Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood Education

MQF Level 6

6 ECTS

Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood Education

Start
October 2024
Module Type
Compulsory
Price
€500
ECTS Credits
6 ECTS
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Module Description

This module engages participants in a deep dive into contemporary issues affecting the field of Early Childhood Education (ECE) from local to global contexts. It emphasizes understanding and addressing current challenges and changes within the educational landscape.

Scope of Contemporary Issues: The term ‘contemporary’ covers current and ongoing aspects of education, including policy shifts, case studies, and events influencing ECE. Topics discussed may range from inclusivity and diversity initiatives to political and sociocultural developments affecting education. This will include considerations of gender, socioeconomic status, human rights, children’s rights, curricular developments, and peace education.

Critical Discussions and Debates: Participants will explore major challenges faced by the education sector, particularly ECE, across various dimensions—international, European, and local. The module will facilitate discussions on access to education, defining quality education, and tailoring educational approaches to fit diverse socioeconomic realities.

Community of Practice: By the end of this module, participants are expected to contribute to a community of practice, understanding the roots of contemporary issues and collaboratively exploring solutions. The aim is to harness change as a proactive tool in reshaping and improving ECE settings and policies.

Entry Requirements

Candidates who apply for this course will possess:

  • A full qualification at MQF level 4 in Early Childhood Education and SEC/Ordinary Level passes in Mathematics, English and Maltese.

OR

  • 2 Advanced Level passes and 2 Intermediate Level passes including 2 subjects from Mathematics, English, Maltese.
    A pass at SEC/Ordinary Level in the subject that is not presented at advanced/intermediate level from the 3 specified above.
  • In the case of students who do not possess all the formal required academic qualifications, then the RPL process could be applied such that if evidence of equivalent learning, related to the area of study of this programme, is found then the applicant could still be accepted in the course. Such RPL process will subject applicants to an interview held with a board of experts within the field, chosen specifically by IDEA Academy, so as to verify their experiences and prior learning.

IDEA Academy’s RPL policy can be accessed through this link

Furthermore, it will be advised to students at entry point that before going on placements, they will need to be in possession of:

  • The POMA (Protection of Minors Application) certificate.
  • A first-aid certificate prior to commening placement practice.
  • A valid police conduct certificate.

 

 

Target Audience

This programme has the following target groups:

  • Individuals who are approaching the field of Early Childhood Education.
  • Individuals who have been working in the field as a means of capacity building.
  • Individuals looking to advance to Kindergarten Educator III role.

Module / Unit Instruction

The proposed structure comprises a blended approach promoting the building of a community of practice via peer-to-peer learning.

The structure uses primarily two dimensions of teaching-learning modes: · Face-to-face sessions: 18h · Online Learning Activities: 12h.

Face-to-face sessions include lectures, tutorials, discussions, presentations, and workshop activities promoting peer-to-peer learning.

Online Learning Activities incorporate tutorials and asynchronous discussions. These may consist of active interaction, participation, and contributions in fora discussions, sharing resources and self-reflection exercises.

Learners also contribute to the building of the community of practice by providing feedback to their peers as critical friends, enhancing the learner’s critical engagement throughout the study period.

The tutor provides continual support during both teaching-learning modes by providing information, readings, and tasks relevant to the module in question.

The tutor provides continuous formative feedback as an on-going guidance during the student’s learning experience in preparation for their summative assessment.

How you’ll be assessed

For this module, the assigned lecturer is guided to develop and assign a minimum of two assessment tasks, one of which should happen during the module to allow for formative feedback. Once the assessment tasks are developed by the lecturer, these go through a rigourous internal verification process to make sure that they are subject, level, and load appropriate.

All formative and summative tasks aim to provide the learner with an opportunity to produce evidence of his/her competences aligned to the learning outcomes of the modules and enhance his/her learning in the process.

Furthermore, the tasks may include different forms of assessment which allow and promote students’ knowledge in the area, critical engagement and other transversal skills that are required in the field (e.g., online discussions, in-class discussions, case studies, etc.).

The module consist of two assessments, each carrying a weighting as is below recommended:

a. Assessment 1 carries 20% of total module mark achieved. b. Assessment 2 carries 80% of total module mark achieved.

The overall grade achieved for this module is calculated as the sum of: · 80% of the mark achieved for Assessment 1; and · 20% of the mark achieved for Assessment 2.

a) Assessment 1 will be conducted in the form of an individual presentation whereby the course participants need to present myths related to one contemporary issue and debunk them.

b) Assessment 2  will be conducted in the form of a 2,000-word assignment whereby the course participants need to show a thorough understanding of one contemporary issue in ECE.

For successful completion of this study module the student is required to achieve an overall pass mark of 50%.

Assignment
Discussions

Module Intake Dates

October 2024
Price
€500

Learning Outcomes

Competences:

At the end of the module/unit the learner will have acquired the responsibility and autonomy to:

  • Enable an understanding of global and local issues in education and the ECE field.
  • Assess the roots and potential solutions for these global and local issues in light of personal experiences.
  • Assess their role as course participants as well as current or future ECE practitioners to instil a sense of initiative towards addressing these issues.
  • Review policy texts and legislation documents pertaining to one specific contemporary issue in ECE.
  • Carry out tasks, literature searches, and desk research about one specific contemporary issue with the help of applications, software, online tools, etc.
  • Produce various arguments to debate, together with other course participants, with regards to a specific contemporary issue in ECE.

Knowledge:

By the end of this module/unit, the learner will be able to:

  • Be familiar with a number of contemporary issues in ECE.
  • Consolidate knowledge of how contemporary issues in ECE are related on the global and the local level.
  • Know the relevant policies which are addressing these contemporary issues in ECE.
  • Learn about key proponents and theorists which may be foundations for debates and assignments related to one specific contemporary issue in ECE.
  • Understand the roots of one specific contemporary issue in ECE and learn about potential ways to address it in a timely manner.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the strengths and challenges of this one specific contemporary issue in ECE.
  • Learn about current and future innovations and policy reforms which are, or will, address this one specific contemporary issue in ECE.
  • Demonstrate a robust understanding of the roots and potential solutions for one specific contemporary issue in ECE.
  • Be familiar with certain strategy documents, such as the Key Competences for Lifelong Learning and the Sustainable Development Goals, in the context of contemporary issues in ECE.
  • Understand how available resources (e.g., online libraries, online repositories, etc) may support research about contemporary issues in ECE.

Skills:

At the end of the module/unit the learner will have acquired the following skills:

  • Make use of effective approaches and strategies as ECE practitioners to address one specific contemporary issue.
  • Analyse various developments in the roots and evolution of one contemporary issue in ECE.
  • Investigate how a contemporary issue in ECE changes depending on the country where it is being discussed.
  • Examine various strategy documents, such as the Key Competences for Lifelong Learning and the Sustainable Development Goals, in light of the contemporary issues in ECE and the role of the practitioner.

Module-Specific Learner Skills:

At the end of the module/unit the learner will be able to:

  • Assess how globalisation impacts contemporary issues in ECE.
  • Establish an approach based on human rights and children’s rights when discussing contemporary issues in ECE.
  • Use various sources of information (academic literature as well as pop culture resources) to discuss contemporary issues in ECE.

Module-Specific Digital Skills and Competences:

At the end of the module/unit, the learner will be able to:

  • Carry out academic research on websites (e.g. Google Scholar) or journals (e.g. EBSCO, Taylor & Francis, SAGE, etc).
  • Navigate the internet for policy documents, legislation, etc., related to a contemporary issue in ECE from a global, European, and local perspective.
  • Navigate through the online learning platform to download and upload assignments, discussion boards, literature, tutorials, etc.
  • Use basic Microsoft office (or equivalent) applications in order to write and submit assignments.
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