The Emergent Curriculum

MQF Level 6


The Emergent Curriculum

October 2024
Module Type
ECTS Credits
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Module Description

This module explores the Emergent Curriculum in Early Childhood Education (ECE), which adapts to the interests, needs, and experiences of young children. Participants will learn about this child-driven approach and its implementation in Malta, emphasizing flexibility and responsiveness in educational settings.

Key Components:

  • Foundations: Understand the roots and complexities of the Emergent Curriculum as outlined in local policies.
  • Learner-Led Learning: Shift towards learner-led and learner-initiated approaches to enhance educational personalization.
  • Documentation and Observation: Explore structured and unstructured observational techniques to support adaptive learning environments.
  • Play-Based Learning: Examine the integration and benefits of play within the curriculum, guided by local educational policies.

Participants will gain skills in designing and implementing responsive and flexible educational experiences that foster inquiry and curiosity among 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.


  • 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 a group presentation whereby the course participants need to present the benefits and challenges of the emergent curriculum.

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

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 the core elements of the Emergent Curriculum (intentional, incidental, not prescriptive, circular not linear, spontaneous etc)
  • Assess the role of young children within the Emergent Curriculum process.
  • Examine the main curricular frameworks in Malta (e.g. the 1999 National Minimum Curriculum, the 2012 National Curriculum Framework, etc) and reflect on the impact on pedagogy and practice in ECE.
  • Extend the learning outcomes of the present prescribed syllabus (the LOF, Learning Outcomes Framework) to an emergent curriculum approach.
  • Learn about various myths related to the Emergent Curriculum, both from a local and international perspective.
  • Develop an approach which allows young children to actively participate in process-oriented learning.
  • Conduct a review of the current practices of the Emergent Curriculum on a local level and debunk a number of myths based on this review.
  • Reflect and be able to use these observations to design meaningful learning within a carefully designed learning environment which allows for proper enactment of the emergent curriculum.
  • Reflect on their own role as course participants as well as current or future course participants within the Emergent Curriculum.
  • Reflect on the role of young learners (child-initiated, child-driven processes)
  • Recognise the importance of interactions within the ECE setting between the various stakeholders.
  • Carry out tasks, literature searches and desk research about possible approaches and myths to the Emergent Curriculum.


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

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the various definitions of the term ‘curriculum’
  • Be familiar with the concept of the Emergent Curriculum.
  • Learn about several theories and canonical authors related to the Emergent Curriculum.
  • Consolidate knowledge about the effects of the Emergent Curriculum within the ECE setting.
  • Learn about ways in which Emergent Curriculum can be introduced within an ECE setting.
  • Be given opportunities to learn about how the Emergent Curriculum positively impacts the life of the young child holistically.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the key elements of this approach.
  • Learn about ways in which various stakeholders (e.g. ECE practitioners, parents, etc) can support the implementation and the extension of the Emergent Curriculum.
  • Discuss relationships at the core of the Emergent Curriculum,Learn that the Emergent Curriculum helps practitioners to teach through a thematic analysis whilst observing the interests of the child.
  • Develop an understanding of various multimodal and multisensory approaches to the design and delivery of the Emergent Curriculum.
  • Know about the Hundred Languages of Children, · Be able to explain other skills (e.g. creative expression, nurturing practice of imagination, solving problems, non-routine inquiry-based learning, language acquisition etc) which are developed through an Emergent Curriculum approach.
  • Discuss the various benefits and challenges of adopting an Emergent Curriculum approach within ECE in Malta.


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

  • Engage in learning environments which promote potential ways of using the Emergent Curriculum as a means towards project-based and problem-based learning.
  • Make use of various tools, such as observations and reflections, which are crucial for a smooth transition from a traditional to a more emergent approach to a curriculum.
  • Be flexible to pave the way for proper implementation of the Emergent Curriculum,.
  • Appreciate how the Emergent Curriculum allows for diverse and inclusive learning to take place.
  • Apply core approaches (e.g. listening to children, observing children and their learning, assessing learning, documenting learning) within the ECE setting.
  • Design or choose specific resources which promote an Emergent Curriculum approach to learning.
  • Conduct and record observations which are an essential element within the Emergent Curriculum.

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 their role within an Emergent Curriculum approach.
  • Foster a positive attitude towards experimenting with the Emergent Curriculum while fostering a practice of self-reflection.
  • Discuss various myths and present various arguments to counter-discuss such myths, about the implementation of the Emergent Curriculum.
  • Develop terminology which is usually used within such discourse.

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 the Emergent Curriculum.
  • 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 reflect on the ways how an Emergent Curriculum could be designed and implemented.
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