Faculty of Education

Monash University

Postgraduate - 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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12 points, SCA Band 1, 0.250 EFTSL

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

FacultyFaculty of Education
Monash Passport categoryInternship (Act Program)
OfferedClayton First semester 2015 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr John Ehrich


This unit critiques contemporary theories of child development (developmental, cultural-historical, socio-behaviourist, critical and post-structuralist) in relation to provision of early childhood education and care from birth to eight years. Child development theories underpin the work of all early childhood educators. In this unit, students critically analyse different theoretical underpinnings of contemporary practices and examine how the educator is positioned as a leader of child development. The ways in which contemporary child development theories may support or hinder the child's development are linked to current curriculum principles and practices and brought to life for students using examples drawn from contemporary practices.


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

  1. demonstrate in-depth knowledge and understanding of contemporary theories of child development that underpin children's development and learning
  2. link theoretical knowledge on child development to pedagogical practice and curriculum design
  3. analyse and critique different child development theories in relation to what the theories afford for children's development, when one theory is used or another
  4. demonstrate insight into various cultural contexts that shape children's development, learning and agency
  5. apply theoretical knowledge to support the developmental and learning needs of diverse children.


Written report (3500 words, 40%)
Research project (4500 words, 60%)

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload equals 288 hours per semester comprising:

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

  • 1-hour lecture per week
  • 2-hour workshop/seminar per week

(b.) Additional requirements (all students):

  • independent study to make up the required minimum hours during the semester

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)