module specification

SE5054 - Creative Thinking and Representation from Birth to Six (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Creative Thinking and Representation from Birth to Six
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 15
School School of Social Professions
Total study hours 150
45 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
75 hours Guided independent study
30 hours Placement / study abroad
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 100%   A child study (3000 Words)
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Spring semester LMET Distance Learning - -
Spring semester North Tuesday Morning
Spring semester North Wednesday Afternoon

Module summary

This module considers a range of theories of babies’ and young children’s cognitive and representational development. Approaches to curriculum implementation that support the creativity and learning of babies and young children and the way in which they represent or express ideas and feelings will be analysed.

Prior learning requirements

It is expected that 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.

Module aims

This module aims to enable students to:
• Study babies’ and young children’s perceptual, cognitive and representational development
• Develop an understanding of babies and young children’s creative development and systems of representation cross-culturally.
• Consider approaches to curriculum implementation that support the creativity and learning of babies and young children
• Understand the practitioner’s role and develop skills in planning and developing environments and opportunities that support babies’ and young creative play and learning.


This module will explore theoretical perspectives on babies’ and young children’s perceptual and cognitive development. Students will explore the development of children’s creative representation and expression across the curriculum such as; movement, painting and modelling, music, mathematical and scientific exploration. The role of pedagogical approaches such as Problem-Solving, Schemas and the Reggio Emilia Approach will be considered in relation to early childhood curricula and culturally diverse contexts.
The role of the adult and the importance of a range of indoor, outdoor and community environments in supporting babies’ and young children’s interests and creativity is a central focus of this module.

Learning and teaching

For taught course students theoretical input will be through lectures and seminars. 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.

Students from both taught and distance learning modes are required to make a series of observations and to use these as a basis for analysis and reflection. 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. Articulate the significance of creative representation for babies and young children
2. Describe and analyse theories of babies and young children’s creative representation
3. Demonstrate the connections between observations, relevant theory and their practice
4. Demonstrate an understanding of the ways in which contexts and relationships support babies’ and young children’s interests and creativity.

Assessment strategy

Students from both taught and distance learning modes are required to make a series of observations and to use these as a basis for analysis and reflection. Formative assessment will incorporate the submission of 1 of these. All students will also have the opportunity for self assessment and ongoing reflection on their learning through on-line quizzes and short answer questions.

A child study that draws on and analyses practice observations of a baby or young child’s creative thinking and that articulates the links with practice and evaluates the provision for children’s creative expression (3,000 words)

All students for both taught and distance learning modes will be invited to attend a face to face tutorial to discuss their summative assessment in advance of submission deadlines and to receive detailed formative feedback.  Where a personal meeting is not possible, (for example, students living abroad and studying in distance learning mode) this will take place by telephone or e-mail.  Students will receive detailed formative written feedback following these tutorials.
All students will receive written feedback against all learning outcomes following the publication of marks. This will be the most comprehensive in cases of failure, where this will support learning for reassessment.


Athey, C. (2007) Extending Thought in Young Children, London: Paul Chapman
Davies, M.(2003) Movement and Dance in Early Childhood, London: Paul Chapman
Duffy, B. (2006) Supporting Creativity and Imagination in the Early Yeas, Maidenhead: Open University Press E book
Edwards, C. Gandini, L. and Foreman, G. (eds.) (1998) (2nd edition) The Hundred Languages of Children, New York:  Ablex Publishing E book
Eliot, L. (1999) Early Intelligence. How the brain and mind develop in the first five years of life. London: Penguin.
Gopnik, A. Meltzoff, A and Kuhl, P. (1999) How Babies Think. London: Weidenfield and Nicolson.
Goswami, U. (1999) Cognition in Children. Sussex: Psychology Press.
Holland, P. (2003) We Don’t Play With Guns Here: War, Weapon and Superhero Play in the Early Years, Maidenhead: Open University Press E book
Matthews, J. (2003) Drawing and Painting, London: Paul Chapman
Nutbrown, C. (2006) (3rd edition) Threads of Thinking. London: Paul Chapman.
Robson, S. (2006) Developing thinking & Understanding in Young Children, Abingdon: Routledge E book
Vecchi, V. (2010) Art and Creativity in Reggio Emilia: Exploring the Role and Potential of Ateliers in Early Childhood Education, London: Routledge E book

Henry, A. (1996) ‘Literacy, black self-representation and cultural practice in an elementary classroom: implications for teaching children of Afro-Caribbean heritage’, International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, Vol. 9, No. 2, pp 119 – 134
Tomasello, M and Rakoczy, H. (2003) What Makes Human cognition Unique? From Individual to shared to collective intentionality Mind and Language Vol 18 no 2 April 2003 pp121-147
Bailey, R and Farrow, S, (1998) Play and problem solving in a new light  International Journal of Early Years Education vol 6. No’ 3.

Web sites: The McGuinness report ‘From Thinking Skills to Thinking Classrooms’.