module specification

AE5004 - The Developing Child (Three to Six Years) (2024/25)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2024/25
Module title The Developing Child (Three to Six Years)
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Social Sciences and Professions
Total study hours 300
18 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
150 hours Guided independent study
72 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
60 hours Placement / study abroad
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 60%   Essay
Coursework 40%   Child Study
Running in 2024/25

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Summer studies North - -

Module summary

This module aims to enable students to:
- Understand the integrated nature of young children’s development and learning from three to six years
- Consider how cultural and social contexts impact on babies’ and young children’s development and learning
- Study a variety of developmental perspectives including developmental psychology, neuroscience and psychoanalytical theory and play
- Further develop their knowledge of key theorists and how their concepts inform our understanding of personal, social, emotional, physical, linguistic, and cognitive development
- Understand the value of representation in early learning.


In this module, students will study significant theories underpinning child development and the importance of symbolic representation in children from three to six years.  It will consolidate and further explore students’ understanding of a range of theoretical perspectives from developmental psychology, psycho-analytic and neuro-scientific theory and research, play, when considering and young children’s development.  It will underline the inter-relatedness of personal, social, emotional, physical, linguistic and cognitive development.  Some of the issues associated with child development theory and play, such as cultural bias and gender differences will be explored. LO1,LO2,LO3,LO4

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Theoretical input will be through lectures and seminars and collaborating learning. Students will benefit from a blended learning approach through the use of WebLearn for supplementary materials, links to E-books, on-line discussions and self-assessment exercises such as quizzes, and reflective tasks. By using Padlet, students and tutors will collaborate to reflect, and participate in the learning and teaching process.  

Reflection and discussion are key to teaching for all students.  This will take in the context of tutor-led sessions and after sessions by posting reflection on Weblearn using padlet.  For all students experiential learning promotes their growing ability to act as a reflective practitioner.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:

1. Critically analyse significant aspects of young children’s social, emotional, cognitive, physical and linguistic development and develop arguments on the interrelatedness of development and learning,
2. Describe, analyse and constructively critique the impact of social, cultural and environmental contexts on the development of young children 
3. Identify the importance of symbolic behaviour in early learning and be able to draw on some theoretical perspectives.
4. Demonstrate the importance of providing appropriate resources reflecting diversity of cultures and languages for the children with whom they will be working.


Identify core and additional reading
Liaise with Library Services to confirm availability of on-line licenses in academic year

Where possible, the most current version of reading materials is used during the delivery of this module.  Comprehensive reading lists are provided to students in their handbooks.  Reading Lists will be updated annually.

Anning, A. (2004) Making Sense of Children’s Drawings  Oxford University Press

Athey, C. (2007) Extending Thought in Young Children London: sage

Bee, H., Boyd, D. (2009) (12th edition) The Developing Child, New York: Allyn and Bacon.

Carpendale J., Muller U., Lewis C. (2017) The Development of Children’s Thinking: Social and Communication Foundations, London: Sage

Donaldson, M. (1978) Children’s Minds, London: Fontana.

Dowling, M (2014) Personal Social and Emotional Development Paul Chapman Publishing

Duffy, B. (2006) Supporting Creativity and Imagination in the Early Years(2nd ed.), Maidenhead:  Open University Press

Fawcett, M. (2009) Learning through Child Observation, London: Jessica Kingsley

Grimmer T. (2017) Observing and Developing Schematic Behaviour in Young Children, London:  Jessica Kingsley Publishers 

Matthews J. (2003) Drawing and Painting: Children and Visual Representation , London: Sage

Moyles J. (2010) (Ed) Thinking about Play: Developing a Reflective Approach, Maidenhead: OUP

Nutbrown, C. (2011) Threads of Thinking (4th ed.). London: sage

Saxton M. (2017) Child Language- Acquisition and development (2nd eds) London: Sage

Smith, P., Cowie, H., Blades, M. (2011) (5th edition) Understanding Children’s Development, Oxford: Blackwell

Trawick-Smith, J. (2010) (5th Edition) Early Childhood Development, A Multicultural Perspective, London: Pearson

Wood E. (2013) Play, Learning and the Early Childhood, London: Sage