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Introduction to Early Childhood Philosophy & Practice


This module focuses on developing students’ knowledge of early childhood philosophy and practice, including significant influences in the development of policy and practice on early childhood and current trends in the early childhood curriculum.  Students will: examine the concept of an early childhood philosophy; consider what is meant by an early years pedagogical model and related ‘whole child concept’; explore child-centred, developmentally appropriate and inclusive practice.  Students will consider the effects of the ‘hidden curriculum’ on the development of the young child. 

Historical perspectives such as those of Froebel, Steiner, Montessori, Issacs and McMillan will be considered as well as contemporary ideas of Bruce, Sylva, Donaldson, Tough and Katz. Consideration will also be given to the development of some international early childhood curriculum programmes and initiatives such as High/scope, TeWhariki and Reggio Emilia. 

The aims and objectives of current early childhood guidance frameworks including Realising the Ambitionand Curriculum for Excellence will be investigated from the perspectives of both the learner and practitioner.  Students will be given the opportunity to explore how policy, practice and strategies support the early childhood curriculum.  Students will be directed to investigate resources available to support practitioners in their implementation of the curriculum.

At the end of this module the student will be able to:

  • ​Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of early childhood philosophy
  • Identify historical and contemporary perspectives that have influenced the development of early childhood philosophy
  • Describe the themes and characteristics of curriculum frameworks in early childhood
  • Demonstrate an understanding of curriculum policy, practice and strategies that support the early childhood curriculum


This is an SCQF Level 7 module and upon successful completion, participants will be awarded 20 credits.



The module will be delivered at Lanarkshire campus on Fridays, time to be confirmed.


Course presenter

This module will be delivered by Laura Lindsay.


NOTE: This is a university module and upon approval of your application, you will be invited to register and then supported to complete enrolment. To enrol on the university system, the first step involves security set-up using the Microsoft Authenticator app; you will need to ensure that you have a compatible smartphone.

Further information is available at the Student Information Portal.

To access this module via the CPD route, individuals should be ordinarily resident in Scotland.  If you do not meet this criteria, please enquire here.

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