Education Studies (Early Childhood)
undergraduate study programme
Return to selection table.
Last updated 16.03.11.
|A warm welcome to the University of Winchester's programme in Education Studies (Early Childhood)||
If this is the twentieth prospectus that you have picked up in the last few weeks then you have our sympathies. Its a daunting and challenging task trying to make the right decision for the next three years of your life. You may not be sure what you want to study, nor where to study, nor even perhaps whether studying is the right thing for you. Its probably true that in most cases decisions are made on small but important impressions about the course as it is portrayed in the prospectus and on the web. We hope that you will find sufficient information in this course booklet to be able to make a reasonable judgement about what life would be like with us if you choose Education Studies at Winchester, but now your at the website do take full advantage of what's available: module outlines and weekly lecture notes, plus some idea of how we run things on a daily basis - see the bulletin board.
We believe that a course of study in Higher Education is more than just its content. What we are trying to offer in Education Studies and Education Studies (Early Childhood) at Winchester is a vision of Higher Education which places as much importance on the personal, social, ethical and spiritual development of the student as it does on becoming a specialist in a particular subject discipline. Higher Education in our view means learning about ourselves at the same time as we learn about our subject. We hope that our students, in addition to studying, will also want to embrace learning as a way of life, and that these experiences together will constitute the relevance and substance of what is higher about a Higher Education.
Putting this vision into practice means, first, offering you the chance to challenge your ideas about the world against perspectives which shape the way we live. Second, support for your learning so that you always know that someone is interested in your development. Third, encouragement in helping you to achieve more than perhaps you think yourself capable of at the moment. At the end of your third year if we are successful you will be more aware of the possibilities that the world offers you and of the ways in which you can serve the wider community. Many of our graduates tell us that they leave with a faith in learning, which lasts them well beyond the institution.
If you are prepared to risk the challenge of this higher education we look forward to seeing you.
why study Education Studies (Early Childhood)?
The education of very young children has never received so much attention as it is currently receiving in England. This change in national consciousness has arisen from a combination of social, political, and economic changes that have all had effects on the nature of family life, the forms of caring for the young, and the expectations of state educational provision. To this should be added the continuing impact of science and technology on our understandings of life, birth, and nurture.
The subject itself is a fascinating one, providing opportunities to explore and reflect upon childhood from the many vantage points offered by art and science, as well as those found in popular and international culture. The course explicitly combines two agendas. The first comes from its location within the already established field of Education Studies. This setting offers you the means to engage with educational theory through a study of social, political, philosophical and cultural thought. The second comes from our vision of early childhood study:-
Since the Early Childhood course shares many of the features of Education Studies itself, you should know that Education Studies at Winchester aims to ensure that its courses do not just teach about education but are in themselves intrinsically educational. We take the view that all higher education should aim to create thinking, questioning, and caring people able to play a fulfilling and critical role in all aspects of their lives. To this end we use a variety of teaching methods and always try to listen to and respond to student comments. However, this is balanced by a demand for intellectual rigour in all forms of student work (essay, presentation, debate, discussion, etc.). In addition, we share Ron Dearings view that Higher Education should encourage students to achieve beyond their own expectations. We believe that excellent teacher/student relationships are the key to motivation, enjoyment and success. On all of our programmes you will be expected to read widely, to reflect and comment on your reading, and to express your ideas clearly both orally and in writing.
Teaching and learning in Education Studies is designed to use each tutor's strengths so as to meet student needs in ways which are appropriate to the content. Teaching may be didactic, discussion based, led by student presentation, provoked by debate or facilitated through the ambiguities of the student /teacher relationship. Equally, students will experience learning in a number of different ways, including listening and talking to tutors and to other students, independent research from books, journals, the web, and session handouts, from quiet reflection and questioning, and from the thinking and preparation required for the successful completion of assignments whether they be written, oral or visual.
what qualifications do I need?
The degree recruits nationally from amongst standard A-level entrants and mature/ACCESS students. We are interested in recruiting students who have a keen interest in education, have a capacity to engage in intellectual enquiry, and are prepared to deal with some difficult theoretical material during the course of their study. That having been said, we are also looking for these same students coming to us with a warm regard for young children and their welfare. No specific skills are required for the course, other than the general qualities mentioned above. Education is something we all have experience of in our lives and your own experiences will be the starting point for your course of study.
The course is not intended as a dedicated training route for entry into nurseries, etc. Previous experience of work with very young children is not a pre-requisite for the course, but applications from those already working in these areas are particularly welcomed. Specific career advice is available in College, and there are links with the Teacher Training pathway in Early Years, giving access to additional further sources of information.
We offer Education Studies (Early Childhood) as Single Honours and Combined Honours degrees. Depending on which pathway you select, you will be able to choose modules dealing with a range of issues such as historical perspectives on education, and the ways in which education has been developed in relation to particular groups, classes, etc.; forms of representation, and the ways in which power is exercised within groups, institutions, and society in general; and scientific and technological perspectives on childhood and the family. In every case, our treatment looks at these issues in relation to practices and policies within schools, and also relates these to society at large. The course is designed to be intrinsically educational, as well as providing opportunities for academic study of the nature of early childhood. We take the view that a degree should aim to create thinking, questioning, and caring people able to play a dynamic role in all aspects of their lives.
In addition to developing a wide understanding of ‘education’, there is a great deal of time devoted to helping you observe, think for yourself, and develop high levels of skill in communicating and presenting a case based on your analysis. The skills you will gain from this course therefore relate principally to a broad range of intellectual capacities, i.e., analysis, theorisation, and critique.
This degree is relevant to anyone wishing to study philosophical, cultural, psychological, and historical perspectives on early childhood in some depth, and from Year 1 you will concentrate exclusively on modules offered within the programme of Education Studies (Early Childhood).
The choice of modules available is extended beyond those available to students within the Combined Honours programme. The aim in offering Single Honours is to provide extended study within specialist areas alongside a rounded and deep study of education itself. The course follows the pattern established in the existing field of Education Studies in that gaining Single Honours will require you to demonstrate a clear progression in your intellectual skills, rather than just a broadening of your knowledge of Early Childhood. It is a requirement for Single Honours that all Independent Study modules followed are conducted in relation to the specific interests of the Pathway rather than the general Field of Education Studies. This requirement is, however, relaxed in the case of the Final Year Project so that if you wish to adopt a broad perspective on education at this point in your course you can do so.
In general, the intention of the Early Childhood Pathway is the same as for the Combined Honours programme as a whole: the provision of intellectual challenge coupled with respect for your capacity to respond, with guidance, to your own interests, strengths, and career intentions. In line with our regulations, a Combined Honours student will take 24 modules over the three years of the programme, and Early Childhood will be combined with another field as either a Main (75%) or Joint (50%) Subject (percentages are approximate).
|In Year 1, the two
Fields in the combination selected are given equal
weight, in terms of study-time and assessment. For
students on the Early Childhood Pathway, the module
programme is exactly the same as for those students
studying Education Studies itself. This common foundation
year is intended to provide a general level of contextual
understanding appropriate for the study of education.
Within this general provision, however, additional
seminars. lectures, and study visits are organised so as
to ensure that specific issues of context related to the
study of early childhood are familiar to you before the
second year starts.
In Years 2 and 3, compulsory modules from within the Pathway will be followed along with a variety of compulsory and option modules taken from the Education Studies Field itself. The number of option modules taken varies according to a Main or Joint pattern of study.
Between ten and twelve modules are required at Levels 2 and 3, of which four must be at Level 3. This means that all Main Honours students will take their Final Year Project within the Field of Education Studies, and it is assumed that at least one Independent Study module will be followed. Following this pattern will involve you in a greater degree of specialisation within Early Childhood. It also means that any application to a PGCE course will need to rely on this specialisation and whatever A level work you have already carried out (a place on a Secondary PGCE course will probably be difficult to obtain).
To gain Joint Honours, students must obtain seven modules at Levels 2 and 3, of which two must be at Level 3. The Final Year Project - a double module - can be taken in either Education Studies or in the second field of study. (On the basis of the merits of the case, students may be permitted to take one FYP module from each of the two Fields they are studying.). This pattern is the one still recommended to students wanting to obtain a place on a PGCE course with the minimum of risk and uncertainty after completing their undergraduate course. However, the interpretation of the current legislation by PGCE Course Directors is changing all the time, and we now have plenty of evidence that there is a shift towards favouring those students who have followed a single or main programme of study in early childhood.
The list of modules offered is available on the module outline page, but you should note that the following are mandatory for this programme - this means that all students will study these topics:-
Note that in all modules shared between Education Studies and Education Studies (Early Childhood) there is content directly relevant to the specific concerns of this Field, as well as content of relevance to all students of education.
We use many methods of assessment and in Year 1 you will be introduced to all of them. There are examinations in the first two years and help and support with examination technique is available throughout the year both from Student Services and from Education Studies tutors.
In Level 1, you will be asked to produce essays, portfolios, reviews of key texts, and give presentations on work in progress. In Levels 2 and 3, because of the wide availability of student choice over their modules it is also possible for students to choose those methods of assessment with which they enjoy most success. However, there are some fixed points: there is one examination at the end of Level 1; two essays to be completed under timed conditions in Level 2; and a variety of essay/presentation tasks in Level 3.
The course is offered as a means to gain an intellectually satisfying grasp of the education of the very young. It has been designed to provide you with the intellectual skills needed to occupy initial management positions related to the care of very young children within business, service industries, personnel, libraries, museums, and charities. It should also provide you with the intellectual background that is so often only lightly touched upon in more direct training programmes for work with young children. We believe that with this intellectual background you will be in a far stronger position to make skilled judgements about the nature of educational provision for the very young in whatever role you find yourself in after graduating.
|A Career in Teaching?
Our course takes very seriously its responsibilities in trying to prepare students who intend to take a PGCE. We will encourage you to gain experience in local schools in your second year, and in the Education Forum we will support your applications. We do not aim to replicate the training in the classroom that a PGCE will give you. However, what the profession needs as much as technical proficiency is vibrant, enthusiastic and creative teachers who are committed to a view of education as serving the needs of others.
We will explore the ethical and vocational dimensions of teaching and of schooling and you will be encouraged to enter the profession having thought through an educational philosophy which can most effectively combine your strengths with your pupils’ needs. Underpinning our approach is the view that teachers must first be learners as only then can they pass on a love of learning to others.
Combined Honours courses in which a second field is selected from a subject falling within National Curriculum subject definitions offers a good preparation for PGCE programmes of study, while Single Honours courses in Education Studies are increasingly seen as also offering an appropriate preparation for a primary PGCE. Students intending to follow this career path should note that they will be expected to have GCSE passes at C grade in Mathematics, English, and Science, to have demonstrated competence with ITC, and to have had some preliminary practical experiences in nurseries/schools. You should also recognise that special assessments are made in relation to dyslexia and certain other forms of disability.
External Examiners comments have not found it appropriate to make any distinctions between the two groups of students (Education Studies, and Education Studies (Early Childhood)), and the rigour of the two programmes, and the achievement of both groups of students to the highest level has been applauded. The staff team for Early Childhood is drawn from that of the existing course in Education Studies. In a recent report received the External Examiner indicated that it, is one of the finest courses of its kind in the country. ... not only because of its intellectual rigour and the excitement it generates, but also because of the authenticity of voice and sense of independence the Education Studies learning community develops in its students. His view was endorsed by QAA (the universities teaching quality inspectorate) who awarded the programme a maximum 24 marks. It should be added that in the recent Government survey of student satisfaction with undergraduate courses, Education Studies at Winchester came out top in its category.
the teaching team
The tutors work very closely together, both in the production of modules and in the support of students. One of our strongest beliefs is that good relationships between tutors and students is the key to educational success.
The Team consists of Dr Stephanie Spencer who is Head of Department. Her areas of interst are in womens history and oral history. Professor Nigel Tubbs' specialist modules explore power in the classroom and the philosophical but difficult identity of ‘the teacher’. Marie Morgan is the Programme Leader, and her interests extend from the nature of Higher Education, the study of 'discipline' and the difficulties posed by 'Holocaust' education. Derek Bunyard is Route Leader of the Early Childhood pathway within Education Studies - his research area is in art and representation in education. Dr. Emile Bojesen also works on the Early childhood pathway, his specialist interests being literature and philosophy. Dr. Wayne Veck has specialist interests in special and inclusive education. Simon Boxley offres specialisms in Marxism, ecology, and early childhood..
The teaching Team is supported by Jenny Hadley, who is the Course Administrator. Jenny provides the first point of contact for student enquiries and answers questions about the Programme.
finding out more ...
Apart from coming along to one of our open days and meeting a member of staff, we have a website that offers general information and comment - at present largely about Education Studies - and more detailed information for the use of our students.
The site URL is http://www.winchester.ac.uk/edstudies/
Alternatively you could contact any of the tutors or the administrator by email at the following addresses: