Foundations of Teaching for Learning 1: Introduction

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Course Date: 01 September 2014 to 29 September 2014 (4 weeks)

Price: free

Course Summary

Foundations of Teaching for Learning is a program of study primarily for people who are currently teaching but have had no formal teacher education. This course is an introductory one that considers the three domains of being a teacher: Professional Knowledge and Understanding; Professional Practice; and Professional Values, Relationships and Engagement.

Estimated Workload: 4-6 hours/week

Course Instructors

John MacBeath

John MacBeath is Professor Emeritus at the University of Cambridge, UK where he held the Chair of Educational Leadership from 2000 to 2012. From 1997 to 2001 he was a member of the UK Government National Schools Standards Task Force. His consultancy work has included the OECD, UNESCO, the International Labour Organisation, the Bertelsmann Foundation, the European Commission and the Education Bureau in Hong Kong. More recently in his role as Project Director of the Centre for Commonwealth Education he has, in collaboration with the University of Cape Coast, helped embed leadership for learning in government policy in Ghana.  He was awarded the OBE (Order of the British Empire) for services to education in 1997 and an honorary doctorate from the University of Edinburgh in 2009. He has authored and co-authored 20 books in education, including most recently A Common Wealth of Learning (Routledge, 2013) with Mike Younger and Learning in and out of School: the selected works of John MacBeath (Routledge, 2012).

Course Description

This introductory course explains how the seven other courses in the program will assist you to improve your understanding of your role and work as a teacher.  This set of courses will enhance your knowledge and understanding about learning and teaching and what makes a teacher a professional. 

Practical activities are provided to assist you in using what you have learned to improve your teaching practice.  While these are optional, it is strongly recommended that you undertake them if at all possible.

Of particular importance is a guide to the development of a portfolio to help you organize and document your thinking about what you have learned. In addition, you may be able to use the portfolio to access other opportunities in the future. 

The program consists of the following courses:

  1. Introduction
  2. Being a Teacher
  3. Learners and Learning
  4. Curriculum
  5. Planning for Teaching and Learning
  6. Introduction to Student Assessment
  7. Being a Professional
  8. Developing Relationships 


  • Will I get a Statement of Accomplishment after completing this class?

On the satisfactory completion of each course you will receive a statement of accomplishment related to the course. These courses form part of a Specialization and if you have enrolled for signature track and satisfactorily completed each of the eight courses in the Specialization you will be able to participate in the capstone project. On completion of the capstone project you will receive a verified Specialization certificate for the entire program. 

  • Is there any point in taking just one course out of the program?

Each course covers a different topic and can be taken separately though we would recommend that the introduction is taken first as it explains the techniques used and sets the scene for the other courses.  


This course will provide:

  • an explanation of how the Foundations of Teaching for Learning program will benefit you in your role as a teacher;
  • an explanation of the three domains that constitute the basis of the program;
  • an overview of each of the seven courses in the program;
  • details of the components of the courses;
  • information on evaluation techniques to provide feedback on your learning; and
  • guidance on the development of your portfolio. 


The course will consist or video lectures of about 10 minutes in length. There will also be additional think pieces, readings and activities each week. Additional activities and readings will be provided for those that want to go further. The course will be assessed by weekly quizzes and two peer assessed assignments.

Suggested Reading

Although the program can be completed without reading specific text books the following are suggested for those that may wish to purchase further reading:

MacBeath, J (2011)The Future of the Teaching Profession, Brussels, Education International

 MacBeath, J. and Younger, K. (Eds) A Common Wealth of Learning, London, Routledge

Perkins, D. (2009) Making Learning Whole: How seven principles of learning can transform teaching, San Francisco, Jossey Bass

Townsend, T. & Otero, G. (1999) The Global Classroom: Activities to engage students in Third Millennium Schools, Hawker Brownlow, Melbourne.

Townsend, T & Bates, R. (Eds) (2007) Handbook of Teacher Education: Globalization, Standards and Professionalism in Times of Change, Springer, New York, 756p.

Watkins, C. (2005) Classrooms as Learning Communities, London, Routleldge

Course Workload

4-6 hours/week

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