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Festival 2021 Sessions 18 & 19 abstracts

[18a] 3.30pm A Turbulent Journey: Students’ Perspectives on the Purpose and Value of an MA Education Programme during the Covid-19 Pandemic.


  • Mary Mihovilovic, Programme Director, MA Education, St Mary’s University


The unexpectedly high retention and engagement of MA Education: Leading Innovation and Change part time students during the pandemic raised questions amongst tutors as to the purpose and value of such professional postgraduate study in a  time of turbulence. A small-scale exploratory qualitative enquiry into students’ perceptions of the purpose and value of their postgraduate studies was made. The presentation will discuss the findings from this enquiry addressing the following themes: • The successes we have had in deploying collaborative expertise to support students during the coronavirus pandemic;   • The extent to which students are experts in their own learning;   • How MA Education students and their supervisors have had to reshape their expertise to undertake and support research projects;   • The ways that teachers acquire and reshape their own professional expertise through critical self-reflection and engagement with theory;   • How students in professional practice have  developed their expertise to address the unpredictable and unprecedented challenges of the pandemic.

[18b] 4pm ITT students as agents of change: A primary science education perspective. 


  • Amy Strachan, Senior Lecturer in Primary Science Education, St Mary’s University


As we emerge from a global pandemic, it is more important than ever to acknowledge the importance of global citizenship and interdependence to tackle the unpredictable problems faced across the world.  Teacher education provides a platform where student teachers are exposed to and have the opportunity to engage critically in a range of educational discourses. Whilst teacher education prepares students with the instrumental dimensions of the profession, such as lesson planning and assessment, there is an opportunity to support them to act as agents of change as global citizens.  

Using primary science education as an example, through developing a clear vision for what science education is for and supporting students to align their vision with the contexts, pedagogical strategies and resources they choose and use, we can help them act beyond the short-term goals of a subject.

[19] 3.30pm Workshop: Polishing the lens: Dual Professionalism and the Future of HE Lecturing. 

This session has moved to session 5, Day 1