Friday, 13 March 2015

What do we mean by a Masters-level module for CPD?

In the University of Westminster's teacher education provision, we run two Level 7 CPD modules: Teaching HE in FE and Mentoring Lecturers in the HE and Lifelong Learning Sectors.

What does Masters level mean? 

Working at level 7 is about the sophistication of discussion and language. Often people think that writing at Masters level means they write huge amounts – often in the form of narratives or stories, incidents with only superficial analysis. 

For level 7, critical evaluation is needed – taking a 360-degree view of a problem; looking at things from different perspectives; asking oneself: what limitations are there to the approach I took?

We are trying to develop Level 7 practitioners, not Level 7 theorists, but we still need to apply theory and literature in a systematic fashion.

The idea is to draw on one's professional and life experiences (which are defined as experiential knowledge). Try to move away from narrative and towards exploring what you learnt from discussions with colleagues, mentees, peers and students. 

Have a dialogue with the authors of books – they are your sources – but you may not necessarily agree with them and other authors may take a different view.  Chew it all over. Uncover things and try to see them from different perspectives. For instance, if you intervened in an observation of your mentee’s teaching, think how might it feel, as a beginning teacher, to have your mentor take over a class mid-way through?

With all CPD, we hope that participants will make new contacts, enrich their teaching and mentoring practice, become more critically aware and feel that they have gained new insights into their own and others’ practice.

A video introducing the Mentoring CPD module can be found at:

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