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The programme is an attractive pathway of accreditation to develop the teacher as a lifelong learner, a caring and extended professional within a school-university partnership. It offers initial, induction and in-career teachers a reflective and protected space to critique practice and to connect with national and international literature on mentoring.
The programme is run through on-campus days, weekends and summer schools and a weekly on-line connection to the University's web-based learning environment. The first year of the programme is fully supported by the Department of Education and Science (DES).
The programme aims to develop the concept of the teacher as a professional and a colleague through the roles of leader of learning and architect of change in a whole school community within a school-university partnership.
Specifically the programme will:
* Introduce participants to the work of initial teacher education (ITT) in the University of Limerick in the context of a school-university partnership.
* Consider the school placement environment using a holistic approach that seeks to find the best blend of cognitive and affective mentoring for learning that leads to the formation of an organic and dynamic learning community.
* Develop the policy, principles and practices of educational mentoring through connection with existing research and development models of mentoring in Ireland and internationally.
* Use a collaborative reflective model of critical enquiry, between initial, induction and in-career teachers, to develop the scholarship of teaching for innovation and learning.
The programme is aimed at promoting leadership for learning and teacher professionalism and will be suited to participants who wish to progress their personal and professional development through supporting a student teacher or newly qualified teacher. It is particularly suited to those in the school community who wish to lead learning, to national support service personnel and teaching practice tutors.
It involves engaging in collaborative critical friend reflection and exploring the policy, principles and practice of mentoring as it seeks to promote dialogue on teaching and learning within the paradigm of a caring professional in a school-university partnership.
The programme is run over a three-year period and is based on modules. There are four modules in each of year one and year two and three modules in the final year. Each year is certified separately.
The first year focuses on the practice and theory of mentoring and has an emphasis on personal development. Those with an appetite for further research, in the second and third year, will be provided with opportunities to delve deeper into each of these areas and to consider them through the lenses of self-awareness, school-based reflection, national and international literature.
In addition to two research modules, project modules and school-based modules the remaining modules undertaken in this masters of education programme include the following:
Mentoring in Practice:
The module will address the knowledge base, skills, strategies and processes needed to become a mentor teacher.
Innovation for Learning:
The module will seek to explore the many implicit assumptions underpinning the Irish education system that appear to suggest that the system leaves little time for meaning making, scholarship or innovation in the early years of the 21st century.
Frameworks for Mentoring:
The module will consider the life cycles of teachers, theoretical models of mentoring and will conduct a continuing professional development needs analysis.
Theories and Skills of Experiential Group Processes:
The module will provide a historical perspective of the theories and skills of experimental group processes; an opportunity to take part in group processes and will provide training in group facilitation skills.
Policy & Practice of Mentoring:
The module will consider mentoring in international contexts and the conditions necessary for adult learners and mentors to progress their own professional development through extending themselves for the development of student teachers and newly qualified teachers.