Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Disability Issues in Early Childhood Settings

LEVEL 03 - Years 2, 3, 4 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT Education Studies

DESCRIPTION This study-unit aims to make participants familiar with issues related to providing access to the curriculum to all children including those who experience some form of barrier to learning. It will first of all focus on the entitlement of all children to a quality education and to the benefits of having all children, particularly in early childhood, learning together. A second theme will be the various possible barriers to learning that can arise in children with a disability or learning difficulty and how such barriers can be overcome through the use of different learning environments and teaching strategies. In relation to this, participants will finally be introduced to individualised educational planning.

Study-unit Aims:

This study-unit aims to assist the students to:
- become aware of their obligation to teach all children in their class to the best of their abilities;
- become committed to the education of all children whatever their characteristics;
- become aware of the holistic needs of children for healthy development;
- develop strategies and skills for recognising situations where children experience difficulty in accessing the curriculum and learning activities;
- develop strategies and skills for enabling all children to participate actively in the class and school activities.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
- become more aware of the rights of all children to a quality inclusive education;
- develop a strong belief that all children can make progress and are worthy of the teacher’s attention;
- comprehend how disability or learning difficulty can become a barrier to learning if the learning environment and teaching methods are not adapted to meet individual needs;
- comprehend the importance of social as well as academic aspects of the curriculum.

2. Skills:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
- recognise barriers to learning being experienced by a child or a group of children;
- recognise instances of discrimination and infringement of the rights of children with disability or learning difficulty;
- assess the individual learning of children;
- adapt learning activities creatively to engage children with individual educational needs;
- enable children with disability or learning difficulties to participate fully and effectively in all learning activities;
- evaluate individual learning and progress in different dimensions and at different points of the curriculum.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

- Bartolo, P.A., Hofsaess, T., Mol Lous, A., Ale, P., Calleja, C., Humphrey, N., Janikova, V., Vilkiene, V., Wetso, G. (2007). Responding to student diversity: Teacher’s handbook. Malta: University of Malta. (And attached readings, available on line
- Ainscow, M. (1999). Understanding the development of inclusive schools. London: Falmer Press.
- Bartolo, P. A. (2001). Recent developments in inclusive education in Malta. Mediterranean Journal of Educational Studies, 6(1), 65-91.
- Bartolo, P. A., Agius Ferrante, C., Azzopardi, A., Bason, L., Grech, L., & King, M. (2002). Creating inclusive schools: Guidelines for the implementation of the National Minimum Curriculum policy on inclusive education. Malta: Ministry of Education. (available on the internet:
- Bender, W.N. (2002). Differentiating instruction for students with learning disabilities. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.
- Bunch, G. (1999). Inclusion: How to: Essential classroom strategies. Toronto: Inclusion Press.
- Gibb, G.S., & Taylor Dyches, T. (2007). Guide to writing quality individualized education programs (2nd ed.). Massachusetts: Allyn & Bacon.
- The European Network DECET – Diversity in Early Childhood Education and Training (2007). Making sense of good practice. DECET.
- Marchand-Martella, N.E., Slocum, T.A., & Martella, R.C. (2004). Introduction to Direct Instruction. Boston: Pearson.
- Ministry of Education (2000). Inclusive education: Policy regarding students with a disability (mimeograph formulated by the Ministerial Committee on Inclusive Education, 15.07.2000). Malta: Ministry of Education.
- Peterson, J.M., & Hittie, M.M. (2009). Inclusive Teaching: The Journey Towards Effective Schools for All Learners (2nd Ed). Boston: Pearson Education.
- Rapp, W. and Arndt, K. 2012. Teaching Everyone: an introduction to inclusive education. USA: Paul Brookes.
- Siegel, L. (2011). The Complete IEP Guide: How to Advocate for Your Special Ed Child (7th ed.). CA, US: Nolo.
- Slee, R. 2010. The Irregular School: Exclusion, Schooling and Inclusive Education (Foundations and Futures of Education) London: Routledge.
- Snell, M. (Ed.) (2010). Instruction of students with severe disabilities (7th ed). New York: Macmillan.

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture and Independent Study

Assessment Component/s Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment Yes 100%

LECTURER/S Claire Lucille Azzopardi Lane
Claire Francica

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The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
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It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.