Sustainability in Early Childhood Education

MQF Level 6


Sustainability in Early Childhood Education

October 2024
Module Type
ECTS Credits

Module Description

This module equips future Early Childhood Education (ECE) practitioners with the knowledge and skills necessary to lead sustainability efforts within educational settings. It emphasizes the role of ECE practitioners in modeling and teaching sustainable practices to young children, their families, and communities.

Key Learning Areas:

  • Understanding Sustainability: Participants will explore the concept of sustainable development and how it can be integrated into ECE through interdisciplinary approaches. This includes addressing broad environmental issues such as climate change, biodiversity, food and water security, pandemics, plastic pollution, and socio-economic disparities.
  • Civic and Social Responsibility: The module covers how sustainability ties into social and civics education, fostering responsible and socially aware young individuals. It discusses the use of inquiry-based learning to engage children in solving real-world problems sustainably.
  • Democratic Education and Citizenship: Participants will learn to use sustainability as a tool in citizenship and democratic education, utilizing frameworks like the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to guide young learners in understanding and addressing environmental, social, and economic issues.

By the end of this module, participants will be well-prepared to incorporate sustainability into their teaching practices, empowering them to educate future generations about the importance of environmental stewardship and responsible citizenship.

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.


  • 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 will be conducted in the form of a group project based on a case study related to sustainability in ECE.

b) Assessment 2  will be conducted in the form of a 1,500-word assignment whereby the course participants needs to show a thorough understanding of sustainability in ECE.

For successful completion of this study module the student is required to achieve an overall pass mark of 50%.


Module Intake Dates

October 2024

Learning Outcomes


At the end of the module/unit the learner will have acquired the responsibility and autonomy to:

  • Enable an understanding of early childhood development for sustainability.
  • Formulate an understanding of the policy documents and legislations related to sustainability in the international and local scenario.
  • Learn about the key characteristics of the provision of an education which promotes sustainability.
  • Prepare and present a learning environment which allows for sustainability to be discussed and engaged with.
  • Conduct a review of the current practices related to sustainability in ECE in Malta.
  • Explore the potential connections between the Sustainable Development Goals and the pedagogical tools designed for the ECE setting.
  • Reflect on their role as a current or future course participants in instilling an environment (in and out of the ECE setting) which promotes sustainable practices.
  • Analyse the antecedents and historical threads underpinning early childhood development for sustainability practices,.
  • Carry out tasks, literature searches and desk research about ways how to reframe ECE theories, curricula and syllabi to promote sustainable practices.


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

  • Be familiar with how sustainability practices look like in ECE settings in Malta.
  • Comprehend better why sustainability practices matter in ECE.
  • Consolidate knowledge about ways how to promote sustainable practices.
  • Learn about ways how to reframe ECE theories through a sustainability viewpoint.
  • Outline various good practices and standards related to sustainability in ECE settings.
  • Discuss the responsibility and goals of environmental education.
  • Investigate how parents/guardians may support the practitioner in extending such practices at home.
  • Develop knowledge about international, European and local documentation (including legislation and policy documentation) related to sustainability practices.
  • Learn about current trends in education related to the Sustainable Development Goals.


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

  • Engage in learning environments which are conducive to sustainable practices.
  • Design learning environments which allow young children to be active in setting up sustainable practices.
  • Investigate how to implement practical examples in the ECE setting to promote sustainable practices.
  • Collaborate with the local community to achieve sustainable practices.
  • Design everyday experiences which promote sustainability and an understanding of how this can be extended further.
  • Make use of various tools which may provide enriched experiences for young children to comprehend better sustainability practices.
  • Actively contributing to the provision of sustainability (recycled material, repairing broken things, maintaining a class/school garden or nature area, reducing energy consumption, etc) in their ECE setting.
  • Be able to set expectations which inspire, motivate and challenge young learners into sustainable practices.

Module-Specific Learner Skills:

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

  • Find ways how to help young learners engage in participatory approaches in the ECE setting.
  • Develop a personal range of vocabulary and be in a position to choose the most suitable terminology when discussing sustainable practices.
  • Develop a process of self-reflection to establish more sustainable (and environmentally friendly) practices in ECE.
  • Recognise a number of issues which need to be tackled in ECE to provide better sustainable practices.
  • Adjust their thinking and critique strategies to provide teaching which is more aligned with the SDGs.
  • Review and communicate their understanding (s) of sustainability.
  • Actively make a change in the way they approach ECE to promote change from the onset of their career.

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 sustainability and environmentally-friendly practices in ECE.
  • 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 as sustainable and environmentally friendly as possible.
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