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Educational aims

The module and therefore the qualification has five main aims:

  • to support the development of a skilled, effective, integrated workforce for children’s services
  • to develop the knowledge and skills needed to work within an integrated interdisciplinary workforce for children
  • to develop a critical understanding of the ethical, social, legal, political and practice factors and frameworks as applied to work with children
  • to understand inter-disciplinarity as it relates to work with and for children
  • to develop the knowledge and skills required to improve children’s well-being and outcomes for children.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

On completion of this award, you will have knowledge and understanding of:

  • the developing common interdisciplinary research, knowledge and policy base of work with and for children
  • the emotional, physical, intellectual, social and moral lives of children aged 0–12 as they develop and experience transitions in their lives, the range of complex issues relating to child/adult relations and their implications for work with children, including how these impact on effective communication and engagement with children
  • the interrelationship of theoretical perspectives, values and ethics and services and practices for children, and the importance of children’s voices and perspectives to work with children
  • the principles underlying a rights and participation approach to childhood issues, and how these may be applied to a variety of situations within different contexts.

Cognitive skills

Completion of this award will enable you to:

  • understand and analyse the contributions of different approaches to the study of children, childhood and families, and recognise the potential for uncertainty, ambiguity and limits to knowledge of the subject
  • critically analyse conditions and processes that lead to effective professional, inter-professional and inter-agency work with children
  • select and critically analyse information, ideas and evidence from different sources to present discussion and arguments, and apply them to practice
  • identify and reflect on your own values and positions and those of others, and assess their relationships with policy and practice.

Practical and/or professional skills

Completion of this award will enable you to:

  • acquire and critically apply the research, analytical and evaluative skills needed for effective practice and the promotion of equality across universal and specialist services for children
  • develop a skilled and ethical approach to working with children
  • develop communication and engagement skills that could be applied to work with children
  • understand the importance of sharing information and developing critical analytical practice that will contribute to a) listening to children b) promoting children’s well-being and c) multi-agency working with children and families
  • you will be able to critically analyse policies, practices and evidence bases for a) listening to children b) promoting children’s well-being and c) multi-agency working with children and families.

Key skills

Completion of this award will enable you to:

  • organise, synthesise and interrogate opinions and arguments associated with issues related to children and childhood
  • communicate accurately and clearly in styles adapted to the purpose and context
  • as an independent learner read purposefully and critically, identifying and recording what is relevant from a range of resources and be able to learn from a variety of different media
  • reflect upon and learn from personal experience, and apply it to theoretical and practical issues
  • develop and apply further information literacy and ICT skills, to identify, search for and critically evaluate information in complex contexts.

Teaching, learning and assessment methods

The study materials will support you in developing your knowledge and understanding in line with the learning outcomes.

You will work from an online learning guide that will direct you to the three main module texts and the accompanying DVD, which will include extensive illustrative case study material.

The learning guide will also include substantial activities designed to integrate your learning from all of the module resources.

The module will have five assignments and an exam.

The exam will be designed to encourage a synthesis of ideas and frameworks from the module and will test your grasp and application of key theories and concepts.

Critical analysis of conditions and processes that lead to effective inter-agency work is a theme that runs throughout the study materials, especially the third book.

Thinking points in the main module books and longer activities in the learning guide, will encourage you to apply module ideas and frameworks to case studies and to examples from your own experience.

The case study material contained on the DVD will be a key resource in helping you to develop skills of critical analysis.

All assignments will test your understanding of key module ideas and your ability to synthesise information and arguments. You will also be required to use module ideas and frameworks to analyse case study examples in each assignment.

Activities, tutor group discussions and online forums will support you in developing skills in written, spoken and online communication.

The learning guide will employ a ‘light touch’, encouraging you to use a variety of learning resources in an independent way, as is appropriate for third-level study.

You will be asked to keep a reflective journal throughout the module, encouraging you to reflect on your own learning and apply theory to practice.

Activities that encourage you to make use of online resources and critically reflect on information gathered in this way will occur at regular intervals throughout the module.

The criteria guiding the marking of the assignments and the exam will address the need for coherence in structure and analysis in presenting a response to questions as set.

Achieving a good mark will be dependent on demonstrating effective use of the range of module resources, including the DVD and online resources.

The three co-published texts will ‘model’ ways of applying theory to practice and provide opportunities, through thinking points in the texts themselves and activities in the online learning guide, for you to do likewise.

Specific chapters for each of the books will have a focus on practice issues, providing a thorough analysis of current trends and encouraging the development of critical and innovative practice, with issues of ethics and professional working given a high profile.

Integrated use of the DVD material, with its biographical case studies, will encourage you to take account of children’s perspectives as relevant to multi-agency working.

Each of the assignments will require you to apply theory to practice. The practical and professional skills listed in the learning outcomes will be tested throughout the assignments and the exam.