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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Assessing Early Learning and Development
Module Code EC304
School 77
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Geraldine French
Semester 2: Geraldine French
Autumn: Geraldine French
Module TeachersMarlene McCormack
NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None
Coursework Only
As above

This module is also delivered in ECE major specialism on the BEd.(ECE201).A definition and characterisation of formative assessment in early childhood education is developed through reviewing students’ knowledge of early learning and associated theoretical constructs. Students are oriented toward approaches to assessment that are in the best interests of both children and their families. The what and how of assessing to support learning is explored and key strategies are analysed. Ways of studying and assessing children’s learning and development in their natural, everyday environments especially in the context of play and interactions with others are exemplified. Advisory guidelines in relation to good practice are critiqued. Students use these as a basis for planning and reflecting on their work in assessing early learning and development

Learning Outcomes

1. Define assessment as it applies to early learning and to pedagogy for children aged 0-6 years
2. Identify important principles applying to early learning and assessment
3. Evaluate the various strategies used to assess early learning
4. Review and interpret children’s day-to-day activity in early education contexts for the purposes of assessing learning
5. Review and interpret children’s day-to-day activity in early education contexts for the purposes of assessing learning
6. Create records of learning and development for specific children (babies, toddlers and young children)

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture24No Description
Assessment Feedback45No Description
Independent Study56No 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

• Formative assessment in early childhood: Definition, contexts, theoretical constructs (agency and identity, intersubjectivity, collaboration, co-construction).

• What to assess in early learning

• Observing children and their learning

• How to assess early learning

• Listening to babies, toddlers and young children: Exploring creative ways of listening to individual children and developing awareness of different/preferred modes of communication

• Documentation of early learning : Learning stories, portfolios

• Aistear: Guidelines for good practice. Supporting learning and development through assessment

• Ethical assessment in early childhood

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
EssayCarry out focused assessments of three differently–aged children across the age range 0-6. Compile a learning portfolio for each child100%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

  • Frances Atherton,Cathy Nutbrown: 2013, Understanding Schemas and Young Children, SAGE Publications Limited, 1446248941
  • Alison Clark,Peter Moss: 2011, Listening to Young Children, 2nd, JKP, 1907969268
  • Margaret Carr,Wendy Lee: 2012, Learning Stories, SAGE Publications Ltd, 0857020935
  • Mary Jane Drummond: 0, Assessing Children's Learning, Classic, 0415686733
  • Dunphy, E: 2010, Assessing early learning through formative assessment: Key issues and considerations. Irish Educational Studies, 29(1), 41-56., Irish Educational Studies,
  • Espinosa, L.: 2005, Curriculum and assessment considerations for young children from culturally , linguistically , and economically diverse backgrounds. Psychology in the Schools, 42(8), pp. 837-853.,
  • Lisa B. Fiore: 0, Assessment of Young Children, 0415888115
  • Theodora Papatheodorou,Paulette Luff,Janet Gill: 2011, Child Observation for Learning and Research, Taylor & Francis, 1405824670
  • Dahlberg, G. Moss. P., & Pence, A: 1999, Pedagogical documentation: A practice for reflection and democracy.,
  • G. Dahlberg, P. Moss, & A. Pence.: 0, Beyond quality in early childhood education and care: Postmodern perspectives (pp. 144-158), Falmer Press, London,
Other Resources

45607, Video, Video, 0, Siren Video Series on Child Observation, 45608, Website, Website, 0, Why and how we listen to young children, http://www.ncb.org.uk/media/74018/an_introduction_to_why_and_how_we_listen_to_very_young_children.pd, 45609, Website, Website, 0, Listening to young disabled children, http://www.ncb.org.uk/media/74024/listening_to_young_disabled_children.pdf, 45610, Website, Website, 0, Listening to babies, http://www.ncb.org.uk/media/74030/listening_to_babies.pdf, 45611, Website, Author, 0, Developing a listening culture, http://www.ncb.org.uk/media/74054/developing_a_listening_culture.pdf,
Programme or List of Programmes
BECEBachelor of Early Childhood Education

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