module specification

SE5059 - Challenging Inequalities (2024/25)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2024/25
Module title Challenging Inequalities
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 15
School School of Social Sciences and Professions
Total study hours 150
9 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
75 hours Guided independent study
36 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
30 hours Placement / study abroad
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 100%   Essay
Running in 2024/25

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester LMET Distance Learning Not applicable -

Module summary

This module considers and addresses issues of inequality, in particular race, culture, special educational needs, disability, gender, social class and poverty. It will examine legislation and guidance underpinning this. It will also consider the importance of challenging such inequalities within practice to ensure high quality provision for the care and education of babies, young children, families and staff.

Prior learning requirements

Enhanced DBS
Students are expected to undertake 60 hours work placement providing for children in the birth to six age range as part of this module, normally in a group setting.


This module will study the legal frameworks in relation to inequalities and consider writings and research on the construction of identity and difference in relation to: class, race, gender, culture, religion, language, sexual orientation, age, dis/ability and special educational needs, and their implications for early childhood provision.  Current early childhood policy contexts will be considered with regard to equity and discrimination and the role of early years settings in both perpetuating and resisting inequalities and in working with children to develop positive views of diversity. LO1,LO2,LO3

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

For taught course students theoretical input will be through lectures and seminars. Online 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 online as well as by e-mail or by telephone.

All students will benefit from a blended learning approach through the use of Web Learn 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.

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

1. Demonstrate knowledge of legislation and official guidance in areas of equalities and special educational needs

2. Describe and analyse the ways in which inequalities may impact on babies, young children, families and staff within the early years setting.

3. Examine and evaluate their own practice, and that of others, in challenging inequalities and ensuring inclusion to the full curriculum for all children.


Brooker, L. and Woodhead, M. (2008) Early Childhood in Focus 3 Diversity and young children; Developing Positive Identities, Milton Keynes: OUP

Dickins, M. (2014) A-Z of Inclusion in Early Childhood, Maidenhead: Open University Press

Nutbrown, C. and Clough, P. with Atherton, F. (2013) Inclusion in the Early Years (2nd Ed.), London: Sage

Siraj-Blatchford, I. and Clarke, P. (2000) Supporting identity, diversity and language in the early years, Buckingham: Open University Press

Borkett, P. (2018) Cultural Diversity and Inclusion in Early Years Education (Diversity and Inclusion in the Early Years) London: David Fulton

Devarakonda, C. (2013) Diversity and inclusion in early childhood: an introduction London: Sage

Frederickson, N. (2017) Education, equality and human rights: issues of gender, race, sexuality, disability and social class 4th ed Milton: Taylor Francis

Frederickson, N., Cline, T. (2015) Special educational needs, inclusion and diversity 3rd ed. Maidenhead: OUP

Meer, N (2014) Key concepts in race and ethnicity 3rd ed. London: Sage

Bradbury, A. (2011) rethinking assessment and inequality: the production of disparities in attainment in early years Journal of Education Policy, 26, no. 5 (2011): 655-676

Crawford, J. (2015) Inclusion in the early years International Journal of Disability, Development and Education, v62 n3: 346-348

Hansen, K., Jones, E.M. (2011) Ethnicity and gender gaps in early childhood British Educational Research Journal, v37 n6 (December 2011): 973-991

Holmes, J., Kiernan, K. (2013) Persistent poverty and children’s development in the early years of childhood Policy and politics, v41 n1: 19-42