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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Professional Learning & Practice Issues 3
Module Code EC309
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

This module is the preparatory module for Year 3 and Year 4 placements and it addresses issues pertaining to those placements. It builds on the two previous modules on Issues in Professional Learning and Practice and the two previous placement experiences (P1 and P2). The module will focus on aspects of pedagogical framing, equipping students for leadership within the profession. The module will also consider a range of issues such as policies and practice, routines and values education, all of which aim to support students in developing competencies and deepening their value base.

Learning Outcomes

1. Demonstrate effective pedagogical practice that optimises children’s learning and is informed by theory, research and practice.
2. Develop an understanding of pedagogical framing and appreciation of policies and procedures required in ECEC practice
3. Reflect on values education, ethics and relationships in the context of ECEC
4. Recognise the role of routines and pedagogical practices in the lives of babies, toddlers and young children from a variety of cultures, abilities, and socio-economic backgrounds in ECEC ssettings
5. Observe emergent learning in child-initiated play – based experiences, assess and communicate the learning that has occurred in relation to a variety of frameworks.
6. Further develop the e-portfolio.

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 students’ learning and experiences of the two previous years 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 three Semesters. The module further deepens students’ engagement with the themes in conjunction with their developing expertise in practice. In this community of practice, problem-based learning, students’ experiences, digital films of practice, role-play, peer collaboration, discussion and analysis are used to enhance professional development. In this module, the third year of the programme, the focus is on reflecting on diversity, equality and inclusion. At this stage in the programme the students will be independently developing leadership and expertise.

Communicating and collaborating
Within this theme the student’s approach to building collaborative and responsive relationships with children and staff is further deepened by a focus on how students could: • Extend children’s thinking and language in conversations. • Raise issues of professional importance to the setting while attending staff meetings.

Understanding diversity
Within this theme the student’s approach to understanding is further deepened by a focus on how students could: • Plan to support the learning needs of children with special educational and other needs. • Engage with families in relation to early learning and development.

Applying professional knowledge
Within this theme the student’s approach to applying professional knowledge is further deepened by how to: • Link the theory learned in the third year course-work, for example, children, families and communities - a focus on diversity, early mathematics learning, supporting the learning and development of young children with special needs, curriculum and planning, current issues in ECE, children’s participation in ECE, early language and literacy, assessing early learning and development 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 further deepened by a focus on: • The role and expectations of a third and fourth year student and others in the community of practice with a focus on an SEN setting and a policy setting. • The constituents of professional behaviour, for example, familiarity with the risk factors for and symptoms of child abuse and neglect and knowledge of the settings policies and procedures. • Engaging in young children’s care routines of, for example, nappy changing, feeding, and toileting generally and how to challenge prejudice and engage in anti-bias practices during these care routines. • Leading a full day, planning, conducting and evaluating all care routines and learning experiences

Practising reflectively and ethically
Within this theme the student’s approach to practising reflectively and ethically is further deepened by: • Seeing themselves as action researchers/enquirers through observing practice, ethically documenting children’s learning and analysing the learning with a view to communicating that learning. • Engaging in constructive dialogue and feedback with the cooperating educator. • Where possible, using tools such as digital stimulated reflective dialogues film as a tool for self-assessment and critical reflections on practice. • Further developing a placement e-portfolio with particular relevance to reflecting on diversity, equality and inclusion.

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
ProjectStudents will critically analyse a range of journal articles and readings relating to module topics. They will craft an informed response to the material and contribute to a weekly discussion forum.100%Sem 1 End
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

  • Wood, E.: 2013, Play, learning and the early childhood curriculum, 3rd, SAGE Publications, London, 1849201161
  • edited by Linda Darling-Hammond, John Bransford; in collaboration with Pamela LePage, Karen Hammerness, Helen Duffy: 2005, Preparing teachers for a changing world, 1st, 13, Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, Calif., 0787996343
  • Ann S. Epstein: 2009, The Intentional Teacher, 1st, Natl Assn for the Education, 1928896413
  • edited by Linda Darling-Hammond, John Bransford; in collaboration with Pamela LePage, Karen Hammerness, Helen Duffy: 2005, Preparing teachers for a changing world, Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, Calif.,
  • Winderlick, K.: 2016, Rethinking routines: Opportunities for learning, Early Childhood Australia,
  • Penn, H.: 1999, How should we care for babies and toddlers: an analysis of practice in out-of-home care for children under three, University of Toronto , Childcare Resource & Research Unit, Toronto, Canada,
Other Resources

39758, Website, 0, Ballyfermot Language Enrichment Programme for ideas for language games with children three to six visit, http://www.thelanguagegarden.ie, 39759, Website, 0, Children’s Right’s Alliance, for communications on children’s rights, contact Communications communications@childrensrights.ie, http://www.childrensrights.ie/, 39760, Website, 0, Information on resources for Montessori (Irish) Montessori Alliance visit, info@montessorialliance.ie, 39761, 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/, 39762, 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, 39763, Website, 0, Síolta, the National Quality Framework for Early Childhood Education visit, http://www.siolta.ie,
Programme or List of Programmes
BECEBachelor of Early Childhood Education

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