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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Moray House School of Education : Education

Undergraduate Course: Primary Literacies 1: Developing literacy in the early stages (EDUA08097)

Course Outline
SchoolMoray House School of Education CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 1 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryCourse content begins by encouraging students to share reflections on their own language histories and current experiences as members of oral and literate communities.

Academic reading and discussion familiarises students with educationally influential accounts of oral language development in children, including children who are acquiring additional languages. Relationships between oracy and literacy, and between both of these modalities and cognition, are considered. Theoretical models are related to explorations of contemporary and historical samples of variation and change in patterns of classroom discourse.

Particular consideration is given to controversies about the pedagogy of early reading and writing development. Students have opportunities to examine, through educational artefacts, documents and multimedia sources, how such controversies are reflected in classroom materials, practices, assessment methods and constructs such as dyslexia. Students explore the history of reading methods, with an emphasis on the dynamics of the word-recognition and text interpretation dimensions of comprehension. Popular representations of this pedagogical issue are examined, including the role and rhetoric of popular mass media.

A focus on individual and group socialisation into language and education is paralleled by an examination of historical changes in language, geographical variation and social stratification. Students are encouraged to relate these aspects of language to their own individual histories and repertoires, and to implications for social justice in language and literacy policy.

Course description Not entered
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2014/15, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  121
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 10, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 30, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Placement Study Abroad Hours 12, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 144 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Formative Task
1) The reflective journal relating students' experiences and reflections to course content is used as the basis of discussion with small groups of students on issues which integrate personal experience, academic reading, and implications for practice. Students receive tutor and peer feedback on both their ideas and use of language.
2) Students are supported in designing a framework to support a critical reflection of the policy and approaches used in developing literacy in the early stages in their serial days and placement school.
Summative Task: Part 1 (20%) To be submitted around week 6
Complete an audit and self-assessment of subject matter knowledge to demonstrate professional development in this area of literacy. Submit a reflective commentary on student engagement with subject development as part of student's professional learning portfolio.
This assessment provides an opportunity to demonstrate evidence of success in the course learning outcome 5: developing personal knowledge and understanding, through collaborative, enquiry-based approaches to professional development.
The audit and self-assessment is completed in two stages, using an on-line literacy assessment tool:
A. complete self-assessment of literacy knowledge
B. submit evidence as part of their professional learning portfolio that demonstrates engagement with the assessment tool, presents self-assessment results and reflects on subsequent professional development in literacy knowledge for primary teaching.
This part of the assessment will constitute 20% of the final mark for Primary Literacies 1, and must be completed satisfactorily in order to pass the course as a whole. Portfolios will be graded according to the University Common Marking Scheme.

Part 2 (35%) To be submitted during exam period
A written assignment of 1500 words summarising and comparing different, but not necessarily opposed, stances towards an issue in early years primary Language and Literacy.

The assignment should demonstrate critical engagement with appropriate academic literature related to the issues in teaching and learning introduced on the course. It should also incorporate reflections arising from the formative assessment strand.
Part 3 (45%) To be submitted during exam period
A 2000 word discussion of a classroom resource related to the area of language and literacy discussed in previous assessment activity (refer to Part 2). The discussion should comprise a concise description of the resource, a theoretically grounded rationale for its use, and an evaluation. The latter should be critical, but speculative rather than judgmental, posing questions and suggesting criteria for its empirical evaluation. The purpose of this is to prepare the ground for the students' more systematic and extended evaluations of language and literacy resources related to reading comprehension for those students doing the school placement year. The resource might be part of a reading scheme, an integrated literacy 'package' from a commercial, government or Local Authority source, an item of children's literature, a piece of educational software, a computer or traditional game, or other multimedia product. In formulating the rationale and tentative evaluation, the student should consider, in the light of course discussions and background reading, the implicit theories of language and literacy, learning and childhood embodied by the resource, and by the rhetoric of its accompanying texts.

Students must gain a 40% pass on all components of assessment.

Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
By the end of the course, and at a level appropriate to 1st year undergraduates, students will be able to:
1 Critically evaluate different approaches and justify the different strategies to support emergent and early literacy development.
2 Explain the different facets of children's language and literacy development (e.g. cognitive, personal, social and cultural) and relate these to thinking and learning across the curriculum.
3 Apply pedagogical knowledge in relation to theories underlying classroom discourse, design and use of resources.
4 Critically evaluate assumptions about practice and policy related to language and literacy.
5 Explore the nature of monitoring and assessment of language and literacy development, and the use of assessment outcomes.
6 Demonstrate autonomy and initiative in auditing and developing personal knowledge and understanding, embracing an enquiry-based approach to personal professional development
Reading List
Alexander, A. (2007) Towards Dialogic Teaching (3rd Edition). Cambridge: Dialogos.
Bearne, E. & Kennedy, R. (2012) Literacy and Community: Developing a Primary Curriculum Through Partnerships. Royston: UKLA.
Cremin, T. & Dombey, H. (eds) (2007) Handbook of Primary English in Initial Teacher Education. Royston: UKLA/NATE.
Cremin, T. & Myhill, D. (2011) Writing Voices: Creating Communities of Writers. London: Routledge.
Goodwin, P. (2012) The Literate Classroom (3rd Edition). London: Routledge.
Jajdelska, E. & Ellis, S. (2009) Comprehension and the Silent Reader. Arts & Humanities Research Council/University of Strathclyde.
Levy, R. (2011) Young Children Reading. London: Sage/UKLA.
Lightbown, P. M. & Spada, N. (2006) How Languages are Learned (3rd Edition). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Mercer, N. & Littleton, J. (2007) Dialogue and the Development of Children┐s Thinking. London: Routledge.
Trask, R. (2004) Language: The Basics. (3rd Edition). London: Routledge.
Reynolds, K. (2011) Children┐s Literature: A very Short Introduction. Oxford: OUP.
Stone, G. (2012) The Digital Literacy Classroom. Royston: UKLA.
Wood, M. (1998) How Children Think and Learn. London: Blackwell.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserMr Christopher George Hunt
Tel: (0131 6)51 6600
Course secretaryMiss Marzia Ballardin
Tel: (0131 6)51 6381
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