The SoEL is a 12-credit short course, pegged at level 8 on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF). It is offered to SU leaders in education, over a one-year period in a blended learning mode. The activities include at least four face-to-face contact sessions (approximately 32 hours); structured online learning through self-study, small-group interaction, and sharing within and between cohorts (approximately 88 hours).
The objectives and outcomes of the SoEL short course include:
To engage educational leaders (e.g. vice-deans of teaching and learning, programme leaders, departmental Chairs, lecturers, heads and staff of units for teaching and learning and for professional academic support services, etc.) in scholarly approaches to educational leadership practices;
To introduce educational leaders to the scholarship of educational leadership (SoEL) literature and its implications for their own educational leadership context;
To apply SoEL research skills to one's own educational leadership context (such as reviewing literature, formulating SoEL research problems, designing research methods, disseminating results);
To demonstrate critically reflective practice on educational leadership in the form of a mini-portfolio.
This course draws on two bodies of knowledge: Academic Leadership (AL) and the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) and aims to bring conceptual frameworks from these two bodies of knowledge into dialogue with each other. These conceptual frameworks are intended to offer the participants theoretical lenses through which to interrogate and reflect on their own practices as educational leaders. Other supporting frameworks and practices include reflection, change management and innovation and contextual awareness.
The course content is divided into four broad themes: Contextualising Educational Leadership, Researching Educational Leadership, Curriculum Leadership, and Pedagogical Leadership. These themes are overlapping and run concurrently throughout the course.
The online learning takes the form of a structured reading programme, where each participant is required to engage in a review of the literature on each of the four themes. The readings reviewed by each individual are discussed in smaller and larger groups. Online activities and assignments are also included.
The course assessments are both formative and summative in nature. The formative assessments (milestones at the end of each term) build towards the two summative capstone assessments, which are due at the end of the short course. The broad criteria underpinning the assessment tasks relate to how well a participant:
Demonstrates utilisation and integration of relevant scholarly literature to inform educational leadership practices;
Reflects deliberately on educational leadership practices and professional growth with a view to continuous development;
Applies rigorous research design, methodology and analysis to an aspect of own educational leadership practices.
The course follows a "SoEL-mate" model and each participant is assigned a SoEL-mate from a previous cohort who have walked the road before.
Four of the SoEL participants during the first contact session in Den Bosch on 31 January: (fltr) Dr Taryn Bernard, Lt Col Bontle Monnanyane, Ms Heidi October, Dr Louise Botha.
The first cohort to complete the SoEL have received their certificates