Dominant understandings of child development as defined in policy documents and curriculum frameworks view children from a narrow, normalised perspective often with no regard for diversity and context. In this unit, pre-service teachers will critically engage with major theorists and theories regarding children and childhoods (0-8 years) grounded in meaning-making, complexity, multiplicity, and context. As part of this work, pre-service teachers will analyse and debate related research and contemporary issues including transition. Pre-service teachers will utilise pedagogical documentation to build curriculum that is responsive to infant, toddlers, pre-schoolers, school-aged children and families. Connections will be made by illustrating contexts of education and caregiving; vision, strategy, and innovation in curriculum planning with infants and toddlers, pre-schoolers and school-age children; understanding the power of relationships in working with infants, toddlers, pre-schoolers, school-aged children, families, and communities; and demonstrating practices and policy development reflective of all children as capable and competent. This unit includes professional experience placements with children aged birth-2 (15 days) and 3-8 years (15 days in the 3-5 age group and 5 days in a primary school F-Yr 2).

Unit details

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Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Implement Aboriginal standpoints in framing play-based teaching practices in early childhood contexts.  
  2. Critique major theorists and articulate theories regarding children and childhoods aged birth to 8 years.  
  3. Analyse and debate current research and contemporary issues, including transition to school, in relation to children birth-8 years (including transition to school).  
  4. Plan and design curriculum responsive to children aged birth -8 and families, using pedagogical documentation.  
  5. Formulate and apply teaching practices grounded in reciprocal relationships with children, families, and communities.  


Assessment type Description Grade
Essay An essay debating the view of the child as capable and its role in understanding childhood and its relationship to teaching and learning 30%
Exercise An on-line exercise analysing the current debates about child development, readiness, and transition. 20%
Project Completion of pedagogical documentation and generation of a Planning Cycle informed by EYLF/VEYLDF in response to the documentation. 50%
5000 words or equivalent. Hurdle requirement: A satisfactory partnership (placement) report.

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