Program paves smooth path to becoming an education leader

Program paves smooth path to becoming an education leader

Flinders Education offers dynamic and flexible opportunities for the education professional, from the current educator seeking professional development or interested in developing their specialist knowledge, through to graduates employed or seeking employment in education. 

The design of Flinders MEd programs offers educators the option to create their own educational pathways across a diverse range of specialisations. 

Current Flinders MEd programs reflect the speciality of the contemporary educator, with MEd programs including Special Education, Cognitive Psychology and Educational Practice, Higher Education, Well Being and Positive Mental Health, as well as Educational Leadership and Management.

Flinders MEd programs also include advanced coursework in aspects of research, theory and practice, where students can opt to tailor a program to meet their own needs or elect to complete a specialised program of study. 

The Flinders MEd is an in-depth coursework program that allows students to create individual programs to suit their interests and thus shape their own educational pathways, with the option to include a project or research dissertation. 

Madan Bashyal, Master of Education (Class of 2017) decided to join the Master of Education (Leadership and Management) at Flinders University in July 2015 to enhance his knowledge and skills as a lecturer. 

He said his journey as an international student from Nepal has been “vividly fruitful”. 

“Not only have I been able to achieve distinction in my degree, I have also succeeded to transform myself from a conformist to a purposeful thinker,” Bashyal told The Educator.

“My interactions with faculties and students at Flinders University allowed me to understand and critically analyse the issues of commodification, standardization, and performativity in education.” 

Through his meaningful interactions with faculties and students from multiple nationalities, Bashyal has learnt to look at issues for a diverse perspective and challenge the underlying assumptions of our market oriented worldview of education. 

“I could not have done it without the emotional and financial support that I have received from my wife who has been with me throughout this journey,” he said.

‘Highly relevant and well structured’

Shyam Barr, Master of Education (Cognitive Psychology and Educational Practice) at Flinders University said his experience of the MEd was “highly relevant and well structured”.

“I engaged with academics who were not only active researchers in their field, but also well connected with what occurs in schools,” Barr explained.

Drawing on a range of pertinent research, Barr developed a deep knowledge about motivational, cognitive and meta-cognitive processes that influence learning. 

“This not only benefitted my teaching, but also enhanced my own emotional intelligence and ability to support and lead others,” he said.

“As a full-time Director/Teacher (previously), flexibility was extremely important. With only a few key deadlines and no set class times (e.g. lectures), I studied at my own pace and when it suited me.” 

Barr said all resources were available through the Flinders Learning Online (FLO) platform. 

“Additionally, Flinders Library offered a ‘Send It’ service so any books that I needed were couriered out to me within a day or so,” he said.

“Teachers were easily accessed and very responsive while the online community was a fantastic place to connect with like-minded educators.”

Taking educational leadership skills to the next level

Shani Sniedze-Gregory, Flinders University graduated with her Master of Education in 2013. She said this was an ideal way to take her teaching and educational leadership skills to the next level. 

“This included both consolidating existing and developing further knowledge and abilities in curriculum development, assessment practices, and in leadership and management,” she told The Educator.

The MEd topics are designed so that experienced teachers and school leaders can study the latest research from all corners of the globe and transfer this to their own context.

“This emphasis on transferring research into practice was the most useful aspect of the course,” Sniedze-Gregory said.

“In addition, the MEd allows you to choose from a broad range of face-to-face or online topics – either full- or part-time – that both suit your professional needs and understand that educators need to fit study around school and family commitments.” 

Sniedze-Gregory said she appreciated the ability to fit study into her own schedule rather than being locked into another timetable.

“The MEd not only improved my own practice, it was an excellent preparation for further doctoral studies, and I recommend it to any educator. Make it work for you,” she said.

A great study-life balance

Ulrike Glinzner, Master of Arts started her Master’s program at Flinders in 2007, studying a range of course work topics with a focus on educational research and cognitive psychology. 

She found topics challenging, particularly because she has a non-native English speaking background. 

“The workload was significant, but I still enjoyed studying and found a work/study/life balance that worked for me,” she said.

“While the university accredited several courses from an overseas Master’s program I had started, I opted to take the lengthier 18 unit thesis.” 

Glinzner said her supervisors were very accommodating, particularly with meeting times and duration. 

“On completion of my degree, I was appointed Principal of a Community Language School and was offered an APA PhD scholarship,” she said.

“So the MA has been a great success for my personal and research progression.”