Faculty of Education

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This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2016 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.

Monash University

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

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




Karen Dresser (Berwick); Associate Professor Nikolai Veresov (City); Dr Marie Hammer (Peninsula)



  • First semester 2016 (Day)


  • First semester 2016 (Day)

City (Melbourne)

  • Term 1 2016 (On-campus block of classes)


In this unit students develop understandings of a range of contemporary theories of child development and discuss development as a cultural and social process whereby development is always positioned in relation to what the child can do collaboratively. A diverse range of theoretical perspectives and theories, including developmental, sociocultural and post-structural, are explored in relation to how they are applied to the provision of education and care for children from birth to twelve years in their specific contexts. The unit explores new research in this field and students critically reflect on current practices in the light of this research to begin to develop their pedagogical leadership. Students apply 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 in local and national contexts.


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%)

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 on-campus block City-based students:

  • two intensive weekend blocks
  • at least 4 hours of active online engagement in Moodle activities per term

(c.) Requirements for offshore Kaplan-based students:

  • one intensive block (usually from Thursday to Sunday)
  • at least 4 hours of online study per term

(d.) 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