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 Second semester 2015 (Day)
Peninsula Second semester 2015 (Day)
City (Melbourne) Term 4 2015 (On-campus block of classes)
Coordinator(s)Dr Howard Prosser (Berwick); Ms Robyn Babaeff (City); Dr Iris Duhn (Peninsula)


This unit examines critically how childhood has been theorised over time, and investigates how different concepts of childhood have shaped children's lives. Students engage with a range of educational philosophical perspectives that have contributed to understandings of childhood across time. Students also develop an understanding of the complex socio-economic, cultural and political contexts that have shaped childhoods in Australia and generate possibilities and challenges for young children's lives in the present and future. Particular emphasis is given to the implications for students' work as emerging leaders in their professional field.


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

  1. understand the changing concepts of childhood over time
  2. begin to critically analyse how educational philosophies have shaped ideas of childhood
  3. demonstrate critical thinking to develop new understandings of how young Australian children's lives are historically embedded in socio-economic, cultural and political contexts
  4. critically reflect on implications for early years' education leadership.


Essay: historical review of childhood (2000 words, 50%)
Group presentation with written narrative analysis: Australian childhood over time (2000 words equivalent, 50%)

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

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

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