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Bachelor of Science (Early Childhood Education) Year 2 Module Listings

Module Code:EC8203ECTS Credits:15

Overview

Building on students’ engagement with developmental psychology in first year, this module broadens their theory-base to incorporate the insights of both psychology and sociology. Students are introduced to specific theories of each discipline and to their interrelationships, so that they might develop appropriate perspectives that enable them to better understand the dynamics and issues of early childhood in its social and cultural context. Students will be facilitated in integrating their learning in this module with that in the International Policy and Best Practice in Early Childhood Education and Early Childhood Education Policy & Practice in Ireland modules.

Learning Outcomes

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

  • Evaluate how contextual factors may impact on individual learning and development in early childhood, with particular emphasis on transitions young children may experience.
  • Articulate from an informed perspective, concepts of how young children learn, and how these might impact on practice as an Early Childhood Practitioner.
  • Apply psychological and sociological insights gained with respect to the dynamics and issues of early education, to identify successful strategies in the early childhood setting for children from birth to 6 years.
  • Critically analyse the implications of specific psychological and sociological theoretical perspectives for early education.
  • Identify and explain concepts of social justice informed by psychological and sociological theory, and apply these concepts to everyday practice in the early childhood setting.

Method of Assessment

5,000-word essay

Module Code:EC8204ECTS Credits:15

Overview

Research literature informs us that there are multiple and diverse childhoods (Waller, 2005). This makes it inappropriate to universalise curriculum. This module will look at a number of different curriculum models and at the contexts in which they are embedded. The purpose is to familiarise students with national and international models of curriculum. The dominance of an Anglo-American notion of how curriculum should be, will be examined, given the fact that 80% of the world’s children live outside of America and Europe (Waller, 2005). Having studied different curriculum models, students should be enabled to make informed decisions about curriculum in the Irish context. They should also be able to critique a curriculum, such as Aistear, and identify its theoretical underpinnings from accessing their knowledge of curriculum theories and other curricula.

Approaches to assessment in the early years will also be examined here to ensure that students will be able to identify appropriate assessment practice for working with children from birth to 6 years.

Learning Outcomes

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

  • Compare and contrast different curriculum models and curriculum framework models in the area of early childhood education 
  • Apply evidence from research to identify key characteristics of curricula that inform practice
  • Critique the political ideology that informs the concept of practice in a given setting
  • Outline how reflective practice can be utilised to ensure that practice is culturally and socially appropriate to particular contexts
  • Describe and plan the implementation of a variety of assessment modes appropriate to an early years setting
  • Describe how formative assessment can be used to plan for and inform future learning for children
  • Record the use of assessment-for-learning strategies with children in early years’ settings as a step towards developing autonomous child learners
  • Appraise the use of learning stories as a narrative assessment method with young children

Method of Assessment

3,000 word assignment (50%)

3,000 word diary (50%)

Module Code:EC8205ECTS Credits:5

Overview

National policies in early childhood education and care have seen the introduction of funding and regulation aimed at expanding access, ensuring quality, and improving programme cohesion. These initiatives continue to shape the growth of private and public service provision in an increasingly multicultural Ireland. Access initiatives highlight critical factors in early childhood education such as training and other “active ingredients” that contribute to improved outcomes for children.  Evidence based practices to support quality assurance in early childhood education and care services have been operationalised by a number of regional stakeholders. National research has also supported the emergence of an increasing range of family support services for children from 0 to 3 years. Policies to unify the work of early childhood education and care professionals from a range of backgrounds are designed to facilitate efficiencies, foster quality for all children in Ireland from 0 to 6 years of age, and prevent potential difficulties associated with transition in early childhood. Students will be facilitated in integrating their learning in this module with that in the Understanding Childhood in Context module.

Learning Outcomes

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

  • Analyse the impact of early childhood education and care governance systems in Ireland 
  • Discuss stakeholder issues in early childhood education and care at national and regional levels 
  • Describe private and public early childhood education and care provision and the impact on labour markets and outcomes for children and parents 
  • Summarise several evidence based practices in early childhood education contributing to quality provision
  • Critique the relationship between early childhood education and care, and poverty and inequality 

Method of Assessment

3,000 word essay

Module Code:EC8206ECTS Credits:5

Overview

This course is based on a broad philosophy of well-being that encompasses physical, social, mental, and spiritual health. It is concerned with developing students’ knowledge and understanding, skills, values and attitudes that are central to quality programmes for children in the early years and central to caring for children in the early years setting. Students will be encouraged to focus on the role they play as they promote:

  • The physical, social and emotional growth and development of children from birth to 6 years
  • An understanding of the value of self and others and the development of positive interpersonal relationships in children from birth to 6 years
  • The adoption of active, healthy lifestyles through informed decision making which leads to effective and responsible action
  • Participation in regular and varied physical education experiences, which provide the foundation for a lifelong commitment to valuing and leading a physically active lifestyle

Learning Outcomes

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

  • State the rationale for, and the nature and value of emphasising a child’s well-being and health in the early years
  • Plan, assess, implement and evaluate procedures and experiences related to health and well-being for children from birth to 6 years 
  • Identify and use participative (active learning) methodologies and procedures which are central to the organisation and management of health and well-being within the early childhood setting
  • Examine and critique a range of resources and equipment available for the teaching of health, hygiene, nutrition and physical education for children from birth to 6 years
  • Use appropriate health and safety strategies in health and well-being, underpinned by Child Protection guidelines
  • Summarise theoretical perspectives and research based on Early childhood health and well-being

Method of Assessment

2 hour exam (70%)

1,000 word Reflective Journal (30%)

Module Code:EC8207ECTS Credits:5

Overview

Inquiry-Based Learning [IBL] as a theme of educational research has attracted considerable interest particularly in recent years [Audet, 2005; Erickson, 2008; Lindfors, 1999; Parker, 2007]. It currently influences curriculum development and teaching approaches and methodologies in a number of recent innovative programmes to construct new models of teaching and learning [Pataray-Ching & Roberson, 2002; Sausele Knodt, 2010]. This has led to research and development of inquiry-based curricula and the argument in support of inquiry-based learning is being heard increasingly and recognised as an appropriate pedagogical approach.

The module will investigate how Inquiry-Based Learning can be used as a way to explore and deepen our understanding of the world around us. It will focus on the role of the environment in the development of the young child. It will afford students the opportunity to critically examine their own attitudes and beliefs in relation to social, environmental and scientific issues.This area of study will explore scientific, geographical and historical concepts and how these are critical in the development of young children to deepen their understanding of the world around them. The course will focus on practical experiences and investigations that will provide the necessary skills and pedagogical understandings that Early Childhood practitioners need in order to explore some of these concepts successfully in various settings.

This module will strengthen students’ capacity to promote and critique children’s inquiry in an Early Childhood setting. They will have requisite knowledge, skills and capacities for reflection necessary to develop positive engagement with Inquiry-Based Learning.

Learning Outcomes

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

  • Identify the key stages within different models of the process of inquiry. 
  • Outline practical strategies and methodologies for planning and teaching in a way that will promote Inquiry-Based Learning within an Early Childhood setting.
  • Examine the implications of Inquiry-Based learning for practitioners in early childhood settings.
  • Examine and critique Inquiry-Based Learning within an Early Childhood setting and the wider environment.
  • Reflect on students’ own working situations. 
  • Compare and contrast a range of different environments through fieldwork to support young children’s learning in their own immediate local environment. 

Method of Assessment

3,000 word assignment

Module Code:EC8201ECTS Credits:5

Overview

Section 42 of the Irish Constitution guarantees the right of every child to an education. This is underpinned by the UN Declaration on the Rights of the Child (articles 28 and 29) which states that all children are entitled to equality of both access and opportunities to enjoy and to learn within a stimulating and safe care environment. The right to education is of vital importance in that it is fundamental to the full access to other rights and to the ability to participate fully in in the civil life of a society.

Ireland is a deeply unequal society despite recent surges in wealth and prosperity during the "Celtic Tiger" years. Regardless of the individual's ability to make a contribution to the economic well-being of society every child has a right to education for its own holistic development. CSO figures show that more than one in 5 children are at serious risk of poverty (200,000) and one in ten are living in consistent poverty. The longer a child lives in poverty the greater the risk to the future development.

Learning Outcomes

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

  • Identify the main sociological frameworks and use them to interrogate issues of social exclusion and educational disadvantage 
  • Outline the main egalitarian frameworks and examine how they relate to education, and early child hood education in particular for children from birth to 6 years
  • Critically review social policy as it pertains to education and early childhood provision in national and international contexts 
  • Identify the moral and ethical responsibilities to mitigate the effects of social exclusion and educational disadvantage for children from birth to 6 years

Method of Assessment

1,500 word assignment (50%)

Presentation (50%)

Module Code:EC8202ECTS Credits:5

Overview

“During the five years before starting school a child has a vast range of experiences building up familiarity with a great variety of things and the ways in which they change. These are sorted out and related to one another. All children have pre-school experiences of this kind and it is out of this body of natural early mathematical activity that the future learning of mathematics must grow.”

(p. 19, Williams & Shuard, 1979, 1994).

From an early age, young children show an interest and capacity to learn mathematics. Early mathematical knowledge has been found to predict future ability in both mathematics and literacy. If children are provided with rich opportunities to play, explore, investigate, and enjoy objects and experiences from a mathematical perspective in the early years, it will benefit them throughout their formal education and beyond. This course prepares those working with children in the early years to create formal and informal opportunities to awaken children’s mathematical sensibility and curiosity throughout the early years. Above all, it helps the early childhood educator to promote children's enjoyment and confidence in thinking, talking and playing mathematically.

Learning Outcomes

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

  • Outline key theories of historical and contemporary thinkers such as in relation to mathematical development and mathematics teaching and learning in the early years
  • Identify and explain mathematical concepts that children can acquire in the early years, with particular focus on the areas of number and shape and space.
  • Use accurate and appropriate mathematical language to describe a range of situations and ideas that arise in the experiences of children in the early years
  • Identify, plan and create tasks and activities that have potential to elicit informal mathematical discovery, exploration, activity and thinking among early years children
  • Describe how a range of materials and representations can be used to promote children's mathematical enjoyment and development
  • Identify ways to formally and informally assess mathematical attainment in the early years 

Method of Assessment

2 hour exam (70%)

Assignment involving an interview with a 3-6 year old to assess mathematical understanding (30%)

Students will choose one module from the following options*:

  • Communication for Education
  • Financial Management in Education
  • Early Childhood Education through the Medium of Irish
  • Leadership: Theory and Practice
  • Nutrition and Healthy Eating
  • Creative Technologies in an Early Education Setting

Please see here for further information on each of these optional electives.

*Please note that all options may not be available each year