Faculty of Education

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2014 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered, or view unit timetables.

FacultyFaculty of Education
OfferedBerwick First semester 2014 (Day)
Peninsula First semester 2014 (Day)
City (Melbourne) Term 1 2014 (Flexible)
Coordinator(s)Dr Susanne Garvis (Berwick); Professor Marilyn Fleer (City); Ms Marie Hammer (Peninsula)


In this unit students develop understanding of a range of contemporary theories of child development and discuss development as a cultural and social process whereby programming of development is always positioned to what the child can do collaboratively. Developmental, sociocultural, socio-behaviourist and post-structuralist theories are explored in relation to how they are applied to the provision of education and care for children from birth to twelve years. The unit explores new research in this field and students critically reflect on current practices in the light of this research. Students utilise their understanding of contemporary child development in early childhood settings to plan learning experiences showing the nexus between theory, teaching and development strategies that reflect contemporary curriculum frameworks.


Upon successful completion of this unit students should be able to:

  1. develop and demonstrate knowledge and understanding of contemporary theories of child development
  2. link and apply this knowledge to pedagogy and curriculum design
  3. develop their capacities as pedagogical leaders of children's learning and development
  4. apply key concepts explored in the unit to mandatory curricula frameworks e.g. Early Years Learning Framework and AUSVELS.


Essay: critical evaluation of contemporary theories of child development and how these inform the work of early childhood educators as pedagogical leaders (2000 word equivalent, 50%)
Action research report on child development theories and practice discourses to demonstrate knowledge of the role of the child's involvement as a learner and participant in pedagogical practices and curriculum design (2000 word equivalent, 50%)

Chief examiner(s)

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload equals 12 hours per week comprising:

(a.) Contact hours for on-campus students:

  • 2 hours per week

(b.) Additional requirements:

  • independent study to make up the minimum required hours per week

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study