Faculty of Education

Monash University

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2015 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.

FacultyFaculty of Education
OfferedBerwick First semester 2015 (Day)
Peninsula First semester 2015 (Day)
City (Melbourne) Term 1 2015 (On-campus block of classes)
Singapore Term 4 2015 (Online)
Coordinator(s)Dr Helen Grimmett (Berwick); Dr Gloria Quinones (City); Dr Liang Li (Peninsula)


In this unit students examine research which explores contemporary theories about play and how play supports children's learning. Students learn how to interpret play-based curriculum that encourages children to explore, solve problems, create and construct new knowledge and explore how play is re-defined and theorised. In addition, students explore the diverse culturally informed ways in which children in contemporary society play and learn in their families, communities and early childhood settings. Importantly, students undertake an analysis of the contemporary theories of play, noting the research upon which a variety of theories are based, examining multicultural variations, popular culture and gendered interactions. They become familiar with a range of children's play contexts. Students further develop their understanding through observing children at play, undertaking analyses and re-theorising play.


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

  1. demonstrate an understanding of the importance of learning through play pedagogies and their application within play-based curricula
  2. critically analyse the assumptions and research base underpinning the range of theoretical perspectives of play
  3. develop an understanding of a range of tools and methods to assess children's learning in play
  4. use contemporary theories of play to creatively explore and construct re-theorisations of play and learning in families, communities and early childhood settings.


Oral presentation of an observed play event with analysis of pedagogical practices (2000 words equivalent, 50%)
Essay: apply new theoretical knowledge of play to generate a conceptual diagram of play-based curriculum (2000 words equivalent, 50%)

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload equals 144 hours per semester/term comprising:

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

  • 2 hours per week

(b.) Requirements for offshore Kaplan based students:

  • one intensive block comprising two week nights and weekend days, normally from Thursday to Sunday
  • at least four hours of online study per term

(c.) Additional requirements (all students):

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

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

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