Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit



Unit rationale, description and aim

This unit introduces pre-service teachers to curriculum studies in early childhood education. Emphasis will be given to the roles early childhood teachers play in building curriculum continuities across children’s prior experiences and their current and future learning. Students will learn about the range of factors that influences curriculum documents and curriculum practice. They will investigate early childhood pedagogy that impacts on learning, teaching and assessment, and which supports connections and continuities across diverse contexts. Students will engage with a range of current early childhood policies and curriculum documents. Students will develop relationship skills to enable professional connections and continuities and analyse their roles as professional practitioners and advocates. Pre-service teachers are challenged to reflect on these roles and to articulate a vision for their teaching that embodies respect for human dignity in all dimensions of their personal lives and professional practice. Students’ learning in this unit is explored and put into practice through guided field experience and block practicums with children in the 3-5 year old age range. 

This unit aims to assist pre-service teachers to examine a range of historical, contemporary and critical perspectives about curriculum in early childhood education, including how constructions of childhood influence constructions of curriculum, and put into practice their learnings through guided field experience and block practicums. 

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - Reflect on the ethical and professional roles and responsibilities of the early childhood teacher through multiple lenses (GA3, GA4, GA5; APST 7.1; ACECQA E2, E3; F3)

LO2 - Articulate a vision for pedagogy and early childhood curriculum decision-making that is informed by reflection on historical, contemporary and critical perspectives in early childhood education (GA4, GA5, GA8; APST 1.2, 1.3, 1.4; ACECQA C1, C2, C4, C7, All of E)

LO3 - Analyse and use early childhood curriculum policies, documents and guidelines at the national, state, system and local levels, to develop an awareness of planning and curriculum decision making that supports continuities in children’s learning (GA4, GA5, GA8, APST 1.2, 1.3, 1.4; ACECQA A8, B1, B2, B9, C1, C2, C4, D1, E2)

LO4 - Explore and evaluate a range of strategies that facilitate collaborative relationships with children, families and colleagues in planning for learning (GA4, GA5, GA8, APST 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 3.1, 7.3; ACECQA B9, D1)

LO5 - Undertake the requirements of the integrated Professional Experience component of this unit (GA3, GA4, GA5, GA8) (details provided in the EDCX202 PCE Handbook)

Graduate attributes

GA3 - Apply ethical perspectives in informed decision making

GA4 - Think critically and reflectively 

GA5 - Demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 

GA8 - Locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information


On successful completion of this unit, pre-service teachers should be able to:

1.2 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of research into how students learn and the implications for teaching.

1.3 Demonstrate knowledge of teaching strategies that are responsive to the learning strengths and needs of students from diverse linguistic, cultural, religious and socioeconomic backgrounds.

1.4 Demonstrate broad knowledge and understanding of the impact of culture, cultural identity and linguistic background on the education of students from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander backgrounds.

3.1 Set learning goals that provide achievable challenges for students of varying abilities and characteristics.

7.1 Understand and apply the key principles described in codes of ethics and conduct for the teaching profession.

7.3 Understand strategies for working effectively, sensitively and confidentially with parents/carers.


On successful completion of this unit, pre-service teachers should have developed the following specific knowledge:

A. Child development and care

A8. Transitions and continuity of learning (including transition to school)

B. Education and curriculum studies 

B1. Early Years Learning Framework

B2. The Australian curriculum

B9. Curriculum planning, programming and evaluation

C. Teaching pedagogies

C1. Alternative pedagogies and curriculum approaches

C2. Play based pedagogies

C4. Teaching methods and strategies

C7. Contemporary society and pedagogy

D. Families and community partnerships

D1. Developing family and community partnerships

E. History and philosophy of early childhood

E1. Historical and comparative perspectives

E2. Contemporary theories and practice

E3. Ethics and professional practice

F. Early childhood professional practice    

F3. Identity


Topics will include:

  • Early childhood teachers have professional and ethical responsibilities including working collaboratively with parents, colleagues and community members to develop and advocate for effective early childhood programs.
  • Professional reflection from a range of perspectives about the role of the early childhood educator, curriculum, pedagogy and assessment is crucial to the work of early childhood teachers.
  • Curriculum decision-making is informed by a range of factors including local, national and globalised contexts, the diverse backgrounds of those who participate in and contribute to early childhood programs, curriculum policy, pedagogy and assessment.
  • Early childhood education is constructed historically, culturally, contextually and socially and meets a range of intended and unintended purposes
  • The changing and dynamic nature of curriculum and curriculum policy requires early childhood teachers to understand the implications of interpreting curriculum policy in educational settings, including its impact on pedagogy, resources (including learning environments and diverse communities).

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

Pre-service teachers will be involved in a variety of teaching-learning strategies to progress and demonstrate their understandings in this unit. Participants will be involved in a variety of teaching-learning strategies to support learning, including: online engagement, lectures, tutorials, seminar presentations and group discussions, both online and face-to-face, self-directed study activities and assessment tasks. Participation in appropriate educational settings will be required.

Assessment strategy and rationale

A range of assessment procedures will be used to meet the unit learning outcomes and develop graduate attributes consistent with University assessment requirements. Such procedures may include, but are not limited to, essays, reports, examinations, student presentations or case studies.

Minimum Achievement Standards

To successful complete this unit students must complete the professional experience component of this unit.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment Task 1A

Introductory Artefact Resource to introduce yourself as an educator within an early childhood setting catering for children in a 3 – 8 year setting


LO1, LO4

GA3, GA4, GA5, GA8

Assessment Task 1B

Philosophy Statement connected to professional standards (ACECQA and/or AITSL)


LO1, LO2

GA3, GA4, GA5, GA8

Assessment Task 2

Case study of the implementation of a curriculum program in an ECE setting (3 - 8 years old)


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4

GA3, GA4, GA5, GA8

Assessment Task 3

Hurdle Task: Successful completion of professional experience component of this unit.



GA3, GA4, GA5, GA8

Representative texts and references

Arthur, L.; Beecher, B.; Death, E.; Dockett, S., & Farmer, S. (2012). Programming and planning in early childhood settings (5th ed.). South Melbourne, Vic: Cengage Australia.

Blaise, M., & Nuttal, J. (2011). Learning to teach in the early years classroom. South Melbourne, Vic: Oxford University Press.

Grieshaber, S.J. & Mcardle, F.A. (2010). The trouble with play. Berkshire, GBR: McGraw-Hill Professional Publishing.

Hill, L., Stremmel, A., & Fu, V. (2005). Teaching as enquiry: Rethinking curriculum in early childhood education (3rd Ed). Sydney: Pearson.

Keesing-Styles, L. & Hedges, H. (2007). Theirising early childhood practice: Emerging dialogues. Castle Hill: Pademelon Press.

MacNaughton, G., & Williams, G. (2009) Techniques for teaching young children: Choices in theory and practice. Frenchs Forest: Pearson.

Smith, D., & Lovat, T. (2003) Curriculum: Action on reflection revisited. Wentworth, NSW: Social Science Press. Chapter 11.

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