The Master of Education in Literacy Professional Practice is designed for classroom teachers who are seeking to develop deep expertise in literacy theory, research and evidence-based practices. The programme of study draws on a wide variety of theoretical models and processes, perspectives, instructional models, curricular frameworks, and policies in relation to literacy. It reflects the competences, knowledge and professional skills identified by the International Literacy Association. The course provides opportunities for participants to develop the capacity to critically analyse, synthesise, evaluate and reflect on this body of knowledge and to use it to design and implement developmentally appropriate and engaging reading and writing workshops that develop children as readers, writers and thinkers. In addition to international research, examples of practices and professional development processes developed nationally in the Write to Read Literacy Project and the Séideán Sí Programme will also be shared. Opportunities will be presented to participants throughout the course to focus on Literacy Professional Practice in the Irish language if they wish to do so.
Throughout the programme of study there is a particular emphasis on preparing participants to take on leadership roles in literacy, to promote schools as collaborative learning environments that support teachers as critical and creative literacy practitioners and to lead schools in developing a responsive evidence-based comprehensive balanced literacy framework for the inclusive primary school and classroom. The programme addresses five key areas of knowledge and practice:
•Theoretical perspectives underpinning literacy development and instructional models to develop the creative, aesthetic and affective dimensions of literacy as well as essential skills (alphabetics, vocabulary, fluency, comprehension and writing)
•Disciplinary knowledge and practice and perspectives on developing literacy in both English and Irish across the curriculum
•Prevention and early intervention of literacy difficulties to meet the literacy needs of children in diverse contexts
•An inquiry stance to literacy planning, teaching, learning and assessment and research skills required to engage in inquiry into aspects of literacy teaching of both personal and/or school context relevance
•Literacy leadership skills to support schools in developing effective and culturally responsive whole school approaches to literacy
The Master of Education in Literacy Professional Practice is designed for classroom teachers who are seeking to develop deep expertise in literacy theory, research and evidence-based practices. The programme of study draws on a wide variety of theoretical models and processes, perspectives, instructional models, curricular frameworks, and policies in relation to literacy.
Three core modules in year one examine a range of theoretical perspectives and models underpinning literacy development in relation to the creative, aesthetic and affective dimensions of literacy as well as essential skills (alphabetics, vocabulary, fluency, comprehension and writing). The core modules also consider the language and literacy needs of children in both English and/or Irish as L1 and L2 and the transfer of skills across languages. A research methods module explores both quantitative and qualitative approaches to literacy research laying the foundations for the research project in year two. Participants will develop the understanding, skills and knowledge of research approaches and methodologies in the context of reflective practice and action research and the capacity to interrogate and critically reflect on their practice through systematic inquiry.
Two disciplinary modules (one in each year of the programme) build on the core and explore the pivotal role of language and literacy across the curriculum. The first of these modules addresses the potential of the arts for literacy development and explores research and models for developing imagination and creativity from the perspectives of professionals within a range of artistic domains. The second examines theoretical perspectives on critical, visual and disciplinary literacy and provides opportunities for participants to design and implement interdisciplinary units of study. Both modules explore a wide range of high-quality children's literature (fiction/informational/poetry/digital) to support planning and teaching.
In year two, models of literacy leadership, whole school approaches to literacy and research on the prevention and early intervention of literacy difficulties are examined. Emphasis is placed on developing participants' capacity to evaluate school plans for literacy and to lead literacy planning and professional development within schools. The research project provides opportunities for teachers to adopt an inquiry stance to literacy teaching and learning. Participants will systematically test relevant theories and evidence-based practices in relation to their research question and in so doing develop new insights and ways of working that respond to the needs of children within their school and classroom contexts.
The DCU Institute of Education at St Patrick's Campus is the largest faculty of education in Ireland and is a recognised centre of excellence in teacher education nationally and internationally. The Master of Education in Literacy Professional Practice programme is designed and delivered by a multi-disciplinary team of academics at the forefront of educational research, policy and practice across many specialist areas within education, by practising experts with applied experience in designing and implementing high-quality balanced literacy frameworks and by recognised leaders within associated creative disciplines.
DCU facilities at St Patrick's Campus are first class. Students have access to two extensive libraries that include a vast array of educational resources and diverse study spaces for both collaborative and independent work. Remote access to journals and Ebooks enable and enhance study at a distance. Additionally, online learning facilities draw from the most up-to-date technologies whilst employing innovative teaching and learning methods.