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Global educators build sustainable networks

Published on 13.10.2020
Tampere University of Applied Sciences
global educators networkClaire Heylin, TAMK master's student based in Dubai, and her study group in a virtual meeting.
In only few years since its creation, the Degree Programme in Educational Leadership has become so much more than just a master’s degree for mid-career professionals. The most contemporary learning theories and tools combined with the international profile of students have created a successful global network of educators.

With Authentic eLearning as an underpinning core pedagogy, the work that students deliver is relevant and applicable to their own working environments. This means that students are asked to produce homework that is situated in the real world and not just submitted for assessment in class. The programme is designed to not only allow participants to grow but to attain positive student experiences as well.

“I found the experience of being a student again very interesting – it gave me an insight into how much focus and concentration we expect of the pupils in our classrooms,” emphasizes Claire Heylin, Primary English Lead from Dubai.

A truly international degree

Due to the blended model of 3 one-off intensive weeks in Finland at the start of each semester with the remainder of the work online, educators from around the world can study in this degree without the need to give up their work and relocate. The international diversity and experience mean that there is an amazing body of knowledge and experiences to draw from as students explore the themes of educational leadership together.

“I think that often the ‘teachers’ learn as much as the students on the programme. Certainly, that is true in the courses that I teach,” comments Mark Curcher, TAMK’s Senior Lecturer in the study programme.

Educational Leadership beyond the classroom

The students are mentored and encouraged to pursue various endeavors outside the classroom. Writing journal articles, blogging and podcasting allow for the master’s students to produce authentic work. Moreover, the peer review of a conference committee or journal serves as a form of quality control.

Mark Curcher is delighted to announce that TAMK’s Educational Leadership programme is encountering success. “Seven of our students have been attending an international conference recently with one of them winning a ‘Young Scholar’ award for her work.”

Claire Heylin, one of the master students, used some extra time during the spring lockdown to write articles again. This was something that had been waiting on her to-do list for quite a while. As she was contacted by TES, an international educators’ community, she ended up writing a piece outlining her decision to undertake more work and more deadlines by starting her master studies, while still working full time.

“I was delighted to share my experience of TAMK’s Educational Leadership programme thus far with others and I hope that it would help anybody on the fence about further studies to take the leap. I would also encourage any educators or TAMK students to contact TES with ideas for articles as they are always looking for content and we all have a story to tell,” encourages Heylin.

Read Claire Heylin’s article here.

blended teaching
David Keating leading a class with students participating in-person and online.

Modern problems require modern solutions

At the time of its design in 2016, this Master’s Degree Programme in Educational Leadership was something new and exciting. Nowadays, with the necessity for remote learning arising, a degree with remote teaching in its core is a valuable asset for all educators. 

“As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, blended learning is something that I have been encountering in my professional and academic life,” says David Keating, secondary school teacher in Dubai.

The school where David Keating is teaching now offers blended learning to accommodate students in class as well as students who have concerns about returning to the classroom or may be stuck in their home countries because of travel restrictions. This topic overlapped nicely with his current study module of Emerging Trends and Innovation in Education. His everyday practice in work provided him with the first-hand experience for a TES article and this was complimented nicely by relevant theory and discussion with fellow master’s degree cohort members.  

 “I was inspired to combine my professional and academic experience of blended learning into a ‘top tips’ article which could be shared and used as a practical resource for other teachers in a similar situation,” Keating explains about his motivations for the article. 

Read David Keating’s article here.

The main purpose of educational leadership is to guarantee academic success through process, training and material improvements. The students of TAMK’s Master’s Degree Programme in Educational Leadership prove their willingness and ability to steer change locally in the schools where they work, globally through networking and collaboration.

Read more about the Master's degree in Educational Leadership.