Teaching & Educational Leadership

Bold brave leadership is what propels society along and it all begins in the education system. Without visionary leaders, education would not be able to keep pace with the changing world. You’re already making one of the most important contributions to society through your teaching. So why not build on that by developing your educational leadership skills and lead the way forward in contemporary education, fit for our changing world.

The Mind Lab’s Master of Teaching & Education Leadership (MTEL) was an initial teaching education programme where learners carried out a practice-based change project with social justice outcomes. By implementing place based learning from a whenua perspective, reducing the digital divide and culturally based mindfulness – graduates of the course have had huge impacts in their own communities. 

While MTEL is now being run solely by Ako Mātātupu, budding leaders in the education sector can gain the confidence to provoke positive change with our Master of Contemporary Education (MCE), which utilizes a hands-on and practical approach to learning.

While academic readings and information are included in the course content, it’s the critical discussion and focus on day-to-day practice that makes the course unique, says Hancine Samvelyan, Programme Lead for the Leading Change For Good Programme. Hancine knows how important collaboration and applied learning is – she was a key facilitator on the MTEL programme and now leads a postgraduate certificate dedicated to developing authentic leadership skills through collaboration and purpose-driven values. 

Hancine Samvelyan, Programme Lead for the Leading Change For Good Programme.

Hancine says the course academia is rigorous, but by being presented through critical discussion, students begin understanding their lived experiences and see options to grow.

“Education is always going to be impacted by poor leadership,” says Hancine. 

“It’s imperative to have good leadership at any time within the education space, and leaders who are ok to be uncomfortable and challenged.Because if you don’t challenge, you don’t change.”

At The Mind Lab, the pathway to study educational leadership typically begins with studying the Digital and Collaborative Postgraduate Certificate first, which can be completed alone but also forms the first Part of the three part Master of Contemporary Education.

With Part 1 complete, the Masters programme continues over a further 1-2 years, depending on whether study is undertaken fulltime or part-time. Part 2 is a collaborative exploration of where Master’s candidates may want to study further, working in small groups to discuss ideas and break down educational challenges. In Part 3, the candidates implement their project alongside the help of an advisor – a support person available every day via Slack and online channels.

Educational Director Tim Gander says the benefit of studying educational leadership with The Mind Lab is the wrap-around student support and just in time learning. 

Tim Gander, Educational Director.

“We’re really quite flexible in the way that we provide the learning. We won’t just say right here’s the course content and shove it down people’s throats! It’s more about asking what do you want to learn? What do you feel is going to benefit you at the moment?” says Tim.

Educational systems can perpetuate and remain in place for years with no real change occuring, says Hancine. The Master of Contemporary Education enables the space for disruption to occur, allowing candidates to think critically about the greater reason they’re in education and what it is they are trying to achieve.

“With education in particular, it’s very system driven, and I think that in itself causes leadership decisions to be made based on things that have been done in the past,” says Hancine.

“What’s important with leadership in education today is making sure we’re making decisions for the right reasons, making sure that educators and learners get the opportunity to make decisions that are based on outcomes that they desire.”

The Masters also enables collaboration with other teachers who are in similar positions, so they can work alongside people who have faced similar challenges.

Hancine says learners are encouraged to express what it is they want to do or change in an open and inclusive context, so they can end up building something that is going to be sustainable and part of their day-to-day practice going forward.

The Mind Lab’s teaching staff are constantly growing and adapting as educators, just as they encourage their learners to. Hancine is currently working on her PHD in dyslexia and educational leadership, considering how and why people learn on a more basic level, to think critically about what makes learning powerful.

“For me personally, it’s important that I stay open to learning and growing too. We’re here to facilitate everyone else’s learning and development, but we can’t do that if we have closed systems and views. We strive to be agile, absorb, and provide space,” says Hancine.

Tim is also involved in research, working in the field, and is currently undertaking doctoral study. He says it’s good for growth to be confronted with a challenge and not know how to solve it. It brings you back to self-reflection and what you really believe is right.

“The key thing for me is not just working with people who are not only like-minded, but also working with people who can challenge your thoughts and ideas as well.”

While Tim believes educational leadership has always been important, the impacts we can have now, being so connected in a digital post-Covid world, are “probably greater than ever before”.

“I think there’s more opportunities now to make an impact and make a difference. Now’s the time to take that step into building your educational leadership,” says Tim.

With a teaching team passionate about growing as educators, The Mind Lab provides an open and inclusive space to study Educational Leadership. Study with us and become a leader in your field today.

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