module specification

SE4001 - Adults and Children as Learners: An Introduction to Early Childhood Studies (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Adults and Children as Learners: An Introduction to Early Childhood Studies
Module level Certificate (04)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Social Professions
Total study hours 300
81 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
159 hours Guided independent study
60 hours Placement / study abroad
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 50%   Essay
Coursework 50%   Portfolio of 10 tasks
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year LMET Distance Learning - To be arranged
Year North Thursday Morning
Year North Tuesday Afternoon
Year North Monday Evening

Module summary

This module introduces study skills and ideas of academic discourse and audience alongside key theories of how adults and children learn and key professional skills in the early childhood field. For full-time students, it will include an assessed practical placement.

Prior learning requirements

This module is core for all students. It is expected that all students will be in a work placement providing for children in the birth to six age range for a minimum of 2 hours each week throughout the module, normally in a group setting. For full-time students, this placement will be a total of 300 hours.

Module aims

This module offers an orientation to higher education and aims to help students:

  • Relate their own learning to the professional context of early childhood  studies and to theories of the learning of babies and young children;
  • Make connections between work based and academic knowledge and develop skills in all aspects of academic discourse;
  • Consider the professional skills required within an early years setting including communication, teamwork, partnership with parents and an anti-bias approach;
  • Develop an awareness and understanding of the historical, social and political context of early childhood services and of the cultures, principles and values that underpin early childhood practice.


This module will give students the opportunity to note, practise and reflect on their own strategies and skills for learning and study and in relation to theories of learning and practice in early childhood.  There will be an overview of the range of professionals who work with babies, young children and their families. The development of professional skills required to work in early year settings will be reviewed including: communication skills and teamwork, the key person approach, working in partnership with parents and using an anti-bias approach. Concepts and debates central to the context of early childhood provision will be discussed including; the home/group care debate and the concepts of ‘caregiving’, ‘educare’ and ‘early education’. There will be an overview of the EYFS as it is the key document in professional practice.

Learning and teaching

For taught course students theoretical input will be through lectures and seminars with a practical placement for full-time students. Distance Learning students will receive the same theoretical input through bespoke on-line module materials with access to an allocated tutor who is available to support them either face-to-face, by e-mail or by telephone. All 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.

Reflection and discussion are key to teaching for all students – for taught students this will be in the context of tutor-led sessions while for distance learning students reflection will be promoted by the exercises incorporated into the web-based materials.  For all students experiential learning promotes their growing ability to act as a reflective practitioner.

Teaching and learning strategies and methods also focus on workplace skills and professionalism. All students undertake and reflect on observations in the workplace and weekly tasks and reflective exercises support increased knowledge and understanding. Observations, action research, work-related tasks and the use of development planning tools support the growth of practitioners’ professional competence. 

The development of transferable skills in presenting evidence, arguments and points of view to a range of audiences, through a range of media, including the use of ICT also supports individual learning.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:
1. Recognise significant issues relating to their own learning and practical experience and relate this to the learning of young children
2. Discuss the values, principles and skills required to work as early years professionals and students in an anti-bias context
3. Observe, plan, deliver and review their practice across the early years curriculum, taking account of children’s diverse family and cultural backgrounds
4. Explain the importance of working in co-operation and collaboration with colleagues, parents and other professionals

Assessment strategy

Students from both part-time taught and distance learning modes are required complete:
A: An essay on a given title in which the student discusses an aspect of practice and makes links between the values and principles of early childhood practice and the student experience.  (50%) 2,500 words

B: A Portfolio of 10 tasks, which are allocated throughout the module. For part-time students (taught and distance learning) the student will reflect on and discuss different aspects of studying and learning in relation to themselves and to young children. (50%) 2.500 words.

For full-time students the 10 portfolio tasks will consist of tasks related to aspects of studying and learning in relation to themselves and to young children. (50%)

For full-time students:  practical assessment and placement folder 50%
These are submitted for assessment on completion of the module. The tasks will ensure that learning outcomes can be demonstrated and the development of collaboration will be assessed through electronically based discussions and/or through work with study partners.  For full-time students a  practical assessment will also be undertaken in the setting in which the student is placed. Setting-based mentors and university supervising tutors complete regular observations, with formative feedback given on each occasion.  A final report is completed using the assessment criteria by grading students practice. Triangulation occurs between the setting-based mentor, class teacher and university tutor at the final observation. This ensures a moderated grade is awarded.  Part-time students (taught/distance learning) do not need to undertake a practical assessment as they already have ‘licence to practice’. 


Basford, J., & Hodson E., (2011) Successful placements in Early years setting London: Sage
Becker, L., (2009) The Mature Student’s Handbook  Basingstoke: Palgrave McMillan
Blandford S., & Knowles, C. (2009) Developing Professional Practice 0-7, Essex, Pearson Burns, T, Sinfield, S. (2008) (2nd edition), Essential Study Skills London: Sage
Dawson, C. (2004) Learning How to Study Again: A Practical Guide to Study Skills for Mature Students Returning to Education or Distance Learning, Oxford: How To Books
McMillan, K., Weyers, J. (2010) How to Write Essays and Assignments, Harlow: Pearson (available as E book)
Sambell K., Gibson M., Miller S., (2010) (2nd edition) Studying Childhood and Early Childhood: A Guide for Students  London: Sage
Siraj-Blatchford, I., Clarke, K., Needham, M., (2007) The Team Around the Child: Multi-agency Working in the Early Years Staffordshire: Trentham Books
Wilson, E., Bedford, D. (2009) Study Skills for Part-Time Students, Harlow: Pearson (to download ‘Every Parent Matters’ document)