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Bachelor in Education (Primary) Year One Module Listings

Module Code:ED8109ECTS Credits:5

Overview

This module provides an opportunity for students to locate themselves within the current system, having an appreciation of the historical development of education, nationally and internationally. Informed by this knowledge, students are empowered to develop a perspective on educational continuity and change. In an increasingly fast-paced society, students should be able to critically evaluate educational policies and practices and to analyse emergent developments.

Learning Outcomes

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

  • Describe the development of the primary education system in Ireland
  • Critically analyse the role of various stakeholders in the formation of the education system in Ireland      
  • Interpret aspects of the Irish education system in the context of historical developments in education internationally 
  • Interrogate educational policies from a historical and philosophical perspective 
  • Provide a detailed discussion of a topic, justify and evaluate their position and counter-claims
  • Employ appropriate examples and arguments, including their own thoughts and experiences that reflect a degree of personal critical reflection. 

Method of Assessment

Exam (3 hours) 100%

Module Code:ED8108ECTS Credits:5

Overview

This module will provide a foundation for students to understand the basic methods and perspectives provided by psychological thinking, and how these may be applied to education, teaching and learning. It will draw largely on developmental psychology in delineating various psychological schools of thought and how they describe the learning and development of children in a holistic sense (physical, social, emotional, cognitive, moral, linguistic etc). Students will be encouraged to begin a process of developing critical, analytical approaches to their work. Such approaches are applicable to the study of psychology, but are also transferable to other disciplines and subjects within the B.Ed.

Learning Outcomes

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

  • Identify and understand some of the multitude of factors interacting with and impacting on children’s development and learning, both in and outside of the classroom. Understand how early development impacts on later behaviour and learning in the primary school.
  • Describe various theoretical approaches to explaining children’s learning and development, and outline how different psychological perspectives compare and contrast.
  • Exhibit critical, analytical approaches to the study of child development, and develop their own opinions, perspectives and approaches, grounded in a solid base of research and theory. Begin the process of developing a self-directed approach to learning.
  • Develop practical approaches in the school setting based on theoretical concepts i.e. interpret and adapt psychological approaches and insights to improve practice as a teacher. 
  • Identify and understand concepts of social justice in the context of Developmental and Educational Psychology, and apply these concepts to the everyday practice of teaching. 
  • Recognise the diversity of children’s development, and the different courses such development can take while still remaining “typical”, with particular focus on fostering nurturing, inclusive educational environments. 

Method of Assessment

3,000 word assignment 

Module Code:ED8102ECTS Credits:5

Overview

English Methods

As language is central to learning and English is the medium for most learning in the Primary School Curriculum, the importance of literacy in English cannot be overstated. Children at middle class levels need to develop literacy skills in the three language strands of oral language, reading and writing. Pre-service teachers need guidance and instruction in understanding how these skills are developed and in learning methodologies for teaching in these areas.

Irish Methods

Gaeilge is a living language of communication. It is part of our heritage and the most distinctive part of Gaelic culture. The learning of Gaeilge enables the child to make closer contact with that culture. Gaeilge is the national language of Ireland, it has constitutional status and in general every primary school child must learn Gaeilge.

Learning Outcomes

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

English Methods (2.5 ECTS credits)

  • Plan a series of English language lessons for middle classes (2nd-4th) in accordance with the principles of the Primary School Curriculum (1999)
  • Describe appropriate teaching methodologies for the teaching of oral language, reading and writing as appropriate to the middle classes in primary school
  • Describe and illustrate the literacy-related knowledge, skills, and attitudes that children will need to draw on in order to meet the oral language, reading and writing demands of the English Curriculum from 2nd–4th class.
  • Describe the processes by which literacy learners analyse and respond to texts and bringing a critical awareness to reading and writing.

Irish Methods (2.5 ECTS credits)

  • Demonstrate an understanding of how to teach Gaeilge as a living language of communication in the middle classes as it is recommended to do that in the 1999 Curriculum
  • Explain the lay-out and the main characteristics of the Gaeilge Curriculum and what is entailed with a communicative approach in the middle classes
  • Use appropriate strategies and teaching methods in order to cater for communicative needs in communicative situations 
  • Explain the importance associated with enjoyment and positive attitude and to outline the ways in which Gaeilge can be promoted informally 
  • Plan a unit of work for a period of a week under the umbrella of the themes and topics of the Gaeilge Curriculum, to write a Gaeilge lesson plan, to demonstrate the importance language functions and periods in a communicative lesson, to demonstrate how to integrate the strands of the Gaeilge Curriculum and how to undertake appropriate assessment 
  • Plan and teach a lesson in another curricular area through the medium of Gaeilge 

Methods of Assessment

English Methods:

1.5 hour exam

Irish Methods:

1,500 word assignment

Module Code:ED8105ECTS Credits:5

Overview

SESE

Social, Environmental and Scientific Education (SESE) seeks to examine and understand communities from the local to the global, their diverse heritages, their complex systems and how people and environments affect each other in the present and in the past. This area of study will explore scientific, geographical and historical concepts and procedures relevant to the SESE curriculum and to the students’ own personal and professional development in the different curricular areas. The course will focus on practical experiences that will provide the necessary skills and pedagogical understandings that primary teachers will need in order to teach the three SESE subjects of history, geography and science successfully in various classroom settings, urban, rural and multicultural. There will be a particular emphasis on practical investigations incorporating fieldwork in different settings for all three subject areas. Areas of study include curriculum content, methodologies and approaches, integration and planning, assessment, resource planning and use of technology in teaching history, geography and science. The study of the Primary School Curriculum (1999) and the associated Teacher Guidelines will be the main focus of the course. The course will afford students the opportunity to critically examine their own attitudes and beliefs in relation to the three subject areas together with effective strategies that will enhance pupils’ learning in social, environmental and scientific education.

Mathematics

Reform mathematics places an emphasis on conceptual understanding and problem solving informed by a constructivist understanding of how children learn. This is a new approach to mathematics for most first year students and therefore they will need exposure to new mathematical content followed by reflection activities so that they can begin to engage with the complexity of teaching mathematics at primary level.

The small group workshop session structure of this course aims to facilitate exploration of the content of the Primary School Mathematics Curriculum. They will also encompass the development of lesson plans for differentiation and assessment.

The focus of the workshops will be on exploring students’ own experiences and understandings of mathematical concepts and incorporating that learning into their first experiences of teaching mathematics to young children. The focus of the workshops will be on developing enduring mathematical understandings in both students and children (Wiggins, G. & J. McTighe (1998). Understanding by Design. Ohio: Merrill Prentice Hall), through exploring key questions such as ‘Why do we measure things?’ or ‘What makes a computational strategy effective and efficient?’

Students will use the backward design process (Wiggins & McTighe ibid) to inform their approach to both planning and assessment. Through engaging with this process they will explore what is worth being familiar with, what is important to know, and what constitutes enduring mathematical understandings in children. They will examine examples of both teachers’ and children’s work and use an advance organizer approach to unpacking the material.

Learning Outcomes

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

SESE

  • Demonstrate dimensions of subject matter knowledge, content knowledge, pedagogical knowledge and curriculum knowledge in SESE 
  • Demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge of the current curriculum documents and recognise the strands, strand units, skills and competencies that pupils should develop at each level in the primary classroom for each curricular area
  • Prepare and write lessons in SESE which demonstrate an awareness of the local and global concerns, and which incorporate a development education perspective appropriate to the primary school classroom
  • Explore ways that various materials and resources, including the use of ICT, can be used effectively and safely in the classroom to create an active, engaging, learning environment 
  • Use diverse approaches to become a resourceful teacher and a thoughtful reflective practitioner in the subject areas of history, geography and science
  • Explore a range of different environments through fieldwork to support children’s learning in their own immediate local environment 
  • Demonstrate the skills of working as an historian and a scientist / geographer 
  • Motivate, inspire, acknowledge and celebrate effort and success in the area of SESE

Mathematics

  • Describe clearly a selection of key concepts in primary mathematics (second to fourth class)
  • Demonstrate evidence of how to design effective learning activities in primary mathematics
  • Apply a variety of appropriate methodologies to mathematical content
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of appropriate formative assessment strategies in maths
  • Demonstrate ability to work collaboratively in the planning and teaching of mathematics

Methods of Assessment

SESE:

1,500 word portfolio

Mathematics:

1.5 hour exam

Module Code:ED8103ECTS Credits:5

Overview

This course is divided into two learning areas (1) Physical Education (PE) and (2) Social, Personal and Health Education (SPHE). It is based on a broad philosophy of health that encompasses all aspects of a child’s well-being, with a particular focus on physical, social, mental, and spiritual health. It is concerned with developing students’ knowledge and understanding, skills, values and attitudes that are central to quality PE and SPHE programmes for pupils. Student teachers will be encouraged to focus on the role they play as they promote:

  • The physical, social and emotional growth and development of pupils in both learning areas
  • The adoption of active, healthy lifestyles through informed decision making which leads to effective and responsible action
  • An understanding of the value of self and others and the development of positive interpersonal relationships
  • Participation in regular and varied physical education experiences, which provide the foundation for a lifelong commitment to valuing and leading a physically active lifestyle
  • The systematic and explicit teaching of personal and social skills to give students a basis for resilience and the resourceful management of their own lives.

Learning Outcomes

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

  • Identify the rationale, nature and value of PE and SPHE in the primary school with a focus on middle and senior classes
  • Describe the structure and content of the curriculum in PE and SPHE
  • Demonstrate the ability to plan, assess, implement and evaluate lessons in PE and SPHE
  • Identify and mimic participative (active learning) methodologies central to the organisation and management of PE and SPHE in the primary school 
  • Examine the range of resources and equipment available for the teaching of PE and SPHE 
  • Use appropriate health and safety strategies in PE and SPHE lessons, underpinned by Child Protection guidelines 

Methods of Assessment

Physical Education:

1.5 hour exam

SPHE:

1.5 hour exam

Module Code:ED8104ECTS Credits:5

Overview

The arts are universal to all cultural groupings. Through the arts, humans come to know themselves and their world and express human experience creatively and imaginatively (DES, 1999). Arts education is an entitlement of every pupil (Bloomfield & Childs, 2000) and since aesthetic and creative development is not an automatic consequence of maturation, primary teachers must be qualified to create zones of development within which the course of pupils’ arts development can be promoted (Eisner, 2002). This requires teachers to have an understanding of the knowledge areas of individual art forms and how they are applied (Bloomfield & Childs, 2000). While drama, music and the visual arts share epistemological knowledge domains, they each posses their own epistemologies. Therefore, this course enables students to study the arts in both a discrete and integrated manner.

Firstly, it unpacks students’ perceptions of the arts in light of their arts education biographies and then extends their understanding of the arts through four types of engagement – participation, repertoire, critical responses and contextual understanding (Bloomfield & Childs, 2002). It develops their receptive, expressive and critical skills (Hickman, 2004) through listening and responding, looking and responding, improvisation and art production. It extends their understanding of the arts elements in terms of their properties and possibilities. From a pedagogical perspective, students will be introduced to the general aims and rationale of the primary arts curricula with a particular weighting on visual arts education in the junior freshman year.

Learning Outcomes

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

  • Critically examine their own arts education biographies informed by engagement and shared knowledge construction 
  • Reflect upon the centrality and transformative potential of arts education 
  • Describe key elements of the art as experienced through direct exploration of some arts curricula components 
  • Reflect on how ideas, feelings and experiences can be explored through the arts 
  • Consider the use of stimuli to realise an idea using the drama and visual arts modes
  • Reflect on the expressive character of compositions, performances, productions and exhibits
  • Summarise the general aims and emphases of arts education curricula at primary level 
  • Explain the rationale, structure and key emphases of the visual arts curriculum 
  • Design and evaluate imaginative and informed visual arts lessons from first to fourth class using a variety of stimuli and appropriate methodologies 
  • Appraise a piece of music using appropriate musical vocabulary, demonstrating understanding of a composer’s use of musical elements
  • Reflect upon experiential work with respect to classroom application

Method of Assessment

Art Journal (3,000 words)

Module Code:ED8111ECTS Credits:5

Overview

Religious Education seeks to enable Teacher Education students to address the many spiritual and religious opportunities and challenges facing primary school pupils and to contribute to their holistic development by enabling them to develop ethically and morally, spiritually and religiously.

Learning Outcomes

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

  • Apply knowledge of a variety of pedagogies and methodologies to the design of R.E. lessons appropriate to specific classroom contexts 
  • Demonstrate an empathic understanding and appreciation of diverse religions and belief systems 
  • Identify and reflect upon suitable strategies for inclusive practice in R.E. with sensitivity to the culture and ethos of a variety of school models      
  • Critically analyse and reflect upon the student’s own ontological and epistemological journey in R.E. 
  • Discuss the skills, qualities and attributes required by the R.E. teacher in order to contribute to the holistic development of primary school pupils 
  • Demonstrate the appropriate subject knowledge, content knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge in the areas of ethics, morals and spirituality, essential to that holistic development 

Method of Assessment

Reflective Journal (3,000 words)

Module Code:ED8110ECTS Credits:5

Overview

In common with other areas of professional learning, from medicine to psychotherapy, approximations of practice are increasingly being used as a "pedagogy of enactment" (Grossman, Hammerness and McDonald, 2009) in the preparation and assessment of teachers. These are centred around high leverage practices or core practices in teaching, examples of which include teaching the whole class and understanding variations in achievement, preparing for a lesson, leading a whole-class discussion, connecting content across lessons, teaching while students work independently, establishing a classroom culture (Lampert, 2001).

Some research has shown that teachers' understanding of their role is influenced by the beliefs and attitudes that they acquired during the thirteen years they have spent as students in classrooms. However, this apprenticeship of observation (Lortie, 1975, 2002) is partial in that students observe the work of teaching from a pupil's rather than a teacher's perspective. As Lortie puts it,"what students learn about teaching ... is intuitive and imitative rather than explicit and analytical" (p. 62). In response to this theory about teacher learning, this module will allow students to interrogate their own beliefs about teaching and to reflect on how their beliefs evolve through engaging in practice.

Learning Outcomes

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

  • Launch a task in class
  • Check quickly on pupils' understanding 
  • Tell a story to teach content
  • Conduct a class discussion
  • Explain key content in one or more curriculum subjects 
  • Organise pupils to work cooperatively on a task 
  • Figure out and respond to what pupils say 
  • Anticipate difficulties that children will have in learning concepts 
  • Complete tasks within the time constraints available 
  • Reflect on their experiences as learners and the influence that these experiences have on their evolving beliefs about teaching
  • Identify and interrogate their beliefs about teaching informed by their experiences prior to and during the module 

Method of Assessment

Every student will teach a 20-minute lesson (or equivalent) to a class of 5 or more children.

Module Code:ED8106ECTS Credits:5

Overview

The rationale of this course is two-fold: to enable student teachers to communicate effectively with children in the classroom and to be able to organise and manage a classroom environment for and with children. These are essential skills for graduates of a B. Ed. programme. Communication is integral to both classroom organisation and management and will comprise verbal and non-verbal elements.

Learning Outcomes

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

  • Construct and deliver effective oral, print and electronic communication strategies in workshop settings
  • Practise and demonstrate practical communication strategies for specific purposes, in workshop settings, through the medium of drama and role-play
  • Question effectively, give an explanation, and engage in dialogue with peers in role as children in the classroom 
  • Exploit the potential of electronic social media for developing written communication in the classroom
  • Identify and respond to parents’ and children’s individual communication styles, and the cultural and religious norms and customs that may influence communication practice, acknowledging the diversity in backgrounds and experience of children and parents
  • Nurture a classroom atmosphere that is conducive to inter –subjectivity and other non-verbal cues
  • Develop story-telling skills to facilitate engagement, interaction and learning 
  • Have an ability to listen effectively to children and develop listening skills in children 
  • Design and set up a positive, stimulating print-rich learning environment for the Primary Classroom
  • Choose and/or design classroom resources such as educational equipment, timetables, classroom rotas and wall displays to enhance children’s learning 
  • Identify, from a menu, appropriate classroom management strategies for diverse classroom situations 
  • Explain the process for establishing class rules in consultation and collaboration with the children
  • Describe a rationale and a number of strategies for grouping children in a variety of learning situations

Method of Assessment

Group oral and written presentation

Module Code:ED8107ECTS Credits:5

Overview

Competence in oral and written communication and a knowledge and appreciation of language and literature from a range of genres contribute to the personal, academic and professional development of student teachers (Bearne, 1996; Thomson, 1996; Fox; 1996; Huck, Keifer, Hepler & Hickman 2004, Gamble and Yates, 2008). This course aims to develop students’ own literacy skills, their knowledge of the structure of language and their ability to read and respond to literature from a range of genres.

Irish is both a language and a subject in the primary school. It is important, therefore, that the competence of the teacher in Irish is attended to so that the teacher will be able to function through the medium of Irish informally and express himself/herself effectively while teaching Irish.

Learning Outcomes

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

English

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the knowledge underlying the instruction of language (phonology, metacognition, morphology, orthography, etymology, semantics, syntax and pragmatics) in primary schools
  • Critically read and appraise texts from a range of genres 
  • Write fluently and accurately
  • Respond critically (both orally and in writing) to selected literature from a range of genres 

Irish

  • Show the way in which responsibility was taken for learning, indicate recognition made at entry level (B2, Common European Framework) of ability, learning outcomes and ways of learning; display the regular recording made of that learning, demonstrate care taken and worthwhile use that can be made of internet sites for terms and accuracy
  • Demonstrate the ways in which language awareness enhanced learning and the role played by cultural awareness
  • Listen to questions, understand them and give correct answers 
  • Speak fluently and accurately with a broad range of vocabulary and with suitable richness of speech
  • Read and understand short and long written texts, and read texts aloud with meaning and proper pronunciation (see Course Content and Syllabus)
  • Write freely and accurately (see Course Content and Syllabus) 
  • Explain terms of literary criticism and critique texts at a basic level
  • Demonstrate basic grammatical accuracy in contexts relating to his/her personal life, professional life, in translations and in functional texts.

Methods of Assessment

English:

1.5 hour exam

Irish:

Written and oral exam (1.5 hours in total)

Module Code:ED8101ECTS Credits:10

Overview

Field experiences in teacher education programmes are excellent opportunities for pre-service teachers to learn to teach in complex and authentic learning situations. Sawyer (2006) posits that knowledge is now considered as ‘situated, practised and collaboratively generated.’ Indeed it is because of this that learning to teach through the practice of teaching while on school placement is a critical component of teacher education programmes (Furlong and Maynard, 1995).

At Junior Freshman stage, students should begin with ‘approximations of practice,’ Grosman et al., and observation with initial responsibilities for planning and teaching. Students will be encouraged to become “reflective practitioners” during the placement. To support them in doing this, students will be required to keep a personal journal recording their experiences of the placement.

Learning Outcomes

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

  • Prepare, teach and evaluate lessons of appropriate challenge and interest in the middle class range
  • Prepare appropriate resources and displays to support their teaching and pupil learning
  • Select and use appropriate methodologies to achieve planned outcomes in a variety of curricular areas and evidence appropriate subject knowledge when teaching 
  • Demonstrate appropriate teaching skills to include motivation of pupils, discussion, explanation, questioning
  • Demonstrate a range of communication skills which facilitate positive interaction in the classroom 
  • Organise and maintain a positive learning environment
  • Engage in professional discussions with class teacher, principal teacher and HEI tutor
  • Apply their knowledge when observing learning and teaching in the classroom and document and analyse their reflections throughout the placement using a reflective journal

Method of Assessment

School placement