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ED10351: Early childhood and primary education

Follow this link for further information on academic years Academic Year: 2014/5
Further information on owning departmentsOwning Department/School: Department of Education
Further information on credits Credits: 6
Further information on unit levels Level: Certificate (FHEQ level 4)
Further information on teaching periods Period: Semester 2
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Summary: CW 75%, OR 25%
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Detail:
  • 2000 word assignment (CW 100%)
Further information on supplementary assessment Supplementary Assessment: Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Further information on requisites Requisites:
Further information on descriptions Description: Aims:
The intention of this unit is to:
* introduce students to curriculum frameworks associated with early childhood and primary education and the cultural, political, historical contexts in which they are embedded;
* familiarise students with a range of national policies (UK and outside of the UK) and their agendas for children and young people.

Learning Outcomes:
In completing this unit students would be expected to:
* be familiar with curriculum frameworks used in early childhood and primary education;
* evaluate and interpret the concepts and theories underpinning curriculum models and assessment in early childhood and primary education, including any implicit assumptions about child development and childhood;
* identify and describe key aspects of a classroom teacher's practice in the early years' setting or primary classroom;
* develop an awareness of the development of national policy concerning children and young people;
* develop lines of argument related to theory, policy and practice associated with early years and primary education.


* Develop and apply the skills needed for academic study and enquiry (T//F/A)
* Apply strategies for appropriate selection of relevant information from a wide source and body of knowledge (T/F/A)
* Analyse and evaluate policy initiatives (T/F/A)
* Ask appropriate and critical questions to make judgements (T/F)
* Effective oral communication (F/T)
* Ability to organise and articulate opinions and arguments in speech and writing using relevant specialist vocabulary and concepts (T/F/A)
* Be competent users of ICT in their study (T)
* Ability to relate theory with practice (T)
* Ability to work independently, without close supervision or guidance.

The course content will cover five main areas: curriculum frameworks, curriculum policy, teaching methodologies, assessment and meeting the challenges of national policies such as for example: Every Child Matters, and the equivalent policies on other countries such as USA and Australia.
* Defining a knowledge base for early childhood and primary education: what do we mean by curriculum? who defines the curriculum?
* Early childhood curriculum models: High/Scope Preschool curriculum, Montessori education, The Reggio Emilia approach, Rudolf Steiner and Waldorf schooling, Anti-Bias Curriculum, The Foundation Stage Curriculum - What does curriculum mean in response to the approaches?
* The impact of changing theoretical perspectives of childhood and child development on early childhood curriculum models.
* National contexts and policy agenda for early childhood provision: e.g. Every Child Matters and its implications for provision.
* Transitions to primary school - the interface between non-compulsory and compulsory schooling including issues concerned with baseline assessment and profiling.
* National Curricula - policy rhetoric and reality.
* Dominant teaching methodologies in primary years - theoretical tensions in the pedagogy of primary education.
* Assessment - Origins of assessment; recent developments; types of assessments, the relationship between curriculum and assessment and the tensions existing between them.
* Diversity, inclusion and learning (and the implications of these for teaching and learning).
In order to relate theory to practice, the unit includes visits spent in a local primary school or early years' setting. During these visits students review the relationship between curriculum models, teaching and learning, and reflect on and evaluate the experience. Through the school experience ideas introduced during the lectures can be observed in operation.
Further information on programme availabilityProgramme availability:

ED10351 is Compulsory on the following programmes:

Department of Education
  • UHED-AFB04 : BA(Hons) Childhood, Youth and Education Studies (Year 1)
  • UHED-AKB04 : BA(Hons) Childhood, Youth and Education Studies with Professional Placement (Year 1)

* This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2014/15 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2015/16 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2014/15.
* Programmes and units are subject to change at any time, in accordance with normal University procedures.
* Availability of units will be subject to constraints such as staff availability, minimum and maximum group sizes, and timetabling factors as well as a student's ability to meet any pre-requisite rules.