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Bachelor of Science (Early Childhood Education) Optional Electives

Module Code:EC8902ECTS Credits:5

Overview

Effective communication skills including written and oral presentations, as well as an ability to work with others, are the main factors contributing to job success in any sector. For those working in an early years educational setting the ability to communicate effectively is an essential prerequisite for success in the workplace. Communication involves conveying your messages to other people clearly and unambiguously. It is also about receiving information that others are sending to you, with as little distortion as possible. Communication skills, both verbal and non verbal, such as listening and responding, intercultural communication, presenting and facilitation in group settings, and understanding and responding to messages from babies, toddlers and young children will be evaluated, analysed and applied in this module

This course aims to equip students with a basic understanding of the process of communication and to help them develop and practice their own communication skills so that they themselves can become successful communicators in a variety of educational settings.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

  • Describe and explain human communication processes 
  • Critically analyse and interpret messaging in all its manifestations
  • Identify barriers to effective communication in various early years settings with children from birth to 6 years
  • Differentiate the various skills necessary for effective communication in various educational contexts and with a wide range of audiences 
  • Practice and demonstrate practical communication strategies for specific purposes in workshop settings through the medium of drama and role play 
  • Construct and deliver effective oral, print and electronic strategies in workshop settings which demonstrate effective communication 
  • Discuss the importance of cultural awareness, curiosity and empathy while comparing and valuing different ethnic, cultural and age groupings

Method of Assessment

Presentations (60%)

2 hour exam (40%)

Module Code:EC8903ECTS Credits:5

Overview

Almost all activities within any organisation have financial implications, and most staff are likely to acquire some level of financial or budgetary responsibility during their career.

For State-funded organisations, it is important to be familiar with the various sources of income available to the organisation, and with the regulations regarding management and control of publicly-funded expenditure.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

  • Identify the requirements for the calculation, and legitimate expenditure of capitation grants.
  • Discuss the specific project grants available to schools, pre-schools and early childhood settings and the legitimate expenditure of same.
  • Explain the “Tendering Process” relating to the expenditure of state funds.
  • Identify the requirements for Revenue compliance, where applicable, in the expenditure of funds.
  • Justify the requirement to account for receipts and expenditure of funds, irrespective of origin.
  • Identify specific “Support Programmes” with tied funding for schools.
  • Categorise the qualifying expenditure for “Support Programmes”.
  • Identify key principles in budgeting for management of funds in early childhood settings.
  • Discuss additional sources of funding.

Method of Assessment

1,500 word essay (50%)

1.5 hour exam (50%)

Module Code:EC8904ECTS Credits:5

Overview

Due to the significant number of parents who wish to give their children an education through the medium of Irish, there is a significant number of Irish Language preschools in Irish speaking and in non-Irish speaking areas, as the first stage on the continuum of education through Irish. Many people are interested in working in Irish language preschools. Irish language preschools bestow an advantage on children who go on to attend all Irish primary schools and primary schools in Irish speaking areas. Irish Language Preschools immerse children in Irish and as a consequence of that they enhance their understanding of the language and they give the children a start in speaking Irish. Irish Language Preschools complement the efforts of families who rear their children through Irish. Students should note that a good standard of communicative competence in Irish is necessary to be able to engage effectively with this module.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

  • Discuss immersion education in general in countries when minority languages are in question.         
  • Outline the history of immersion education in Ireland from 1900. 
  • Analyse the current state of the immersion education system in Ireland at preschool level in Irish speaking and non-Irish speaking areas, and the specific aims of Irish Language Preschools. 
  • Evaluate the relationship between Irish Language Preschools and Irish Language Primary Schools. 
  • Describe State Policy with regard to Irish Language Preschools and the roles of organisations which support the sector. 
  • Summarise the particular traits of the curriculum for Irish Language Preschools and the methodologies which are used. 
  • Demonstrate the necessary proficiency in the Irish language (speaking fluently and understanding to a high degree) and the necessary knowledge of teaching methodologies.

Method of Assessment

900 word research essay (30%)

1 hour exam (30%)

15 min oral exam (40%)

Module Code:EC8905ECTS Credits:5

Overview

People possess many different qualities, all of which are important in the workplace. An awareness of qualities, both in others and oneself is essential for the effective running of an organisation.

Effective communication is necessary for effective leadership. Strategies and techniques for effective communication are an important part of management and leadership. Self-awareness and effective communication enhance management and leadership skills. Motivation is an essential part of an effective workforce. Effective management and leadership involves an awareness of motivation theories. Through a model of transformational leadership the motivation level of both the leader and the follower can be enhanced. These skills are important in facilitating and implementing change in an early childhood setting.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module the students should be able to:

  • Differentiate between management and leadership
  • List different models of leadership in the workplace 
  • Explain distributed leadership
  • Describe their own leadership style
  • Identify strategies and techniques that can be used to communicate effectively in different situations, e.g. one-to-one meetings, large-group meetings, in the media
  • Identify strategies and techniques for facilitating successful change in an educational environment 
  • Distinguish between transactional and transformational leadership 
  • Discuss the effective qualities of a transformational leader e.g. Mahatma Gandhi
  • Describe Herzberg’s Two Factor Theory of Motivation 
  • Summarise Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs theory of Motivation 

Method of Assessment

3,000 word essay

Module Code:EC8901ECTS Credits:5

Overview

Up to 25% of three-year-olds are overweight or obese in Ireland (Growing up in Ireland, 2013). By the time Irish children reach nine years of age there is a rate of 30% overweight or obese in some socioeconomic groupings (Growing Up In Ireland – Overweight And Obesity Among 9-Year-Olds, 2011). The government requires pre-schools to have a written policy on healthy eating requirements that complies with the Childcare Act (2006). The pre-school manager is responsible for all the food eaten within the pre-school setting (Food and Nutrition Guidelines for Pre-School Services, 2004).

The course will investigate how nutrition and healthy eating are important aspects of early childhood education. The students will explore their own attitudes and beliefs to what constitutes a healthy diet. They will study key concepts of food and nutrition, appreciate the difference between nutrient intake and the cultural diversity of food. They will briefly learn about safe food handling. Students will be made aware of the relevant legislation and food polices recommended by the statutory agencies.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module the students should be able to:

  • Identify of the basic requirements of a healthy diet in early childhood. 
  • Adapt a food pyramid across different cultures. 
  • Discuss the importance of healthy eating in early childhood.
  • Prepare food in a safe manner. 
  • Outline relevant legislation and associated policies. 

Method of Assessment

1,500 word research essay (50%)

1.5 hour exam (50%)

Module Code:EC8906ECTS Credits:5

Overview

A broad body of literature recognises ICTs as key enablers of innovation and creativity in education (cf. Brecko, Kampylis & Punie, 2014; Johnson, Adams Becker, Estrada, Freeman, Kampylis, Vuorikari & Punie, 2014; DES 2008). This course aims to identify, develop, apply and promote the digital skills and competencies required for early education in the 21st century using a broad range of creative technologies.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module the students should be able to:

  • Interpret and critically analyse the theoretical frameworks underlying technology and its use in early education.
  • Evaluate various educational software packages, hardware and other “kit” and demonstrate their application in an early education environment. 
  • Outline the concepts of constructivism, behaviourism; users generated content, 21st century learners, digital natives, digital learning objects, peer digital learning, creative commons, copyright and publishing and understand how these concepts apply when using technology in the early education environment.
  • Research, create and evaluate digital learning objects, based on appropriate technological and pedagogical interventions for their intended audience/setting/age group (0-6).

Method of Assessment

Creation of a 'digital learning object' (65%)

Description of the object created (35%)