Professional Experience 1 – Introduction to Early Childhood Education Practice (5 weeks in a kindergarten setting)

MQF Level 6

6 ECTS

Professional Experience 1 - Introduction to Early Childhood Education Practice (5 weeks in a kindergarten setting)

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

This foundational placement module introduces participants to the practical aspects of Early Childhood Education (ECE) through a five-week kindergarten setting experience. It is designed to provide an immersive, hands-on introduction to the core functions and responsibilities within an ECE environment.

Key Learning Outcomes:

  • Exploring ECE Essentials: Participants engage in observation and supervised practice to understand how ECE settings operate, gaining initial exposure to key responsibilities.
  • Building Professional Skills: The module covers the development of essential ECE skills, including understanding play concepts, effective observation, creating learning experiences, and basic assessment techniques.
  • Real-World Application: Through case studies and real-world examples, participants explore the diverse ECE environments in Malta, focusing on professional traits such as flexibility and dedication.
  • Preparation for Professional Experience: Participants create an entry-level Action Plan and compile a Professional Experience File to guide their first practical experience, encompassing basic pedagogical tools and introductory self-evaluation methods.

This module sets the stage for participants to develop foundational professional skills and understand the realities of ECE practice in Malta, equipping them with the tools needed for their initial professional experience in the field.

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 40% of total module mark achieved. b. Assessment 2 carries 60% of total module mark achieved.

The overall grade achieved for this module is calculated as the sum of: · 40% of the mark achieved for Assessment 1; and · 60% of the mark achieved for Assessment 2.

a) Assessment 1 consists of two visits conducted by examiner/s (weighing 60% – 30% per visit) including self-reflections conducted by students with regards to observation during placement. For successful completion of this study module the student is required to achieve a minimum of 50% pass mark in Assessment

b) Assessment 2 consists of a professional learning file (weighing 40%). For successful completion of this study module the student is required to achieve a minimum of 50% pass mark in Assessment 2.

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:

  • Explore the basics of core documentation and common pedagogical tools in an ECE setting.
  • Observe and begin to understand the role of young children during their professional experience.
  • Connect simple learning outcomes of the LOF to their initial planning and preparation.
  • Review and discuss the current practices in the setting where they will carry out their professional experience.
  • Conduct and document basic observations during their professional experience.
  • Reflect on and start using these observations to create simple and engaging learning activities.
  • Carry out fundamental tasks, including basic literature searches and desk research, to explore potential approaches to professional experiences (or practice placements) in ECE in Malta.

Knowledge:

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

  • Build a basic understanding of current ECE practices in the local context.
  • Explore introductory methods for introducing Emergent Curriculum within the ECE setting where they will undertake their professional experience.
  • Demonstrate a foundational understanding of the key elements of professional practice in ECE.
  • Learn about simple ways to involve various stakeholders (e.g., ECE practitioners, parents, etc.) during their professional practice.
  • Explain the inclusion of the lived experiences and interests of young children in the ECE setting where the professional experience will take place, using basic documentation.

Skills:

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

  • Analyse the basics of why learning environments are important for learning in an ECE setting.
  • Make basic use of various tools, such as observations and reflections, during their professional experience.
  • Reflect on the foundational flexibility required in the role of the practitioner when working within an ECE setting.
  • Begin to design or choose simple resources to be used during their professional experience.
  • Document basic reflections and potential self-recommendations from a beginner’s analytical viewpoint.

Module-Specific Learner Skills:

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

  • Explore ways to assist young learners in engaging with the tools to be used during their professional experience.
  • Cultivate a basic positive attitude toward experimenting with the teaching and learning process within an ECE setting.
  • Engage in introductory discussions about various myths surrounding professional experience and practice placements, presenting basic arguments to counter these myths.
  • Begin to develop a foundational understanding of the terminology commonly used during placements in ECE settings.

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 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.
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