module specification

SE7004 - Creativity in Early Childhood (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Creativity in Early Childhood
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Social Professions
Total study hours 300
 
225 hours Guided independent study
75 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 70%   Portfolio
Oral Examination 30%   Presentation
Running in 2017/18 No instances running in the year

Module summary

This module explores a range of distinct approaches conceptualising and analysing creativity from varied theoretical angles. Students will be supported to understand and use the prime theoretical tools that these theories offer towards ‘recognising’ how and where creativity manifests itself in the context of early years practice. In doing so, they will be facilitated to analyse and interpret young children’s creativity as expressed across a range of representational forms and areas of learning, and involving both child-initiated and practitioner-led activities.

The module seeks to enable students to reflect on their practice and role in enhancing possibilities for children’s creative expression. What is more, students will be involved in sharing and critiquing knowledge and experiences in creative ways, via online learning environments. Through such activities, the pedagogical implications of different approaches to creativity will be further examined. The key question posed will concern how different curricula and pedagogies frame and regulate creativity, either by providing enabling environments, resources and relationships that facilitate creativity or by constraining possibilities for enactment.  

Students undertaking this module will need to be currently employed or have access to placements within the birth to seven years age range.

Module aims

This module aims to enable students to:

  • Become familiar with different theoretical perspectives on creativity, and to consider their potential and limitations.
  • Recognise the diverse manifestations of children’s creativity, in contexts of play, learning and interaction with peers and practitioners
  • Reflect on their practice by critically examining ways in which they can be creative and supportive in facilitating young children’s expression of creativity
  • Critically examine how curricula and pedagogies shape children’s creativity in early years settings

Syllabus

This module explores a range of distinct approaches conceptualising and analysing creativity from varied theoretical angles. Students will be supported to understand and use the prime theoretical tools that these theories offer towards ‘recognising’ how/where creativity manifests itself in the context of early years practice. In doing so, they will be facilitated to analyse and interpret young children’s creativity as expressed across a range of representational forms and areas of learning, and involving both child-initiated and practitioner-led activities.

Throughout the sessions, creativity will be explored through a number of distinct perspectives, which will draw on: 
- Cognitive approaches to creativity 
- Socio-cultural approaches to creativity
- Multimodal semiotic approaches to creativity

Key topics and themes to be explored include the following:
- Creativity, play and learning 
- Creativity and (the pedagogy of) multi-literacies 
- Creativity across modes, media and technologies
- Creativity and embodiment
- Creativity, culture and identity
- Curricula and pedagogies for creativity

Learning and teaching

Students will receive 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 reflective tasks.

Reflection and discussion are key to teaching – reflection will be promoted by the discussion-board exercises incorporated into the web-based materials. 

Teaching and learning strategies and methods will link module content to workplace skills and professionalism in the early years.

Learning outcomes

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

1. Critically discuss a range of theoretical approaches to creativity in early childhood
2. Analyse different manifestations of children’s creativity across a range of activities and areas of learning
3. Adopt a reflective approach to practice by evaluating aspects of their own creativity in working with young children 
4. Identify practices whereby practitioners can support children’s creativity, analysing and justifying pedagogic decisions made 
     

Assessment strategy

Students will demonstrate that they have met the Learning Outcomes through two assessments:
1. Students will create a portfolio (equivalent to 4000 - 5000 words) that comprises three parts:

  1.  A short review of the diverse theoretical approaches on creativity, outlining their distinct ways of conceptualising what creativity is and how to recognise it in early years contexts 
  2. Non-participant observations of children using a specific theoretical framework, along with analyses of children’s creativity and critical discussion of the theory  
  3. Participant observations whereby students take part in activities with children, and write a reflective account that analyses their own creativity and role in facilitating children’s creative expression

Students will select a theoretical framework, which will then provide the lens through which they conduct their observations and analyse/interpret young children’s creative expression.   This exercise will help them consolidate the theories through their application in practice.  At the same time, through this exercise it will be possible for them to critically examine the potential and limitations of the different theoretical approaches. 

2.    A 20 minutes presentation designed to share knowledge and experiences.  *As students are studying via distance learning, their presentation will take the form of a PowerPoint (or similar) presentation and an accompanying audio or video recording.

Bibliography

Athey, C. (1990) Extending thought in Young Children London: Paul Chapman Publishing

Banaji, S. and Burn, A. (2006) The Rhetorics of Creativity: a review of the literature, London: Arts Council of England

Gardner, H. (1999) Intelligence Reframed. New York: Basic Books

Guidici, C., Rinalidi, C. & Krechevsky, M. (2001) Making Learning Visible: children as individual and group learners. Project Zero/ Reggio Children

Larson, J. and Marsh, J. (2013) Handbook of Early Childhood Literacy (2nd ed). London: Sage.

Jewitt, C. (2014) The Routledge handbook of multimodal analysis (2nd ed). Routledge.

Jewitt, C. (2008) The visual in learning and creativity. A report for creative partnerships. London: Arts Council England. 

Kress, G. (1996) Before writing: rethinking the paths to literacy. London: Routledge.

Kress, G. (2010). Multimodality: A social semiotic approach to contemporary communication. London: Routledge.

Lancaster, L. (2012) 'Moving into Literacy: how it all begins (revised).' in Hall, N., Larson, J. and Marsh, J. Handbook of Early Childhood Literacy 2nd Edition, London: Sage

Mavers, D. (2011) Children's Drawing and Writing: The Remarkable in the Unremarkable. Oxon: Routledge.

Rowsell, J. (2013) Working with Multimodality: rethinking literacy in a digital age. Abingdon : Routledge.

Shefton-Green, J., Thomson, P., Jones, K. and Bresler, L. (eds) (2011) The Routledge International Handbook of Creative Learning. London: Routledge

Sefton-Green, J. and Sinker, R. (ed.) (2000). Evaluating Creativity: Making and Learning
by Young People. London: Routledge.

Willett, R., Robinson, M. and Marsh, J. (eds) (2009) Play, Creativity and Digital Cultures. New York, London: Routledge.