Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Critical Issues for School Leaders

LEVEL 05 - Postgraduate Modular Diploma or Degree Course


DEPARTMENT Faculty of Education

DESCRIPTION This study-unit will be engaging the students with issues such as: race, class, gender, ethnicity, relationships, sexuality, families and additional support. Leaders in educational institutions and environments need to be aware of the challenges some of these issues pose when planning and programming.

Often such topics challenge the concept of ‘normalisation’ that tends to make us think and act as if society is made from one voice and identity. These issues not only make the norm uncomfortable, but often also ‘other’ particular groups of children and adults. This study-unit addresses such issues and complexities and aims at challenging the educational leaders. It also aims to question the idea of certainty when it comes to leaders' decision making and tolerating uncertainty.

These issues will be discussed in a transversal way in the following themes. This approach is taken as to concretise these issues in educational context and situations:
1. Families;
2. Language;
3. Curriculum and Assessment;
4. Learning and Motivation;
5. Inclusive schools.

Study-unit Aims:

The aim of this study-unit is to:
1. Familiarise students with a number of ‘critical issues’ (race, class, gender, ethnicity, relationships, sexuality, and additional support) that pose a challenge to educational environments and institutions;
2. Help students be aware of the complexity and often messiness of these issues, where very often the urge on our part is to iron out such complexities;
3. Bring about an ethical and political discourse in these critical issues, together with a discourse of responsibility.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

1. define and summarize some of the debates, concerns and dilemmas around the issues of race, class, gender, ethnicity, relationships, sexuality, and additional support;
2. analyze critically some of the concerns that underpin these issues;
3. acknowledge the ethical and political implications that these issues have on educational environments;
4. provide a critique of the institution they are working in, in relation to these 'critical issues' and provide recommendations that would help their institutions improve in relation to the critical issues.

2. Skills:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

1. appreciate issues of diversity and also become aware of the homogeneous positions that are taken in relation to these issues;
2. demonstrate how various educational institutions deal with these critical issues and respond to them;
3. examine what ethical and political responsibility they have in relation to these 'critical issues'.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Present and future Educational Policies which will be referred to the following are the main policy texts:
- National Minimum Curriculum :Creating the Future Together (1999)
- Tomorrow’s Schools: Developing Effective Learning Cultures (1995)
- Code of Behaviour and Discipline in Government Schools (1999)
- Child Protection Procedures for Schools (1999)
- Inclusive Education: Policy Regarding Students With a Disability (2000)

all the above documents are found from

Given the diverse themes covered in this study-unit, a reading pack will be made available for the students.

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture and Independent Study

Assessment Component/s Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment Yes 100%

LECTURER/S Christopher G. Bezzina (Co-ord.)
Maria Montebello
Alfred Sant Fournier

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The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the study-unit description above applies to the academic year 2019/0, if study-unit is available during this academic year, and may be subject to change in subsequent years.