History, Philosophy and Early Childhood Education

Unit code: ECE2003 | Study level: Undergraduate
(One credit point is usually equivalent to one hour of study per week)
City Campus
Footscray Nicholson
Online Real Time
Online Self-Paced
St Albans


This unit introduces pre-service teachers to the historical and philosophical structures that shape contemporary life. By focusing on the forces that inform these structures, this unit provides pre-service teachers with the conceptual tools necessary to meaningfully situate themselves within the discourse of the history and philosophy of early childhood education. It introduces students to competing philosophical understandings of what constitutes reality and the ‘good life’. Through this, pre-service teachers will gain insights into how such thinking shapes our attitudes to social and natural environments and the challenges these attitudes present for contemporary life. At the heart of this investigation lie the questions of how we should and do learn. Questions regarding education cannot be separated from debates concerning how should we live, thus this questioning must be understood as a fundamentally ethical undertaking. Given this, the unit seeks to raise awareness of the basic philosophical underpinnings of our culture in order to situate the pre-service teacher as a critical member of society.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of both the historical and philosophical underpinnings of early childhood education.
  2. Discuss the sources of social, political, intellectual and historical change.
  3. Debate a range of key historical philosophical problems and perspectives.

Study as a single unit

This unit can be studied on its own, without enrolling in a full degree.

Learn more about single units of study at VU


For Melbourne campuses

Assessment type: Assignment
Grade: 15%
Exercise demonstrating and applying early childhood change unit based knowledge.
Assessment type: Review
Grade: 50%
Reflection drawing on central themes of the unit.
Assessment type: Presentation
Grade: 35%
Presentation linking theory to key questions and problems.

Required reading

Reading for this unit will be available via links in VU Collaborate

As part of a course

This unit is studied as part of the following course(s):

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