DCU Home | Our Courses | Loop | Registry | Library | Search DCU

Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Professional Practice 4
Module Code EC408
School 77
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Aishling Silke
Semester 2: Aishling Silke
Autumn: Aishling Silke
Module TeachersMarlene McCormack
Geraldine French
Grainne McKenna
Sandra O'Neill
Aishling Silke
NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 10
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None
Coursework Only
A resit opportunity is available

Placement 4 is the final year placement. A block week early in Semester 1 will provide students with the opportunity to plan their research work for Semester 2, and identify the ethical issues to be addressed. Students will demonstrate professional ethical practice through leadership in addressing professional practice issues in ECE, through expertise, and contributions to professional practice. Students will consolidate and extend their theoretical knowledge of philosophical perspectives in ECE, partnerships and transitions in practice. A combination of self-evaluation and practice-based enquiry will be an important part of P4. Students continue their reflective journal and the development of their portfolio. This module will support students in developing adaptive expertise. It is envisaged that the student on P4 will participate in planning and evaluation meetings in placement settings where practicable. The development of an enquiry stance by individual students will be addressed through the Analysis of Practice seminars.

Learning Outcomes

1. Use a variety of pedagogical strategies and creative resources while working with babies, toddlers, young children with a diverse range of abilities and family cultures.
2. In collaboration with staff, lead full day sessions competently, having compiled short and long term plans for individual children, small and large groups of children ensuring their active engagement and learning.
3. Engage in professional and effective communication with children, staff, families and other professionals in the Placement.
4. Undertake research ethically, in dialogue and collaboration with children, staff and families (where feasible)
5. Critique and assess their pedagogical practices and document strategies for improvement.
6. Present a professional e-portfolio, aligned with the five learning objectives above with complete plans for individual, small group and large group learning experiences.

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Independent Study10No Description
Professional Practice240No Description
Total Workload: 250

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

Students become active monitors of their own learning and practice, gradually acquiring more responsibility as the programme develops. Accordingly, levels of competence and confidence of individual students will progress over the life of the programme building towards an ‘adaptive expert’ in Year 4. A thematic approach underpins tasks in line with the programme’s thematic approach to professional development. 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). The following thematic schema for placement is used to frame and integrate all placement experiences and activities across the programme and form the content of the e-portfolio

Looking at communicating and collaborating
The student will demonstrate looking at communicating and collaborating by documenting and deepening reflection on, for example: • Demonstrating active listening skills with children, staff and families. • Actively take part in staff meetings (where possible) • Working together democratically to find solutions and resolve differences in the setting 9where applicable).

Looking at understanding diversity
The student will demonstrate looking at understanding diversity by documenting and deepening reflection on, for example: • Recognise how prejudice and discrimination operate in society and how this impacts on children in practice. • Ensuring that his/her work always acknowledges the uniqueness and potential of each child, their families and staff members.

Looking at applying professional knowledge
The student will demonstrate looking at applying professional knowledge by documenting and deepening reflection on how they: • Linked the theory of philosophy and childhoods, partnerships in ECE, elective subjects, early language and literacy, leadership and management and transitions in early childhood and apply it to their practice in Placement.

Looking at engaging in professional practice
The student will demonstrate looking at applying professional practice by documenting and deepening reflection on how they: • Developed their pedagogies and their skills of planning, management and self-evaluation. • Have availed of opportunities to work with parents and other professionals whose work directly impacts on children’s lives in the Placement. • Taken ownership for their development as an early childhood educator and leader. • Have gone above and beyond the requirements of the Placement.

Looking at practising reflectively and ethically
The student will demonstrate looking at practicing reflectively and ethically by documenting and deepening reflection on, for example: • Engaging ethically in the research process. • The underpinning rationales behind policies and procedures in Placement. • Self-awareness and ability to differentiate between personal and professional boundaries. • Vigilance and appropriate conduct in relation to health and safety guidelines for young children. The student will present a professional e-portfolio, of sufficient quality to be of use in future practice. The portfolio will contain complete plans for individual, small group and large group learning experiences which are aligned to learning outcomes, vocabulary, interaction strategies, evaluation and national frameworks.

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
PortfolioThe assessment guidelines and criteria for the grading awarded are set out in the Placement Handbook and Assessment Guide. Observations made by the co-operating education along with feedback provided about the student’s development and progress will assist the Placement Tutor in evaluating and grading the student’s practice in line with university procedures.100%Sem 2 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

  • 0: Note: There are no recommended readings for this module other than what was required in the Issues in Professional Learning and Practice 1 module.,
Other Resources

Programme or List of Programmes
BECEBachelor of Early Childhood Education

My DCU | Loop | Disclaimer | Privacy Statement