Teaching practice is central to the programme’s approach to teacher development and provides the students with an opportunity to develop their teaching and reflective skills within the classroom. All students are provided with invaluable support from Professional Learning Community (PLC) facilitators and experienced mentors. A STEP student must complete the Teaching Practice components before they are recognised as a STEP teacher.
The teaching practice consists of several components:
Every student is allocated a mainstream school placement in London or the surrounding regions, where they have the opportunity to observe and deliver lessons in a number of mainly humanities-based subject areas. Mainstream school placements are one of the main ways students can gain insight into the reality of working with young people in a classroom setting. They will experience up to 80 days of teaching practice during their time at the IIS.
Students will have access to a school-based mentor who provides professional guidance and support in the development of their teaching practices. Throughout the teaching experience in mainstream schools and RECs, students are supported with formative observations and feedback on their teaching.
During the programme, students compile a Portfolio of Work to demonstrate their progress as teachers and reflective practitioners. The Portfolio will be a professional record of their teaching experience at a mainstream school, an Ismaili REC in the UK or Europe, and in their home context.
The Portfolio will allow participants to consolidate their MA and PGDip experiences and their integration with classroom practices, as well as provide a basis for writing their summative assignments and sustain their continued professional development.
There are further elements of STEP which are not part of the accredited modules for the MA and PGDip but an important and mandatory element of the programme in terms of preparing participants to return to their home countries and take up their posts as STEP teachers.
During the final term of the second year of study, all graduating students will receive sessions aimed to support their transition from full-time students to full time STEP teachers.
The IIS Secondary Curriculum adopts an approach to the study of Islam based on humanistic, civilisational and normative perspectives. It seeks to acquaint secondary students with the diverse and dynamic interplay of Islamic expressions – religious, social, cultural and material –that have become manifest in Muslim societies of the past and present.
Through this trip, students witness the contemporary use of sites of historical relevance, as well as the possibility to learn about structures in terms of secular and religious form and function.
This experiences provide students with a unique perspective in their approach to the delivery of the IIS’ Secondary Curriculum, in which the study of Muslim societies and civilisations is a crucial element.
Readings, orientation sessions and reflection will help students to evaluate and structure their experiences in a pedagogically informed manner and will gain a critical insight into the ways in which deep historical heritage relates to the formulation or construction of peoples' identities and practices.
This trip facilitates a deeper understanding of curricula content and the collection of relevant resources to teach it. It provides a holistic understanding of some of the historical content related to Muslim societies and civilisations that students will eventually bring to life in the classrooms.
Visits during this trip usually include: