The Professional Master of Education (Music) programme is offered over four, thirteen week semesters, which take place within two academic years.
EN6151 Becoming a Teacher: Identity and Agency
This module aims to help student teachers to identify and critically analyse influences which shape the individual in becoming a teacher and to also focus on the key concepts of communication and reflection as significant processes in professional identity formation.
EN6271 Understanding Learning and Development: Psychological Perspectives
The purpose of this module is to introduce students to key concepts in educational and developmental psychology focusing on how young people learn and develop. The module will provide students with a critical understanding of key learning theories, examining behavioural, cognitive and socio-cultural perspectives and their implications for teaching, learning, motivation and assessment. Special education needs and inclusion will be addressed in terms of assessment, learning strategies and teaching (differentiation and UDL). Students will gain a critical understanding of relevant aspects of adolescent development including identity in context, peer networks, social-emotional learning, media usage and the construction of adolescence. Employing an evidence-based perspective, it aims to challenge the lay theories often associated with learning as a result of formal educational practices.
EN6171 Planning for School Placement
The purpose of this module is to prepare students for their first teaching placement by introducing key aspects associated with planning, preparation and classroom practice. Employing an evidence-based perspective, it aims to explore different approaches to planning, pedagogical techniques and classroom management.
MU6091 Music Pedagogy 1
This module facilitates the student teacher’s initial experiences in the school and in the school music department. Junior Cycle and Leaving Certificate cycle music syllabi are reviewed, critiqued and addressed in relation to issues of implementation. The module enables the student teacher to prepare their student learners for their music CBAs, 1 Composition Portfolio and 2. Programme Note, and to engage with the subsequent music SLAR meetings. Transition year music programmes are explored and designed through research and reflection. Structures of subject knowledge, innovation in the classroom, practice room and concert hall/performing platform are addressed. Music curriculum development, mixed ability teaching, alternative approaches to assessment and reflective evaluation, and current research are discussed and presented in a variety of national and international contexts. Varieties of teaching and learning styles, classroom, laboratory, concert hall organisation, the use of ICT and of music technology in the classroom, international perspectives, cultural issues and cross-curriculum aspects are explored in lecture and lab sessions. Student teachers will become active members of the Post Primary Music Teachers Association and will engage at both local branch and at national conference level.
MU6101 Music Pedagogy 2
This module explores and utilises student teachers’ own performing skills and creative music making abilities in order to address the facilitation and production in the school setting of a variety of music making possibilities. Student teachers will research and explore ensemble music, choral singing, school bands, orchestras, percussion and recorder groups, singing including vocal health, traditional Irish, popular and world musics. Dance, theatre, improvisation, accompaniment, conducting, harmony, counterpoint, composition, melodic and rhythmic writing and recognition will be central in the music lesson. The use of music technology as a teaching and learning tool, and the concept of musical literacy and numeracy will also provide a focus in practicum. Varieties of teaching styles, classroom, laboratory, performing platforms, the use of ICT and of music technology in the classroom, international perspectives, cultural issues and cross-curriculum aspects are explored in LAB sessions.
MU6042 Music Pedagogy 3
Student teachers will acquire skills related to the facilitation and production of music technology in an educational context including sequencing, the use of notational software, and recording, editing and sound production. Student teachers will develop skills in conducting in a variety of contexts. Student teachers will increase their competence specifically in vocal skills and in keyboard skills. Student teachers will develop their skills in relation to musical accompaniment with specific reference to accompanying in a classroom context, in an examination context and in relation to extra-curricular contexts in the school. Student teachers will develop their skills in relation to musical composition and arranging in a variety of contexts and musical genres. Student teachers will develop their competence in their performance of one or more musical instruments appropriate to post-primary education. Student teachers will reflect with their peers on their school placement experiences.
MU 6052 Music Pedagogy 4
Student teachers will acquire further skills related to the facilitation and production of music technology in an educational context including sequencing, the use of notational software, and recording, editing and sound production. Student teachers will develop skills in teaching music to student learners with special educational needs, recognising that music can be used to enhance learning, as a memory aid and to create wellbeing. Student teachers will develop skills in advanced conducting in a variety of contexts. Student teachers will increase their competence specifically in vocal skills, vocal health and in keyboard skills. Student teachers will further develop their skills in relation to musical accompaniment with specific reference to accompanying in a classroom context, in an examination context and in relation to extracurricular contexts in the school. Student teachers will further their skills in relation to musical composition and arranging in a variety of contexts and musical genres. Student teachers will further their competence in their performance of one or more musical instruments appropriate to post-primary education.
EN6242 Diversity of learning: SEN and Inclusive Teaching
This module aims to enhance students’ understanding of inclusion and to develop their capacity to teach inclusively in their classroom and within a whole school framework. Successful inclusion of learners with special educational needs is underpinned by an understanding of the diversity of learning. This is informed by theories and frameworks of disability (both visible and invisible) and concepts such as the Capability Approach. Particular attention is paid in this module to neurodiversity and how Universal Design for Learning (UDL) can support inclusive practice for all our learners. This module places an emphasis on the lived experience of disabled learners and we will engage with experts by experience, advocates, SEN professionals and stakeholders.
EN6182 School Placement 1
The module introduces students to their first experience of School Placement in a post-primary school setting and serves to connect the sites of practice that bridge the gap between theory and practice. This is enhanced through a pedagogical cycle of learning that includes planning, action, reflection and dialogue with university tutors, Treoraí and other school personnel. The student will explore their role as facilitators of learning through the preparation of a safe and inclusive learning environment. Students will build on knowledge and understanding, gained in their Planning for School Placement module, of the value of effective planning and preparation, how this supports the development of instructionally aligned lessons and the value of facilitating high quality teaching, learning and assessment experiences. In order to become effective members of a professional school community, students will be encouraged to explore their professional identity and agency and come to understand the value and importance of collaborative professional relationships. Through this collaborative experience, students will be supported to critically reflect on their practice.
EN6203 Teacher as Researcher 1
The purpose of this module is to develop student teachers’ educational research literacy and capacity and also their understanding of the value of practitioner research when working in or with schools. Framed within a lens of professional inquiry, student teachers will be provided with the opportunity to investigate and deepen their understanding of the needs of the school and the learning needs of pupils while on school placement. They will be challenged to derive ideas and conclusions from their research that enriches and advances their understanding of themselves as teachers and their own professional engagement and practice. This module challenges student teachers to interrogate their own professional biases and assumptions and to explore pathways to engage in evidence-based professional practice via induction into the role of teacher researcher. Drawing on Cosán, the Teaching Council’s Framework for Professional Learning, this module also encourages student teachers to understand research as a core dimension of teachers’ learning processes, central to their professional life-long learning journeys and serving as a prerequisite for continued professional growth.
EN6213 School Placement 2
This module provides opportunity for students to become fully immersed in the classroom and wider school community. Supported and guided by university tutors, Treoraí and other school personnel, students will have an opportunity to address areas of further development identified in placement 1 to positively impact their placement experience. Placement 2 will extend students’ knowledge and understanding of teaching and learning by bridging the connections between theory and practice. This module serves to enable students to develop further the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary for the planning, preparation, management, reflection and evaluation cycle associated with teaching, learning and assessment. Students will build on knowledge and understanding to prepare creative and inclusive learning environments to meet the needs of all learners. They will also explore their role as members of a professional school community by interrogating the concepts of professional identity and agency and provide opportunities for professional collaboration and communication with parents. Through a cycle of inquiry, students, supported by Treoraí, will have an opportunity to engage in research on their own practice. Students will reflect on insights and learning gained and explore implications for their practice. A suite of online tutorials provides off campus support to ensure students have the opportunity to experiment with digital technologies and engage in sustained professional collaboration. The module aims to develop self-appraisal to the highest level of critical analysis and student’s ability to reflect on their own planning and performance. Through this, students will be facilitated in identifying strengths and areas for further professional learning for Droichead.
MU6024 Music Pedagogy 5
This module enables student music teachers to engage with Ensemble Music Making and Lunchtime Concert facilitation thereby enabling student music teachers to direct these activities in a school context. Student teachers will assist in facilitating and directing lunchtime school and community music concerts at Irish World Academy of Music and Dance during semester. Student teachers will arrange and perform their own class lunchtime concert which demonstrates the inclusivity of school music. These experiences both in facilitation and in performance will lead to well informed music teachers as musical directors who will have the ability to guide their student learners in a variety of school contexts.
MU6014 Music Education Independent Study
This module offers student music teachers the opportunity to pursue self-directed learning of an academic, composition or performance-based project, under the guidance of the course director and an elective supervisor. The student teacher may wish to use the independent study to pursue more specialised study in their area of study, or to access the other areas of expertise available at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance and at the University of Limerick. These currently include Classical String Performance, Community Music, Composition and Creative Music Practice, Contemporary Dance Performance, Development Education, Ethnochoreology, Ethnomusicology, Irish Dance Studies, Irish Music Studies, Irish Traditional Dance Performance, Irish Traditional Music Performance, Music Education, Music Technology, Music Therapy, Vocal Studies, Ritual Chant and Song, Songwriting, World Music, School and Community Lunchtime Concerts, and the possibility of engaging with doctoral researchers at the Academy and in the wider University Community.
EN6134 Curriculum and Professional Agency
This module follows School Placement and affords student teachers the opportunity to critically reflect on their experiences. Student teachers will identify and question assumptions they hold about the nature of teaching, learning, schooling and curriculum in cooperative groups that model collegial learning and cultivate research capacity. Student teachers will reflect on the collective meaning and purpose of education and curriculum. The module encourages student teachers to consider and reflect on their role, as professionals, in the teaching profession in Ireland, as well as in curriculum, curriculum development, consultation and curriculum reform. Student teachers will synthesise the meaning of teacher professionalism and will deepen their analysis of their emergent identities as members of the teaching profession. Concepts are explored from a macro, mezzo and micro perspective and student teachers are encouraged to critically reflect on practices from their school placements. Concepts are explored through a conceptual framework of teacher professionalism that emphasises teacher agency, critical decision-making and life-long learning.
EN6154 History, Policy and Contemporary Issues in Education
The objective of this module is to allow student teachers to examine educational policy and institutions in their historical context. The module is also designed to reflect changes and current trends in modern Irish society and locate professional practice in its broader context. In particular, the module will outline the relationship between the social, economic and political structures of modern Ireland and the education system, as well as internationally, particularly in the context of the EU and the OECD. It will enhance students’ understanding of the historical sociology of the Irish education system and enable them to think critically about it. Students will be familiarised with a global dimension to education whereby students become familiar with international actors and influencers that impact on the Irish education system. Education Disadvantage will be explored from the perspective of a Whole Schools Approach, such as that outlined by the EU in its Whole School Approach to tackling early school leaving. Such approaches invite professional relationships and working with parents. The Inspectorate’s (2016) Looking at our School: A Quality Framework for Post-Primary Schools recognises engagement with parents as a critical aspect in the development of the quality framework.
EN6204 Teacher as Researcher 2
Drawing on the insights gained in ‘Teacher as Researcher 1′, this module revisits and deepens the student teachers’ understanding of and commitment to ‘teachers as researchers’, supporting also their synthesis, analysis and discussion of data collected on school placement. Student teachers will also be supported in sharing their research with their peers, advancing their educational research literacy and their commitment to the development of collaborative communities of inquiry.
EN6144 Sociology Perspectives on Diversity and Social Justice in Schools
The various dimensions of diversity (e.g. ‘race’, ethnicity, socio-economic status, gender, sexuality, religion, ability) are core to humanity. Every individual is positioned in relation to and intersected by each of these dimensions. Diversity is also structural. Societies stratify and order populations along these lines such that individuals accrue privileges and disadvantages from the various dimensions of diversity in intersectional ways. Schools are microcosms of societies and are reflective of and permeated by the social worlds in which they exist. Framed by broader literature, this module explores the core topics of diversity and social justice in the specificity of the Irish education system. Drawing on sociological perspectives, students will be supported to learn about and reflect on the intersectional dimensions of diversity in schools and society from structural and relational perspectives. Key ethical values for teachers in Ireland are ‘to uphold human dignity and promote equality’; ‘demonstrate respect for spiritual and cultural values, diversity, social justice’ and demonstrate ’empathy in practice’ (Teaching Council, 2016). Ultimately, this module will support student teachers in fostering these ethical values and build their capacity to become champions of social justice and address inequalities in schools.
Course assessment is based on school placement, research portfolio, continuous assessment and semester assignments/examinations.