Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2011-2012 (archived)

Module EDUC40920: Creating the Learning Cycle

Department: Education

EDUC40920: Creating the Learning Cycle

Type Tied Level 4 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2011/12 Module Cap None.
Tied to MTL Programme


  • Module 1 and Module 2.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To enable students to broaden and embed their understanding of how they support the learning cycle as teachers.
  • To enable students to connect outcomes of learning with planning for, facilitating and assessing learning


  • This module relates to phase 2 of the MTL programme as one of the four 20 credit modules comprising phase 2 as described in the National Framework. The overall aim of this phase is ‘to broaden and progressively embed the participant’s professional attributes, knowledge, skills and understanding through expert input, enquiry and the use of evidence within their own context’ (National Framework).
  • The module builds on achievements in phase 1. As well as core provision for all participants, phase 2 provides personalised learning opportunities in relation to each of the four content areas: teaching and learning, assessment for learning; subject knowledge for teaching, curriculum and curriculum development; inclusion, how children and young people develop and learn and the management of their behaviour; leadership and management working with others.
  • Students will develop their understanding of their practice as subject specialists by reflecting on how they support the learning cycle through their work as planners, facilitators and assessors of learning. The learning cycle is designed as an ongoing process of reflection, planning and action. The module creates an opportunity for students to explore the impact of continuous reflection, action and observation on a specific class or group of learners.
  • Specific input on national strategies, frameworks and other current aspects relating to the development of pedagogical practices will be included.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • A systematic understanding of research, national frameworks and practical knowledge in relation to the four content areas (described in the MTL Framework) drawn on appropriately to develop students’ practice. (LO3)
Subject-specific Skills:
  • an ability to critically reflect on and analyse the impact of different teaching and learning strategies on different groups of children and young people. (LO6)
Key Skills:
  • An open and questioning mindset in developing professional practice (LO12)

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • There will be HEI input from tutors through lectures, seminars and workshops. Lectures will be used to launch each module and introduce the students to new material relevant to the module topic. They will address research literature and national frameworks in relation to the four content areas (described in the MTL Framework). The associated seminars and workshops will help students to critically reflect on and analyse the impact of different teaching and learning strategies on young people. The seminars will also support students so they have a clear idea of how to approach the assessment tasks and how to integrate relevant theoretical and research literature to underpin practice.
  • Students will also receive one-to-one in-school support from coaches. HEI tutors will visit schools to provide extra support in the work context. Participants will also engage in directed and independent study and school-based tasks.
  • Assessment is by written work of 3,500 words.
  • The task of writing a reflective piece for a journal will draw on their understanding of research and national frameworks (LO3). The task of writing a guide based on lessons plans will allow them to demonstrate understanding of how learning strategies impact on outcomes (LO6). The need to think about a particular audience will require an open and questioning mindset (LO12).
  • Role of the coach
  • To support the student in selecting a class or group of students for further enquiry
  • To supervise and support the student as s/he implements the learning cycle with the identified group, for example by making lesson observations, enabling opportunities for reflective discussions and prompting changes in practice
  • Role of the HEI tutor
  • To provide input on specific, current pedagogical practices
  • To provide tutorial support for preparation and formative assessment of the assignment
  • Students will complete two assignments:
  • 1. A reflection piece – either a “think-piece” for publication or an edited learning journal
  • 2. A written rationale drawing on practice, policy and theory relating to module content that provides the thinking behind the development of either:
  • a suite of original lesson plans or
  • a guide for learners, colleagues or ITT trainee teachers. The set of lesson plans or guide should be submitted with the rationale.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 2 Conference 1 hour 2
Seminars/workshops 3 Conference 2 hours 6
HEI tutorial support 1 Visit to school 2 hours 2
Coach support 5 Weekly for 5 weeks* 2 hours 10
Preparation, Reading, School-based tasks. 180
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Assignment Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
1. Reflective piece 1750 words 50% Yes
2. Practitioner rationale 1750 words 50% Yes

Formative Assessment:

This will be through tutorial support offering feedback on draft assignments.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University