In January this year 25 teachers from around New Zealand took time off from their summer holiday to be students themselves. For most of the teachers this was the start of their third year of part-time study for a Master of Educational Leadership.
The degree is taught and awarded by the Australian Catholic University in Wellington and administered by the Wellington Catholic Education Centre. The present group is the fourth cohort of students to study for this degree at WCEC. A new cohort will be starting in July 2006.
Graduates from the programme are the best advertisement for the Masters with many of the students applying to join the 2006 intake having heard about the programme from a current or graduate student. A significant number of teachers have expressed interest in studying in the next intake.
Although the Masters is specifically related to leadership in a Catholic context, this degree also attracts students from the state school system and from non-Catholics. The degree is values-based and covers dimensions, such as spirituality and ethics, which similar programmes may not.
There has been an exceptionally high rate of satisfaction from participating students regarding learning, content, the block teaching mode of delivery and the applied nature of the degree. Students hold demanding full-time positions and yet manage extremely well with the requirements of the degree.
Since the start of the programme a number of students have applied for and gained positions as principals, deputy principals, assistant principals, directors of religious studies and other positions of leadership. Students who are already principals have found the degree most valuable also.
The feedback from the courses held in January was very positive:
• (The Master of Educational Leadership is a) brilliant course with challenging, engaging content and a great’≈°√É‚Äû’¬†team to’≈°√É‚Äû’¬†learn with. I have found this the best profession development for my current leadership position.’ secondary teacher.
• The papers are stimulating and thought provoking, with excellent tutors. In cohort D we have an atmosphere of support and comradeship that allows us to discuss freely and challenge our thinking; this, together with the wonderful friendships that have been made, make the Masters papers a success before you have even passed!’ primary principal.
If anyone is interested in undertaking this degree, please phone Susan on 4961755.