Postgraduate Course: Subject specialism: Nursery and Primary Curricular Areas (1) (EDUA11381)
|School||Moray House School of Education and Sport
||College||College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
||Availability||Not available to visiting students
|Summary||Across the span of a teaching career, teachers are required to develop, progress and deepen their knowledge of the learning process along with their knowledge of the curriculum. Building on knowledge and understanding developed in previous courses, particularly Understanding the Nature of Knowledge and the Curriculum and complementing Assessing What Matters, this course introduces a range of pedagogies and discusses the matter of subject knowledge relevant to teaching within and across the nursery and primary stages, and during the broad general education phase in secondary.
The relationships and tensions between subject knowledge and pedagogic content knowledge will also be explored. The relationship between between disciplinarity and interdisciplinarity will be introduced. The pedagogical focus will be contextualised within curricular areas such as PE, Science and Computer Science but, as the programme will reflect priority subjects in Scotland, the curricular focus will change in response to national demands and institutional expertise.
The conceptual underpinnings of this course align closely with those of the 'Developing Teacher Professionalism' course: self and others; teacher as inquirer; teacher as pedagogical expert and teacher as learner. As part of this course, students will be encouraged to develop and engage in subject specialism professional learning networks and relevant, professional learning opportunities provided by schools and local authorities from the earliest opportunity, to enhance the learning introduced in this course as research highlights that the knowledge and skills required to teach are extensive (Smith, 1997; Darling-Hammond, 2006; Burn, Hagger and Mutton, 2015) . It is unlikely, and arguably undesirable, to assume that any initial teacher education programme will be able to equip becoming teachers with every aspect of subject knowledge and pedagogy required to teach every aspect of a curriculum. Developing understanding of subject content in context and, importantly, developing an understanding of the learning process along with how to apply a range of pedagogies will, however, enable the confident enactment of teaching within and across curricular, subject areas. It will also prepare students to become lifelong professional learners.
Drawing on a constructivist model of teaching and learning throughout the sessions, this course will ask students to:
- interrogate the place of teachers' subject knowledge in the learning process;
- consider Curriculum for Excellence and to analyse how knowledge and the learning process is constructed in this policy document;
- explore the concept of disciplinarity and the learning process within curricular areas such as PE, Science and Computer Science.
This course will be taught principally through seminar activities, likely organised as 2 whole group and 4 small group sessions, and school/community based activities. In preparation for each session, students will be required to engage in a critical reading of academic, policy and/or professional texts.
Learning in the site of the school/community will be interwoven with learning in the university site, enabling students to actively and confidently consider how curriculum and pedagogy shapes the lives and outcomes of children and young people.
This course is followed by Subject specialism: Nursery and Primary Curricular Areas (2) which moves to consider the nature of interdiciplinarity and the learning process.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||Other requirements|| None
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2020/21, Not available to visiting students (SS1)
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
||This 10-credit course is assessed by project work.
The course uses a student-driven assessment approach in which the students negotiate with the course organiser about a personally meaningful topic for their project which is consistent with the learning outcomes of the course. On agreement of topic:
Part 1 of the task is to develop a theorised proposal that details the aim of the project, a rationale and clear identification of associated pedagogies, the deliverables and a plan for carrying it out with site-based colleagues. There is scope for students to collaborate on a group project to undertake larger, more challenging topics. Indicative projects could include (but are not restricted to):
- An investigation of the impact of a new or alternative teaching approach (applied) on learners' understanding of a difficult concept;
- The development of a teaching progression and sequence of lessons on an agreed topic that will be applied during site-based learning (topic negotiated with tutor and site-based tutors), or
- A review of the literature on inclusive practices within nursery/primary and an evaluation of inclusive practices in the classroom.
Part 2 of the task will constitute a report and reflection on the development and implementation of the project. This will usually take the form of a portfolio which will contain the deliverables including a reflective report.
Part 1 is a formative assessment, with Part 2 worth 100% of the summative grade.
||Students will be required to actively engage in formative feedback conversations with peers, school and university tutors throughout the duration of the course and school site learning.
|No Exam Information
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Informed by policy, theory and practice, demonstrate critical knowledge and understanding of the content of nursery and primary curricula
- Apply a range of nursery and primary pedagogies and evaluate their success in relation to the intended aims
- Develop original and creative responses to planning, teaching, assessing and evaluating
- Take responsibility for own work and the sourcing of materials for themselves and for peer/school colleagues
- Analyse their learning on this course in relation to relevant core concepts of social justice, sustainability, global perspectives, digital and statistical literacies and professional inquiry skills.
|A list of specific chapters and journal articles will be provided to students at the beginning of the course, along with a list of additional reading to allow students to tailor the course to their own professional learning pathway. The following texts are indicative of those to be included:|
Cremin, T. and Arthur, J. (2014) Learning to Teach in the Primary School 2nd Ed. London: Routledge
Smith, R.G., (1997) Before Teaching this I'd Do A Lot of Reading: Preparing Primary Teacher to Teach Science. Research in Science Education, 27(1), 141-154.
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
||Upon completion of this course, students will have the opportunity to make progress in developing the ability to:
Knowledge and understanding
1. have substantive pedagogical breadth of subject knowledge in nursery/primary education, together with the ability to teach across the P5 /S3 transition phase;
Skills and abilities in Research and Enquiry
2. analyse facts and situations and apply creative thinking to develop the appropriate solutions;
Skills and abilities in Personal and Intellectual Autonomy
3. think independently, exercise personal judgment and take initiative;
Skills and abilities in Communication
4. persuade, negotiate and influence others and
Skills and abilities in Personal Effectiveness
5. formulate, evaluate and apply evidence-based solutions and arguments
|Keywords||curriculum,pedagogy,nursery,primary,broad general education
|Course organiser||Mrs Jennifer Kirkwood
Tel: (0131 6)51 6103
|Course secretary||Miss Annabelle MacInnes
Tel: (0131 6)51 7761