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, students will critically engage with major theories regarding children and childhoods (birth-5years) grounded in meaning-making, complexity, multiplicity, and context. As part of this work, students will analyse and debate related research and contemporary issues. Students will be introduced to the planning cycle to design curriculum that is responsive to infants, toddlers, pre-schoolers, and families. Connections will be made by illustrating contexts of education and caregiving; vision, strategy, and innovation in curriculum planning with infants, toddlers, and pre-schoolers; understanding the power of relationships in working with different communities; and demonstrating practices and policy development reflective of all children as capable and competent. This unit (ECE6001) will prepare students for placement but will not include any placement days.

Unit details

Online Self-Paced
Study level:
Credit points:
Unit code:

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Frame play-based teaching practices in early childhood contexts from Aboriginal Australian standpoints.  
  2. Articulate and critique major theories within the context of early childhood education.  
  3. Analyse and debate current research and contemporary issues, in relation to children aged birth-5 years  
  4. Design curriculum responsive to children aged birth-5 years and families, informed by EYLF/VEYLDF.  
  5. Formulate teaching practices grounded in reciprocal relationships with children, families, and communities.  


Assessment type Description Grade
Exercise An exercise demonstrating the child as capable and its application in practice 30%
Poster A poster exploring major theories within the context of early childhood education. 30%
Project Completion of a Planning Cycle informed by EYLF/VEYLDF. 40%
5000 words or equivalent.

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.

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