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
OfferedNot offered in 2015


In this unit students critically analyse philosophies and contemporary theories of learning of early years education within the Early Years Learning Framework, linking the goals for children to be connected with their world as effective communicators, and confident learners with a strong sense of identity, to the theoretical paradigms of child development. Key foundational concepts are reviewed and analysed such as agency, social situation of development, meaningful learning, involvement, zone of proximal development and leading activity to consolidate knowledge. The overarching perspective is to explore the underlying principles of these philosophies and theories through the lens of the cultural contexts and to synthesise this into a cohesive approach to teaching and learning.


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

  1. critically analyse the foundational principles of early childhood learning
  2. demonstrate an understanding of contemporary theories of learning that influence children's learning and development
  3. demonstrate capacity to adapt the knowledge of theoretical concepts and analytical skills to a range of learning environments
  4. recognise initiatives in design of program approaches consistent with the intent of enhancing children's learning and development.


Essay of literature review on selected philosophy and contemporary theory to demonstrate a broad understanding of the underlying principles of these theoretical constructs (1600 words equivalent, 40%)
Research project applying main concepts of contemporary development theories in an educational setting within the parameters of current curriculum frameworks (2400 words equivalent, 60%)

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload equals 12 hours per week comprising:

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

  • 2 contact hours per week

(b.) Additional requirements:

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

See also Unit timetable information

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