EDUC41620 Contemporary Issues

Academic Year 2023/2024

This module is a companion to the other Leadership module; it is complementary in the sense that it takes a series of contemporary policy concerns and asks repeatedly: what are the leadership implications for Principals, senior and middle management as well as entire school communities. Additionally, these concerns help us to consider what professional responsibility entails while working within constraints, and how we might improve the quality of teaching, learning and leading in our schools while enhancing the profession of teaching, its status and standing within the wider community. Another important dimension of the module is to cultivate an understanding of the dynamics of the policy making process—the impact of international ‘social movements’, international agencies such as the OECD and EU, new technologies and globalisation. Consequently, national policy ‘refracts’ these influences in particular ways shaped by systemic histories and trajectories as well as contemporary political realities. A further consideration is a persistent complaint that Irish teachers are over-reliant on research that is published elsewhere, from outside the jurisdiction, frequently also recommending reforms that do not necessarily ‘fit’ with the realities of schooling in Ireland. Thus, where possible, the contemporary issues module, provides research materials, articles and reports that pertain to this jurisdiction, while remaining open to increased understanding of internationalisation and a general tendency towards policy borrowing and policy homogenisation.

This module will consist of 12 sessions, each focusing on a particular topic. Sessions will take place in a virtual classroom- Blackboard Collaborate.

For each topic addressed, there is an assigned reading that you are expected to have read in advance of the session. This assigned reading is available in learning materials.

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Curricular information is subject to change

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 accountability2. Interrogate national policy documents from the perspective of autonomy and accountability.3. Create a constructive critique of dominant policy agenda from a practice perspective4. Identify and locate the issue of self-evaluation within wider discourses of accountability and professional responsibility5. Indicate possible futures for teacher professional responsibility and their agency in creating that future for the benefit of learners and the teaching profession.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours




Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
Blended learning and flipped classrooms 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Assignment: 600 word synthesis and critique of a selected journal article as a piece of scholarly writing, applying the required academic conventions etc. Coursework (End of Trimester) n/a Graded Yes


Essay: 3,000 word essay that integrates different components of the module. Coursework (End of Trimester) n/a Graded Yes


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Spring No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, on an activity or draft prior to summative assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Not yet recorded.

Name Role
Mr Enda Hickey Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Timetabling information is displayed only for guidance purposes, relates to the current Academic Year only and is subject to change.
Online Learning Offering 1 Week(s) - 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 Mon 18:00 - 19:30
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 0, 5, 11 Sat 09:00 - 15:50