Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Educational Contexts: Learners and Learning

LEVEL 05 - Postgraduate Modular Diploma or Degree Course


DEPARTMENT Education Studies

DESCRIPTION ‘Education Context’ is made up of three study-units of 5 ECTS, each complementing one another. This first of the three study-units focuses on learners and learning. This study-unit gives attention to different learning processes and theories, child development and particular understanding of who the learner is and how the learner is constructed to function within particular educational contexts.

The concept of learner itself will be questioned and deconstructed. Psychological, sociological and philosophical knowledge, together with inclusive theory, will help the student-teachers question, inquire and re-think some of their understanding of learners and learning.

This study-unit will be offered to all those enrolled in the MTL: ECEC and Primary; Secondary; and Primary & Secondary strands. Therefore, in order to reach and provide for all the different student-teachers, the study-unit could include both whole group and small group lectures.

Study-Unit Aims:

The study-unit Educational Contexts aims to discuss those practical professional skills, attitudes and dispositions of teaching which are informed by the latest educational theories. The interdisciplinary lectures will help students heighten their awareness on educational issues, in particularly for this study-unit, on issues on curricula and pedagogies. The aim of this study-unit is to help students develop a capacity for critically understanding learners and the processes of learning. The study-unit will consider those learner-specific aspects as motivation, intelligence, learning styles and self-concept which come together to determine the learner’s scholastic attainment during the primary years. A number of major theories will be presented in a complementary way with an emphasis on what each theory has to offer in the primary school teacher’s understanding of these factors. In so doing, the unit aims to help students understand the role of these factors in facilitating or hindering the learner in the course of the learning. Ways of how factors like learner motivation and self-concept can be improved will also be considered.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:

By the end of the study-unit the student will:
- Be able to demonstrate an understanding of the holistic development of children, both in the years prior to schooling as well as in formal schooling;
- Be capable of creating and structuring developmentally appropriate learning environments which are conducive to children’s meaningful interaction and engagement;
- Be able to question, through the ideas presented during lectures and readings, assumptions about learners and learning and that these concepts and ideas have been constructed over time and by particular people and situations;
- Be able to critique assumptions of learning and about learners;
- Be able to analyse and evaluate how learners and learning is constructed through various relations developed in education (for example teachers – children, etc…) and the power relationships that these have;
- Be able to compare various learning and development theories higlighting issues of difference;
- Be able to describe various conditions that influence learners and learning;
- Become familiar with the variety of ways in which children learn and consequently, can reflect on what and how children learn through formal and informal situations, within and beyond formal settings;
- Be able to recognise the importance of quality adult-child interaction and its impact on children’s holistic learning and development.

2. Skills:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
- Transfer the issues discussed in lectures to his/her daily practice in school and in her/his interaction with children;
- Reflect on his/her daily practice as a teacher;
- Use better the main texts published by the Ministry of Education and other policies;
- Apply the ideals of justice and fairness in his/her daily dealings with children and their families;
- Analyse texts from a critical perspective, and creatively present alternative solutions to perceived problems;
- Synthesise theories discussed in lectures, and create his/her own theories as resulting from his/her daily practice;
- Value his/her role as a 'political' agent in schools;
- Communicate his/her ideas about important issues in education;
- Engage in a critical description of who the learner is through engaging with a set of concepts;
- Articulate their own experience (both past when they attended compulsory schooling and now as students reading a MTL course) and read this experience through particular concepts;
- Engage in a critical and deconstructive reading of the texts relevant to processes of becoming teachers;
- Use a range of strategies to ensure the best development and support of all children and families.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

- Ormrod, J. (2007). Human Learning (5th ed.). NJ: Pearson, Merrill, Prentice Hall.
- Charlesworth, R. (2008). Understanding Child Development. (7th edition). US: Thomson Delmar Learning.
- Sternberg, R. & Williams, W. (2010). Educational Psychology (2nd ed.).
- Ormrod, J. (2007). Human Learning (5th ed.). NJ: Pearson, Merrill, Prentice Hall.
- Gredler, M.E. (2005). Learning and Instruction: Theory into Practice (5th ed.). NJ: Pearson, Merrill, Prentice Hall.
- Eggen, P. & Kauchak (2007). Educational Psychology – Windows on Classrooms (7th ed.). NJ: Pearson, Merrill, Prentice Hall.
- Riley, J. (ed.) (2007). Learning in the Early Years 3-7. London: Sage Publications Ltd.
- Bruce, T. (2007). Developing Learning in Early Childhood 0-8 years. London: Sage Publications.


Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Take Home Examination (24 Hours) SEM2 Yes 100%

LECTURER/S Carmel P. Borg
Jonathan Borg Castillo
Mark Borg
Maria M. Brown
Louis John Camilleri (Co-ord.)
Mary Darmanin
Victor Martinelli
Elena Tanti Burlo'
Kenneth Wain

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
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.