1 x 1-hour lecture once-only
1 x 2-hour workshop weekly
1 4.5 units of Level 2 EDUC topics
1a Admission into BEDECSEBDS-B Education (Early Childhood & Special Ed), B Disability Studies
1b Admission into BEDECBSE-Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood), Bachelor of Special Education
Must Satisfy: ((1 or 1a or 1b))
Enrolment not permitted
EDUC2331 has been successfully completed
Topic description

This topic presents a comprehensive picture of the lives of young children, and in particular how these lives are embedded within a social and emotional context. Students will be expected to become familiar with different constructions of the child, drawing on theoretical perspectives from sociology, psychology and childhood studies. Critically analysing this material, they will learn how to guide young children's learning, from infancy through to middle childhood, and do so with sensitivity to the familial, cultural and linguistic context which shapes such learning.

Drawing on their own research and inquiry processes, students will develop a complex understanding of what motivates children's learning, their rights and needs, and also their reactions to that learning, such as difficult behaviours. Based on this expertise, they will evaluate how best to plan, assess and document children's activities, and manage children's behaviour with respect, compassion and thoughtfulness.

Educational aims

This topic aims to:

  • Provide students with opportunities to expand their knowledge and understanding of the history, cultures and social relationships within which infants, toddlers and young children live and learn
  • Enable students to question dominant discourses of childhood (including common pedagogical strategies) in order to deepen their understanding of the particular social and emotional rights and needs of infants, toddlers and young children
  • Challenge students to become critically aware of their own social and cultural background, and how this will shape their role and actions as an educator
  • Provide students with the skills and expertise to evaluate available resources and approaches designed to maximise children's engagement as learners, and to use this expertise to create responsive and effective teaching and learning environments
Expected learning outcomes
On completion of this topic you will be expected to be able to:

  1. Reflect upon the historical and cultural construction of childhood, and develop a sophisticated understanding of how this shapes the theoretical and practical work of early childhood educators
  2. Articulate a complex account of children's engagement and motivation, using theoretical knowledge and understandings of class, gender and culture to explain the divergent dispositions and behaviours of young children
  3. Analyse and justify their role, as educators, in young children's social and emotional learning, and evaluate how best to respond to the different needs and responses they encounter
  4. Identify the many changes in children's most significant relationships (both within and beyond the family) during the early years, and develop creative ways of responding to these changes in the planning and evaluation process