EDM194-Professionalism in the 21st Century

Module Provider: Institute of Education
Number of credits: 30 [15 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring / Summer / Autumn module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2021/2

Module Convenor: Prof Alan Floyd
Email: alan.floyd@reading.ac.uk

Module Co-convenor: Dr Naomi Flynn
Email: n.flynn@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:

Professional arenas are increasingly subject to government intervention, ostensibly to improve organisational as well as individual effectiveness, with an emphasis on standards, coupled strongly with mechanisms of accountability and deep economic concerns about needs for the rationalisation of resources. The aim of this module is to explore the changing nature of education professions, and attendant notions of professionalism, against this backdrop. Content draws on current research evidence, key concepts and academic debates in order to develop students’ own critical reflection on their professionalism and their readiness to undertake practice-oriented empirical research.


  • To develop an understanding of the key concepts and issues related to professionalism across all sectors of education including values, subject knowledge, identity and ethics. 

  • To critically examine literature, theories, frameworks and conceptual models of professionalism from education, and elsewhere, and relate these to practice

  • To enable participants to theorise and enhance their practice through critically engaged reflection on their own professionalism

  • To provide an opportunity for participants to undertake a small-scale research study within their own institution exploring an aspect of professionalism.

Assessable learning outcomes:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the key concepts and issues surrounding professionalism and how these relate to political, cultural and societal influences

  • Critically examine literature, theories, frameworks and conceptual models of professionalism from education and elsewhere and relate these to practice

  • Reflect upon and enhance their own practice as educational professionals

  • Demonstrate their ability to select and employ appropria te research methods in relation to their research focus

Additional outcomes:

  • Students will have developed increased depth to their understanding of a substantial body of knowledge relating to professional values, identity and practices.

  • Students will have increased their ability to communicate complex information in both oral and written communication

Outline content:

  • Educational Professionals in Context – Global and Local issues

  • Professional Values

  • Professional Knowledge

  • Professional Identities and Cultures

  • Ethics

  • Trust and Accountability

  • Professional Development

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 7 7 7
Tutorials 3 3 3
Guided independent study: 90 90 90
Total hours by term 100 100 100
Total hours for module 300

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 100

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Students will undertake a small-scale research project (on a topic of your choice) which applies a theme within the module to an appropriate professional context. The research needs to be supported by an evaluative and critical literature review. You will also need to follow appropriate ethical guidelines and provide evidence of this (e.g. include an appropriate information sheet, consent form, etc. in your appendix).

The research project should then be written up and submitted as a research report of 6,000 words. Further details on the suggested layout and content of this report will be given during the module and posted on Blackboard.

The assignment will be marked against the standard Level 7 criteria outlined in the Programme Handbook.

Notes of guidance for writing assignments and bibliographic conventions can be found in the programme handbook.

The assignment should be submitted electronically via Blackboard. Your marked assignment will be available to view online 15 working days after the hand in date.

Formative assessment methods:

Students will receive feedback on their research proposal (before they undertake data collection). They will also be able to receive feedback on one draft of their final submission.

Penalties for late submission:

The below information applies to students on taught programmes except those on Postgraduate Flexible programmes. Penalties for late submission, and the associated procedures, which apply to Postgraduate Flexible programmes are specified in the policy “Penalties for late submission for Postgraduate Flexible programmes”, which can be found here: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/files/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmissionPGflexible.pdf
The Support Centres will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.
The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

Assessment requirements for a pass:

50% overall

Reassessment arrangements:

One resubmission only. Resubmission is negotiated to be no longer than three calendar months of the notification of failure

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

  1. Required text books: None

  2. Specialist equipment or materials: None

  3. Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear: None

  4. Printing and binding: None

  5. Computers and devices with a particular specification: None

  6. Travel, accommodation and subsistence: None

Last updated: 8 April 2021


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