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Module Specifications

Archived Version 2022 - 2023

Module Title
Module Code

Online Module Resources

NFQ level 9 Credit Rating 10
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None

This module will provide opportunities for participants to explore what it means to create and maintain a safe, inclusive and empowering SPHE-RSE learning environment; one that is relevant and responsive to the needs of young people. Critical, creative, transformative and co-productive approaches to teaching, learning and assessment in SPHE/RSE at post-primary level will be actively modelled. Participants will be supported to enhance their own teaching and learning skills in their engagement with active and participatory pedagogical approaches through peer micro-teaching opportunities. These important peer micro-teaching opportunities will support participants as they develop their competence in research driven approaches to teaching, learning and assessment in SPHE/RSE. Through their active engagement in this module participants will be enabled to respond to the unique strengths, needs and interests of post-primary students. The module is also designed to enhance participant’s capacities as critical and creative consumers of evidence-based approaches to teaching, learning and assessment in SPHE/RSE. This module aims to facilitate participants’ critical understanding of how their practice meets educational policy and curricular framework requirements, (current and evolving) for Junior and Senior Cycle, and in turn, explore alignment with relevant international guidance and standards.

Learning Outcomes

1. Demonstrate their knowledge of current and evolving curriculum and evidence-based approaches to teaching, learning and assessment of SPHE/RSE at post-primary level.
2. Enhance their confidence and capacity to plan for and facilitate student-centred learning experiences using participative and experiential learning strategies.
3. Enhance their capacity of becoming a reflective practitioner and the concept of life-long learning.
4. Identify the interconnectivity between policy, theory, curriculum and praxis.
5. Develop an understanding of the theories that underpin curriculum development and how they can be employed in the co-construction of SPHE-RSE curriculum with young people.
6. Develop skills as flexible, critical and creative curriculum makers, responsive to curricular changes and evolutions.

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Workshop324 days of workshops total spread across the full calendar year. Made up of ½ and full days immersive sessions.
Online activity102 hour x 5 weeks via zoom (asynchronous & synchronous)
Workplace application8Micro-teaching in pairs
Directed learning100Reflective journaling and preparation for micro-teaching.
Independent Study100Independent reading and planning, preparation and writing of CAs
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 Content/Syllabus
Creating safe and inclusive spaces in SPHE/RSE- focus on how best to facilitate learning environments where young people can feel, think, question, and share sensitive or difficult issues without revealing too much of themselves. Exploring national and international curricula in SPHE/RSE Understanding young people’s needs moving from primary to post-primary SPHE/RSE- exploring the transition from primary to post-primary Engaging with critical, creative & inclusive approaches to SPHE/RSE. The emphasis will be placed on pedagogical approaches and the connections across content areas within SPHE-RSE. Workshops will be crafted around six key elements involved in working creatively with children and young people (Renold & Marston, 2020): ● Becoming Imaginative- Working creatively and critically can enable children and young people to imagine other lives, identities, families, experiences and ways of being in the world. Participants will explore the use of fictional stories, drama and visualisation. ● Becoming Sensory- Working in the creative mode can encourage new responses to familiar or unfamiliar feelings, ideas, movements, concepts or situations. Objects and artefacts crafted through a creative process on what matters to young people will be the focus for exploring how to interact within SPHE/RSE in multi-sensory ways ● Becoming Curious- Being creative very often involves learning to unlearn what we think we know, so that we can be curious about ‘what matters’ to young people. This requires an openness to listen to what young people tell us, and being able to adapt activities to their interests and needs. ● Becoming Ethical- Allowing ideas and expressions to flourish is important, but so is keeping a check on how power relations, norms and inequalities play out (e.g. how are gendered, sexualised or racialised and how stereotypes are reinforced, questioned or challenged). Rethinking risk & safety in SPHE/RSE- unpacking core concepts of risk and safety and the impacts of the discourses surrounding these concepts on pedagogy Unpacking developmentally appropriate approaches to SPHE/RSE- critically engaging with concepts such as age and developmentally appropriate content areas and its impact on pedagogical approaches. Making links to the concept of a living curriculum. Reimagining assessment in SPHE/RSE- what does it mean to assess in SPHE/RSE and how might creative strategies for assessment be incorporated in SPHE/RSE meaningful ways. Cross-curricular links in and across SPHE/RSE and wellbeing- focus on the links between SPHE-RSE-wellbeing in the national curriculum and potentials in terms of pedagogical possibilities for cross-curricular approaches to SPHE/RSE and wellbeing Building whole school-approaches to SPHE/RSE and wellbeing- focus on how classroom based learning and experience is/can be supported, reinforced and embedded across school contexts and wider community.

Indicative Teaching and Learning Activities
This module focuses on the application of the knowledge and skills presented across the programme to the teaching and learning context. The module is research driven, participatory and creative, modelling promising practice in SPHE/RSE and providing the opportunity for participants to put their learning into practice through micro-teaching opportunities and participatory inquiry projects of relevance to their own context. The underpinning framework for this module is that of critical and creative pedagogy. Creative pedagogy makes space for participants to be curious about what really matters to themselves and to others. It models the creation of safe and inclusive environments to feel, think, question and share sensate, sensitive or difficult issues. Working in the creative mode can encourage new responses to familiar or unfamiliar feelings, ideas, movements, concepts or situations. Critically speaking, this approach also keeps a check on power relations and social norms and works to understand and transform how these power relations, norms and inequalities play out (e.g. how gender, sexual or racialized stereotypes are reinforced, questioned or challenged).

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

  • McCuaig, L., Enright, E., Rossi, T., & MacDonald, D.: 2021, Teachers as Health Workers: A Critical Understanding of the Health-education Interface., Routledge,
  • Lupton, D., & Leahy, D. (Eds.).: 2021, Creative Approaches to Health Education: New Ways of Thinking, Making, Doing, Teaching and Learning., Routledge,
  • Hoyle, A. and McGeeney, E.: 2019, Great Relationships and Sex Education., Taylor and Francis.,
  • Quinlivan, K.: 2018, Exploring contemporary issues in sexuality education with young people: Theories in practice., Springer,
Other Resources

58869, Website, 0, NCCA Online SPHE/RSE Junior and Senior Cycle Toolkits/Portal: www.curriculumonline.ie/Junior-cycle/SPHE-Toolkit/; www.curriculumonline.ie/Senior-cycle/SPHE-(1)/SPHE-Toolkit/, 58870, Website, 0, PDST Online Resource Portal: www.pdst.ie/post-primary/health-wellbeing/sphe#Policy%20Development%20and%20Review, 58871, Website, 0, Renold, E. (2019). AGENDA: Supporting Children and Young People in Making Positive Relationships Matter. Cardiff: Cardiff University www.agendaonline.co.uk, 58872, NCCA, 0, NCCA (2018) Report on the Review of Relationships and Sexuality Education in primary and post-primary school, 58873, NCCA, 0, NCCA (2016) Short Course SPHE Specification for Junior Cycle - Under Review, 58874, DoE, 0, Department of Education (1997) Relationships and Sexuality Education Policy Guidelines - Under Review, 58875, DoE, 0, Department of Education and Skills (2019) Wellbeing Policy Statement and Framework for Schools (2018-2024).,
Programme or List of Programmes