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M.Ed on Education and Innovation: EDUECE4 - Health, Inclusion, and Wellbeing in Early Childhood Education

Course Description


This course builds the capacity to critically evaluate, plan, lead, and implement, equitable holistic health and wellness practices in early years settings that balance the needs and rights of individual children. From this course, students will develop theoretical and practical insights, knowledge and understanding about factors that have an impact on the development of social and emotional skills of children in their early years. Students will examine and critically reflect upon complex interactions and foundational factors involved in the holistic growth of children’s health and wellbeing for developing their early years practice. Focus of reflection for further developing practice will include attention on the following foundational factors: physical, cognitive-emotional, behavioral, and psycho-social influences on health and wellness within a framework of children’s rights, protections, and care, and the context of families and culture. The course will give students the opportunity to critically analyze, and design healthy, safe, and inclusive environments for children to thrive: spaces for expression, movement and activities, nutrition and hygiene. The course also aims to build awareness of educator’s own health and wellness, that of students, and the impact of educator wellbeing on that of students.


Course Resources


Week 1


Health and Wellness: Development is holistic and context-dependent.

  • Physical, Cognitive, Language, Emotional, Social, Cultural dimensions of child development
  • Relationships and attachment; diversity of influence (socio-cultural, familial, etc.)
  • Role of the environment in providing safe learning for all
  • Wellbeing initiatives in the local context

Required readings 

Recommended readings 




Week 2


Importance of Childhood Experience and Context

• Long-term effects of childhood health and wellness

• Risk factors vs. Protective factors • Rights of children

• Role of parents, families, and caregivers

• Role of educators and schools: duty of care and child protection

• Cultural values and practices in relation to the concept of healthy development • Contact with nature

Required Readings

Recommended readings




Week 3

Factors to Promote Health and Wellbeing

• Health, wellness, and physical education: Pathways to  health and wellness into adulthood

• Risk factors & developing resilience

• Factors for successful growth and learning

• Promoting resilience and empowerment in children

• Environmental awareness

Required readings

Recommended readings



Week 4

Healthy Physical Development

• Nutrition, hygiene, protection

• Infection control

• Movement, activity, and lifestyle choices

• Safe spaces for learning and thriving

• Outdoor spaces

Required readings

Recommended readings




Week 5

Healthy Emotional-Cognitive Development

• Emotions, self-awareness, and self-regulation

• Safe expression

Required readings

Recommended readings






Healthy Behavioral Development

  • Self-discipline and self-monitoring
  • Positive coping, problem solving, and decision-Making
  • Self-advocacy and rights
  • Safe choices

Required readings

Recommended readings




Week 7

Healthy Psycho-Social Development and Relationship Establishment

• Connectedness

• Family and Friends

• School: duty of care and relationships with society and families

• Safe environment

Required readings

Recommended readings





Week 8

Creating supportive, safe, and positive environments in Early Childhood

• Choices (quiet spaces; active spaces)

• Promoting prosocial behavior

• Positive Approaches

Required readings

Recommended readings




Week 9

Creating Inclusive Educational Environments in Early Childhood – Group Strategies

• Universal design

• Environments welcoming to all

• Positive interventions and supports

Required readings

  • Campbell, P. H., & Milbourne, S. A. (2014). Together is better: Environmental teaching practices to support all children’s learning. Young Exceptional Children Monograph Series, 16, 21– 38.

Recommended readings




Week 10

Creating Inclusive Educational Environments in Early Childhood – Individual Strategies

• Identifying challenges

• Strategies (Pedagogic, Behavioral)

• Individualized accommodations and modifications • Evaluating effectiveness of practices

Required readings

Recommended readings




Week 11

Role of educators and schools in Fostering knowledgeable and nurturing families, parents, and caregivers.

• Connecting with communities, families, and partnerships: Children’s holistic health, rights, and care

• Agency and Purpose within the cultural contexts

Required readings

Recommended readings