2023-2024 / PEDA0069-2

Question and practice of young child education


30h Th, 10h Pr

Number of credits

 Master in education (120 ECTS)4 crédits 


Florence Pirard

Language(s) of instruction

French language

Organisation and examination

Teaching in the second semester


Schedule online

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents

The course aims to raise students' awareness of educational practice led daily with young children in ECEC services, the questions that they raise, and closely-related approaches to observation and analysis. The course will identify the educational directions of different pedagogical trends and action models likely to provide the basis for practice and educational projects for young children in contemporary ECEC services (Loczy, Cresas, approach based on Malaguzzi's works, the work of the DECET network, etc.). It situates educational questions and challenges in their historical and political-administrative context. The course encourages students to question what can be considered as evidence, to identify tensions and even contradictions inherent in the field, to analyse and understand the transformation of a sector where the educational dimension is today of ever increasing importance.

Learning outcomes of the learning unit

This course will give students opportunities to:

  • identify the main developmental challenges in terms of education in childcare services and have a better understanding of the different fonctions of a ECEC service (educational, economic and social),
  • develop their observational skills in relation to activities (play, care, etc.) of young children in their daily lives in ECEC services based on a variety of material (video, photos, etc.) and to question the image of young children that emerges from this,
  • analyse the conditions of ECEC services which support the activity and contribute to the well-being of young children; to question how the relationship between childhood professionals and families evolve,
  • question the organisational principles behind educational conditions in ECEC services, based on different models of action and reference documents.

Prerequisite knowledge and skills


Planned learning activities and teaching methods

Through the proposed activities, each student elaborates a report in which he documents the evolution of his representations about :

  • the criteria of a young child who feels well,
  • the educational conditions set up in a childcare service,
  • an educational issue in early years education.

Mode of delivery (face to face, distance learning, hybrid learning)

Face-to-face course

Additional information:

The course is based on different activities:

  • thematic presentations,
  • analysis of documents (articles, legal texts, psycho-pedagogical references, establishment projects, etc.).
  • observations based on video and picture material,
  • interviews with professionals in the sector (a compulsary visit of a childcare service).
The first session will be focused on presenting the class and explaining the outline of the course. Time will be set aside to present the objectives of the report requested of students and the support guide produced by the trainer. Following sessions will the educational project, the educational action models and cover the political-administrative context.

The visit of a ECEC service will be compulsory as an extension of the session on the educational project. The organization of the visit and face-to-face sessions will be adapted according to health requirements if necessary.

An individual formative feedback on an intermediate report will be given to each student followed by a collective question/answer session.

Recommended or required readings

A reading portfolio will be made available to students. It will include articles, extracts from reference documents and a bibliography which will allow students to deepen their reflection, as well as summary notes compiled by the lecturer. Powerpoint presentations will subsequently be made available. Course material on line.

Exam(s) in session

Any session

- In-person

written exam

- Remote

written exam

Written work / report

Additional information:

Assessment will be based on a roadbook developed by each student through the activities proposed (see learning activities). This report will consist of an analysis of different resources: readings, observations (written, videos and photos) and visit to a childcare service (interview and observation).

The report will allow students to set out their understanding of the field of education of young children (motivation, experience, questions, etc.), to document their thoughts and their analysis work according to the literature. This will show how each student's ideas evolve in relation to young children in a childcare service and the educational conditions to be met.

This work will encourage students to take a critical approach not only to the situation in question but also to their own learning and approach to the field through self-assessment.

The trainer will propose students a support tool to carry out this work.

Assessment criteria:

  • respect for instructions,
  • precision and rigour,
  • relevance of the analysis,
  • relationship between theory and practice.

Work placement(s)

10h of practical work will be centred on the discovery of a ECEC service : reading the educational project, preparing an interview and a visit, analysing gathered data connected to relevant topics. Their organization will be adapted according to the health requirements.

Organisational remarks and main changes to the course

On-line elements (e-campus): support tool to carry out this work.


Florence Pirard, Professor, contactable by preference by email florence.pirard@uliege.be (B33, bureau 2/30, 2nd floor)

Marie Housen, assistant, contactable by preference by email marie.housen@uliege.be (B33, office 2/29, 2nd floor)

Christophe Genette, assistant, contactable by preference by mail christophe.genette@uliege.be (B33, office 2/29, 2nd floor)

Jasna Vorgic, secrétaire, jasna.vorgic@uliege.be

Association of one or more MOOCs