Degrees and courses for international students
You are viewing information for England.  Change country.

Exploring perspectives on young children's lives and learning

Qualification dates
Start End

This module is appropriate for anyone with an interest in the lives and learning of young children including current early childhood practitioners who want to develop their knowledge and understanding in preparation for professional roles linked to careers in education, health and social care.

You'll begin by exploring: how children learn; the importance of play; children’s rights; and their physical and emotional well-being. You then move on to consider how children’s learning experiences can be supported by provision such as pre-schools, nurseries or child-minders.

This is a key introductory module that will help you acquire key skills to support your further study in the field of early childhood.

What you will study

This module is appropriate for anyone with an interest in the lives and learning of young children including current early childhood practitioners who want to develop their knowledge and understanding for professional roles linked to careers in education, health and social care.

The aim of this module is to help you develop an understanding of early childhood from a range of perspectives. The module is divided into three blocks of study:

Block 1: Starting with the child

In this block you develop your knowledge and understanding of children’s learning, development, emotional well-being, play and fundamental rights. 

Block 2: Responding to the child

In this block you consider how we as adults can build learning relationships with children. How can we ensure they are listened to and involved? How can we observe, guide and plan to ensure that learning is a rich and meaningful experience for them? How can we create environments that encourage exploration and discovery and which can include all children? 

Block 3: Making provision for early childhood

In this block you explore how policy and practice can have an impact on children’s experiences. You will think about how children’s learning experiences are supported by provision such as pre-schools, nurseries and child-minders as well as local and national policies. 

This module aims to provide you with insights into many aspects of children’s learning experiences and how adults can support these. The module draws on examples and studies both from within and outside the UK, for example from Australia, Italy and Scandinavia. By using such a wide range of resources the intention is to broaden your perspective and extend your thinking beyond situations that may be more familiar. 

During this module you will compare and contrast practice that you observe in early childhood settings with the ideas about working with children that you study. You will be encouraged to reflect on the practice and experiences that you see and how these might be adapted or changed. You will explore these different areas through studying the module materials, which include printed books, audio and video recordings and on-line activities.

Entry requirements

You must be aged 18 or over.

There are no formal academic or experiential requirements to study this module.

However, it’s essential you have an interest in young children’s lives and learning. It would also be beneficial for you to arrange access to an early childhood setting1 if you’re not already working or volunteering in such a setting. We recommend you visit a setting1 weekly/fortnightly.

If you’re not sure you’re ready, talk to an adviser.

1Access to settings will require you to meet the ‘fit person’ criteria, in your country, to work with children. You and your setting are responsible for ensuring you meet these requirements, not the OU.

What's included

The module is organised into three study blocks and you will receive a printed book for each block. You will also have access to the module website which includes: online activities to support your studies; film and audio material; details of the assignments; and links to online forums for you to interact with fellow students and your tutor.

Computing requirements

A computing device with a browser and broadband internet access is required for this module. Any modern browser will be suitable for most computer activities. Functionality may be limited on mobile devices.

Any additional software will be provided, or is generally freely available. However, some activities may have more specific requirements. For this reason, you will need to be able to install and run additional software on a device that meets the requirements below.

A desktop or laptop computer with either:

  • Windows 7 or higher
  • Mac OS X 10.7 or higher

The screen of the device must have a resolution of at least 1024 pixels horizontally and 768 pixels vertically.

To join in the spoken conversation in our online rooms we recommend a headset (headphones or earphones with an integrated microphone).

Our Skills for OU study website has further information including computing skills for study, computer security, acquiring a computer and Microsoft software offers for students.

Teaching and assessment

Support from your tutor

You will have a tutor who will help you with the module material and who will provide you with advice and guidance. Your tutor will also mark and comment on your assignments. If you are new to the OU, you will find that your tutor will be particularly concerned to help you with your approach to study. We also offer support through online forums and group tutorials. The group tutorials are offered as a mixture of online and face-to-face sessions which you are encouraged, but not obliged, to attend. Where your face-to-face tutorials are held will depend on the distribution of students taking the course.

Contact us if you want to know more about study with The Open University before you register.

Assessment

The assessment details for this module can be found in the facts box above.

You must use the online eTMA system to submit your tutor-marked assignments (TMAs).

If you have a disability

The OU strives to make all aspects of study accessible to everyone and this Accessibility Statement outlines what studying E109 involves. You should use this information to inform your study preparations and any discussions with us about how we can meet your needs.

Future availability

Exploring perspectives on young children's lives and learning (E109) starts once a year – in October. This page describes the module that will start in October 2019. We expect it to start for the last time in October 2023.

Course work includes:

5 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
No examination
No residential school

Student Reviews

See what other students thought.