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Module Specifications

Archived Version 2022 - 2023

Module Title
Module Code

Online Module Resources

NFQ level 9 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None

Professional Placement 1 provides students with an introduction to school life. It emphasises observation, reflection and the experiential, as well as learning how to build rapport and positive ways of communicating with children and co-operating teachers. Students will also begin to develop their understanding of the professional role of the teacher and their own professional identity as an emerging teacher. The module will comprise of one week observation/initial teaching experiences and three weeks direct teaching in the Infants – 2nd Class range (or multigrade in this range). Through a series of structured observation and experiential tasks built around observing children’s learning (and in dialogue with the co-operating teacher), students will be introduced to ways of recording practice-based findings which help to inform planning and subsequent teaching. These observations/tasks will also place an emphasis on building an initial student awareness of (a) inclusive educational practices in the classroom, and (b) an appreciation of the role of parents in supporting the work of the teacher and the broader school. Learning how to work alongside the cooperating teacher (treoraí) and support staff in the classroom/school is an important element of Professional Placement 1. Open engagement in professional conversation with the host cooperating teacher is a crucial dimension of this first placement experience. Developing a classroom presence and a professional way of working is integral to this process. Within the placement setting, students will expand their knowledge, skills and understanding of effective teaching, planning, classroom management and assessment through formal teaching and preparation (short-term and long-term). These formative experiences will enhance the student's emerging agency to work effectively and confidently in their placement setting.

Learning Outcomes

1. Experience and interpret what is happening in classroom teaching and learning situations and describe pupil-teacher and teacher-pupil interactions and behaviours in the classroom.
2. Engage competently and confidently in regular professional conversation with the host cooperating teacher/ treoraí concerning a range of teaching, learning and professional issues.
3. Write structured lesson plans encompassing learning outcomes, content, resources, and key questions creating stimulating and affirming classroom learning environments for children. Create longer-term plans (progressional schemes) for a reduced number of prescribed/student-chosen subject areas. Implement these plans through direct daily teaching segments.
4. Appraise situations which impact (positively, negatively) children’s behaviour and their learning and respond to classroom behaviours in appropriate ways conducive to encouraging children in learning.
5. Reflect, articulate and justify professional judgments made in relation to planning and teaching using self assessment strategies to reflect on and evaluate own teaching competence.
6. Plan for and teach for individuals or groups with special and/or additional educational needs in collaboration with the co-operating teacher.
7. Undertake self-evaluation and implement goals to generate change and improvement.
8. Reflect on the school's formal approaches to parental involvement through direct observation and analysis of classroom/school practices and relevant school policy documents.
9. Reflect on the school's inclusive educational practices and the practical role of the teacher in their implementation.

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Assessment Feedback250No 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

Learning to be Professional
The Code of Professional Conduct (Teaching Council, 2016); health, safety and wellbeing of children (School Policy and Statutory Requirements/Child Protection); Internet safety; ethics of classroom observation; engaging in professional conversations with cooperating teacher / treoraí

Reflective Tasks
Reflective tasks focused on student observation (of children learning and of the co-operating teacher interacting with the children), on learning how to build rapport with children and on how to work alongside the co-operating teacher. Developing a reflective way of being is encouraged from the outset and a sense of what it is to feel like an emergent professional in a classroom/school setting. In addition, a specific set of reflective tasks focus on the school's inclusive educational practices, the practical role of the teacher in their implementation, and crucially, the key role of parents in supporting the teaching and learning programme of the classroom and the wider school.

Lesson Planning
Stages of writing lesson plans to include the generation of learning outcomes, the preparation and use of resources, writing key questions and planning for diverse learners and differentiated learning within an inclusive educational setting.

Progressional Schemes
Introduction to long-term planning (progressional schemes) in English (Literacy), Gaeilge, Mathematics and one other subject area. Considerations for long-term planning to include broad learning outcomes for the selected topic/s, content, concepts and skill development, teaching and learning approaches, differentiation, assessment and required resources

Preparation of Teaching and Resource Folders
Compiling and maintaining a professional folder for preparation and teaching and resources to include key information including but not limited to (a) lesson plans, (2) progressional schemes, (3) evaluations, (4) official University forms, (5) key school and class information, (6) external evaluation reports. Compiling and maintaining a resource folder showcasing a variety of resources which have been employed and used during the placement.

Direct Teaching
Implementation of lesson plans and progressional schemes through daily direct teaching segments to small-group and mainstream-class groupings.

Lesson Evaluation
Engaging in structured lesson evaluation using evaluation prompts and questions. Using the outcomes from evaluation to further guide and support future planning and teaching, and further enhance emerging teacher agency.

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

  • David Midwinter,Tracy Whatmore: 2011, Positive Placements, A&C Black, 9781441195425
  • Lockyer, S: 2016, Lesson Planning for Primary School Teachers, Bloomsbury Education, London, 9781472921116
  • Tony Bonfield,Kathleen Horgan: 2016, Learning to Teach, Teaching to Learn, Gill Education, 9780717162444
Other Resources

0, Website, National Council for Curriculum & Assessment:, 0, Assessment, NCCA, https://ncca.ie/en/primary/assessment/, 0, Website, Using Bloom’s Taxonomy to Write Effective Learning Outcomes, 0, University of Arkansas, https://tips.uark.edu/using-blooms-taxonomy/, 0, Podcast, 0, https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/the-trainee-to-ect-podcast/id1609634026, 0, Podcast, 0, https://www.coolcatteacher.com/10-minute-teacher-podcast/, 0, Podcast, 0, https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/this-teacher-life/id1477926278,
Programme or List of Programmes