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James ? Masters in Education/ Masters in Education with Leadership

Discussion in 'Trainee and student teachers' started by Middlemarch, Nov 26, 2011.

  1. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    Take it from an experienced headteacher - do it for the sake of the learning, not for any career advantage you think it might bring. Heads are not terribly influenced or impressed by master's degrees - especially as an increasing number of institutions are awarding them with very little academic rigour.
  2. A master's degree in education should be done in areas that really interest you rather than for some career pathway. Yes higher degrees will have a small degree of advantage in the sifting process of looking at candidates CVs but ultimately career progression is more about the skills and abilities of the person than their qualifications.
    Either looks like an interesting degree. If the degree is one that is validated by a good unibversity then the academic rigour will be high, no university worth its salt allows M level degrees that do not have academic rigour - in my own institution it has taken up to two years to get our new masters degree on the books. Our current degrees are, I believe well respected and having taught, supervised and marked the academic content from assignments to full dissertations, I can assure you that they do have a high academic status.
  3. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    I'd be in no doubt whatsoever about degrees validated by your university, James. Some of the others - as you imply - are more dubious. I've known young teachers talk of master's degrees requiring no more than a weekend's attendance and a long essay to give them the qualification and closer analysis has revealed these to be *cough* less well-respected 'universities'.
    As you say, a higher degree should be chosen firstly for its learning content and the prospective student should ensure the institution is reputable.
  4. I did an MA (Education) at a well respected university. It had an Educational Leadership module, as part of various different pathways, making it reasonably personalised. It took three years, part-time and was certainly very academically robust and rigorous.
    My final dissertation was a 60,000 word research paper, underpinned by thorough research methodology. It was a huge piece of work, but very enjoyable and worthwhile.
    I agree with Middlemarch, though. You have to do this for YOU. It's not to be undertaken lightly, and you have to really enjoy what you are researching otherwise it would be a very hard slog. I also agree that some heads take Masters level qualifications with a pinch of salt. My head was particularly uninterested in mine and, despite the fact that the research was carried out (with his consent) with pupils in my current school, he hasn't bothered to read my dissertation or even ask what I found out. He has actually made jokes about it and belittled it in staff meetings!
    But, I have absolutely no regrets about taking it. Whether it enhances my career progression or not, it gives me a huge amount of satisfaction now I have completed it (with distinction!) and gave me a huge amount of enjoyment while I was doing it. It also impacted very positively on my classroom practice, and informs my teaching daily.
    I'd say do it, but do it for you.

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