M Ed / Structured PhD in Literacy Education
The Department of Language and Literacy Education, Mary Immaculate College is pleased to announce a Structured PhD/M Ed in Literacy Education in response to recommendations for high quality professional development in effective literacy instructional practice in recent policy reports at national level including the National Strategy for Literacy and Numeracy 2011-2020, Cosán 2016, Action Plan for Education 2017 and DEIS 2017.
The Structured PhD/M Ed in Literacy Education is a two-year part-time Masters programme or a four-year Doctoral programme which endeavours to promote the development of research, critical thinking and communication skills within the context of the evolving nature of literacy in the twenty first century.
In line with national and international recommendations, this programme seeks to promote literacy leaders within schools and communities whose literacy knowledge reflects the highest standards of academic rigour. It will be of particular interest to classroom teachers, aspiring literacy leaders, school principals, policy makers and those engaged in the provision of continued professional development in the area of Literacy Education.
Participants will explore the trajectory of children’s language and literacy development and a range of appropriate instructional approaches for the promotion of same. The programme will be delivered through blended learning approaches and will provide participants with the opportunity, in a collaborative setting, to reflect critically and synthesise key issues, debates, and controversies in Literacy Education.
The Structured PhD/M Ed in Literacy Education at MIC aims to:
- Encourage participants to create original and unique research that contributes to knowledge and innovation in the promotion of Literacy Education nationally and internationally
- Enhance participants’ knowledge of key cognitive, socio-cultural and linguistic theories of language and literacy acquisition and development through a theoretically-aware matrix of teaching methodologies and seminars
- Develop a professional learning community that displays the ability to reflect critically on national and international policy and practice in Literacy Education
Testimonial from Ciara Dowling, M Ed in Literacy Education Graduate 2020
I had always considered returning to education to undertake a masters. As part of my undergraduate course for primary teaching I specialised in the area of Language and Literacy and with the introduction of the MEd in Literacy Education at MIC in September 2018, I felt that this was the right course for me. This course has given me with the opportunity to grow as a teacher, providing me with a more in-depth understanding of Literacy acquisition and development, the role of a Literacy leader, and critical approaches to teaching children’s literature. It enabled me to undertake a piece of research in an area of Literacy that I am interested in and with no previous experience in completing a research study, the research methods modules, workshops, and support of my supervisor guided me throughout the process. I gained research skills; analytical skills; critical and evaluative skills over the duration of the course.
The lecturers and guest lecturers had a wide range of literacy backgrounds, covering various aspects of literacy development in the 21st century, giving each student the opportunity to find what they were interested in, and pursue this area for their own research study. Throughout the programme of study, the lecturers were very approachable and supportive, showing great interest in our studies, wanting us to do well. The diversity of the student cohort provided a variety of insights into a number of fields including adult literacy, speech and language therapy, and the work of librarians. Their insights and experiences added significantly to the richness of the course. The small nature of the cohort enabled an abundance of opportunities for interaction between lecturers and students, creating authentic opportunities for knowledge development in Literacy. This also meant that lecturers knew us individually by name; and allowed us to get to know all students in the cohort. The blended method of learning meant that some weekends were on campus with face to face lectures and other evenings were facilitated online. This flexibility was a major factor for me as it meant that I did not have to travel to Limerick too often.
This course has equipped me with the tools necessary to enhance my own teaching of Literacy and further developed my understanding of contemporary approaches to literacy development in the 21st century classroom. I hope to continue to share what I have learned from the modules and my research study with my colleagues, and alongside them reflect on and improve literacy practices within our school. The MEd in Literacy Education journey has been one of the greatest experiences for me, both professionally and personally.