This unit invites students to connect their knowledge of Early Childhood to the wider global context. It explores the ways that Early childhood is understood in different cultural contexts. Students analyse some of the large-scale research reports on the state of early childhood around the world.  e.g. OECD, UNESCO, UNICEF and connect these reports to the concept of quality.

The unit has the well-being of children, and the ways we understand and advocate for this, at the heart of the unit.  In this unit students will develop a richer understanding of cultural, religious and ethical diversity, and the values and beliefs that impact this diversity within an Early Childhood setting. They will theorise their understandings by reference to research and scholarship on the global context of early childhood, and within established ethical frameworks.  Students will further develop their communication skills by enriching their understanding of cultural meaning, and will examine global context as a way to developing deeper understanding of community and personal values.

This unit may include 10 days in an international context.

Unit details

Study level:
Credit points:
Unit code:


ECE2003 - History, Philosophy and Early Childhood Education

ECE2004 - Engaging with Place through Rethinking Childhoods and Development

ECE2005 - Engaging with Place through Play

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Understand a range of ways that early childhood education is practiced in different cultural contexts  
  2. Analyse the ethical frameworks in which Early Childhood education operates  
  3. Theorise their own practice as Early Childhood teachers within a global context  
  4. Use world-wide research to understand/debate quality early childhood education  


Assessment type Description Grade
Annotated Bibliography Review of international early childhood education practices 20%
Exercise Students represent and debate different cultural attitudes to Early Childhood Education, exploring understandings of quality 50%
Other Personal reflection situating own early childhood education practice within the global context. 30%

Where to next?

As part of a course

This unit is studied as part of the following courses. Refer to the course page for information on how to apply for the course.

Study 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.

VU takes care to ensure the accuracy of this unit information, but reserves the right to change or withdraw courses offered at any time. Please check that unit information is current with the Student Contact Centre.