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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Moray House School of Education : Education

Undergraduate Course: Professional practice and enquiry (EDUA08108)

Course Outline
SchoolMoray House School of Education CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 2 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryProfessional practice and enquiry: focuses on the development of knowledge and understanding related to professional practice and the importance of research in the development of informed professional judgement. This course examines how the action research process can be used to inform decision making, and also examines how practice can be informed through critically engagement with research literature. The evolving nature of knowledge and the changing nature of professional practice in a range of contexts leads to the expectation that professionals use and act on research in their practice. This course will examine the different conceptions of research related to professional practice. Students are required to review their practice systematically and acquire an understanding of the contribution of research to professional practice.
Course description A range of learning and teaching approaches will be employed in the course so as to develop students' knowledge, skills and understanding enabling them to meet the learning outcomes identified. There will be lectures, tutor and student led seminars that will explore the nature and purpose of research. Group work is central to this course students will reflect on their learning experiences, focusing on identifying how to develop their ability to become professional learners researching to improve their practice. Feedback from peers and tutors will also support the identification of areas for development. There will be a series of workshops where students will engage closely with research literature as part of the development of academic literacies in this area of the course.

This course will begin by introducing students to the concept the 'reflective practitioner'. In doing so, it will develop students ability to engage critically with the literature and research related to professional development. Students will also be provided with opportunities to examine research evidence to inform their own professional learning and develop their awareness of the nature and purpose of research. Leading from this increased knowledge and awareness of reflective practice and research, students will develop their understanding of action research and use this to consider the concept of 'professional enquiry'. Students will critically analyse the literature related to action research and other forms of research approaches to inform reflections on their own professional experiences.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2017/18, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  120
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 10, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 166 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 2000 word assignment (with appendices as evidence of action planning) - 100%
Feedback Feedback is an integral part of the course and takes many forms. We encourage you to see learning and teaching as a partnership: we will do our best to give you helpful feedback on your work, and it is up to you to make the best use of the feedback you receive. If you find yourself unsure of how to make good use of feedback, please speak to your workshop tutor(s). You will also find a wealth of information on feedback, including information about what to expect and how to make use of it, on the University's Enhancing Feedback website, available at:

There are formative assessment opportunities provided in workshops and seminars. There will be a formative presentation and a tutor will provide oral feedback and feedforward advice after the presentation. After the presentations and within 15 working days written feedback will be provided to the cohort which provides feedback and feedforward.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Critically evaluate the findings of quantitative and qualitative research studies.
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of how the theories and concepts that underpin professional enquiry have implications for the development of their own professional practice.
  3. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of research approaches.
  4. Reflect on their professional practice identifying professional learning needs and action planning to address these as a result their own professional experiences.
Reading List
Cabaroglu, N. (2014). Professional development through action research: Impact on self-efficacy. System, 4479-88. doi:10.1016/j.system.2014.03.003

Lyons, N. (2010). Handbook of reflection and reflective inquiry : mapping a way of knowing for professional reflective inquiry. New York : Springer.

Mockler, N., & Sachs, J. (2011). Rethinking educational practice through reflexive inquiry: essays in honour of Susan Groundwater-Smith. Dordrecht ; New York : Springer

Ollis, T. (2012). A critical pedagogy of embodied education ; Learning to become an activist. Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan

Tidwell, D. L., & Fitzgerald, L. M. (2006). Self-study and diversity. Rotterdam : Sense Publishers.

Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills This course will assist in the development of graduate attributes and skills in the following areas:

Skills and abilities in Research and Enquiry

*search for, access, critically analyse, evaluate and synthesise relevant literature and information in order to develop their knowledge and understanding
* communicate research plans and findings to specialist and non- specialist audiences.
*recognise the importance of reflecting on the learning experience.

Skills and abilities in Communication
* be able to use communication as a means for collaborating and relating to others including staff, fellow students, research participants
* be able to engage in critical discussion demonstrating listening skills, effective use of evidence and own experience to support assertions, and clear articulation of points.
* be able to seek and value open feedback to inform genuine self- awareness

Skills and abilities in Personal Effectiveness
* be able to effectively work collaboratively with others, recognising the diversity of contributions individuals can make

Technical/practical skills

* gather and analyse variety of data
* develop the technical and practical skills to enable them to undertake practitioner enquiry
* read purposefully and record what is relevant from a range of academic and professional literature and resource material
* write accurately and clearly for academic purposes
* use ICT to enhance their own learning

KeywordsPractice research enquiry
Course organiserMiss Shirley Gray
Tel: (0131 6)51 6681
Course secretaryMiss Annabelle Macinnes
Tel: (0131 6)51 6449
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