Eleven applicants were selected to join the programme. The group is very colourful and international, including students from Georgia, Russia, Taiwan, Cameroon, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Nigeria and Estonia. Most of them have been teachers in their home countries but we also have, for example, a Scout leader and a programmer in our team.
As the general idea of the programme is to prepare students to solve their local educational problems – to bring about actual educational innovation and change – the nominal distribution of courses is designed in a way that most of the lectures are during the first year. Already from the third semester, the student can return to their home country and carry out their research there. The first semester has started with courses like "Global Educational Change", "Innovation in Leadership", "Group and Learner Identity", "Educational Technology and Learning Analytics".
When the students applied for the programme, they had to highlight what they most want to change in their home countries' education and be ready to actually work towards this goal during their studies. The examples varied from bringing more girls to education to bringing elderly people back to language learning, from using technology as a multiplier in poor neighbourhoods to lowering corruption in educational legislation. The list goes on! In the second semester, the students start to design the educational interventions they want to implement next autumn. In addition, they will start planning their academic research in a group and in collaboration with their supervisor. The study year ends in June.
As this is the very first time the programme was opened, we consider the students as the co-creators of the curriculum. Their feedback and input is very valuable and we already put it in use in our Winter School course coming up in January 2019. For a week, we will open the doors and invite everybody to, on the one hand, take a look at what is the "Educational Innovation and Leadership" programme about, and, on the other hand, broaden their understanding on what is a school leader's role in supporting teachers and teacher leaders.
Admission for "Educational Innovation and Leadership" programme at Tallinn University School of Educational Sciences starts in January 2019.
Take a moment to explore the programme, admission procedure and student life at the School of Educational Sciences here: www.tlu.ee/eduinno