Sorensen, N and La Velle, L (2013) 'Catching the sparks: an evaluation of the early development of a novel Master’s degree in teaching and learning.' Journal of Education for Teaching, 39 (1). pp. 74-92. ISSN 0260-7476

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The introduction of the Master’s in Teaching and Learning (MTL) was a significant milestone in the continuing professional development of teachers, signalling the intention that teaching could become a master’s-level profession. This initiated a distinctive approach to school improvement requiring schools and higher education institutions (HEI) to work in partnership in order to offer this qualification to teachers. Within the south-west of England, Transform gained the contract to offer the MTL and subsequently developed an innovative collaborative approach to the design and implementation of this new qualification. Against a background of critical, and at times hostile, professional and media responses, the MTL was introduced in January 2010, and Transform began to deliver the MTL to eligible teachers from Easter 2010. An evaluation of Phase 1 of the MTL, commissioned by Transform in October 2010, focused on the three principal stakeholders in the MTL partnership (the HEI co-ordinators and tutors, school-based coaches and MTL participants in the scheme). This paper documents the process and findings of that evaluation and asks questions about what has been gained from an initiative that promised so much, was hindered throughout the process of development and was then stopped before it had any chance of making a significant impact on the nature of teachers’ professional development. Was the MTL ‘a revolution in teacher education or a bright light quickly extinguished?’. This paper argues that the latter was the case and concludes by identifying some ‘sparks’ that could inform future good practice in postgraduate professional development.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Masters in Teaching and Learning, evaluation, practice-based professional development
Divisions: Institute for Education
Date Deposited: 04 Feb 2013 11:41
Last Modified: 01 Apr 2015 11:03
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