Inclusive and Diverse Early Childhood Education Settings

MQF Level 6

6 ECTS

Inclusive and Diverse Early Childhood Education Settings

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

This module introduces participants to the principles of multiculturalism, diversity, and inclusive education within the context of Early Childhood Education (ECE). It addresses how demographic changes, particularly the increase of migrants in Malta, impact educational settings and societal integration.

Key Concepts and Discussions:

  • Understanding Diversity: Participants examine the impact of Malta’s diverse social fabric on schools and ECE settings, discussing issues of diversity, equality, equity, human rights, and belonging. The development of multicultural education both internationally and locally will be explored.
  • Fostering Inclusivity: The course delves into sociological perspectives necessary for ECE practitioners to effectively manage and embrace diversity. Discussions will focus on the consequences of practitioner knowledge gaps and the positive effects of informed, inclusive practices.
  • Strategies for Inclusion: Participants will investigate interventions, strategies, and approaches that support an inclusive environment in ECE settings. This includes analyzing theories, influential authors, and key documents related to multicultural and inclusive education.

Through this module, participants will gain insights into creating educational environments that are both diverse and inclusive, preparing them to handle and influence positive change in ECE settings.

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 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 1,000-word assignment whereby the course participants need to show a thorough understanding of inclusive and diverse practices

b) Assessment 2  will be conducted in the form of an individual portfolio whereby the course participants need to present examples of inclusive and diverse practices.

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 a diverse and inclusive ECE setting.
  • Learn about various myths related to diverse and inclusive learning and design possible solutions to debunk such myths in ECE settings.
  • Prepare and present a learning environment which is culturally responsive and which allows for multicultural education to take place.
  • Prepare and present a learning environment which is inclusive and which allows for the engagement of all students, irrespective of their cognitive or physical ability.
  • Comprehend better the key characteristics of a culturally responsive setting.
  • Reflect on ways how diverse and inclusive settings impact other processes such as social skills acquisition, language acquisition, communication amongst young children, the concept of play, etc.
  • Conduct a review of the current practices related to diverse and inclusive learning in ECE in Malta.
  • Promote a judgement-free environment, · Promote a bilingual approach to ECE.
  • Reflect about their own role as course participants as well as current or future course participants while dealing with diverse and inclusive settings.
  • Promote the moral commitment to abolish any barriers of discrimination (including different abilities, multiculturalism, religious beliefs, gender and sexuality, etc)
  • Learn about key elements which instil collaboration with Learning Support Educators within ECE settings for a fully-inclusive experience.
  • Provide for ways how all young children and their families can feel safe.
  • Carry out tasks, literature searches and desk research about ways how to create a more inclusive and diverse learning environment through the learning experiences that they design for young children.

Knowledge:

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

  • Formulate an understanding of multicultural education, its proponents and core elements.
  • Formulate an understanding of inclusive education, its proponents and its core elements.
  • Be familiar with a number of theories and canonical authors related to Diverse and Inclusive education.
  • Consolidate knowledge about the effects of multicultural on Maltese society, schooling and the ECE settings.
  • Learn about ways how to make ECE settings in Malta more diverse and inclusive through tangible approaches.
  • Put forward reasoning how a diverse and inclusive ECE setting is imperative for the holistic development of young children while it prepares them for real-life.
  • Outline strategies to support the inclusion of all young children in the activities throughout the day.
  • Identify and explain various key strategies to promote a culturally responsive approach to education.
  • Develop knowledge about international, European and local documentation (including legislation and policy documentation) which address diverse and inclusive learning.
  • Be given opportunities to learn about other ECE settings in Europe and worldwide, as well as ways how such systems practice and embrace diversity and inclusion within their settings.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of how various stakeholders within ECE can assist in creating more diverse and inclusive mindsets.
  • Explain other skills (e.g. empathy, altruism, acceptance, care for others, etc) which are developed through diverse and inclusive ECE settings.
  • Understand that children have individual educational needs and proper observation techniques need to be in place.

Skills:

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

  • Be an active promoter of diversity and inclusion within ECE settings.
  • Design learning environments which embrace diversity and inclusion effectively and sustainably.
  • Make use of various tools, such as dialogue, storytelling and visuals, which may be used in the ECE setting to help young children be more open to diversity and inclusion.
  • Reflect on the role of the leaders and practitioners (both themselves as well as ways how to collaborate with the Learning Support Educators) within the ECE setting to make the setting more diverse and inclusive.
  • Be able to conduct proper observations and write robust self-reflections which allow them to become more aware of their diverse settings and assess ways how to become more inclusive.
  • Actively contribute to the promotion of an inclusive and anti-discriminatory climate in the ECE setting.
  • Design flexible pedagogical tools, learning activities and resources which allow for cultural responsiveness.
  • Be able to design proper learning experiences which respect the young children’s cultures, social class, gender, traditions, values, and ethnicities.
  • Enable all young children to take part in all learning experiences which are aligned with their development.
  • Reflect on ways how to make the ECE setting more democratic when applying such a diverse and inclusive approach.
  • Be able to discuss the stereotypes related to education in light of diversity and inclusion.

Module-Specific Learner Skills:

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

  • Find ways how to help young learners understand the diverse and inclusive approaches within the ECE setting.
  • Foster a positive attitude towards researching multicultural and inclusive education and how these have advanced over the years.
  • Discuss various myths and present various arguments to counter-discuss such myths, in relation to diversity, multiculturalism and inclusion.
  • Develop people-first and respectful terminology which is used within such discourse (e.g. learner with a statement of needs and not statemented learning, knowing what is the difference between an immigrant and a refugee, etc).

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 Multicultural, Diverse and Inclusive Learning.
  • Navigate through the online learning platform to download and upload assignments, discussion boards, literature, tutorials etc.
  • Use basic Microsoft office (or equivalent) applications to write and submit assignments.
  • Use different digital tools to make the ECE setting more inclusive and diverse.
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