Professional Experience 3 - Advanced Mastery and Specialization in Early Childhood Education

MQF Level 6

6 ECTS

Professional Experience 3 - Advanced Mastery and Specialization in Early Childhood Education

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

Module Description

This final professional experience module offers participants a deep dive into advanced Early Childhood Education (ECE) practices through a five-week immersive placement in a kindergarten setting. It focuses on honing the high-level skills required for excellence in the field.

Key Learning Outcomes:

  • Advanced ECE Practices: Participants will explore sophisticated aspects of ECE including advanced play concepts, observational techniques, and the design of learning experiences specifically tailored to young learners’ interests.
  • Comprehensive Assessments and Reflection: The module emphasizes conducting meaningful assessments and a sophisticated practice of self-reflection and continuous improvement.
  • Real-World Application: Through detailed case studies and examples from various ECE settings in Malta, participants will refine their skills in flexibility, professionalism, and dedication.
  • Culminating Professional File: Participants will compile a Professional Experience 3 File, encapsulating their learning and experiences. This file will include a strategic action plan and comprehensive documentation to navigate the complex challenges of ECE settings effectively.
  • Reflective Practice: A central component is the advanced reflective practice, where participants critically evaluate their approaches to further elevate their professional standards.

By the end of this module, participants will have mastered the essential competencies required to excel as ECE practitioners, equipped to handle the complexities of the field with a refined, professional approach.

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.

Both Assessment 1 and Assessment 2 aim to provide the learner an opportunity to produce evidence of his/her competences aligned to the learning outcomes of this Module.

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 Assessment1.

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:

  • Master core documentation and advanced pedagogical tools in ECE settings, showcasing comprehensive understanding in this final professional experience.
  • Conduct an in-depth assessment of the role of young children, applying advanced insights gained throughout the course.
  • Extend and adapt LOF outcomes for highly sophisticated planning and preparation strategies.
  • Rigorously review current practices in the specific setting, incorporating advanced critical analysis and application during the final professional experience.
  • Meticulously record advanced observations, employing sophisticated methodologies and analytical frameworks.
  • Reflect profoundly on experiences gained, utilising observations to design exceptionally meaningful learning activities.
  • Execute advanced tasks and conduct extensive research about cutting-edge approaches to professional experiences in ECE in Malta, showcasing the highest level of research competence in this concluding aspect of their course.

Knowledge:

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

  • Synthesise advanced knowledge on current ECE practices in the local context.
  • Master the introduction of Emergent Curriculum within their ECE setting, demonstrating advanced competence in the final professional experience.
  • Exhibit an exceptional understanding of the intricate elements that define professional practice in ECE.
  • Explore highly sophisticated strategies for the inclusion of various stakeholders (e.g., ECE practitioners, parents).
  • Expertly implement methodologies for incorporating the lived experiences and interests of young children in the ECE setting through meticulously prepared documentation, showcasing the highest level of practical application.

Skills:

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

  • Engage in advanced discussions on the critical importance of cultivating learning environments conducive to profound learning experiences.
  • Articulate and demonstrate advanced methodologies in the adept utilisation of various tools, including intricate observations and reflections, during the final professional experience.
  • Undertake a highly nuanced reflection on the dynamic and exceptionally flexible role demanded of the practitioner within the complex settings of ECE setting.
  • Demonstrate an exceptional ability to strategically design or select highly specialised resources for use during the final professional experience.
  • Craft meticulous documentation that integrates advanced self-reflections and astute self-recommendations, employing an analytical viewpoint of the highest caliber.

Module-Specific Learner Skills:

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

  • Innovate and implement advanced strategies to facilitate active engagement of young learners with tools used in the final professional experience
  • Cultivate an advanced and adaptive mindset, fostering an unwaveringly positive attitude toward experimenting with the teaching and learning process within the complex ECE setting.
  • Engage in highly sophisticated discussions, analysing various myths related to professional experience and practice placements, and presenting compelling arguments to counter these myths at an advanced level.
  • Attain an advanced level of proficiency in developing and applying specialised terminology commonly used during placements in ECE settings, showcasing the highest level of linguistic competence.

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.
Accredited
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