Mapping the Territory: Critical Concepts and Issues
This unit enables a critical exploration of theory and practice and the ways these inter-relate and extend each other, for practice. There is an emphasis on participants exploring the contexts in which they work and locating themselves within these contexts. Workshops, discussions and wider academic reading provide conceptual and theoretical lenses through which to reflect on practice and to develop, and critically evaluate, relevant skills and approaches. Typical content might include: current practice in coaching and mentoring and policy developments at local and national level; coaching and mentoring frameworks and skills; coaching and mentoring relationships and diversity; critical evaluation of theoretical models and approaches in practice; progression in coaching and mentoring and impact on practitioners and organisations. However, content will also be shaped by participants’ own interests, practice and contexts.
Specialist Supported Project
This unit supports students to undertake an project that has particular relevance to their professional practice in relation to early childhood. Students identify and explore significant themes, issues or challenges, select a relevant focus for their project, and appropriate approach/tools/methods. Projects might be desk, practice, or enquiry-based, but in all cases enable students to develop and demonstrate specialist knowledge through the use of evidence, analysis, reflection and evaluation, as appropriate to their project. The unit provides an introduction to the nature of knowledge, knowledge generation for practice and enquiry/investigation approaches and underpinning inter/disciplinary footprint.
Shaping the Future
This unit asks students to address critical challenges, tensions or contradictions, and professional dilemmas within their own practice, to think forward and develop possible ways of re-framing, re-imagining, or innovating for future practice. This provides opportunities to work at the leading edge (of thinking/practice) to rethink services or approaches/interventions, to plan forward and/or to consider specific changes and new innovations.
Research and Practice
The unit aims to develop a greater understanding of the relevance of research to professional practice. Students examine different approaches to conducting research, and their limitations and possibilities for generating knowledge in their own practice area. The unit also explores the ethical tensions and dilemma inherent in the research process, especially those particular to practitioner research. As part of the assessment of the unit, students produce a research proposal (that can be taken forward to final dissertation) to demonstrate understanding and capacity to carry out a coherent and credible small research project.
This unit is designed to support and facilitate students in planning, conducting and evaluating a significant, practical and coherent (practitioner) research project. Participants finalise a research proposal for approval and for ethical clearance, and will then undertake the research project. Whilst undertaking the project students are offered tutorial support, this constitutes a blend of group tutorials as well as individual supervision. The entire process is supported by a suite of online resources as well as on-site activities that are aimed at enriching the students experience and improving the quality of the final dissertation.