Lead Practitioners Day (HIAS)

October 5, 2009 § Leave a comment

M is for Masters or Mmmm go on…

Deepening and Developing Professional Learning, a  presentation from Hilary Francis, Winchester University, (profile coming soon…) a very impassioned presentation encouraging the development of learning hubs and decentralised learning opportunities within a school (I like the concept). It seems every CPD experience is another opportunity to gain units towards a MA, with the help of an HE institustion.   

So what is a MA and what does it mean for schools and to what extent do Senior Leadership Teams value reflective practice? Given the new directives, we are soon to find out. In the not so distant future teachers will require a Masters qualification and become an entitlement of all teachers as it is in Norway, Japan and America. After giving the presenters comments some consideration over the weekend, what credible training did I attend after I qualified? Short courses, yes, OFAT (online Facilitatators Training with the NCSL), External Moderation training – and did these courses improve my teaching credentials, I would like to think so, all are presented on my CV. Should a MA be demanded? 

So what do we have to do? To gain an MA in Education you need 180 credits, essentially is the amalgamation of;

  • Professional Education and Development
  • Professional Enquiry: Methodology, methods and planning
  • Dissertation: Major Independent study (with 10hrs tutor support, 18-20,000 words)

Again, all highly valuable but when will I be given the time to fulfil this entitlement? From the presentation, it was presented that most lead practitioners / middle leaders are already conducting master level enquiry in their positions, the MA is merely a vechical for recognising it. I still believe there is a need for formal time recognition. A sigh of relief, there is a stepping stone, a Certificate of Advanced Educational Studies (CAES). More ‘nectar’ points towards your MA, but also referred to as ‘declining with dignity,’ if you were not intent on the full MA. 

Question? Is INSET in its current form the best use of teacher time? Considering that the best INSET is collaborative, reflective and involves teaching (teachers) and learning (learners)? Typical INSET, teachers in, students sent home… seems to make fulfilling these requirements challenging. CPD as Lead Practitioners, although a similiar model may prove to be a strong community for such enquiry. It could certainly features as a communication / meeting focus. Now if Middle and Senior leaders, were ever going to successful in ‘selling’ a MA we would be wise to invite Hilary Francis to speak to our staff. Hiliary herself is a very powerful, engaging agents for change.

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