Contemporary Issues, Social Contexts of Learning and Social Justice

    Unit code: ECE6003 | Study level: Postgraduate
    (Generally, 1 credit = 10 hours of classes and independent study.)
    City Campus
    Online Self-Paced
    VU Sydney
    ECE6009 - Early Childhood Development Learning and Teaching; or
    ECE6001 - Early Childhood Development, Learning and Teaching 1
    (Or equivalent to be determined by unit coordinator)


    This unit explores the historical, philosophical and political structures that shape contemporary understandings of childhoods. 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 discourses of childhoods and pedagogy and reflect on contemporary social justice issues. It examines past, present, and future notions of childhoods and the image of the teacher, and how politics, values, beliefs and culture shape these understandings and influence practice. With a focus on First Nations perspectives and sustainability, the unit interrogates contemporary issues in relation to social justice, equity, diversity and intercultural relationships. It includes building theoretical and practical understandings of guiding behaviour.

    Learning Outcomes

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

    1. Critically review the influence of historical, philosophical, global, political and social factors on contemporary issues in early childhood education;
    2. Critique how social, cultural and philosophical perspectives inform individual and collective understandings of childhoods and pedagogy, and shape professional practice and the role of the teacher;
    3. Formulate critical actions that apply social justice principles to diverse early childhood contexts and situations, drawing on First Nations perspectives, and considering socioeconomic factors, and intercultural understanding.


    For Melbourne campuses

    Assessment type: Assignment
    Grade: 30%
    Analyse a story about childhood and play using a social justice perspective.
    Assessment type: Exercise
    Grade: 40%
    Develop and respond to a scenario in early childhood education, demonstrating diverse perspectives;
    Assessment type: Project
    Grade: 30%
    Create an invitation to play based on an analysis and critique of children's picture books.

    Required reading

    All readings will be available in VU Collaborate

    As part of a course

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

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