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

Postgraduate Course: Subject Specialism: English (1) (EDUA11369)

Course Outline
SchoolMoray House School of Education CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryStudents undertaking this course will develop a critical understanding of theories of learning, teaching and assessment of English in the upper primary and secondary sector. They will learn how to use theoretical knowledge about subject and pedagogy in English to devise teaching which is designed to meet the needs and interests of diverse learners. The course will be underpinned by the related theoretical concepts of critical pedagogy and critical literacies.
Course description English teaching in the 21st century is multi faceted , challenging, stimulating and fascinating for the teacher. For the learner successful learning in English is essential to becoming a citizen who can negotiate and act on the their understanding of the many complex, multimodal texts which they encounter each day. A transformative teacher of English can make the difference between someone who is a passive recipient of information and someone who can access and inform their culture, their society and their own life through their ability to deconstruct and construct texts (whatever form or medium of text), and to engage with confident, analytical criticality in discussion and debate in the classroom and beyond.

The OECD report (2015) questioned what was perceived as the lack of focus in Scottish education in terms of the 'pedagogical core', the fundamental experience of learning and teaching . This course seeks to develop teachers of English who are able to make use of their understanding of pedagogical and deep subject knowledge to teach in order to purposefully include and to take account of the diverse needs and interests of learners. Teachers undertaking this course would therefore develop critical and situated awareness of themselves in their role as a teacher - a role which is political, cultural, social and moral and about taking action. To this end the course is underpinned by theories of critical pedagogy and critical literacies.

Students on this course will learn how to critique curricula at policy level which relates to their subject teaching in order to develop purposeful, engaging teaching. Using Friere, Shor, hooks , Janks and more school classroom based texts on critical literacies such as Morgan, students will explore and develop their knowledge and understanding of the following areas of learning and teaching in the secondary English classroom so that they can:

- analyse and critique curricula at policy level and at classroom delivery level within the English subject discipline in order to develop purposeful, engaging teaching for learners from P5 - S6
- learn how to teach about, with and through different kinds of texts, including media texts, paying particular attention to Scottish texts which inform the cultural heritage of children and young people learning in Scottish schools
- learn how to teach the construction of different kinds of texts, including multi modal and digital texts
- learn how to explore the aesthetic within reading and within children and young peoples' own writing, with learners
-develop understanding of assessment within the context of English teaching in the secondary school so that student teachers are familiar with Broad and General and National 4, 5, Higher and Advanced Higher requirements and can implement this within the subject specialism of English
- begin the process of becoming a reflective and reflexive practitioner

Students taking this course will work in collaborative groups in seminars and in directed study time, both in university and in cluster sites. Learning will be problem based and students will be expected to contribute extensively in seminar sessions.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2017/18, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Full Year
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 98 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) This 10-credit course is assessed by project work. «br /»
The course uses a student-driven assessment approach in which the students negotiate with the course organiser about a personally meaningful topic for their project which is consistent with the learning outcomes of the course. On agreement of topic:«br /»
Part 1 of the task is to develop a theorised proposal that details the aim of the project, a rationale and clear identification of associated pedagogies, the deliverables and a plan for carrying it out with site-based colleagues. There is scope for students to collaborate on a group project to undertake larger, more challenging topics. Indicative projects could include (but are not restricted to):«br /»
o An investigation of the impact of a new or alternative teaching approach on learners' understanding of a difficult concept;«br /»
o The development of a teaching progression and sequence of lessons on an agreed topic that can be implemented during site-based experience (topic negotiated with site-based colleagues);«br /»
o The development of the outline for a new SQA National Qualification in their subject specialism, such as: 'Scottish literature' (Group project);«br /»
o A review of the literature on inclusive practices within subject specialism and an evaluation of site-based approaches in the classroom.«br /»
Part 2 of the task will constitute a report and reflection on the development and implementation of the project. This will usually take the form of a portfolio which will contain the deliverables including a reflective report.«br /»
«br /»
Part 1 is a formative assessment, with Part 2 worth 100% of the summative grade.
Feedback There are opportunities on this course for students to make use of formative feedback from peers and tutor as part of ongoing course work, for example in the embedded feedforward planning task which prepares students for the preparation of the two assignments in year 1 of the programme. Self assessment opportunities are provided through journaling as part of ongoing course work.
There are two formal assessment points where students will be given feedback by tutors which will be summative in nature.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate critical understanding of the principal theories, concepts and principles related to the teaching of subject specialism (English) in schools
  2. Apply knowledge, skills and understanding of theoretical perspectives as related to planning and preparing for practice, through developing imaginative and creative curricular materials that draw on a range of relevant sources and that are relevant to site-based context.
  3. Critically review, evaluate and synthesise key issues related to development of curricular materials, or issues that are informed by practise in professional site-based context.
  4. Engage critically and analytically with academic and policy literature related to teaching subject specialism (English) in the schools and begin to apply this thinking to their development as reflective and reflexive professionals
  5. Analyse their learning on this course in relation to relevant core concepts of social justice, sustainability, global perspectives, digital and statistical literacies and professional inquiry skills.
Reading List
Garcia, Antera (2013)Critical Foundations in Young Adult Literature Challenging Genres Sense Publishers
hooks, b. (1994) Teaching to Transgress Education as the Practice of Freedom Routledge
Janks, H. (2009) Literacy and Power (Language Culture and Teaching Series) Rutledge
Ellis,V. (2007) Taking subject knowledge seriously: from professional knowledge recipes to complex conceptualizations of teacher development. The Curriculum Journal: Taylor & Francis
McCallum, A. (2012) Creativity and Learning in Secondary English: teaching for a creative classroom Routledge

Thomson, Ian Stimulating Reluctant Writers: a Vygotskian approach to teaching writing in secondary schools English in Education 2012
Uhrmacher, P. Bruce, Bradley, M. Moroye, C. Finding the Balance between process and product through perceptual lesson planning Teachers College record volume 115, issue 2 2013
Ellis, S. and Sosu, E. (2014) Closing the Attainment Gap in Scottish Education Joseph Rowntree Trust available at
Zeichner, K. and Liston,P. (2013) Reflective Teaching: An Introduction Routledge
Policy delivering excellence and equity in Scottish education 2016

Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserMrs Lynne Pratt
Tel: (0131 6)51 6425
Course secretaryMiss Ellen Callender
Tel: (0131 6)51 6449
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