EDM001-Developing expertise in teaching

Module Provider: Institute of Education
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Mrs Rachel Roberts

Email: r.l.roberts@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:

The concept of the expert or excellent teacher is now a global concern and this module will critically examine this issue and the various models emerging across the world.  In considering what constitutes an ‘expert’ and how the stages of development might be characterised, we will review, amongst others, the Dreyfus brothers’ model of expertise and Ericcson’s notion of ‘deliberate practice’.  How does an education system recruit good teachers, then identify those who are excellent and retain them in the classroom?  Should such recognition just be a status or should it be a designation?  Do the public and politicians relate to teachers as expert professionals or glorified child minders?  In considering teacher expertise, we will review some of the major theorists who have influenced teaching and learning, e.g. Dewey, Schon, and Hattie and examine some of the key ideas about what characterises the best teaching.   Whilst this module does not promise to make students into an expert teacher, it will enable students to examine practical concerns such as observation, feedback, peer review and the use of professional standards. The emphasis throughout will be on what we ‘know’ about expertise in teaching and students will consistently be asked to draw on their practice and reflections.


To review theories of teaching and learning with a focus on teacher expertise

To examine current practices and policies that relate to teaching and professional status

To consider teaching and learning in a global as well as national context

Assessable learning outcomes:

Demonstrate knowledge of theories of teaching and learning

Demonstrate reflection on practical experience as a teacher and/or learner

Demonstrate knowledge of recent research related to the assignment topic

Demonstrate critical engagement with theories and related research

Additional outcomes:

Outline content:

The module will examine the nature of expertise in relation to teaching and how this is conceptualised through policy and practice in a range of contexts.  Teaching’s contested status as a profession is explored as well as the performative nature of teacher evaluation as part of performance management.  The value of expert teacher designations (such as the now defunct Advanced Skills Teacher role in England) across the globe are considered; do these sufficiently promote expertise development?  What role does CPD have in expertise development?  Does the Global Teacher Prize motivate or divide teachers?  Why do experts and novices plan differently?

In considering such issues, we will review some of the major theorists who have influenced teaching and learning, with specific focus on key figures such as Dreyfus and Dreyfus, Schon and Hattie.  The emphasis throughout will be on what we ‘know’ about expertise in teaching and students will be asked to reflect on their own practice. 

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Tutor led sessions will predominate in the first half of the module with students reviewing material provided. However, each session will typically involve reviewing a key text; examples of classroom teaching; case studies of classroom events and other materials that stimulate discussion and analysis.  Seminars will usually contain a combination of learning activities, including both small group and whole class discussion. 

The second half of the module will also involve student-led discussions, with students encouraged to offer presentations.  These are not assessed but enable students to investigate a particular paper or topic related to expertise in teaching in some depth, and to share this with the group.  Students are encouraged to draw on their own experience of teaching and context throughout the module.  There will be a session providing guidance on the assignment, including a list of possible titles.  Students will then negotiate their assignment title with the module convener, for which tutorial guidance is provided. 

There may be contributions from other University staff and local professionals working in schools. 


Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Seminars 30
Tutorials 1
Guided independent study 169
Total hours by term 200.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 100

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Students must produce a 4,500 word essay on a topic negotiated with the module leader; the essay must review a significant topic related to expertise in teaching appropriately supported by evidence and properly referenced.

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guidePG.aspx

Assessment requirements for a pass:
Students must achieve 50%

Reassessment arrangements:

Resubmissions must be submitted within one calendar month of the notification of failure.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
1) Required text books: There are no set texts for this course. However, there is some pre-session recommended reading: Chapter 1 of Reflective Teaching, ed. A.Pollard and Part 1 Section 1 of Readings for Reflective Teaching ed A.Pollard
Required and supplied reading: The effective, extended professional, Chapter 1 of The Expert Teacher of English, Goodwyn (2012). All of these texts are available as both hard and e-copies via the university library.

2) Specialist equipment or materials:
3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
4) Printing and binding:
5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

Last updated: 20 April 2018


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