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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Drama and Early Childhood Education
Module Code AP304
School 73
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Una Mc Cabe
Semester 2: Una Mc Cabe
Autumn: Una Mc Cabe
Module TeachersUna Mc Cabe
NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None
Repeat examination
As above

This module deepens student knowledge of the role of drama in the learning and development of young children. Theories relating to sociodramatic and fantasy play are covered and students explore how these impact current professional practices in play and drama. Students learn through practical, creative pedagogies how to plan for and support children’s sociodramatic play. Engagement with professional settings provide a foundation for understanding the educator’s role in using drama to extend children’s engagement in dramatic play worlds. Through creativity and reflective practice, students develop skills which enable them to implement drama experiences for all children in early childhood classrooms.

Learning Outcomes

1. Explain the professional role of the adult in inclusively supporting play and drama in the early years as outlined in the Primary Curriculum and Aistear: The Early Years Framework.
2. Describe the role and significance of the child’s engagement in sociodramatic play and drama.
3. Discuss the role of drama and the creative arts in early childhood education.
4. Identify and apply appropriate pedagogical approaches in teaching drama in the early years.
5. Plan, implement, assess and reflect on, creative and motivating learning experiences that contribute to the child’s engagement in sociodramatic play and drama.
6. Explore the concept of the educator as a co-player in early years drama experiences.

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Workshop22Creative, reflective drama workshops.
Independent Study88Reading, planning, creating, researching, assignment preparation, group collaboration, presentation
Assessment Feedback13Planning and designing whole school plan
Online activity2Podcast lecture
Total Workload: 125

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Indicative Content
● Creativity, Wellbeing, Play and the Arts in Early Childhood Education ● Planning and Implementing Drama within the Aistear Curriculum Framework; ● Using Teacher in Role in the Early Years; ● Professional planning and supporting sociodramatic play in school settings; ● Professional planning and supporting whole class drama in school settings; ● Assessment and Drama in the Early Years; ● Play, Drama and Literacy in the Early Years; ● Integration and Drama in the Early Years; ● Reflecting on Drama and Theatre in the Early Years.

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
AssignmentAn essay which outlines a school plan for drama in the early years.100%n/a
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 1
Indicative Reading List

  • Una McCabe: 2020, The Role of Drama in Role Play, 1st, Routledge, London,
  • Ackroyd, Judith and Boulton, Jo: 2013, The toymaker’s workshop and other stories: drama activities for 3-7 year olds., David Fulton, London,
  • Nigel Kitson: 2015, . Children’s fantasy role play-why adults should join in, Open University Press,
  • Wood, Elizabeth: 2013, Play, Learning and the Early Childhood Curriculum, Sage,
  • Vivian Gussin-Paley: 2010, The boy on the beach: building community through play, Chicago University Press,
  • McCabe, Una: 2007, Classroom Drama A Practical Guide, C J Fallon, Dublin,
  • Krogh, S., & Morehouse, P.: 2014, The early childhood curriculum: inquiry learning through integration,, Routledge, New York,
Other Resources

50747, Website, The Learning Station, 0, Music and Movement based ideas for early learning, https://www.learningstationmusic.com/, 50748, Website, Make Believe Arts, 0, Early Learning through the Arts organisation, https://www.makebelievearts.co.uk/,
Programme or List of Programmes
BEDBachelor of Education

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