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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Issues in Prof. Learning & Practice 2
Module Code EC209
School 77
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Marlene McCormack
Semester 2: Marlene McCormack
Autumn: Marlene McCormack
Module TeachersMarlene McCormack
NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None
Coursework Only
Resubmission of assignment above

This module builds on students' professional identities and enables students to advance an ethical dimension to their practice. The student is prepared for placement in a second early childhood care and education setting in the following Semester. The module will focus on organising and managing the learning environment. With increasing competency, students will build on meeting the care needs of very young children and plan for early learning experiences: using learning objectives, identifying resources to be acquired, outlining vocabulary to be used, interaction strategies to be adopted and review of the experience. In addition students will explore the concept and practice of intentional teaching, examining the balance between child-led and adult-led curriculum. The students will continue to focus on professional e-portfolio building to reflect their emerging engagement in an early childhood-based community of practice, and to integrate theory with practice. These will include complete plans for enriching and meaningful small group learning experiences. These experiences should be aligned to learning outcomes, vocabulary, interaction strategies, evaluation and policy frameworks.

Learning Outcomes

1. Critique the central values that underpin early childhood education practice.
2. Analyse the concept and practice of intentional teaching in relation to play-based emergent curriculum.
3. Demonstrate a range of pedagogical practices that support children's learning and development.
4. Observe and plan for sustainability within the early childhood curriculum, drawing on national frameworks and the SDGs.
5. Design a rich learning environment appropriate to the cultural context of the setting and the children underpinned by principles of Universal Design.
6. Use the professional e-portfolio to document their learning and to integrate theory and practice.

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture12No Description
Tutorial12No Description
Assessment Feedback25No Description
Independent Study76No Description
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

The indicative content of this module on issues in professional learning and practice builds on the foundation year and is organised within the themes outlined in the structural framework (see headings below). This approach provides for pedagogical alignment through integrating the learning across the programme, providing for a focus on the broad concepts and areas of content (foundational, environmental, inclusion, and leadership and expertise) and ensuring comprehensive preparation for professional practice in early childhood settings in the following Semester. This module builds on students’ learning and experiences from the foundation year, deepens their engagement with the themes in conjunction with their developing expertise in practice. Case studies, problem-based learning, digital films of practice, role-play, peer collaboration, discussion and analysis are used to further develop and deepen the community of practice. In this module, the second year of the programme, the focus is on exploring environments for early learning.

Communicating and collaborating
Within this theme the student’s approach to building collaborative and responsive relationships with children and staff is deepened by ensuring students: • Enhance their interaction strategies with children, for example, share conversational control with babies, toddlers or young children, by responding to baby-initiated babble, turn-taking, commenting, increasing vocabulary and acting as co-players in children’s play. • Talk with the co-operating educator about their practice.

Understanding diversity
Within this theme the student’s approach to understanding diversity is deepened by ensuring students: • Know how to organise the learning environment to support diversity, for example, with reference to positive aspects of children’s homes and community culture.

Applying professional knowledge
Within this theme the student’s approach to applying professional knowledge is deepened by ensuring students know how to: • Link the theory learned in the second year course-work, for example, environments and interactions, the pioneers and approaches of ECE, play and learning and development, outdoor learning, young children thinking and learning, technology and learning, language and cultural diversity and apply it to their practice in placement.

Engaging in professional practice
Within this theme the student’s approach to engaging in professional practice is deepened by consideration of: • The role and expectations of a second year student and others in the setting community of practice, • The constituents of professional behaviour, for example, use of professional language and confidentiality. • Dealing with young children’s many care routines of, for example, nappy changing, feeding, and toileting generally and how the environment supports learning and development during these care routines. • Planning, conducting and evaluating small group learning experiences.

Practising reflectively and ethically
Within this theme the student’s approach to practising reflectively and ethically is deepened by consideration of: • Observing children, ethically documenting children’s learning in play episodes, analysing the learning. • Engaging in constructive dialogue and feedback with the cooperating educator • Using tools such as digital audio tape as a tool for self-assessment and critical reflections on practice. • The components of the professional placement e-portfolio with particular relevance to exploring environments for early learning.

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
Group presentationIn groups, students will design a centre-based environment for babies or toddlers or young children (groups to be allocated to the specific age range). Students will consider legislative requirements as well as good practice universal design guidelines in justifying thier design from multiple perspectives.40%Sem 2 End
EssayDrawing on theory/reading, learning in class and examples from placement experience to date, students will analyse the role of the intentional educator. Students will also explore the relationship between emergent play based curriculum and intentional teaching.50%Week 6
ParticipationStudents wil complete weekly tasks as they relate to module readings and class discussion.10%As required
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

  • Dorothy H. Cohen... [et al.]: 2008, Observing and recording the behavior of young children, 5th, Teachers College Press, New York, 080774882X
  • Bruce, T.: 2011, Cultivating Creativity for Babies, Toddlers and Young Children, 2nd, Hodder Education., England,
  • Curtis, D. and Carter, M.: 2015, Designs for Living and Learning: Transforming Early Childhood Environments, 2nd, Redlead Press, St. Paul NM,
  • Daly, L. and Beloglovsky, M.: 2015, Loose Parts. Inspiring Play in Young Children, Redleaf Press, St. Paul MN,
  • Graham, I.: 2014, Spaces to be me: Quality environments in early years services, Barnardos, Dublin,
  • Hohmann, M. and Weikart, D.: 1995, Educating Young Children, High/Scope Press, Ypsilanti Michigan,
  • MacNaughton, G. and Williams, G.: 2009, Teaching Young Children: Choices in Theory and Practice, 2nd, Open University Press, England,
  • MacNaughton, G. and Williams, G.: 1998, Techniquest for teaching young children: choices in theory and practice, Addison Wesley Longman, South Melbourne,
  • MacNaughton, G. (2003): 2003, Shaping arly childhood: Learners, curriculum and contexts, Open University Press, Maidenhead, Berks,
Other Resources

0, Website, DCYA, 2018, Universal Design Guidelines for Early Learning and Care Settings: Literature Review, https://aim.gov.ie/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/universal-design-guidelines-for-elc-settings-literature-review-2.pdf, 0, Website, DCYA, 2018, Universal Design Self Audit Tool for Early Learning and Care Settings, https://aim.gov.ie/universal-design-guidelines-for-elc-settings/, 39748, Website, 0, Síolta, the National Quality Framework for Early Childhood Education visit, http://www.siolta.ie, 39736, Publication, Mathers, S., Eisenstadt, N., Sylva, K., Soukakou, E. & Ereky-Stevens, K., 2014, Sound foundations: a review of the research evidence on quality of early childhood education and care for children under three, implications for policy and practice, Oxford, Oxford University, www.ox.ac.uk/document.rm?id=3215, 0, Website, NCCA, 0, Aistear Síolta Practice Guide. Self-Evaluation Tool, http://www.ncca.ie/en/Practice-Guide/Creating-And-Using-The-Learning-Environment/Self-evaluation-Tools/Creating-and-Using-the-Learning-Environment-Self-evaluation-Tool-Young-Children-3-6-years-.pdf, 39737, Publication, National Association for the Education of Young Children, 2011, Code of ethical conduct and statement of commitment, Washington, http://www.naeyc.org/files/naeyc/file/positions/PSETH05.pdf, 39738, Publication, Neylon, G., 2014, An analysis of Irish pre-school practice and pedagogy using the early childhood environmental four curricular subscales, Irish Educational Studies, http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/03323315.2014.888237?queryID=%24%7BresultBean.queryID%7D#.U-jJRfldU4g, 39739, Publication, Association of Early Childhood Education Ontario, 0, Code of Ethics, http://www.aeceo.ca/files/user_files/code_of_ethics.pdf, 39743, Website, 0, Children’s Right’s Alliance, for communications on children’s rights, contact Communications, communications@childrensrights.ie, http://www.childrensrights.ie/, 39744, Website, 0, Early Childhood Ireland for general information visit, http://www.earlychildhoodireland.ie/, 39746, Website, 0, National Adult Literacy Association for ideas to help children from birth to learn, visit Help my kid learn at, http://www.helpmykidlearn.ie/, 39747, Website, 0, National Council for Curriculum and Assessment for podcasts, videos, and information supporting early learning in relation to Aistear: The Early Childhood Curriculum Framework visit, http://www.ncca.ie,
Programme or List of Programmes
BECEBachelor of Early Childhood Education

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