Enrichment Sessions at the IIS
There are further elements of STEP, designed and delivered by the IIS, which are not part of the accredited modules for the MA and PGDip. Nevertheless, these enrichments are an important and mandatory element of the programme in terms of preparing participants to return to their home countries and take up their posts as STEP teachers.
Integration with the Secondary Curriculum
The Integration with the Curriculum stream of STEP aims to provide students with the tools to be able to draw connections between the MA modules and the IIS’ Secondary Curriculum. In each term, students will participate in a series of facilitated sessions to explore the linkages between each MA module taught during the term and the relevant IIS’ Secondary Curriculum module(s).
Teaching and Learning
Occasional Teaching and Learning sessions delivered at the IIS complement and further enhance Teaching and Learning provision, gained through PGDip at the UCL Institute of Education (IOE), in order to engage in the exercise of secondary classroom delivery in the RE context.
Research study for the MA is desk-based (or, secondary research). MA Research entails a systematic investigation by students of an approved topic of their choice, and is aimed at developing in students expertise in a specific field as related to the broader aims of the IIS’ Secondary Curriculum. Engagement with the design, application and evaluation of the research study will equip students with core proficiencies to support ongoing professional development. Students will be exposed to a range of sessions to help them conduct an independent educational research, including: exploring underlying philosophy, goals, and paradigms of an educational research while making critical and considered connections with pertinent contents of the IIS’ Secondary Curriculum; selecting a topic and formulating a specific research question; identifying and carrying out a systematic review, evaluation and analysis of secondary source material and data sets; and presenting results in a written form according to the highest academic standards.
Induction into the Field
During the final term of the second year of study, all graduating students will receive sessions aimed to support their transition from full time students to full time STEP teachers. It considers the roles and responsibilities, anxieties and expectations of a newly qualified teacher and how they might differ to that of an experienced teacher. Using the experiences of experienced STEP teachers from the field, students will learn about the day to day realities of STEP teaching as well as working within the context of an ITREB structure. The module also provides sessions discussing the wider mandate of ITREB and how that corresponds to the work of the IIS. In doing so, it articulates the mandate and philosophy of STEP and how it seeks to add value to the formation of the Ismaili Community. Students will also be given an insight into the nature of the collaboration between the IIS and ITREB, and how they will continue to be supported by both post-graduation.