Middle Leadership & Mentoring in Primary & Post-Primary Settings

The innovative Graduate Certificate in Middle Leadership and Mentoring in Primary and Post-Primary Settings is a one-year, part-time blended programme providing an academic qualification for teachers in professional studies and will be offered by and located at MIC's Thurles campus. Year 2 offers opportunities to progress to a Diploma qualification and subsequently to that of Master's level. Endorsed by the Centre for School Leadership and designed to suit teachers' professional lives, the programme will act as both a challenge and a support to those interested in middle leadership in our schools.

Key Features
The programme uses onsite and online lectures and tutorials. A strong practical dimension will keep alive a link between teacher practice, theory and policy, prioritising reflective practice and teacher research as a vehicle for teacher professional development in the area of middle leadership.

This programme will draw from international and national practitioners to offer a unique learning opportunity and will be coordinated and taught by Head of School, Dr Finn Ó Murchú, Mr Des Carswell and colleagues at MIC Thurles.

Assessment is flexible and varied involving submission of written assignments, online engagement and some in-class collaboration/presentation. All is done in the knowledge of teachers having busy lives and, where possible, flexibility will form part of that assessment so as to play to people's strengths and work context.

The Department of Education and Skills has placed considerable emphasis on school leadership in recent times. Publications such as Looking At Our Schools (DES, 2016) pay particular attention to creating a quality framework to develop and sustain teachers and leaders.

Looking At Our Schools acknowledges that leaders may or may not have formal leadership roles in schools and seeks to "to assist all teachers in gaining a perspective on their own leadership roles and how they can develop and expand their leadership skills over time" (p.7). The important role that leaders play, and in particular middle leaders, is recognised in more recent DES communications.

As a provider of teacher preparation programmes, we at MIC Thurles understand the importance of forging postgraduate links with practicing teachers, especially in the area of middle leadership. This Level 9 postgraduate qualification is set in the context of awakening and acknowledging the role of middle leaders in our schools—a recognition that focuses on a range of skills including the less often studied inter-related concepts of instructional leadership, understanding how teachers learn and how change wisdom is central to the success of all our efforts.

The programme is designed to provide participants with incrementally greater knowledge, skills and insights into Middle Leadership in schools. It aims to challenge and support participants to interrogate what Middle Leadership means and asks of them. It is conducted in a manner that is informed by good teaching, underpinned by theory, and applied in practice. It supports participants to enhance both their competence and confidence in responding and initiating changes in schools and classrooms.

The aims and objectives of the programme include:

To understand and critique the policy developments associated with school leadership and in particular those associated with the emerging concept of middle leadership in all current educational settings.

To learn of the different leadership styles and practises, how they are more than personality based and that different forms of leadership may be required at different times for different circumstances in different contexts.

To recognise the specific role of school leadership in leading learning (for both teachers and students) while also exploring how it compares and contrasts with leadership in other settings.

To know more about how teachers learn and explore the role of middle leadership across the continuum of teacher learning in the context of ITE, NQT, lifelong learning and promotion of a culture that is supportive of professional learning communities.

To develop a deeper understanding of the place of collaboration and conflict in leading learning in healthy communities of practice which includes colleagues and students as well as with parents/guardians and other interested stakeholders.

To support greater understanding and skill acquisition in the area of mentoring in schools with particular reference to the pedagogical aspects including the language of pedagogy and the skills associated with feedback.

To develop participant's research knowledge and research skills. This includes interpreting data to inform leading learning at curricular and instructional levels.

To explore goal setting and how change in practice with colleagues can be initiated, implemented, sustained and reviewed. Attention will be given to relational trust and other aspects of social/professional capital within school contexts.

To reflect as an individual but also with others on the impact of leading learning in a manner that is inclusive of all students and all staff irrespective of setting.

To practice leadership in a variety of roles and for a variety of purposes so as to enhance participant's competence and confidence as middle leaders.

Entry requirements

The minimum entry requirements for eligibility are as follows:

For entry into the Certificate in Middle Leadership and Mentoring in Primary and Post-Primary Settings, applicants will normally hold a minimum 2.2 Honours degree (at level 8) in education (primary or post-primary). Applicants who have a 2.2 Honours degree in other disciplines may be considered if they have substantial and relevant professional experience. Acceptance under this category will be subject to an interview and considered in light of the UL Policy on Accredited Prior Learning.

Entry into the Graduate Diploma in Middle Leadership and Mentoring in Primary and Post-Primary Settings, is contingent on achieving a 2.2 in the Certificate in Middle Leadership and Mentoring in Primary and Post-Primary Settings. Further information regarding the Graduate Diploma of the programmes can be obtained by emailing the Programme Coordinators.

Entry into the Masters of Education in in Middle Leadership and Mentoring in Primary and Post-Primary Settings is contingent on achieving a 2.2 in the Graduate Diploma in Middle Leadership and Mentoring in Primary and Post-Primary Settings. Further information regarding the Masters component of the progammes can be obtained by emailing the Programme Coordinators.

There is an option to undertake both Graduate Diploma and Masters Modules in one year. Students who choose this route, on successful completion of the programme, graduate with a M.Ed. in Middle Leadership and Mentoring in Primary and Post-primary settings. This route is contingent on successfully completing the Graduate Certification in M.Ed. in Middle Leadership and Mentoring in Primary and Post-primary settings at 2.2. or higher

Registration will be conditional upon successful completion of the Garda Vetting/CRB checking process.

Assessment Info

Assessment is flexible and varied involving submission of written assignments, online engagement and some in-class collaboration/presentation. All is done in the knowledge of teachers having busy lives and, where possible, flexibility will form part of that assessment so as to play to people's strengths and work context.

Subjects taught

TYPICAL PROGRAMME OUTLINE

Graduate Certificate in Middle Leadership and Mentoring
(Year 1)

Semester 1
Policy: Leadership in the context of schools as organisations
Leadership styles and perspectives on leadership
Understanding Teachers' Professional Learning and Development

Semester 2
Mentoring 1: Classroom mentoring and the teacher-mentor
Applied Research 1: Collaborative research in the classroom

Masters of Education (Middle Leadership and Mentoring)
(Year 2)
Graduate Diploma in Middle Leadership and Mentoring
(Year 2)

Semester 1
Curricular and Instructional Leadership
Mentoring 2: Developing a collaborative school culture
Middle Leadership: Learning from non-educational settings

Semester 2
Change Agent, Change Wisdom and School Improvement
Applied Research 2: Curricular and Instructional contexts

Masters of Education (Middle Leadership and Mentoring)
(Year 2)
Masters of Education (Middle Leadership and Mentoring)
(Year 3)

Semester 1
Principles and Practice of Research in Education
Research Workshops

Semester 2
Research Workshops
Dissertation (August Submission)

ATTENDANCE AND PRESENTATION AT ANNUAL SUMMER SCHOOL, MIC THURLES

Duration

1 year part-time

Fees

Fees: €2,500

Post Course Info

The programme should be of particular interest to all aspiring and existing middle leaders, respecting and availing of the diversity of sector, setting and language of instruction. It is supportive of teachers who may wish to have a greater leadership role without leaving the classroom, as well as those aspiring to deputy principal or principal roles. Senior personnel in schools and from other education-related organisations with an interest in maximising middle leadership roles in their settings will also find the programme of interest.

The graduate certificate is also intended to support teachers who want to further develop themselves and their professional practice as teachers, while also developing as mentors to other teachers, be they beginning teachers or existing colleagues.

Students who meet certain minimum achievement criteria in the Graduate Certificate will be invited to progress to Graduate Diploma and then, to Master's degree level. Entry into the Graduate Diploma is contingent on achieving a 2.2 in the Certificate programme and entry into the Master's of Education is contingent on achieving a 2.2 in the Graduate Diploma element of the programme. Further information regarding the the Graduate Diploma and M Ed components of the progamme can be obtained by emailing the Programme Coordinators.

More details
  • Qualifications

    Graduate Certificate

  • Attendance type

    Part time,Daytime,Weekend

  • Apply to

    Course provider