Creative Awareness and Expression in Early Childhood Education

MQF Level 6

6 ECTS

Creative Awareness and Expression in Early Childhood Education

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

This module explores the role of creative awareness and expression within Early Childhood Education (ECE), underpinned by the 2006 European Parliament and Council recommendations on key competences for lifelong learning. Participants will learn how creativity transcends traditional arts, influencing broader educational objectives and promoting innovative thinking among young children.

Key Learning Outcomes:

  • Understanding Creativity: Participants will examine the importance of creative expression in ECE settings, recognizing it as more than the creation of physical objects. Discussions will address how creativity fosters imagination and boundary-less exploration.
  • Curriculum and Pedagogies: The module highlights creativity as a core objective across EU educational systems, including Malta, encouraging the use of creative pedagogies and critical thinking for problem-solving.
  • Practical Application: Participants will engage in group discussions on various creative practices and explore interventions and strategies to enhance creative expression in ECE. Theoretical frameworks, key authors, and policy documents will also be reviewed to deepen understanding and application of creative concepts.

Participants will leave equipped to foster and evaluate creative environments in ECE settings, enhancing both their own and their learners’ creative capacities.

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.

I

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 50% of total module mark achieved. b. Assessment 2 carries 50% of total module mark achieved.

The overall grade achieved for this module is calculated as the sum of: · 50% of the mark achieved for Assessment 1; and · 50% of the mark achieved for Assessment 2.

a) Assessment 1 will be conducted in the form of a group project whereby the course participants need to present a prototype of a creative project in ECE.

b) Assessment 2  will be conducted in the form of a 1,000-word assignment (weighing 50%) whereby the course participants need to show a thorough understanding of creative awareness and expression 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 the core elements of creative awareness and expression within the ECE setting.
  • Learn about the key proponents of creativity in education.
  • Learn about various myths related to creativity, talent and aptitudes towards being creative.
  • Prepare and present a learning environment which stimulates creative expression.
  • Become an ECE practitioner who is aware of creative processes.
  • Conduct a review of the current practices related to creating awareness and expression in ECE in Malta.
  • Promote an environment where creativity can be manifested by all young children.
  • Explore the potential connections between creativity and culture.
  • Manage their role as current or future course participants in instilling an environment which nurtures imagination.
  • Analyse how creativity can help the ECE setting to construct collective as well as individual forms of creative expression (through aesthetics, voice and agency)
  • Carry out tasks, literature searches and desk research about ways how to create a more creative learning environment by designing learning experiences which nurture imagination.

Knowledge:

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

  • Understand how different people have different creative dispositions, including young children within ECE.
  • Examine different definitions of ‘creativity’
  • Formulate an understanding of the contrasting views on creativity.
  • Explore how these contrasting views can be interpreted within different sociological and cultural environments.
  • Be familiar with several theories and canonical authors related to creativity in education.
  • Consolidate knowledge about art and the different forms of art.
  • Learn about ways how to make ECE settings in Malta more creative through a self-reflective approach to creativity.
  • Put forward reasoning for how a creative ECE setting is imperative for the holistic development of young children, · Outline various theories about creativity and artistic expression which may not always be the “absolute truth”
  • Identify and explain various ways in which art and cultural heritage can be portrayed and facilitated within an ECE setting,
  • Develop knowledge about international, European and local documentation (including legislation and policy documentation) which address creative and artistic learning.
  • Be given opportunities to learn about how other ECE settings in Europe and worldwide promote the visual arts,
  • Demonstrate an understanding of how various stakeholders may support making the ECE setting more creative,
  • Developing knowledge about how the practitioner’s developing identity within cultural and creative diversity is imperative for the ECE setting to flourish.
  • Describe various key debates and concepts related to creativity.
  • Be able to discuss how young children benefit from creative pedagogies in ECE.
  • Explain the role of the ECE practitioner in fostering creative ideas in young children.
  • Be able to discuss the key principles of the Learning Outcomes Framework related to creating awareness and expression.
  • Learn about how physical education can contribute to creative thinking amongst young children.
  • Discuss how children can learn to become creative in outdoor spaces.
  • Learn how to use outdoor spaces to foster creativity and healthy development in young children.

Skills:

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

  • Promote creative awareness and expression in ECE settings.
  • Help young children to explore and develop their creative skills (e.g. through exploration, construction, etc),
  • Describe various tools, such as art, music and visual media, which may be used in the ECE setting to help young children become more creative.
  • Actively contribute to the promotion of creative approaches in the ECE setting (e.g. more robust use of documentation during creativity-induced projects)
  • Design flexible pedagogical tools, learning activities and resources which allow for creativity.
  • Investigate how parents/guardians may support extending creative learning at home.
  • Encourage persistence when using a hands-on and more process-focused learning approach.
  • Enable all young children to take part in creative learning by aligning the experience to the areas of child development.
  • Reflect on which type of planning nurtures imagination in ECE.
  • Create activities in physical education that promote active play amongst young children and which nurture important thinking skills and creativity.
  • Make use of outdoor spaces to plan activities that foster creativity and problem-solving skills in young children.

Module-Specific Learner Skills:

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

  • Find ways how to help young learners be more creative within the ECE setting.
  • Develop a personal range of vocabulary and be in a position to choose the most suitable terminology when discussing creativity within ECE.
  • Model creative thinking and behaviour for young children.
  • Foster a positive attitude towards researching creativity and creative expression in educational settings.
  • Explore how creativity prepares young children for lifelong learning through problem-solving and critical thinking.
  • Debunk several myths related to ECE (e.g. that creativity is only used in arts education, that it is only related to leisure, that it is a trait which young children are born with, etc)
  • Develop a process of self-reflection which assesses and potentially challenges the perceptions of the course participants on creativity.

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 and other documents related to creativity, creativity in the arts, creative participation in ECE, creativity in various formats.
  • 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. 
  • Use different digital tools to make the ECE setting more creative.
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