The Practitioner as a Leader

MQF Level 6


The Practitioner as a Leader

October 2024
Module Type
ECTS Credits

Module Description

This module explores the multifaceted roles of Early Childhood Education (ECE) practitioners as leaders and managers within their educational settings. It emphasizes the importance of leadership in achieving successful organizational outcomes and fostering a supportive community environment.

Key Learning Areas:

  • Leadership Styles and Theories: Participants will examine various leadership styles and their implications through case studies, enhancing their understanding of different leadership theories.
  • Management vs. Leadership: The module distinguishes between administration, management, and leadership, discussing their unique roles in educational settings. Participants will explore how leadership decisions can empower young children by providing them with agency, voice, and opportunities for participation.
  • Classroom Management Approaches: Two primary approaches to classroom management will be assessed: a proactive approach that encourages children to manage their social and emotional skills, and a punitive approach focused on misbehavior and tokenism. Restorative practices will also be introduced as a modern strategy for effective ECE.
  • Shared Leadership: Discussions will cover the concept of shared leadership, involving various stakeholders in the educational process, including classroom assistants, educators, and families, to create an inclusive decision-making environment.

Participants will leave the module equipped to lead effectively in ECE settings, capable of making informed decisions that enhance both educational outcomes and community engagement.

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 an individual presentation whereby the course participants need to present an example of effective leadership.

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 management and leadership 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:

  • Analyse their perceptions about leadership and management in an ECE setting.
  • Demonstrate an ability to reflect on other viewpoints about leadership and management which are not mainstream.
  • Analyse how leadership is an ongoing organic process.
  • Be able to reflect on their own past experiences related to leading or managing situations or people.
  • Analyse the importance of restorative practices when working within an ECE setting.
  • Investigate ways how to engage stakeholders in decision-making processes.
  • Identity how societal and cultural aspects affect the leadership, management and administration of an ECE setting.


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

  • Be familiar with the various definitions of leadership.
  • Learn about the different theories related to educational leadership.
  • Learn about the fundamental differences between administration, leadership and management.
  • Understand the notions of leadership as a continuously evolving process.
  • Be familiar with the relevance of theories related to leadership and behaviour.
  • Be familiar with trait theories of leadership.
  • Know the concepts of transformational leadership, participative leadership, distributed leadership, transactional leadership and servant leadership.
  • Understanding the different ways how successful educational management and leadership can be manifested (clear links between values, aims and strategy)
  • Understand varied ways how to tackle challenges to educational management (aims which are too formal, aims which are too individualistic rather than an organisation, etc).
  • Know the key concepts of collaborative practice within leadership discourse.
  • Identify the ECE practitioner’s role in the decision-making process.
  • Be familiar with the concepts of power, control and supervision and how these have to be taken into account when discussing educational leadership and management.
  • Be familiar with the elements of educational leadership (e.g. leadership as influence, leadership as values and leadership as vision).
  • Formulate an understanding of how leadership employs an element of intentional influence on people.
  • Discuss how young children can have a voice in the leader identity of the ECE practitioner.
  • Understand that conflict is a natural component of educational leadership and management.
  • Discuss the interactions between the leaders and the followers within ECE settings.


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

  • Be able to apply educational leadership practices within the ECE setting.
  • Appraise further knowledge of what constitutes an effective leader.
  • Critically apply knowledge and skills to transformational leadership practices.
  • Evaluate and critically provide suggestions of how ECE practitioners can create a shared decision-making process.
  • Choose several myths about leadership in ECE and debunk them.
  • Show how different stakeholders can have a voice in shared decision-making such as the young children’s voices and their participation.
  • Argue about the differences between administration, management and leadership in ECE.

Module-Specific Learner Skills

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

  • Have a strong command of different strategies which assist ECE practitioners in becoming strong leaders within the setting.
  • Justify challenges to becoming a leader.
  • Address such challenges by evaluating strategies to employ when becoming a leader.
  • Justify the impact of the practitioner on other stakeholders when there is a degree of shared decision-making.
  • Apply a thorough understanding of restorative practices and how to apply them within ECE.
  • Propose ways how to empower other stakeholders to take on leadership roles within the ECE setting.
  • Foster an ECE setting where all stakeholders’ voices are not only allowed but that they count towards organisational change.

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 documents and or guidebooks related to educational leadership and management in ECE.
  • Navigate through the online learning platform to download and upload the research proposal, discussion boards, literature, tutorials etc.
  • Use basic Microsoft office (or equivalent) applications in order to write and submit assignments.
  • Use different digital tools to facilitate educational leadership and management in ECE.
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