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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Adolescent Wellbeing and Development
Module Code HD528
School 76
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Catherine Maunsell
Semester 2: Catherine Maunsell
Autumn: Catherine Maunsell
Module TeachersCatherine Maunsell
Ashling Bourke
NFQ level 9 Credit Rating 10
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None

This module’s rationale is to support participants’ to deepen their knowledge and understanding of young people’s unique capacities and needs in relation to their learning in SPHE/RSE. Participants will critically consider the role of inclusive, participatory, rights-based and creative approaches to SPHE/RSE and their role in supporting participants to be knowledgeable, informed, reflective teachers of SPHE/RSE. The module will enhance participants’ understanding of young people’s social and emotional development, with particular focus on their identity, relationships, gender, sexual orientation, and mental health and wellbeing. Participants will be supported enhance their understanding of the value and role of the student voice in co-constructing learning in SPHE/RSE. Thus, equipping and empowering participants with the knowledge and skills to handle the theoretical and empirical complexity of young people’s learning needs and integrate this into their teaching practice. The overall aims of this module will be achieved through the further development of participants’: knowledge and understanding of young people’s identity and social and emotional development and critical reflection on their attitudes and values in relation to young people learning needs and apply this to their classroom and whole school context. understanding and critical awareness of contemporary theory and research on the role of young people as key educational stakeholders in SPHE/RSE understanding and analysis of a rights-based approach and apply this to their own teaching contexts. understanding of the value and role of the young person’s voice in co-constructing learning in SPHE/RSE. On completion of this module participants will be able to teach, and become leaders in the teaching of, SPHE/RSE through developing their knowledge, understanding, research literacy, skills, and attitudes, thus enabling their critical reflection on young people’s development and wellbeing.

Learning Outcomes

1. Demonstrate a systematic understanding of the contexts and domains of young people’s social and emotional development with particular focus on their identity, relationships, gender, sexual orientation, and mental health and wellbeing.
2. Demonstrate understanding of how legislation, policy, practices, pedagogies and curriculum shape young people’s experiences of SPHE/RSE.
3. Show a critical awareness of the current challenges, controversies, and complexities in the fields of well-being, development, and the rights of the young person.
4. Apply their knowledge and understanding of young people’s learning needs, wellbeing and development to their teaching and engagement with young people in the SPHE/RSE space.
5. Use their knowledge and understanding to support their students’ voice to be autonomous and empowered in their decision-making around identity development, and relationships and through inter alia examination of the value and role of the young person’s voice in co-constructing learning in SPHE/RSE.
6. Be enablers of children’s and young people’s rights through their teaching of SPHE/RSE.
7. Use critical research literacy skills to handle the complexity of the current state of research and scholarship in the field and to ensure their understanding and practice in SPHE/RSE is empirically based.

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture30Flipped Classroom: 5 x 2 hour –independent engagement: preparation 5 x 3 hour plenary lectures (Offered both online and in person) 5 x 1 hour post lecture learning consolidation
Group work12Small group work in PLCs, including CA presentation planning and completion based on PBL task – response to case study
Workshop8Workshops to support on reflection, application of learnings, and skills development and practice
Directed learning50Reflective practice, learning application,
Independent Study150Independent learning including, assessment planning and completion.
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

Indicative Module Content
Conceptualising Adolescence • Theories of Development • Historical and contemporary views of Adolescence Young people’s Rights: Autonomy, Participation, Development Conceptualising Wellbeing • Subjective and objective wellbeing • Wellbeing in Adolescence • Wellbeing Indicators Wellbeing and Relationships in Adolescence • Peers, Parents, Intimate Relationships • Social Media and Relationships Sexual Health and Behaviour • Exploring the data Identity Development • Gender, sexual orientation-identity and inclusion Embodied Wellbeing • Physical health and wellbeing • Body image, objectification, and wellbeing Young Person Centred Practice • Co-constructing the curriculum • The influence of legislation, policy, practices, and curriculum on young people’s educational experiences

Indicative Teaching and Learning Activities
To ensure an active learning approach throughout the module, the flipped classroom methodology will be utilised at different stages of the module, whereby participants will be provided with the content (theory, frameworks, research) through readings, pre-recorded lectures, videos to engage with in their independent learning time. Participants will thus focus with the lower levels of cognitive engagement (gaining knowledge and comprehension) outside of lecture time, while focusing on the higher forms of cognitive engagement (application, analysis, synthesis, and/or evaluation) during lecture time. Lectures will also employ cooperative learning through small group work and participants will also be supported to integrate learnings from this module with their learnings from other modules on the programme. A case study/enquiry-based learning approach to young people’s development will be incorporated into the lectures, small group work and independent learning. Along with the development of comprehensive understanding and knowledge element, reflective learning will be incorporated in which participants will be supported to reflect on their attitudes and values in relation to young people through small group reflections and writing of individual reflections on a range of relevant issues. Independent learning will be scaffolded by the introduction of critical literacy skills in lecture formats. Students will be supported to access, appraise, and critically engage with the theoretical and empirical knowledge base on young people’s development and wellbeing. The module delivery and content will be continually evaluated through active reflection on the teaching and learning by those delivering the module and those taking the module. Feedback from such evaluations will be incorporated into module design for subsequent delivery.

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
EssayEssay on critical issues (e.g., rights, identity – choice of topic)50%n/a
Group presentationProfessional Learning Community PLC group response to case study30%n/a
Research PaperWrite a blog drawing on relevant and recent research on adolescent development.20%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

  • Ollis, D., Coll L., Harrison L., & Johnson, B.: 2022, Pedagogies of Possibility for Negotiating Sexuality Education with Young People., Emerald, Bingley, UK,
  • Ryan, A.M., Urdan, T.C. & Anderman, E.M.: 2021, Adolescent Development for Educators, 1st, Pearson, New York,
  • Bosson, J., Buckner, J. & Vandello, C.: 2021, The Psychology of Sex and Gender, 2nd, Sage, Thousand Oaks, CA,
  • Kuther, T.L.: 2020, Adolescence in Context, Sage, Thousand Oaks, CA,
  • Hare, K.A.: 2016, Navigating gender and sexuality in the classroom: narrative insights from students and educators., Routledge, New York,
  • Jones, P. & Walker, G.: 2011, Children’s Rights in Practice., Sage, London,
Other Resources

58832, UN, 0, United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child with a particular emphasis on Article 29 of the Convention, 58833, Website, 0, Growing Up in Ireland – National Longitudinal Study of Children - Online Resources https://www.growingup.ie/, 58834, Website, 0, Health Behaviour in School-Aged Children – WHO Collaborative Cross-National Study - Online Resources https://www.nuigalway.ie/hbsc/, 58835, Journal, 0, Sex Education Journal, 58836, Journal, 0, Journal of Research in Adolescence,
Programme or List of Programmes
GDSPHEGraduate Diploma in SPHE/RSE

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