University of Chester

Programme Specification
Dyslexia Research and Practice PGCert
2015 - 2016

Postgraduate Certificate

Dyslexia Research and Practice

Dyslexia Research and Practice

University of Chester

University of Chester, Faculty of Education and Children's Services

University of Chester campuses; educational and professional settings.

Postgraduate (Taught)

Part-time

Classroom / Laboratory,

1 year

3 Years

Annual - September

N/A

X360

No

17a. Faculty

17b. Department

Education & Children's Services Academic and Professional Programmes

National Framework for Higher Education Qualifications

British Dyslexia Association

Faculty of Education and Children's Services APP Postgraduate Module Assessment Board

Wednesday 22nd July 2015

The PG Cert Dyslexia Research and Practice Programme aims to:·        

 

  • Build practitioners’ “professional expertise in identifying dyslexia and developing effective ways to help learners overcome its effects” (Rose Report, DCSF, 2009, p.9).

 

  • Promote scholarship.

 

  • Evidence the synthesis between critical thinking and reflection, relating this to practice.

 

  • Foster utilization of the literature and relevant research.

 

  • Develop critical and reflective practitioners.

 

A unique and innovative feature of the PG Cert Dyslexia Research and Practice is that it offers an opportunity to students in schools, Further Education, Higher Education and the workplace to achieve an academic qualification with a professional focus on dyslexia and to differentiate the professional setting:

 

Associate Teacher Status (ATS) / Associate Practitioner Status (APS) (for students working in compulsory education).

Associate Teacher Status (ATS) / Associate Practitioner Status (APS) FE/HE (for students working in Further Education, Higher Education and the workplace).

 

 

By the end of the PG Certificate Dyslexia Research and Practice (with ATS/APS), the student will be able to:

CD7401

 

  • Critically identify theories of causation and the causal modelling framework.
  • Critically reflect on how dyslexia can impact on learning, especially regarding the development of literacy.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of how dyslexia impacts on learning.
  • Critically analyse the issues around identification and assessment of dyslexia and other specific learning difficulties.
  • Critically evaluate the contribution of ICT in the assessment of dyslexia.
  • Understand the effects of assessment, early identification and screening, models of identification, barriers to learning and inclusion.
  • Critically evaluate metacognition and learning styles.

 

CD7402

 

  • Critically reflect on the social and cultural perspective of literacy.
  • Understand the development.
  • Critically evaluate the role of phonological skills and working memory in reading.
  • Design individualised learning programs using multisensory learning and teaching strategies.
  • Critically analyse the use of ICT to support learners with dyslexia.
  • Critically evaluate the impact on learning of a dyslexia friendly learning environment.

 

CD7403

 

  • Devise individualised learning programmes.
  • Understand lesson planning and the use of assessments to plan teaching interventions.
  • Critically evaluate supporting learning of an individual learner with dyslexia using a systematic, sequential, cumulative, multisensory learning and teaching strategy.

 

 

By the end of the PG Certificate Dyslexia Research and Practice (with ATS/APS), the student will be able to:

 

CD7401

 

  • Explore and critically evaluate the causal theories of dyslexia.
  • Identify and evaluate assessment methods for dyslexia.
  • Critically engage in theoretical frameworks and literature to demonstrate an understanding of dyslexia.

 

CD7402

 

  • Critically engage in analysing the research associated with teaching a structured, sequential, multisensory learning and teaching programme.
  • Critique a component of a structured, sequential, multisensory teaching programme with relevant to specific learning needs.
  • Critically evaluate the contribution of ICT to the teaching of learners with dyslexia.
  • Analyse strategies typically associated with the dyslexia friendly learning environment with specific reference to it and learner with dyslexia.

 

CD7403

 

  • Critically construct an appropriate multisensory learning and teaching programme much to a learner’s individual needs.
  • Critically evaluate a personalised teaching intervention to meet the specific individual needs of the learner with dyslexia.
  • Reflect during teaching and use new learning to inform continued planning of practice.
  • Critically evaluate and reflect on personal and professional development.

 

 

By the end of the PG Certificate Dyslexia Research and Practice (with ATS/APS), the student will be able to:

CD7401

 

  • Increase confidence and competence regarding identification and assessment for dyslexia.
  • Establish and to use a range of strategies to make diagnostic appraisal of learning needs.
  • Deploy the skills to design an individual learning and teaching programme and specific learning and teaching interventions to meet the specific individual needs of one learner with dyslexia.

 

CD7402

 

  • Develop the ability to devise and teach individual, structured, cumulative and multisensory literacy learning programs.
  • Prioritise and make appropriate decisions regarding a range of dyslexia friendly teaching approaches according to individual learners’ needs.
  • Begin to formulate effective individual lesson plans to meet the specific needs of one or more learner with dyslexia.

 

CD7403

 

  • Achieve nationally required competencies and confidence to deliver specialist learning and teaching strategies with individual learners with dyslexia
  • Formulate effective individual lesson plans to meet the specific needs of one or more learner with dyslexia.
  • Teach 20 hours (ATS/APS) or 30 hours (AMBDA) or equivalent, of individual, systematic, sequential and cumulative teaching and learning lessons with one or more learners with dyslexia.
  • Successfully meet the British Dyslexia Association's requirements for two teaching sessions (ATS/APS) or three teaching sessions (AMBDA).
  • Maintain a written journal of the experiences of becoming a Specialist Teacher or Specialist Practitioner.

 

By the end of the PG Certificate Dyslexia Research and Practice (with ATS/APS), the student will be able to:

CD7401, CD7402, CD7403

 

  • Present written work using academic standards and conventions of level 7.
  • Engage in meaningful debate.
  • Formulate meaningful questions.
  • Identify salient critical incidents and be able to reflect meaningfully upon them relating to the theory.
  • Demonstrate empathy when constructing an argument.
  • Present information confidently in group situations.
  • Develop problem-solving skills.
  • Clearly articulates learning and teaching interventions in writing.
  • Discuss learning and teaching intervention outcomes meaningfully with colleagues, external agencies and, if appropriate, the learner with dyslexia.

 

 

The professional element of the PG Certificate Dyslexia Research and Practice is accredited by the British Dyslexia Association (BDA). These professional awards (ATS and APS) are accepted qualifications in schools, Further Education (FE), Higher Education (HE) and the workplace, giving teachers and practitioners the eligibility to identify, teach, assess and make recommendations for provision for external examinations. The PG Cert Dyslexia Research and Practice is composed of structured learning opportunities that are delivered as taught modules.  The modules are at 20 Credit Accumulation Transfer (CAT) points and 10 European Credit Transfer (ECT) points.

Mod-Code Level Title Credit Single
CD7401 7 Identifying and Assessing Learners with Dyslexia 20 Comp
CD7402 7 Learning and Teaching Strategies for Learners with Dyslexia 20 Comp
CD7403 7 Teaching Learners with Dyslexia 20 Comp

  • 60 credits at Level 7 entitles the student to a Postgraduate Certificate Dyslexia Research and Practice

The above award also offers accreditation from the British Dyslexia Association at the following point:

(ATS/APS on completion of CD7401, CD7402 and CD7403)

The PG Certificate Dyslexia Research and Practice is professionally accredited by the British Dyslexia Association.

Modules CD7401, CD7402 and CD7403 lead to eligibility to Apply for Approved Teacher Status of the British Dyslexia Association for students with qualified teacher status.

Modules CD7401, CD7402 and CD7403 lead to eligibility to Apply for Approved Practitioner Status of the British Dyslexia Association for students without qualified teacher status.

Students are expected to identify, design and deliver a cumulative, structured, sequential and multisensory learning and teaching programme to one or more learners with dyslexia or literacy difficulties.

Graduation from the PG Certificate Dyslexia Research and Practice provides students with eligibility to apply to the British Dyslexia Association for a requisite professional award.  On graduation, the Programme Leader completes an appropriate ‘Tutor Form’ from the British Dyslexia Association and it is the student’s individual responsibility to send this form, along with a ‘Candidate Form’ and fee to the British Dyslexia Association as the application for their professional award.

  

The PG Certificate Dyslexia Research and Practice is open to both graduates and non-graduates with professional experience. Graduates will have a background in Special Educational Needs (dyslexia) or a related background acquired through previous study (a Bachelor’s degree). Non-graduates will be admitted to the award-bearing aspects of the Programme by virtue of their professional experience.  They will have a background in Special Educational Needs (dyslexia) or a related background, for example, teaching in a language and communication unit or holding the post of SENCo.  If required, prospective students will attend a compulsory interview with two members of the Faculty (to include the Programme Leader) to ascertain their ability to succeed on the programme.

In order to promote competency in the use of English regarding the practical teaching requirements of the programme, prospective students must demonstrate high standards of literacy, articulacy and the correct use of Standard English. This will be ascertained by the prospective students’ application form and personal statements on application.  Students who fail to demonstrate such competencies will be invited to interview with two members of the Faculty (to include the Programme Leader) to determine their suitability. The needs of the learner will be considered paramount.

Students must be able to demonstrate on application that they have access to a placement or setting in which they can complete the required assessments. 

Students applying to the British Dyslexia Association for professional accreditation will need to evidence two years of full-time teaching (or equivalent) prior to being eligible to apply.

International Students

International students will need to evidence a recent IELTS score of no less than 7.0

Disclosure and Barring Service Enhanced Disclosure

It is expected that, if required,  students will already have a current Disclosure and Barring Service Enhanced Disclosure (previously called CRB certificate) or be able to provide one themselves which will be paid for by the student.

 

The PG Cert Dyslexia Research and Practice programme operates within the scholarship requirements set by the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCL), supporting teachers to deliver national requirements by helping existing teachers in England to develop their skills and help them deepen their knowledge.  Special Educational Needs (dyslexia) is one of the three priority areas identified by the NCL. The national scholarship fund for teachers is administered by the NCL.

There are no QAA benchmark statements for postgraduate study in Education. The PG Certificate Dyslexia Research and Practice programme draws on and extends the QAA (2010) Master's degree characteristics at Level 7 assuring the achievements represented by the qualification are appropriate and represented consistently.

Holders of the qualification will have the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring the exercise of initiative and responsibility, decision-making in complex and unpredictable situations and the independent learning ability required for continuing professional development. The PG Certificate Dyslexia Research and Practice programme encompasses the equivalent professional qualifications ATS Schools for practitioners working with learners with dyslexia in compulsory educational settings and ATS FE/HE for practitioners working with learners with dyslexia in Further and Higher Education contexts. The qualification also meets the requirements of the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) who approve Approved Teacher Status (ATS) and Approved Practitioner Status (APS). This means that it is an accepted qualification giving teachers the right to identify and teach in scholls, post-compulsary settings and employment.

The PG Cert Dyslexia Research and Practice programme offers students the opportunity to gain systematic understanding of knowledge, and a critical awareness of current problems and/or new insights, much of which is at, or informed by, the forefront of research around dyslexia and area of professional practice through lectures, information in the Programme module spaces and access to Learning Information Services, especially by use of electronic databases.

Students acquire a comprehensive understanding of techniques applicable to their own advanced scholarship by engagement with the theory and literature and relating this to practice in discussions with peers and reflecting on their own practice.  Conceptual understanding gained incrementally throughout the PG Cert Dyslexia Research and Practice programme enables the student to critically evaluate current research and advanced scholarship about dyslexia.

Students will be able to deal with complex issues using multisensory learning and teaching and psychometric assessment strategies both systematically and creatively, make sound judgments in the absence of complete data, and communicate their conclusions clearly to specialist and non-specialist audiences.  In the application of the theory to their practice in teaching and assessment and research, students will demonstrate self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems, and act autonomously in planning and implementing tasks at a professional Level required by relevant governing professional bodies.  All students will have the opportunity to continue to advance their knowledge and understanding, and to develop new skills to a high level.

At the heart of all teaching and learning on the PG Certificate Dyslexia Research and Practice programme are the essential skills of critical analysis, evaluation and reflection. Students are encouraged to listen and discuss different perspectives and act on their new learning to become more effective reflective practitioners who have developed the skills of criticality which have enabled them to identify and address areas for their own professional and academic development. 

The starting points for learning on the PG Certificate Dyslexia Research and Practice programme are the students' experiences and knowledge of teaching learners with dyslexia. As effective practitioners working in schools, Further Education, Higher Education and the workplace, the students bring to the programme many years of teaching experience and high-quality expertise that is highly regarded in their settings.  The programme's learning and teaching strategies aim to build on this expertise and further draw out students' views and understanding and provide 'safe' opportunities for views and beliefs to be challenged, reviewed and discussed. Learning is further enhanced and progressed with tutors' teaching, experience, knowledge, reading and analysis of national policy shifts and theories and methodologies, drawn from a wide pedagogic framework, that are applicable to teaching and learning for learners with dyslexia.

 

University-based Modules-All modules are taught at the University in technology rich environments that create a flexible approach to learning for pert-time students, or those who live and work at a distance and students with specific needs or disabilities. Giving the students this choice and flexibility throughout the tuition period greatly enhances the learning experience by adapting to the needs of students and helping them to develop their skills.  A range of methodologies is employed which takes account of best practice and maximise active learning, sensitive to the learning styles and needs of students compliant with the Faculty Learning, Teaching and Assessment Policy. As a result, students are active participants in the learning process, through classroom participation and discussion. These methodologies include:

  • Lectures
  • Group work
  • Presentations, discussions, debates
  • Directed tasks
  • Written assignments
  • Independent research
  • Setting-based teaching and learning activities
  • Personal and contextual reflection
  • Individual or group tutorials
  • Students leading parts of sessions
  • Formative peer assessment
  • Formative self-assessment
  • Use of the University's Virtual Learning Environment (VLE)
  • Use of VLE to support a dedicated module site offering a range of support materials and specific learning information
  •  Blended learning engagement through the VLE –The VLE is an important feature of the teaching and learning strategy. 

o       For students who are unavoidably absent from a session, appropriate learning activities will be available and these will form part of compulsory directed tasks where students will be making an application for professional accreditation.  

o       Blended learning will offer an enhancement to face-to-face tutor engagement and offer opportunities for peer learning particularly for overseas students.  

  •  Peer Teaching-  Small group work allows the tutors to closely observe teaching technique, answer informal questions and practice in the relaxed atmosphere of shared learning. Peer students gain knowledge and confidence in practising their emergent specialist teaching skills while at the same time improving their own competence in performing the specific skills. 
  •  Skype Tutorial Support – Skype tutorial support is available, where appropriate, to students as an alternative to face-to-face in order to make personalised provision for individual student needs. This allows for tutorial guidance whereby the student’s work can be shared with the module tutor. This will benefit oversees students in particular.  
  •  Email Tutorial Support–Students are able to contact their module tutor by email whenever they wish. Tutors will endeavour to respond to student queries within 3-5 days but often sooner. Tutorial support includes face-to–face tutorial support meetings and the opportunity for students to engage with online tutorial support. This allows for a tutorial dialogue to continue between module tutors and students. It is an important feature of the PG Certificate Dyslexia Research and Practice Programme as it enables students to access tutorial support remotely. 
  •  Use of the University’s Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) supports a dedicated module site offering a range of support materials and specific learning information for each module.   Specific features, for example, Group Discussion and Group Share allow good practice, interesting ideas and recent research and noteworthy news articles to be posted and discussed between tutors and students.  
  •  Use of Learning Information Services and Study Skills Service New students are provided with a discrete teaching sessions from a librarian from Learning Information Services, an Academic Skills Tutor from Study Skills Service in Student Support and Guidance or a lecturer from the Faculty of Education and Children’s Services.  Study skills information is embedded throughout throughout the teaching of the entire Programme and allows students the opportunity for supported  ‘hands-on’ experience of using the library, electronic databases, the APA referencing system and academic writing.  Students can then access these services independently as required. 

Weekend-school Infrastructure- allows a specific internal learning environment to exist where part-time students engage both in the academic rigor of their chosen studies but also with the social aspects of peer learning as part of a new community of practice engaged in PG Certificate study. Students engage in quality learning experiences and explore shared common practice across other PG Certificate level programmes with their peers. This learning environment contributes significantly to the student’s identity as a facilitator of new knowledge and understanding, reflective practitioner and lifelong learner. Students have the opportunity to attend induction processes to gain access to Learning Information Services and Student Support and Guidance and to CPD academic writing seminars, for example, “Improving Your Academic Performance at Master’s Level”. These teaching and learning experiences are designed as much as possible to reflect dyslexia pedagogy and practice, i.e. participative, empowering, using group work and creative methods of encouraging learning.  

The PG Certificate Dyslexia Research and Practice programme defines assessment as a process that appraises an individual’s knowledge, understanding, abilities or skills.  The programme assesses not only academic skills but professional skills and competencies, for example, the British Dyslexia Association accredits the ATS and APS awards. The experienced programme team will effectively provide summative assessment methods.  Each method of assessment is chosen because of its fitness for purpose, relating to what is being assessed and the context within which assessment is taking place, for example, a psychometric assessment of a learner with dyslexia or matching a teaching intervention to an individual learner’s specific needs. The tutor will normally assess the practice elements (teaching and assessing) of the programme by viewing a DVD recording of the teaching or assessment sessions as part of these assessment methods (not as a separate component) and will provide written and/or oral feedback. The methods of assessment reflect forms of recording, reporting and writing which are required of Specialist Teachers and Assessors and fulfils the requirements of the University and British Dyslexia Association assessment requirements.

 

 

Assessment Matrix for PG Certificate Dyslexia Research and Practice.

Module

Title

Academic Qualification

CD7401

20 CATS

Identifying and Assessing Learners with Dyslexia

 

Case Study

CD7402

20 CATS

Learning and Teaching Strategies for Learners with Dyslexia

Case Study

CD7403

20 CATS

Teaching Learners with Dyslexia

Portfolio

 

Students who engage in the PG Certificate Dyslexia Research and Practice programme will successfully demonstrate subject-specific attributes and will become reflective practitioners and critical thinkers who can articulate their views with confidence and conviction. They will have in-depth knowledge and understanding of their profession and the political arena of education informed by current practice, scholarship and research. They will have read widely and will have engaged with theoretical frameworks which have challenged their values, beliefs and understanding. Their professional integrity will have been affirmed demonstrating their ability to use initiative and take responsibility, solving problems in innovative and creative ways.   They will have become sufficiently professionally secure to confront and manage change, make decisions and to lead others, should they choose. Postgraduates will continue to learn and to demonstrate advanced scholarship regarding dyslexia.

 

The PG Certificate Dyslexia Research and Practice programme equips teachers to become Specialist Teachers/Practitioners of dyslexia.  This enhances students’ professional capabilities and eligibility for promotion to leadership or specialist learning and teaching roles in schools, further and higher education and employment.

The PG Certificate Dyslexia Research and Practice is committed to the promotion of diversity, equality and inclusion in all its forms; through different ideas and perspectives, age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation. The Programme is also, committed to widening access to higher education. Within an ethically aware and professional environment, the Programme acknowledges responsibilities to promote freedom of enquiry and scholarly expression.

All participants in and contributors to the programme will be encouraged to become involved in the development, management, delivery and evaluation of the effectiveness of the programme.  Therefore, students are allocated a Personal Academic Tutor (PAT) who will:

  • Act as the student's contact with the University.
  • Maintain an overview of a student's academic progress.
  • Provide academic advice and guidance to students.
  • Provide specific advice regarding module choice and review academic progress. This can be provided by face-to-face tutorial(s), email tutorial(s) or telephone tutorial(s).
  • Discuss academic strengths and areas which need development based on examples of work.
  • Develop a relationship based on shared knowledge of the student's progress.
  • Assist in completing the e-Portfolio
  • Provide a reference, if required, based on information provided by the student.

The PAT, in the first instance, and all tutors on the programme consider students with additional needs set in the context of improvement, raising standards and increasing participation, and promotes the wider vision of inclusion. It recognises the importance of support being available at an early stage in the programme, especially for students who are returning to study at Level 7 after a longer period of time or are new to study at this level.  Inclusive learning and teaching strategies are used and there is provision for students’ individual needs.

Attendance

Students are expected to attend all taught sessions. This also meets the requirements of the BDA. Attendance is monitored by the tutors.  Students following the ATS or APS professional pathway are required to attend 40 hours of cumulative, taught sessions to meet the British Dyslexia Association taught element requirements. Due to special circumstances, students may be unavoidably absent from sessions.  As attendance at all sessions is required to fulfil the requirements of the BDA, students are required to demonstrate that, from the session they have missed, they are able to internalise and could articulate the information and refer it to their practice.  In such circumstances, students are able, from the module space on Sharepoint, to read the lecture material and follow any reading independently.  They will then be required to successfully complete a negotiated, unaccredited, directed task provided by the module tutor, for example, make succinct notes on given reading and evidence impact on practice or be able to deliver a short presentation to the group about the specific learning outcomes they have missed. 

Students who have been absent for any part of taught sessions (as full attendance for the given number of taught hours fulfils the requirements of the BDA), and who fail to complete the required directed task(s) will not be eligible to apply for the respective professional accreditation.  The University’s recognises its commitment to fulfil the BDA requirements in relation to its provision for the ATS and APS awards. It can assure provision for registered students to complete their chosen award through the successful staffing of associate Visiting Lecturers who are qualified to AMBDA level and are experienced practitioners and lecturers and are able to deliver a comparable quality of teaching. 

 

Accreditation for Prior Certificated Learning (APCL) or Accreditation for Prior Experiential Learning (APEL)

Prospective students applying to study for the award of PG Certificate Dyslexia Research and Practice may able to be awarded credit for previously accredited HE Level qualifications in other institutions where learning outcomes map closely to those of the PG Certificate Dyslexia Research and Practice Programme. The University procedures for Accreditation for Prior Certificated Learning (APCL) and Accreditation for Prior Experiential Learning (APEL).

 

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)

Students must confirm at the beginning of the programme that they satisfy the DBS mandatory criteria of 'Clearance to Work with Children and/or Vulnerable Adults'.

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