3 – 6 Course Curriculum Outline

NATIONAL DIPLOMA:
Early Childhood Development

SAQA ID:
64650

NQF Level:
5

Credits:
263



Qualification Components

Fundamental unit standards:
35 credits

Core unit standards:
72 credits

Elective unit standards:
153 credits

  1. DEVELOP AND MANAGE THE ECD LEARNING PROGRAMME
  2. MEDIATE ACTIVE LEARNING IN ECD PROGRAMMES
  3. PROMOTE HEALTHY DEVELOPMENT IN ECD PROGRAMMES
  4. COMMUNICATION SKILLS
  5. FACILITATE A LEARNING PROGRAMME IN THE RECEPTION YEAR
  6. MANAGEMENT OF EARLY CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT
  7. GUIDE AND SUPPORT IN AN ECD ENVIRONMENT

Rationale

This qualification provides a substantial qualification for:

  • Potential students/educators who have acquired an FETC (Grade 12) or equivalent qualification at Level 4 (120 credits) and who wish to make ECD their full-time career (entry point);
  • Students/educators who have a Level 4 qualification in ECD to further their career and professional development in ECD by providing access to a Level 6 qualification;
  • Students/educators who have a Higher Certificate in ECD to further their career and professional development in ECD by providing access to a Level 6 qualification.

Purpose

The purpose of the qualification is to:

  • Provide access to a recognised educator qualification at Level 5 for ECD educators who have a Level 4 in ECD, providing a bridge between non-formal and formal learning programmes.
  • To enable educators/ students to plan and implement a learning programme which is based on their knowledge of child development from birth to nine years and which helps children in a specific phase work towards achieving the learning outcomes of the national school curriculum (where appropriate).
  • To improve community-based ECD services for young children by raising the level of ECD teaching competence and/or by providing opportunities for training in support and leadership roles.

Exit Level Outcomes

  • Mediate active learning in an integrated and holistic learning programme.
  • Facilitate learning and development of children with barriers to learning and other special needs, including those coping with abuse and violence, within an inclusive anti-bias approach.
  • Promote the safety and healthy development of each child.
  • Work with colleagues, families and community systems to develop each child`s potential as fully as possible.
  • Manage a well-planned and organised learning programme to meet the needs of individual children within the framework of the national school curriculum (where appropriate).
  • Select and use appropriate methods and procedures for assessing children`s progress and reporting on this to parents.
  • Promote the development of high quality ECD programmes and services.
  • Communicate effectively for the purposes of academic study and professional practice.
  • Plan and implement appropriate learning activities and materials or management practices based on knowledge of the principles, processes and content of the chosen specialisation.

Montessori Specialisation Content

Montessori Philosophy:

This module provides the philosophical foundation, which is at the core of the Montessori educational approach. Topics include an historical overview of the life of Maria Montessori and the development of the Montessori movement, as well as exploring key Montessori concepts such as the absorbent mind, sensitive periods, the mathematical mind, normalization, and the spiritual and moral development of the child. The module seeks to provide the adult Montessori student with a philosophical framework, which will lead to greater understanding of the dynamic relationships between the child, the prepared environment, and the role of the adult.

Child development is included in the philosophy module and lays a foundation in developmental theories and current understandings of child development which serves as a foundation for validating the pedagogy and philosophy of the Montessori approach. The emphasis is on developing a greater understanding of the natural process of human development and how we can support the child’s growth and development through our understanding and application of these concepts.

Observation:

This module will focus on observation as the chief role of the Montessori guide. Students will learn the importance of creating the habit of observation and will work to develop their ability to perceive subtly the social, emotional, and intellectual needs of children. They will gain a working understanding of various observation techniques and how to interpret their observations to support the development of children.

Classroom Leadership and Administration:

This module presents the principles of effective classroom leadership necessary for preparing students for the practical application of Montessori philosophy and methodology in today’s classroom environments. Course content includes: designing the prepared environment, establishing daily routines, starting a new class, lesson strategies, evaluation of students, record keeping systems, and curriculum planning, as well as techniques for positive disciple and problem solving in implementing effective classroom strategies. The module also includes Parent Involvement/Education and an introduction to school administration.

Practical Life:

Students will develop an understanding of the importance of the Exercises of Practical Life as foundational to the development of self-confidence, concentration, independence, order, problem-solving, social intelligence and responsibility, and the performance of everyday life skills. Instruction will be given on the presentation of the Practical Life exercises in the domains of grace and courtesy, care of self, and care of the community/environment. Students will learn to present lessons in a manner that is developmentally attuned and engaging for the 3 – 6 year old child. Emphasis will be placed on understanding how the Exercises of Practical Life can be adapted to serve the needs, learning style, and interests of the individual learner through careful and ongoing observation-based assessment.

Sensorial:

Students will develop an appreciation for the importance of the Sensorial area as a foundation for learning and an aid in the natural development of the child. Instruction will be given on the presentation of the sensorial materials for the refinement of the senses in the areas of: visual discrimination of size, color, and form, tactile discrimination, and exploration involving the sense of smell, and taste. Students will learn to give clear and precise lessons for matching, sorting, and grading the sensorial materials, and teaching sensorial nomenclature using the “Three Period Lesson.” Emphasis will be placed on understanding how these materials meet the individual needs of students and the use of observation skills to support the child’s interest and needs as it relates to this area of the curriculum.

Language

In this module students will study the natural phenomena of language development in early childhood, and the child’s sensitivity and fascination with language. Topics of this module include oral expression, age-appropriate visual and auditory perceptual experiences, vocabulary development and enrichment, phonemic awareness, word-study, beginning hand writing, expressive writing, and lessons for teaching simple grammar or function of words. Students will be made aware of the importance of developing a language rich environment for supporting emergent literacy.

Mathematics

This module provides the foundations for understanding the child’s process of developing mathematical concepts, beginning with concrete and exploration and moving toward abstraction. The focus will be on supporting the development of the mathematical mind. Presentation of curriculum will include materials to for exploring numeration to 9,999, place value, linear counting, the four operations, memorization of math facts, and an introduction to fractions. Teachers will learn how to present the Mathematics materials and to observe and guide each child’s progress toward abstracting mathematical concepts.

Cosmic Education

Designed as a foundation and introduction to Montessori’s “cosmic curriculum” this module presents an integrative approach to introducing geography, history, and science to young children. Topics include: developing a sense of geographic space, historical time, and multicultural awareness using Montessori geography and history lessons and international festivals and celebrations. Science studies will include life science and physical science. Students will gain an appreciation of the interconnection of all life on the planet and how science relates to our everyday life.

Visual Art:

Students will learn how to design and prepare an art environment that that will to promote creative expression and develop art appreciation. Through lectures and hands-on experience students will learn the value of art education and how to present art activities from a variety of media and styles. Students will learn how to present art units that expose children to artists and styles of art from including the classical masters and cultural art.

Music

This module explores exercises in auditory training, music theory, composition, and music appreciation. Students will learn the lessons for presenting the Montessori bells from the early sensorial matching work, through the introduction of reading notes and composition of music.

Peace Education

Peace education is covered in every module and includes the spiritual preparation of the teacher, communication, and relationships among the adults in the school community. Students will develop interactive and manipulative-based exercises to promote personal energy management, conflict resolution, unity and diversity education, as well as activities for community/natural world oriented peace awareness.