adopted will, of course, depend on the type of the course.

A number of our courses also offer on-the-job support to educators. Finally, the programme is of an extremely flexible nature. While a number of courses are offered in two different semesters during an academic year, the programme gives the flexibility for educators to take up stand-alone modules with the possibility of accumulating these over a period of one to five years – eventually obtaining the ‘Developing the Educator’ degree at a certificate level. This implies that educators can self-regulate their learning and pursue this programme of studies at their own pace.

This fourth feature is indeed an important novelty in the ‘Developing the Educator’ programme. Prospective participants who pursue a Postgraduate Certificate in Developing the Educator may later upgrade this certificate to a diploma and eventually a master’s degree. This programme is also approved under the ‘Get Qualified Scheme’.

One can apply for tax credits of 70 per cent of the fees paid upon successful completion of the certificate level. The course is also designed to satisfy the professional learning requirements of educators as per the agreement signed between the government and the Malta Union of Teachers in December 2017.

Through the ‘Developing the Educator’ programme, we therefore offer our support and services to schools for their management-driven community of professional educators sessions and educators’ self-sought professional learning and development.

Christopher Bezzina is deputy dean and head of the Department of Leadership for Learning and Innovation, Faculty of Education, University of Malta, while James Calleja is an assistant lecturer in the same faculty. For more information, e-mail christopher.bezzina@um.edu.mt or james.j.calleja@um.edu.mt.

Comments not loading? We recommend using Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox with javascript turned on.
Comments powered by Disqus  
Advert
Advert