Core Courses

​Core Courses

  1. Curriculum, Teaching and Learning
  2. Assessment of/for Learning
  3. Educational Inquiry
  4. Teacher Learning
  5. Leadership in Education
  6. Educational Change
  7. Academic Literacy

1. Curriculum, Teaching and Learning

This course has been specifically designed to develop Course Participants (CPs) conceptual foundation and skill in the areas of curriculum, teaching and learning. The course examines the interplay of a number of models, orientations, trends, the practice and broader context on the curriculum, teaching and learning.

The course will enable CPs to develop a holistic understanding and identify the inter-linkages between curriculum, teaching and learning. Thus the course will prepare the CPs to be able to critically review a given curriculum document and suggest viable changes, against a framework based on the models, orientations, current trends, practice and the broader social context.

Upon successful completion of this CPs will be able to:

  • Distinguish between curriculum models and orientations.
  • Identify different influences on and trends in the curriculum.
  • Explain curriculum development processes.
  • Review the curriculum based on a framework in relation to the models, orientations, trends, practice and context.
  • Distinguish between the different teaching approaches.
  • Identify key features of the various learning theories.
  • Identify some factors that support and hinder learning of self and others.
  • Identify and describe the relationship between curriculum, teaching and learning.

2. Assessment of/for Learning

The course aims to help CPs conceptualize and articulate processes and issues involved in student assessment with an assumption that assessment of student learning is a process to improve teaching and learning in schools. 

The course aims to advance CPs’ beliefs and practices from traditional assessment framework that merely measures and certifies the limited knowledge outcomes to address broad learning outcomes, that is, cognitive, affective and psychomotor. In addition, the course aims to improve CPs’ content knowledge of assessment as well as introducing them to practical assessment strategies.

The course should help CPs in the following ways:

  • Understand the meaning, purpose and principles of assessment.
  • Formative and summative assessment and their implication.
  • Development and analysis of various assessment tasks.
  • Development of assessment criteria, marking scheme and feedback.
  • Issues related to assessment for/of student’s learning.

3. Educational Inquiry

The aim of this core course is to develop an understanding of the significance of inquiry in education and enable CPs to become critical consumers of educational research for enhancing professional practice.

The aim of the course is to introduce CPs to the principal elements of quantitative research and the qualitative research. These include major research designs, methods of data collection, strategies for analyses and issues involved in designing a research project. Computer lab work, where CPs are required to engage with data analyses, will be a major feature of the course. 

After taking this course CPs should be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of different approaches to inquiry and related methods.
  • Read critically research articles and reports and identify characteristics of good research.
  • Engage in inquiry on a topic or question through review of relevant literature.
  • Examine the use of the research findings for enhancing their professional practice
  • Use some commonly used methods of research in education such as survey, action research, experimental research and case study.
  • Identify and describe the ethical and methodological issues in research.
  • Develop a project plan and explain the essential components of a project report.

4. Teacher Learning

The fundamental aim of the course is to reconceptualize the notion and ways of teacher learning to enable CPs to develop knowledge, skills and attitude so that they can investigate, conceptualize and implement ways and strategies of teacher learning. 

Thus, the fundamental question that this course addresses is: How do teachers learn? Following this question other related questions are: what are some of the ways in which teachers learn within a context? Why is it important to know how teachers learn? What are some of the formal and informal ways in which teachers learn? What are the ways in which teacher learning and development can be further enhanced? How can teacher learning programmes be evaluated?

As a result of the course the CPs will be able to: 

  • Reconceptualize the notion and importance of teacher learning and development.
  • Enhance their knowledge, skills and dispositions to become reflective teachers and teacher educators.
  • Recognize various strategies and ways of teacher learning and development such as teacher’s lives in a context, mentoring, peer coaching, action research and professional portfolio and to be able to apply some strategies.
  • Critically analyze the current status or practices of teacher learning and development in various contexts.
  • Evaluate teacher learning programmes.
  • Identify and critically analyze the emerging trends in teacher learning.

5. Leadership in Education

This course is designed to help CPs to reconceptualise the notions of educational leadership from a person, a post and an authority, to a relationship, a culture and an influence for developing a better understanding of the dynamics of leading schools and its implications on their roles and responsibilities as effective educational leaders. 

The course will facilitate CPs to develop an in-depth understanding and critical awareness of the literature in the field as well as help develop understanding to address the challenges related to the field of Educational Leadership and Management. Hence, the course attempts to balance theory and practice, by exposing CPs initially to the theoretical underpinnings of leadership and management and thereafter exposing them to the competing tensions of management and leadership practices in the educational institutions/schools. 

At the end of the course, the CPs will be able to:

  • Understand the concept and nature of educational leadership.
  • Distinguish between toxic and intoxic leadership behaviour.
  • Identify key leadership attributes and qualities of effective educational leaders
  • Develop contextually relevant leadership approaches.
  • Inquire, reflect and proactively respond to emerging issues in management and leadership in education.
  • Analyse the role of pedagogical leader in managing change effectively in schools/ educational institutions.
  • Recognise the role of teachers as leaders.
  • Represent effective educational leadership in schools/institutions.

6. Educational Change

The mission of AKU-IED is to bring about reforms in educational systems by increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of schools and educational institutions. This mission is realized through human resource development, institutional capacity building, research and dissemination and policy analysis and advocacy. 

Therefore, all courses offered at AKU-IED embed educational reform and change. What this course intends to offer is a critical reflection on the  educational context of classroom and school life,  teachers and leaders  and an understanding of how change is a complex  yet inevitable phenomenon.

The course will facilitate course participants to:

  • Analyze the factors, perspectives and entities that influence educational change.
  • Examine their respective stance toward their roles as change agents.
  • Write reflectively about personal experiences of change.
  • Examine their own use of an educational innovation (i.e. investigate the research/theory that motivated it, how it became translated into guidelines at various policy levels, how it was used and influences on what happened at various levels).
  • Have enhanced understanding about the notion of change and strategies to manage educational change effectively.

7. Academic Literacy

For the purposes of the course, ‘Academic Literacy’ is defined as the integration of operational, discoursal and critical literacies with digital literacy as the recurring thread. Here, digital literacy gets represented by Virtual Learning Environments.

Thus, the four aspects the course draws on are:

  • Operational literacy
  • Discoursal literacy
  • Critical literacy
  • Digital literacy

Academic Literacy aims at helping graduate students engage with and respond to academic discourse as part of their studies at the university level.  This broad course aim is distributed across the specific course outcomes for the three tiers, each of which are described as follows: 

Academic Literacy I is the first tier wherein the focus is more on operational literacy, i.e. the operations or mechanisms involved in academic reading and writing at the university level. In this, the CPs will be helped in understanding and working with processes such as analysis, synthesis, reflection, summarizing, critiquing, organizing ideas, etc. 

Academic Literacy II is the second tier wherein the focus is more on discoursal literacy, also referred to as ‘genre’ in this tier. In this, work is undertaken on those academic genres that emerge from the second semester’s assessed tasks. In the past, Academic Literacy II included genre such as academic papers, article critiques, article summaries, reflective writing, case studies, profiles, academic reports, field-study reports, presentations and portfolios. 

Academic Literacy III is the third and final tier wherein along with the previous two foci, the focus rests upon critical literacy paired with a research perspective. In this, CPs are facilitated with a head start in reading and writing for educational research.  They receive guidance in reading and writing research problems, researchable questions, abstracts, literature reviews, statements of purpose, data analysis, etc. ​