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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Science Ed 2 & Early Childhood Education
Module Code ED2032
School 77
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Córa Gillic
Semester 2: Córa Gillic
Autumn: Córa Gillic
Module TeachersCóra Gillic
NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 2.5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None
Coursework Only

Building on appropriate pedagogies introduced in year one and adopting constructivist, playful and integrated approaches to teaching and learning as outlined in the Primary School Curriculum (GoI, 1999) and Aistear (NCCA, 2009), the aim of this module is to prepare students to effectively plan and teach high-quality STEM, inquiry-based learning experiences in early childhood and primary classrooms. Students' conceptual and pedagogical content knowledge of science and early childhood mathematics is developed, including their own digital, scientific literacy and early numeracy skills. The module places an emphasis on children’s scientific and early mathematical knowledge, understanding, dispositions at different stages of their cognitive development, particularly in relation to young children’s early mathematical experiences at home, pre-primary, early years of primary; and how these formative experiences provide the foundation for mathematical and scientific discussion, thinking, problem-solving and creativity. Inclusive, innovative approaches to the teaching, learning and assessment of children’s scientific and early numeracy is promoted where students experience and reflect on learning themselves through hands-on activities using concrete and digital resources in authentic and meaningful contexts, using the indoor and outdoor environment so as to become confident and competent in their own professional practice experiences

Learning Outcomes

1. Evaluate professional assumptions, experiences and conceptual understanding to form critical judgements of issues and themes relevant to the teaching of science and early childhood mathematics.
2. Critically analyse key theories, knowledge and research in science education and early childhood mathematics
3. Scaffold and challenge children’s thinking and development of scientific and early mathematical ideas, concepts, skills and dispositions at different stages of their development.
4. Apply a range of pedagogies and assessment methods, including play-based, digital tools, inquiry-based dialogic processes to support all learners in the teaching of science and early childhood mathematics.
5. Research, plan, resource and reflect upon creative and innovative learning experiences and environments in science and mathematics education across the continuum of early childhood and primary education.

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture2Participation in 1 hour lectures Mathematics in the Early Years: 2 hours (2 weeks)
Assignment Completion10.5Assignment (100%) Science Education: 5.25 Mathematics in EY: 5.25
Independent Study15Reading to support learning in module components Science Education:10 hours Mathematics in the Early Years: 5 hours
Workshop28Participation in 2 hour workshops for module components Mathematics in the Early Years: 12 hours (6 weeks) Science Education: 16 hours (8 weeks)
Online activity7Completion of online (H5P) weekly tasks for Mathematics in the Early Years
Total Workload: 62.5

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

Early Childhood Education: Mathematics in the Early Years
This module component is designed to provide students with opportunities to become confident and competent teachers of early childhood mathematics in the early years, including the early years of primary school. This component of the module focuses on using a playful approach to the teaching and learning of mathematical concepts and skills in the infant classroom, developing both students' conceptual and pedagogical content knowledge. Students' knowledge and understanding of early childhood mathematics is developed through participation in small group active, hands-on learning activities and with the engagement of concrete and digital resources. Assessment of this module component further supports students’ content knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge, in that it encourages inclusion and reflection in the creative planning of appropriate early mathematical experiences to support all learners, whereby linking theory, research and practice. These experiential learning experiences contribute to developing student understanding of how these approaches can facilitate inclusive, playful, and meaningful mathematical learning experiences in the infant classroom. The use of children’s early mathematical experiences at home and pre-primary are built upon and extended in terms of developing their mathematical knowledge, understanding, skills and dispositions. This component of the module builds on playful pedagogies introduced in ED1011 (picture books, songs, rhymes, hands-on activities, play types) and underpins students coursework in other mathematics education modules. For example, the use of co-constructive picture book discussion and play to develop young children’s understanding and use of mathematical concepts and language, thereby developing mathematical literacy in relevant and meaningful ways. The module engages students with the key ideas of early mathematics such as number, counting, solving problems with numbers, pattern, shape and space, measures, sorting, matching and handling data. Key early mathematical ideas that will be explored include: Counting and early number The importance of estimation and subitization The development of number concepts The introduction of a new symbolic language Number concepts and number operations Exploration and investigation of number relations Informal activity related to addition and subtraction The introduction of formal conventions Measure Measure includes: Money, time, weight, length and capacity Language and the development of measurement concepts Activity-based enquiry and problem solving tasks Data Recognise and interpret data Object, pictorial and symbolic graph representations Shape and Space Solve tasks and problems involving shape (2D and 3D) Spatial awareness and appropriate language Algebra Patterns in nature, in everyday items Identifying, copying and creating patterns A strong emphasis is placed on the mathematical processes young children demonstrate such as communicating, reasoning, argumentation, justifying, representing, problem-solving and generalising, and how these processes may be scaffolded and challenged are interrogated in the module. Aistear (NCCA, 2009), The Primary School Curriculum: Mathematics (GoI, 1999) and the Draft Specification: Primary Mathematics, junior infants to second class (NCCA, 2018) inform students’ coursework and professional practice to ensure that the knowledge and numeracy skills and content set out in these documents provide a framework from which they may plan and provide authentic mathematical experiences, established on mathematical discussions and active learning to promote the mathematical thinking and the related processes.

Science Education
This module component is designed to provide the students with a holistic approach to the teaching of primary science. This encompasses developing students' own scientific literacy and their ability to support development of children’s scientific literacy. It will build upon the scientific inquiry skills developed through ED1026 while further enhancing students’ conceptual understanding of Inquiry Based Science Education and constructivist approaches underpinning the Primary Science Curriculum (DES, 1999). While this module component has a strong focus on developing pedagogical understanding, it will also afford students opportunities to strengthen their conceptual understanding in science so they will have the requisite foundational scientific knowledge to support their students' learning in a meaningful manner. This will provide students with opportunities to become confident in the teaching of science, developing both content and pedagogical knowledge. This module component will focus on the development of children’s scientific knowledge and scientific inquiry skills at different stages in their cognitive development, modelling teaching strategies to provoke discussion, stimulate scientific thinking and creativity and will promote cognitive development. During this module component a number of key themes will be examined and further enhanced building from ED1026. For instance, multimodal science assessment strategies to include formative and summative assessment; development of scientific inquiry skills; climate science literacy and sustainability; developing all children’s content knowledge and skills in a progressive, inclusive and developmental manner; integrating digital learning and mathematical thinking into science education. These themes will be explored through workshops where students are provided with opportunities to engage in collaborative and creative scientific inquiry and practical hands-on investigations. This module component demonstrates an integrated STEM approach where students develop mathematics and digital skills through their participation in these practical components of the module. ED2032 Science Education is delivered using a range of inclusive resources including visual, oral and physical resources to develop students’ conceptual understanding of key scientific principles and enhance scientific investigation skills. Through engagement in the workshops, readings, tasks, and reflections, students will develop their confidence and competence in teaching science. B. Topics from the curriculum: Unit 1. Environmental Awareness & Care (environmental studies) Level 1; Unit 2. Living Things (biology) Level 1; Unit 3. Materials (chemistry) Level 1; Unit 4. Energy and forces (physics) Level 1; Unit 5. Design & Make (technology education) Level 1.

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
AssignmentMathematics in EY Individual assignment (900 words) to demonstrate the link between early childhood mathematics education content and pedagogical content knowledge50%Week 10
AssignmentScience Individual written assignment (900 words) to demonstrate the link between science education content and pedagogical content knowledge50%Week 19
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

  • Ann Montague-Smith,Tony Cotton,Alice Hansen,Alison J. Price: 2018, Mathematics in Early Years Education, 4th, Routledge, London, 1138731129
  • Cook, Grace,Jones, Lesley,Murphy, Cathy: 1997, Enriching Early Mathematical Learning, McGraw-Hill Education (UK), 9780335196661
  • Roger Cutting,Orla Kelly: 2014, Creative Teaching in Primary Science, SAGE Publications Limited, 9781446255421
  • Constantinou, C.P., Tsivitanidou, O.E. & Rybska, E.: 2018, Professional Development for Inquiry Based Science Teaching and Learning. Contributions from Science Education Research, 5., What is Inquiry-based teaching?, Springer, 978-3-319-914
  • Alan Howe,Dan Davies,Chris Collier,Rebecca Digby,Sarah Earle,Kendra McMahon: 2019, Teaching Science and Technology in the Early Years (3-7), 3rd, Taylor & Francis, London, 9780415825580
Other Resources

Programme or List of Programmes
BEDBachelor of Education
HMSAStudy Abroad (Humanities & Soc Science)
HMSAOStudy Abroad (Humanities & Soc Science)
IESAStudy Abroad (Institute of Education)
IESAOStudy Abroad (Institute of Education)

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