Transitions and the Experience of Change in Early Childhood Education

MQF Level 6


Transitions and the Experience of Change in Early Childhood Education

October 2024
Module Type
ECTS Credits

Module Description

This module explores the significant transitions young children undergo in their early years, particularly focusing on the shift from Kindergarten to primary education in Malta. It addresses the broader implications of these changes on children’s development, identity, and their positioning within social groups.

Key Learning Outcomes:

  • Understanding Transitions: Participants will examine the nature of transitions in early childhood, such as moving from ECE settings to mandatory primary education, and the immediate and long-term effects on children’s sense of self and social roles.
  • Policy and Educational Strategy: The module will discuss how transitions are viewed in local and European educational policies, highlighting the risks of perceiving young children merely as future economic resources or products of an educational “factory-process.”
  • Models of Transition: Course participants will study various models of educational transition, evaluating their relevance to child development theories and their applicability to the specific transitions children face in Malta.
  • Practical Application: Participants will apply these models to understand and facilitate the transitions young children experience, aiming to support these changes in a manner that nurtures the child’s overall development and learning.

By the end of this module, participants will have a nuanced understanding of the dynamics of educational transitions and be prepared to support young children through these critical changes effectively.

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 m of an individual presentation whereby the course participants need to demonstrate a thorough understanding of change in ECE.

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 transitions 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 the role of change within ECE, · Analyse transitions within ECE.
  • Examine different tools, resources and approaches which may help young children in addressing change.
  • Formulate an understanding of how to allow space for children’s voices within transitions.
  • Learn about the key proponents of the experience of change in young children.
  • Prepare and present a learning environment which promotes change and which facilitates smooth transitions.
  • Conduct a review of the literature about transitions in ECE and their implications whilst understanding their importance in setting positive environments.
  • Promote an ECE learning environment where the role of the young learners is continuously celebrated.
  • Reflect on the factory model of education and its implications for the transition between Kindergarten and Primary Education.
  • Explore the potential connections between change and transitions.
  • Reflect on their role as practitioners to provide diverse and meaningful learning moments throughout the day.
  • Analyse how to integrate children’s participation within opportunities for change.
  • Carry out tasks, literature searches and desk research about what constitutes a transition process within ECE.


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

  • Be familiar with the role of transitions in the life of a young child.
  • Consolidate knowledge about the main terminology and terms used in change and transitions in ECE.
  • Learn about ways in which positive collaboration with other practitioners inside/outside the classroom enhances the transition process in ECE.
  • Put forward reasoning on how legislation and policy documentation related to children’s education views transitions and change.
  • Identify and explain the benefits of transitions in the life of a young child.
  • Develop knowledge of the role of the practitioner during transitions.
  • Be given opportunities to learn about local and EU documentation which promotes transitions in the Early Years (e.g. the National Curriculum Framework)
  • Demonstrate an understanding of how transitions can be better tackled when using specific pedagogical approaches such as the Emergent Curriculum.
  • Describe various key debates and concepts about change in the life of young children.
  • Learn about various myths related to transitions in ECE.
  • Be able to discuss the canonical theories related to transitions.
  • Understand the concept of ‘school readiness.
  • Explain how social transitions are also rites of passage in education.
  • Investigate how parents/guardians may support the transition experience of the young child.


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

  • Engage learning environments which allow for smooth transitions within the life of the young child.
  • Design learning environments which allow such transitions.
  • Make use of various tools which may be used to promote healthy transitions in ECE.
  • Design flexible pedagogical tools which promote change in themselves.
  • Enable all young children to explore and experience the concept of change within the ECE setting.
  • Promote local and international examples of healthy transitions in ECE.

Module-Specific Learner Skills:

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

  • Find ways how to evaluate transitions within ECE.
  • Develop a personal range of vocabulary about change in the life of the child.
  • Model ways how to put into practice the notions of child participation within transitions from ECE to Primary Education.
  • Foster a positive attitude towards celebrating change and risk-taking in ECE.
  • Explore ways how to allow young children to experience change.
  • Develop a process of self-reflection during transitions to make sure that the process is as healthy as possible.
  • Communicate with young children to identify challenges of transitions whilst pointing out possible solutions.
  • Identify the main types and levels of transitions during ECE.

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 transitions and changes in the life of the young child.
  • 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 promote healthy transitions and change in the life of the young child.
Skip to content