module specification

YC5F04 - Professional Studies and Practitioner Placement (2) (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18, but may be subject to modification
Module title Professional Studies and Practitioner Placement (2)
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Social Professions
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 50%   Essay (3,000 words)
Coursework 50%   Report (3,000 words).
Running in 2017/18 No instances running in the year

Module summary

Through further practical experience this module aims to consolidate students’ ability to plan, deliver and assess the Montessori curriculum for children from birth to six years, in the context of the Early Years Foundation Stage. The module will introduce action research and allow students to affect a small change in their professional practice, consulting with staff, parents and children. Students at Level 5 will be assigned a critical friend to provide mutual support across the module.

A. Students will compile an ePortfolio evidencing and reflecting on their growing personal and professional development as Montessori practitioners against a framework of core professional competencies.  A reflective journal will form the reference point for a 3,000 word reflection on their further development as a Montessori professional practitioner. (50%)

B. A report on an action research project evaluating an aspect of practice that is modified after consultation with practitioners, parents and children (3,000 words).   (50%)

Module aims

This module will enable students to:

• Continue to meet and further develop the professional standards required by Montessori Centre International;
• Implement and interpret processes and strategies of reflective and reflexive practice, based on observation as part of their developing professional role;
• Be open to change and innovation and develop the skills to review and improve practice within an Early Years setting;
• Act as a critical friend to support and challenge constructively the work of a peer, by bringing an informed external perspective on their work.



The syllabus for this module will continue to explore the theoretical and practical applications of Montessori pedagogy relevant to children from birth to six.  Students will continue to have opportunity to practise and develop their professional skills through work-based experience with children from birth to six years. 

Students will have opportunities to reflect on their work based experiences, including team work and collaborative practice with other professionals.  Students will also become ‘critical friends’ offering support and constructive peer feedback.

Observations, work-related tasks and the use of development planning tools support the growth of practitioners’ professional competence. Students, for example, develop an increasing range of observation skills and techniques; they evaluate curriculum approaches and resources.  They practise and reflect on techniques to promote effective interactions with children, parents/carers and other professionals. 

Students will be introduced to the principles of action research and methods of consulting with children, including the Mosaic Approach.  Emphasis will be placed on the ethics of carrying out research with children.

Learning and teaching

Teaching and learning include a mixture of face-to-face and online engagement using a blended learning approach. The virtual learning environment platform is a core component of each module, where students access course materials, supplementary materials, links to online resources, engage in online discussions, self-assessment activities and reflective tasks.  

Students will be guided to develop their ability to work as reflective and reflexive practitioners through guided tutor discussion throughout the module. 

Workshop sessions and online forum will provide opportunities for the group to discuss their practical experiences, helping them to make links between their practical and theoretical understanding.

Seminars will be held to introduce, develop and support the action research project and progress will be shared with the group.

Students reflect on their evolving practice through the use of reflective journal throughout the module.
Experiential learning on placement promotes students’ growing ability to act as reflective practitioners.   Self-assessment is a key strategy of the module, with students reflecting on their development across specific outcomes, identifying areas of achievement and setting specific targets for self-development.  This will form the basis to develop action plans and set their own personal learning outcomes in their professional development portfolios.

Learning outcomes

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

1. Demonstrate knowledge of legislation and official guidance relating to equality. 
2. Evaluate how anti-discriminatory practice can be implemented within an early years setting to challenge inequality and barriers to achievement.
3. Describe and analyse theoretical perspectives on identity development. Discuss how children’s family and social context impact on their experience in an early years setting.
4. Demonstrate understanding of how children can be supported in the development of their first language whilst acquiring English, drawing on theoretical knowledge


Assessment strategy

Students will compile a portfolio evidencing and reflecting on their growing personal and professional development as Montessori practitioners.  The portfolio will include analysed observations, evidence of planning and delivery of activities and a reflective journal.  The journal will form the reference point for a 3,000 word reflection on their development as a Montessori professional practitioner.
The highest professional standards are expected at all times on work placement including full attendance. Students are cautioned that if a school withdraws or terminates a placement because of failure to maintain professional standards or that their subject knowledge and understanding is such as to be a health & safety risk to children, the College is under no obligation to provide a further placement.

Students will be able to demonstrate they have met the learning outcomes through carrying out a small piece of action research and will write a 3,000 word report evaluating an aspect of practice that is modified after consultation with practitioners, parents and children. 


Blandford, S. & Knowles, C. (2009) Developing Professional Practice 0 – 7 Essex: Pearson
Clark, A. & Moss, P. (2011, 2nd Ed.) Listening to Young Children: The Mosaic Approach London: NCB
Dubeil, J. (2014) Effective Assessment in the Early Years Foundation Stage London: Sage
Elliott, J. (1991) Action Research for Educational Change  Buckingham: OUP
Ghaye, A. & Ghaye, K. (1998) Teaching and Learning through Critical Reflective Practice Abingdon: David Fulton
Greig, A., Taylor, J. & MacKay, T. (2007, 2nd Ed.) Doing Research with Children London: Sage
Isaacs, B. (2012) Understanding the Montessori Approach Abingdon : Routledge
Langston, A. & Doherty, J. (2012) Revised EYFS in Practice London: Featherstone Education
Montessori St. Nicholas Charity(MSN) (2012, 2nd Ed.) Guide to the Early Years Foundation Stage in Montessori Settings, UK: Montessori Schools Association
Mukherji, P. & Albon, D. (2010) Research Methods in Early Childhood London: Sage
Palaiologou, I. (Ed.) (2010) The Early Years Foundation Stage Theory and Practice London: Sage
Paige-Smith, A. & Craft, A. (2010) Developing Reflective Practice in the Early Years Maidenhead: OUP
Young Children’s Voices Network (YCVN) (2009) Listening as a way of life London: NCB

Clark, A. (2007) Working with the Mosaic Approach in a Montessori Setting in Montessori International (Oct – Dec 2007) pp 18 – 19

Websites:  resources, and the latest information on the early years including the full EYFS documentation and a library of National Strategies publications