Learning Through Experiential Immersion

MQF Level 6

6 ECTS

Learning Through Experiential Immersion

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

This module equips students with the skills and knowledge to innovate teaching and learning strategies for Early Childhood Education (ECE) in alignment with 21st-century educational demands. It focuses on experiential immersion, placing young children at the core of their learning journey.

Philosophical and Theoretical Foundations:
Students will explore various philosophical and theoretical frameworks that support experiential learning within ECE settings. This exploration will include discussions on the characteristics of these approaches, their benefits, and the challenges associated with implementing them or arising from their use.

Learning Environments:
The design and utilization of learning spaces both inside and outside ECE settings are integral to this module. Students will learn how these environments can be structured to promote skills development and foster new learning habits, facilitating a learning-by-doing approach. This method not only enhances observational opportunities but also encourages creative expression and active communication among children, and between children and adults.

Centrality of the Learner:
The module underscores the importance of placing the young child at the center of the learning process, promoting full or partial immersion in various activities throughout the day. These activities can be adult-led, child-led, or child-initiated, extending beyond the classroom to include interactions with the natural world, thereby expanding the educational landscape.

Reflective Practice:
Participants are encouraged to reflect on and adopt new attitudes toward immersive learning methods, understanding how these approaches can transform educational experiences and outcomes for young children.

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 an example of experiential immersion in ECE in Malta

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 experiential immersion.

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 that young children are not inclined to sit and follow verbal instructions and that more needs to be provided.
  • Assess the disposition young children have towards learning.
  • Conduct a review of the three steps within the experiential learning process: planning, implementing and reviewing.
  • Reflect on their own role as course participants as well as current or future course participants within this three-step process.
  • Reflect on the role of young learners within the experiential learning process.
  • Review and assess the activities which they prepare for the ECE setting to make them more ‘experiential learning-friendly’.
  • Carry out tasks, literature searches and desk research about possible approaches to immersion and experiential learning as well as their implications.
  • Produce various arguments to debate other positions which oppose experiential learning, e.g. the ‘accelerated Early Years approach’ where the practitioners along with the parents/guardians focus on the academic capital rather than the holistic development of the young child.

Knowledge:

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

  • Be familiar with a number of theories which underpin experiential learning,Consolidate knowledge about the role of experiential learning within the ECE setting.
  • Describe the various stages within the experiential learning process (planning, implementing, evaluating).
  • Know the relevant policies and strategy documents which are addressing experiential learning.
  • Learn about ways in how experiential learning can be designed and documented.
  • Understand ways in which a practitioner can design an ECE setting which is conducive to experiential learning.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of how the spaces inside and outside the four walls of the classroom may be used for experiential learning.
  • Understand the roots of experiential learning and various approaches how to place the young learner at the centre.
  • Understand how available resources (including digital tools) may support experiential learning.
  • Discuss the notion of time within experiential learning and how activities may be affected when they are time-bound.
  • Reflect on the benefits of using experiential learning in ECE.
  • Discuss the role of the various stakeholders in experiential learning.

Skills:

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

  • Debate on the importance and the benefits of having an experiential learning pedagogy within an ECE setting,
  • Make suggestions on how to improve the role of the practitioner (e.g. as mentor or coach) within the experiential learning experience.
  • Demonstrate a thorough understanding of various strategy and policy documents, which promote experiential learning.
  • Appreciate how experiential learning allows for all learners to be engaged, irrespective of their abilities, difficulties or disabilities.
  • Establish the connections between experiential learning and the natural disposition of young learners to be immersed in what they do.
  • Discuss the role of various stakeholders within the young child’s life (parents/guardians, ECE practitioner, friends, etc) within the experiential learning experience both within the ECE setting and also at home.

Module-Specific Learner Skills:

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

  • Find ways how to help young learners acquire specific skills which allow for experiential learning (e.g. conflict resolution, creative expression, role-taking, construction of ideas into practice, etc).
  • Design learning spaces which allow for experiential learning.
  • Develop documentation which allows for and complements experiential learning.
  • Prepare several learning experiences which promote experiential learning.
  • Allow for young learners to experience various moments within their learning such as success, failure, doubt, etc., so that the learners are immersed in the process.
  • Help young children take lead in their learning by not telling them what and how to do things.

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 immersive or experiential learning,
  • 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 help young learners immerse in experiential learning (tools which promote social skills, play, pretend play, debate skills, etc.).
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