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Module Specifications

Archived Version 2018 - 2019

Module Title
Module Code

Online Module Resources

NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None

In this module students conceptualise early childhood curricula and planning for all children aged birth to six years. This module builds on Year 2 modules wherein students explore frameworks such as Aistear: The Early Childhood Curriculum Framework and Síolta: The National Quality Framework as well as a range of ECE curricula. Students discuss the importance of social and situated learning while recognising children’s ability to lead their own learning. The students will explore a developmental, emergent approach to curriculum and planning. The module is framed by social constructivist theories (e.g. Vygotsky) as well as constructivist theories (e.g. Bruner). Students will discuss how adults can support the learning and development of babies, toddlers and young children. The relationship between curriculum and planning will also be explored.

Learning Outcomes

1. Describe curriculum and planning approaches that support the development and learning of all babies, toddlers and young children
2. Identify the priorities related to what all young children should be learning in terms of knowledge and understanding, skills and dispositions
3. Recognise the significance of children’s active engagement, and discovery based learning
4. Identify the adult’s role in emergent and developmental curriculum and planning
5. Demonstrate the challenges of working within a developmental, emergent curriculum
6. Analyse and reflect on approaches to curriculum and planning

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture12No Description
Workshop12No 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

• Theoretical frameworks supporting curriculum and planning: social constructivism (e.g.Vygotsky) and discovery based learning and constructivism (e.g. Bruner).

• Curriculum and planning approaches that support babies, toddlers and young children’s learning and development both from an international and national perspective (including Aistear and Síolta)

• Explore how child development helps to address curriculum design: focus on pedagogy, teaching methods, activities and materials

• A developmental, emergent approach to curriculum planning

• The role of the adult in emergent and developmental curriculum and planning

• Children’s active engagement and discovery based learning

• Relationship between curriculum and planning: features and challenges

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment% Examination Weight%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
Reassessment Requirement
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
Indicative Reading List

  • Angela Anning, Joy Cullen, Marilyn Fleer: 2009, Early Childhood Education, 2nd, Sage Publications Ltd, London, 1847874533
  • Colette Gray, Sean MacBlain: 2012, Learning Theories in Childhood, 1st, SAGE Publications Ltd, London, 085702146X
  • Nutbrown, C.: 2006, Threads of thinking: Young children learning and the role of early education, Sage Publications, London,
  • Jerome Bruner: 1996, The culture of education, 1st, 9, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass., 0674179536
  • Clare, A.: 2012, Creating a learning environment for babies and toddlers, 1st, 7, SAGE Publications Ltd, London, 0857027697
  • Dukes, C. and Smith, M.: 2014, Provision and progress for two year olds, 1st, 7, Sage, London, 1446274276
  • Page, J. Clare, A., & Nutbrown, C.: 2013, Working with babies and children, 2nd, 8, Sage, London, 1446209067
  • Sellers, M.: 2013, Young children becoming curriculum: Deleuze, Te Whariki and curricular understandings, 1st, Routledge, 0415536111
  • L. S. Vygotsky; edited by Michael Cole... [et al.]: 1978, Mind in society, 14th, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, 0674576292
Other Resources

34504, Website, 0, Centre for Early Childhood Development and Education (CECDE) (2005). Síolta: The National Quality Framework for Early Childhood Education. Dublin: CECDE Available at:, http://www.siolta.ie/, 34505, Website, 0, Dalli, C., White, E.J, Rockel, J., Duhn, I., with Buchanan, E., Davidson, S., Ganly, S., Kus, L., & Wang, B. (2011). Quality early childhood education for under -two-year-olds : What should it look like? A literature review. Auckland, NZ: Ministry of Edu, www.educationcounts.govt.nz/publications,
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