The Secondary Teacher Education Programme (STEP) is for practicing and prospective teachers. STEP takes exceptional graduates and works with them to develop their skills and shape them into teachers and mentors who can inspire and teach. On completing STEP graduates will teach The Institute of Ismaili Studies’ Secondary Curriculum to Ismaili students worldwide aged between 11 and 16. The master’s level teacher preparation aspect of STEP is being undertaken through a pioneering collaboration between the University of London’s Institute of Education (IOE) and The Institute of Ismaili Studies.
The programme extends over two academic years and culminates in two postgraduate awards: a Master of Teaching (MTeach) and Master of Arts, Education (Muslim Societies and Civilisations). Following completion of the academic programme in London, participants proceed to work in the field as Secondary Teachers employed by their national Ismaili Tariqah and Religious Education Board (ITREB).
The Master of Teaching (MTeach) and Master of Arts, Education (Muslim Societies and Civilisations) is a concurrent programme of study which leads to two postgraduate degrees. The programme is designed for Ismaili students with an undergraduate degree who wish to become teachers primarily within the Ismaili religious education system worldwide. For those already in the teaching profession, the programme will enhance their professional learning by integrating a humanistic, civilisational and normative approach to the study of Islam into their teaching practice.
A Double Master’s Degree
The STEP programme comprises two interwoven Master’s degrees, namely the Master of Teaching (MTeach) and the Master of Arts in Education (Muslim Societies and Civilisations). The MTeach, led by the Institute of Education, allows participants to utilise their teaching experiences as the basis for informed critical reflection on their personal and professional learning. Modules such as Leading Learning also allow course participants to gain the knowledge, understanding and tools for successful subject leadership and change management.
Teachers’ experience in the classroom environment is the basis of all assessed coursework and therefore the MTeach provides guidance for participants in practice-based research design and implementation strategies.
The MA Education is structured around the IIS Secondary Curriculum which is designed to provide a deep insight into Ismaili heritage within the broader dimensions of Muslim Societies and Civilisations. It prepares participants to understand and respond analytically to relevant scholarship and research in order to facilitate an understanding of the philosophical and pedagogical framework of the various secondary curriculum modules published by The Institute of Ismaili Studies.
The teaching practice stream provides students with an opportunity to develop their teaching and reflection skills within the classroom. Students teach for three terms in an Ismaili Muslim religious education classroom in the United Kingdom or Europe. They will also spend a total of four months in their home context during their second year of study working once again in the Religious Education Centres, as trainee teachers. During the teaching practice, students compile a portfolio of evidence for assessment which demonstrates their progress as teachers and reflective practitioners. The final portfolio will include clear evidence of teaching practice, integrated with critical reflections and engagement with theory.
Students are given an opportunity to experience the UK educational context throughout the first year of study. Each student is allocated a secular school in London, where they will have the opportunity to observe and deliver lessons in a number of subjects. Students are also provided with a school based mentor, who will provide guidance in developing their teaching practice.
UK secondary school placement
Students are given an opportunity to experience the UK educational context throughout the first year of study. Each student is allocated a secondary school in London or the surrounding regions, where they will have the opportunity to observe and deliver lessons in a number of subjects. Students are also provided with a school based mentor, who will provide guidance in developing their teaching practices
STEP field trips take place in the first year of the programme and aim to provide a holistic understanding of the historical content that they will eventually bring to life in the classroom. Students visit Cairo, Egypt and Andalusia, Spain. Accompanied by IIS faculty and local tour guides, students are exposed to significant examples of Islamic Art and Architecture. Prior readings, orientation sessions and an evaluation programme help to enrich their experience of these regions.
STEP caters directly for students wishing to embark upon a career in teaching within the wider Aga Khan Network of Institutions, with a particular focus on teaching at the Ismaili Religious Education Centres (RECs) at the secondary level.
Participants are trained to deliver the IIS Secondary Curriculum, which provides particular emphasis on humanistic, civilisational and normative perspectives in the instruction of religious education.
Upon completion of the programme, participants will have gained a sound knowledge on subject matter that positions itself around the IIS Secondary Curriculum framework, as well as broad insights into pedagogy, thus allowing teachers to apply this skill in a variety of educational spheres.
Through field based research, educational trips to Cairo and Andalusia, UK REC and secondary school placements and a four month formative teaching practice in the home context, participants will develop a holistic understanding of educational practice both in terms of the role of a teacher as well as the role of an educational leader.As they develop an increasingly sophisticated understanding of learning environments and student needs, course participants are assessed through summative essay writing, formative in-term presentations on classroom instruction and practice based research projects. In turn, participants will gain deep insights into religious education instruction within a community framework.
The programme is currently open in thirteen countries only: Canada, France, India, Kenya, Pakistan, Portugal, Syria, Tajikistan, Tanzania, UAE, Uganda, UK and the USA. Therefore only individuals from the Ismaili community of these countries are eligible to apply at the present time.
Upon completion of the programme, participants will return to their home countries, where they will be deployed as teachers for a minimum period of three years with the Ismaili Tariqah and Religious Education Board/Committee (ITREB/C) in their country.
The application deadline date is Friday 11 October 2013.
For an application pack for STEP Cohort 8, please contact your national ITREB or email firstname.lastname@example.org
STEP is a fully funded scholarship programme. Successful applicants receive housing, as well as a living allowance (stipend) for their stay in London. Please note that due to changes in the UKBA student visa regulations, successful applicants may not be able to bring dependants to the UK whilst on an IIS student visa. For further information please contact the Student Services Office at the IIS.
The Institute of Ismaili Studies has undergone a review for educational oversight by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) and details of the final report is available here: http://www.qaa.ac.uk/InstitutionReports/Reports/Pages/REO-ISS-12.aspx
The IIS is a UKBA Highly Trusted Sponsor for student recruitment.