module specification

SE6002 - Reflective Leadership in a Multi-Professional Context (2018/19)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2018/19
Module title Reflective Leadership in a Multi-Professional Context
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 30
School Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities
Total study hours 300
90 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
150 hours Guided independent study
60 hours Placement / study abroad
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 40%   Development Plan of 2000 - 2500 words
Coursework 60%   Essay of 4,000 words
Running in 2018/19

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
No instances running in the year

Module summary

This module aims to examine a range of theories relating to leadership and management styles and approaches in the early years. It explores approaches to developing teams and a shared vision, managing change and concepts of quality and evaluating provision. The range of professions and occupations involved in the provision of early years services will be identified and the benefits and challenges of multi-professional working will be explored.

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:

  • Critically analyse a range of theories relating to leadership and management styles and approaches in the early years
  • Utilise a range of methods and strategies to evaluate the quality of provision and the role of leaders in empowering teams to extend knowledge and practice.
  • Explore the underpinning theory and practical knowledge of developing and supporting individual early years practitioners and diverse teams in an equal opportunities context.
  • Consider the different types of provision and professional disciplines that relate to early childhood
  • Examine concepts of professionalism as they relate to the early childhood community  and develop professional skills in working in multi-professional teams


This module will critically evaluate a range of theories and current perspectives on the distinctive features of leadership within the early years. This will include staff supervision, support and development alongside the development of teamwork.  Students will examine the role of the early childhood practitioner in relation to other professional roles and parents’ responsibilities and evaluate models of working in partnership with parents and carers.
The range of professions and occupations involved in the provision of early years services will be identified and the benefits and challenges of multi-professional working will be explored, including in relation to vulnerable groups e.g. refugees and asylum seekers, children with Special Educational Needs. students will critically examine the concept of professionalism and how this is perceived from a range of perspectives and what the implications are of these for their own professional identities and approaches to practice

Students will consider a range of methods and strategies to evaluate the quality of their current provision and explore managing change to develop and improve, including addressing issues of class, race, gender, culture, language, sexual orientation, age and special need. The management of curriculum planning, the function and development of policies will be discussed. Relationships with the local community - including collaborative working, partnership with parents and working with governors or managers will also be considered as part of the management structure. Strategies for developing reflexive practice and teamwork will be explored

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.

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. All students will be required to keep a leadership journal to aid their personal analysis.

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. Describe, analyse and constructively critique the theory and practice of management and leadership styles in early childhood
  2. Explain the role of leaders in promoting high quality provision and use a range of strategies to evaluate provision and practice in their setting
  3. Discuss a range of theories to support early years teams and relate these to their practice in an equal opportunities context.
  4. Critically appraise and provide clear explanations of the range of professions and occupations involved in the provision of early years services
  5. Demonstrate a critically reflective approach to working with multi-professional teams and reflect on their own personal and professional skills

Assessment strategy

Students will demonstrate that they have met the learning outcomes through the submission of two pieces of work at the end of the module. The first is a management development plan, which demonstrates the student’s ability to assess and plan for growth and change in the workplace. The second is an essay, drawing on the development plan, which critically reviews current practice and provision in the context of research and theory and which outlines possible future developments.

Students will be required to keep a reflective journal focussing on their leadership throughout the module and formative feedback opportunities will be offered through peer feedback in class or web-based discussions andwritten tutor feedback on submission of a reflection on an incident from their leadership journal. Students will also be encouraged to access on-line self assessment, quizzes and short answer questions.

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.


Aubrey, C. (2007) Leading and Managing in the Early Years, London: Sage
Harris, B. (2007) Supporting the Emotional Work of School Leaders, London: Paul Chapman E book
Jones, A., Pound, L. (2008) Leadership and Management in the Early Years: From Principles to Practice, Maidenhead: OUP
Moyles, J. (2006) Effective Leadership and Management in the Early Years, Maidenhead: OUP E book
Rodd, J. (2005) Leadership in Early Childhood,  Maidenhead:Open University Press
Smith, A., Langston, A. (1999) Managing Staff in Early Years  Settings, London:Routledge E book
Stacey, M. (2009) Teamwork and Collaboration in Early Years Settings, Exeter: Learning Matters E book
Whalley, M. (2008) Leading Practice in Early Years Settings, Exeter: Learning Matters
Wilson, V.,  Pirrie A.(2000) Multidisiplinary Team Working: Beyond the Barriers? A review of issues, Scottish Council for Research in Education

Website   (a link to information about school leadership)

John, K. (2000) ‘Basic Needs, Conflict and Dynamics in Groups’, The Journal of Individual Psychology, Vol. 56, No. 4, pp 419-434
Muijs, D., Aubrey, C., Biggs, M. (2004) ‘How Do They Manage? A Review of the Research on Leadership in Early Childhood’, Journal of Early Childhood Research, Vol. 2, No. 2, pp 157 – 169