Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2014-2015 (archived)

Module EDUC42830: Enhancing Learning through Professional Enquiry

Department: Education

EDUC42830: Enhancing Learning through Professional Enquiry

Type Tied Level 4 Credits 30 Availability Available in 2014/15 Module Cap
Tied to MTL Programme


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To provide the student with opportunities to develop reflective practice – that is, an informed, enquiring, self-motivated approach to professional practice and learning
  • To introduce methods of engaging in professional enquiry relating to practice
  • To enable the student to engage critically with relevant literature


  • This module relates to Phase 1 of the MTL National Framework which is intended, ‘to develop professional knowledge, skills and understanding through enquiry and the use of evidence, in a new context’. This module constitutes 30 of the 40 level 4 credits required to complete Phase 1 of the MTL. It is complemented by Module 2 (10 credits).
  • Phase 1 is intended to build on ITT or previous professional learning and offer personalised learning opportunities based on initial diagnosis to
  • develop aspects of knowledge, skills and understanding in relation to the four content areas
  • develop skills of enquiry and the use of evidence
  • develop the participants’ professional practice in a new context.
  • The module focuses on the professional knowledge and understanding of a teacher articulated through the four content areas of the National Framework for MTL.
  • Content area 1
  • teaching and learning, with particular attention to personalisation and applied learning (in the light of 14-19 developments)
  • assessment for learning, diagnostic skills, including the use of performance data for pupil tracking
  • Content area 2
  • subject knowledge for teaching
  • curriculum and curriculum development, literacy, numeracy, 14-19 developments and ICT
  • Content area 3
  • how children and young people develop, how they learn, and the management of their behaviour
  • managing additional needs and inclusion, including socio-economic background, disability, G&T, SEN, BME, EAL, narrowing achievement gaps and contributing to social mobility
  • Content area 4
  • leadership and management, including for subjects or curriculum areas
  • working with others, collaboratively, in and beyond the classroom – the school workforce, employers and the children’s workforce, including FE and working with parents and carers
  • The module will include an introduction to theories of learning. Participants will be encouraged to investigate how these apply in practice using their classroom experiences. Coach and tutor support will help students identify critical incidents occurring in the classroom that relate to different learning theories. From a bank of events, students will be helped to select one incident for further development and enquiry.
  • By introducing methods of professional enquiry, the student will be supported in conducting an investigation into the selected incident – reading literature to understand the event in greater depth, collecting further evidence and reflecting on how theory and practice interact.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • draw on and critique a knowledge base, related to the four content areas of MTL (LO1)
Subject-specific Skills:
  • undertake a critical and enquiry-based approach to their professional practice so that it continuously impacts effectively on the outcomes for children and young people (LO5)
  • engage in collaborative learning opportunities in their specialist professional field and through planning for further professional development (LO10)
Key Skills:

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 the module and introduce the students to new material relevant to the module topic. They will introduce theories of learning and will support students in drawing on and critiquing a knowledge base in relation to the four content areas (described in the MTL Framework). The associated seminars and workshops will help students to understand and formulate ideas related to a critical and enquiry-based approach to professional practice which will provide the foundation for the assessment task.
  • 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 5,000 words.
  • The assessment task will require students to use their knowledge of theory (LO1) to analyse a critical incident. Their written analysis will allow them to demonstrate that they can adopt a critical, enquiry based practitioner approach (LO5; LO10).
  • Role of school-based coach in module delivery
  • To aid student in identifying and recording critical incidents
  • To aid student in identifying a critical incident for further investigation
  • To support the student carrying out the investigation (see task 2)
  • Role of HEIs in module delivery
  • To provide background academic content to support the learning outcomes of the module
  • To liaise with student and school-based coach to ensure progress is being maintained
  • To contribute to a Consortium-organised central electronic resource bank to act as a literature base
  • Assessment will be by two written tasks:- 1. An account of the critical incident selected for further enquiry which outlines why this was chosen in the context of learning theories. 2. An investigation of the critical incident that uses a method of practitioner enquiry to probe the event further and demonstrates critical reflection on and understanding of relevant literature.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 4 Conference 1 hour 4
Seminars/workshops 4 Conference 2 hours 8
HEI tutorial support 1 Visit to school 2 hours 2
Coach support 8 Weekly for 8 weeks 2 hours 16
Preparation, Reading, School-based tasks 270
Total 300

Summative Assessment

Component: Assignment Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
1. Critical Incident 1500 words 40% Yes
2 Investigative enquiry 3500 words 60% Yes

Formative Assessment:

Feedback will be offered on a draft version of both assignments at an appropriate stage prior to submission.

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