Award: 10 credits at level 9 towards the 30 Credit Professional Diploma in Education Studies (PDES- Leadership) award
Duration: 13/09/2014 - 05/12/2014
Start Date: 13/09/2014 (Semester 1)

EDUC41620 Contemporary Issues for School Leadership

The rise and rise of a neo-liberal agenda in Education and public policy more generally has crystalised around new public management under the twin towers of autonomy and accountability. The module interrogates this pervasive policy agenda and the manner in which it plays out in terms of national policy and school practices, with particular reference to the lives and work of principals and teachers and the impact of recent policy initiatives including School Self Evaluation and the Literacy and Numeracy Policy. The national policy discourse is situated within international social movements, and a key anchoring concern throughout is what does professional responsibility and leadership practice in schools entail in these changing times.

Learning Outcomes On completion of this module, student will be able to:

  1. Clearly articulate the shaping international influences on contemporary national policy agenda, particularly regarding autonomy and accountability.
  2. Interrogate national policy documents from the perspective of autonomy and accountability.
  3. Create a constructive critique of dominant policy agenda from a practice perspective.
  4. Identify and locate the issue of self-evaluation within wider discourses of accountability and professional responsibility.
  5. Indicate possible futures for teacher professional responsibility and their agency in creating that future for the benefit of learners and the teaching profession.



% of Final Grade


The assessment of this module is in the form of a 3,000 word essay that integrates different components of the module



Group/individual policy position paper/ presentation (2000 words)

Contribution to online discussion 10% ongoing                         


Week 8

Mode of Delivery/Expected Commitment

This is a blended module where students are required to attend college seminars at the UCD campus as part of the course one/two evenings and one Saturday over the course of the semester.They are also required to contribute to a weekly online discussion forum for 1 hour over the course of the semester.

The expected workload is as follows:

  • Lectures online during the semester (independent student work on online material): 40 hours
  • Attendance at seminars on campus: 8 hours
  • Contribution to weekly online discussion forum: 10 hours
  • Policy position paper: 30 hours   
  • Student Autonomous Learning (additional reading etc): 80 hours
  • End of semester written assignment: 30 hours