Inquiry into Early Childhood Philosophy and Practices

Course code EDUC4035
Available in 2016
2016 Course Timetables


This course enables students to analyse current practice within changing socio-cultural, philosophical, political and educational contexts. Students will identify and position themselves in current approaches and debates regarding pedagogy, curriculum and professional issues. Students will develop a critical framework for planning, implementing and evaluating early childhood education programs for their own practice and/or research.

Key to the course is the development of a critically reflective orientation that aims to position students as 'teacher researchers' in the field of early childhood education.



  • Semester 1 - 2016


  • Semester 1 - 2016

Learning Outcomes

1. Understand and critically evaluate early childhood practice

2. Understand current trends in approaches, pedagogy, curriculum and professional issues in early childhood education

3. Develop a critical framework for their planning, implementing and evaluating early childhood programs

4. Understand their practice as under continuous enquiry/research


  1. Philosophy of education.
  2. Children's rights, children's participation in the early years.
  3. Modern and postmodern theories of early childhood education (including critical and post-structural theories) within their socio-historical contexts - learning theories, understanding the learner, theories of curriculum and pedagogy.
  4. Current research on approaches and debates regarding early childhood pedagogy and curriculum - conforming, reforming and transforming approaches, current and dominant curriculum approaches (Reggio Emilia, Forest schools, Anti-bias, Steiner, Montessori and so on)
  5. Children's environment and the environment as the third teacher.
  6. Planning, intentional teaching, play as pedagogy and pedagogical documentation.
  7. Early childhood professionals as ethical beings.
  8. Regulatory and policy context in a historical and political perspective.
  9. Child protection.
  10. Teaching and practice for diversity.
  11. Inquiry and research based practice to understand and continuously improve teaching practice and a critically reflective orientation.

Assessment Items

Case Study / Problem Based Learning: Assignment 1

Written Assignment: Assignment 2

Contact Hours

Ourimbah and Callaghan


Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Week for 13 Weeks


Face to Face On Campus 12 hour(s) per Term