New courses to develop leadership in Communities of Learning

10 April 2017
Associate Professor Anne Hynds
Associate Professor Anne Hynds

With Communities of Learning (CoLs) becoming a central element of the modern education sector, the University of Auckland’s Faculty of Education and Social Work is developing a pair of innovative courses to help CoL leaders rise to the challenge.

Communities of Learning/Kāhui Ako are part of a new government initiative where groups of schools are brought together to work on helping learners achieve their full potential.

The courses, Developing Communities of Learning and The Inquiring Professional, will be available in 2018. They will be delivered online with the Ministry of Education funding part of the course costs. Each course aims to develop participants’ ability to support their Community of Learning’s development.

Associate Professor Anne Hynds, who is co-designing the courses in collaboration with Dr Esther Fitzpatrick and Adrienne Moyle (as learning designer), says they are meant to “develop the key skills which are vital in maximising the impact their CoL has on the academic outcomes of its students”.

“The course will involve examining and engaging with the key concepts and processes required to tackle student achievement challenges through disciplined, collaborative inquiry.”

There is a specific focus in both courses on applying innovative, evidence-based approaches to collective problems of practice and community engagement, both across education sectors and subject disciplines.

As each course is worth 30 points, participants will be able to either graduate with a Postgraduate Certificate in Education or to carry on to a masters qualification pathway.

The new courses designed for CoL leaders are:

  • Developing Communities of Learning: This course is designed to show participants how to optimise the impact of a ‘Community of Learning’ through critical examination and practical engagement with key concepts and processes as they relate to disciplined collaborative inquiry and student achievement challenges across districts.
  • The Inquiring Professional: The second course enables participants to put the principles of learning through inquiry into practice.  It will involve a review and critical analysis of literature relating to a chosen research area that will provide the basis for inquiry and learning.  It will include a strong emphasis on critical evaluation of learning and the implications of ideas and techniques on future practice.”