EDM148-The Professional Self in Early Years Leadership

Module Provider: Institute of Education
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Dr Geoff Taggart

Email: g.taggart@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:

This module is offered to practitioners who have achieved, or working towards, the status of Early Years Teacher or Reception teachers with an interest in leadership. It is grounded in the theory that young children’s development and learning cannot be separated from the emotionally supportive and consistent context in which it occurs: a culture of secure and positive attachments.  The module therefore aims to construct an image of the early years professional as an expert in ‘relational pedagogy’, acting as a role model for children, staff and parents. Students investigate exemplars of early year’s leaders who embody a resourceful, facilitative professional self and are given guidance on analysing research into this kind of leadership and applying it to their practice.


  • To explore the concepts of emotional labour, psychoanalytic attachments and catalytic leadership in relation to early years leadership

  • To develop skills in conducting work-based supervision, assertive communication, multi-professional working and self-care

  • To understand appreciative inquiry as a suitable research methodology in this specialist area

  • To enhance sensitivity towards issues of equality and diversity

Assessable learning outcomes:

  • To reflect upon theories and practices of interpersonal communication

  • To understand how early childhood development can influence adult behaviour

  • To reflect upon one’s own values and visions as a leader and to place these within the context of current research

  • To understand the multi-professional context of leadership and common barriers to effective multi-professional practice

  • To engage with recent research regarding the professionalization of the early years workforce

Additional outcomes:

To engage in critical discussion of recent research of relevance in this field

Outline content:

  • Models of early years leadership

  • Attachment theory and the lifecourse

  • Equality and diversity in early years leadership

  • Appreciative enquiry for research and organisational change

  • Principles and practice in multi-agency working

  • Professionalism and an ethic of care

  • Emotional labour

  • ‘Non-violent’ approaches to communication

Global context:

Examples of good practice are drawn from international contexts

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

The conduct of the sessions takes the form of a dialogical community of ‘appreciative enquiry’ into our practice as early years leaders, identifying the strengths and values we wish to enhance and sustain. Reflecting the relational, affective context of early years work, the sessions will therefore call for qualities of openness, trust and honesty in communication. These periods of dialogue are combined with interactive lectures, video extracts, role play simulations and focussed group tasks. Each week, there will be a relevant piece of research which students will discuss.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 25
Tutorials 5
Work-based learning 40
Guided independent study 130
Total hours by term 200.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 80
Oral assessment and presentation 20

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

a) Presentation: self-evaluation of strengths and weaknesses in relation to leadership, drawing upon appropriate theory (20%)

b) 3,500 word written assignment relating practice to theoretical model(s) of leadership (80%)

Formative assessment methods:
Submission of first two stages of ‘appreciate enquiry’ in relation to oneself as a leader

Penalties for late submission:
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guidePG.aspx

Assessment requirements for a pass:

Reassessment arrangements:

Resubmissions must be submitted within one calendar month of the notification of failure.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

Required text books: £12

Last updated: 20 April 2018


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