Early Childhood Education (2018/2019)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Chiara Sità
Chiara Sità
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
Sem. 1A, Sem. 1B

Lesson timetable

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Learning outcomes

1. Knowledge and understanding
Regarding the knowledge and understanding, at the end of the course the students:
1a. will possess the knowledge of the roots and the main conceptual references of the early childhood educationd, with particular focus on the concept of care.
1b. will know the essential elements of the Italian and European services for early childhood (0-3).
1c. will have developed an adequate understanding of the critical issues concerning the meaning of education in the 0-6 age range, starting from the analysis and elaboration of their images of child, family, learning, educational relationships.

2 - Ability to apply knowledge and understanding
The course also promotes the application of knowledge and understanding skills that will facilitate access to childcare services during the internship and the gradual consolidation of the educator professional identity and skills with children in the 0-3 age range. In particular, at the end of the course attendance, the students:
2a. will be able to outline a pedagogical analysis of educational practices and models in childcare services.
2b. will be able to contextualize their educational intervention in relation to the needs of the child and the environment and to self-evaluate in the exercise of educational practice.


Knowledge that you must have prior to attending the course (acquired in the first year): foundations and models of pedagogical theory, basic notions of developmental psychology, and history of early childhood education.
The activities that contribute to the achievement of the learning goals are presented below.
1a. To consolidate the knowledge of the roots and of the main conceptual references of the pedagogy of childhood, with particular reference to the theme of care.
The study of texts and the attendance of classes contribute to this goal. The manual "Pedagogia dell’infanzia e cultura dell’educazione" presents the main concepts and authors of infant education and care, while the texts "Filosofia della cura" and "Momenti di cura" offer a theoretical framework and guidelines for the practice of care.
1b. Know the essential elements of the Italian and European panorama on services for early childhood (0-3).
This objective will be achieved in particular with the study of Bobbio’s text and the visit to the Loris Malaguzzi Center dedicated to the Reggio Approach. Furthermore, on the online platform, updated materials will be available on the topic "Infancy and Early Childhood Education and Care" in the European Union countries.
1c. Develop an adequate understanding of critical issues regarding the meaning of education in the 0-6 age range starting from the analysis and elaboration of their images of child, family, learning, educational relationships in childhood.
During class, a space will be dedicated to the discussion of representations and mental models that students use to understand and interpret the world of children and the role of educational figures. These activities are aimed at promoting awareness of how some rooted assumptions guide practices and solicit a critical approach to stereotypical representations of children, families, educational relationships, and learning. Furthermore, the books support the achievement of this objective, always making explicit the connection between models and practices and dedicating space to the theme of continuing education, reflexivity and supervision in educational work with children.
2a. To be able to analyze educational practices and models in childcare services from a pedagogical point of view.
In particular, during the lessons and field visits, particular attention will be paid to the development of observational skills oriented to understand the spaces, the objects, the gestures of the educational figures and to read and deepen their meanings and motivations in relation to theories and models. Educational.
2b. To know how to contextualize one's educational intervention in relation to the needs of the child and the environment and self-evaluate in the exercise of the educational practice.
During the lessons there will be moments of work in groups and discussion on concrete cases that will contribute to enhance the reflexive, planning and evaluative skills and to put each and every one in the conditions of experimenting in a protected and non-judgmental space the processes of thought, comparison and decision-making that take place in educational practice. The cases will also be available on the platform in order to allow those who do not attend but are interested to have tools for experiencing reflection on practice.

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
Luigina Mortari Filosofia della cura Mondadori 2012
Donata Ripamonti, Paola Tosi Momenti di cura Junior 2013
Bobbio Andrea Pedagogia dell'infanzia e cultura dell'educazione  

Assessment methods and criteria

The exam is a 60-minute test that includes both multiple choice questions (4 answer options, only one of them is correct) and open-ended questions with limited response space. Only for those attending the course there is the possibility of enrolling in an individual oral exam, centered on the discussion of a report produced by the student during the course and based on the course contents and books. Further information on this method of examination will be provided in class. Both the exams evaluate: knowledge and understanding of the concepts and approaches presented in the books, ability to produce a reasoning on concrete cases starting from the theories and concepts, ability to produce synthesis and adequate arguments, and use of the scientific language. In addition, the oral test also evaluates the ability to critically question models and educational approaches with respect to a specific topic and the ability to construct a line of reasoning on concrete cases.