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EDCX202 Curriculum Decision-Making in the Early Years: Connections and Continuities

Unit rationale, description and aim

This unit builds the pre-service teacher’s professional knowledge of and skills related to the role educators play in provision of high quality early learning experiences. Emphasis will be given to experiences that promote and support young children’s well-being, development and educational outcomes, particularly in relation to children aged birth to two. These skills will include understanding and guiding behaviours, implementing responsive care strategies, planning for, implementing and evaluating play and learning experiences that are responsive to children in a range of socio-cultural contexts. These practices will be informed by relevant national and state curriculum frameworks and professional, legal and ethics obligations. The unit enables engagement with early childhood centre operations, management and service delivery, and provides opportunities for professional interactions with a range of professionals working with children under two and their families.

The aim of this unit is to support pre-service teachers’ understanding of the complexities of pedagogical practices, building collaborative relationships, documentation, curriculum decision-making, and teaching strategies that inform high quality learning environments, specifically with children under two.

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 - Demonstrate an understanding of the complex roles of early years educators and the related ethical, legal and professional responsibilities (GA3; APST 7.1, 7.2; ACECQA D1, E3, F2, F3)

LO2 - demonstrate the ability to negotiate and enact an appropriate role for themselves within a learning community (GA5; APST 7.4; ACECQA D1, F3)

LO3 - observe and effectively respond to critical features of learning and development relevant to young children in the birth-two years age range (GA5; ACECQA A1, B9, C3)

LO4 - collaborate in and at times lead the planning and implementation of individual and group learning experiences using relevant and current National and/or state curriculum documents (GA5; ACECQA B9, C2)

LO5 - demonstrate the ability to plan and implement socio-culturally inclusive, developmentally appropriate and contextually responsive educational and care practices (GA1; ACECQA A1, B9, C2, C3)

LO6 - demonstrate skills and knowledge related to the engagement in effective and reflective professional partnerships with parents, families, colleagues and other professionals (GA5, APST 7.3; ACECQA D1)

Graduate attributes

GA1 - demonstrate respect for the dignity of each individual and for human diversity

GA3 - apply ethical perspectives in informed decision making

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


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

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

7.2 Understand the relevant legislative, administrative and organisational policies and processes required for teachers according to school stage.

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

7.4 Understand the role of external professionals and community representatives in broadening teachers’ professional knowledge and practice.


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

A. Psychology and child development           

A1. Leaning, development and care

B. Education and curriculum studies 

B9. Curriculum planning, programming and evaluation

C. Early childhood pedagogies          

C2. Play based pedagogies

C3. Guiding behaviour/engaging young learners

D. Families and community partnerships      

D1. Developing family and community partnerships

E. History and philosophy of early childhood

E3. Ethics and professional practice

F. Early childhood professional practice       

F2.  Management and administration

F3.  Identity


Topics will include:

  • The ethical, legal and professional responsibilities of early childhood educators
  • Collaborative relationships and roles in early childhood learning communities
  • Pedagogical practices to support the learning and development of children aged birth to two years
  • Observation, planning, curriculum decision-making and teaching strategies that are responsive to and inclusive of a range of socio-cultural contexts and children’s stages of development.
  • Responsive care practices to support and enhance the wellbeing of children aged birth to two years
  • Strategies and principles for establishing and maintaining effective professional relationships

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

The unit will consist of the mandated days of Professional Experience including induction, preparation and online reflection.

Assessment strategy and rationale

Assessment of the Professional Experience program is based on the pre-service educator’s performance across the unit learning outcomes and will documented against the following domains professional knowledge, professional practice and professional relationships.

Minimum Achievement Standards

Candidates must achieve a minimum satisfactory standard in all domains and attendance for the required professional experience placement days in order to achieve a pass for the unit.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Formative Assessment

A satisfactory Interim Report must be submitted by the Supervising Teacher and the ACU University Supervisor before a candidate can move on to undertaking a summative assessment. This is designed to support the candidate in monitoring their professional practice and to identify areas of practice that may require further development and to ensure they are supported in developing strategies to address their particular needs.



LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5, LO6

GA1, GA3, GA5

Summative Assessment

Final Report. In this assessment candidates are expected to demonstrate satisfactory teaching performance during their Professional Experience Program as evidenced by both practical and written work.


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5, LO6

GA1, GA3, GA5

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 Learning Australia.

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

Department of Education Employment and Workplace Relations [DEEWR]. (2009). Belonging, being and becoming: The early years learning framework for Australia. Canberra: Department of Education Employment and Workplace Development.

Fleer, M., Edwards, S., Hammer, M., Kennedy, A., Ridgway, A., Robbins, J., & Surman, L. (2006). Early childhood learning communities: Socio-cultural research in practice. Frenchs Forest, NSW: Pearson.

Gordon, A.M., & Williams-Browne, K. (2013). Beginnings and beyond: Foundations in early childhood education (9th ed.) Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.

Greenman, J., Stonehouse, A. & Schweikert, G. (2008). Prime times: A handbook for excellence in infant and toddler care (2nd ed.). St. Paul, MN: Redleaf Press.

Grieshaber, S. J. & McArdle, F. A. (2010). The trouble with play. Maidenhead, GBR: McGraw-Hill International UK Ltd.

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

McLachlan, C., Fleer, M., & Edwards, S. (2013). Early childhood curriculum: Planning, assessment and implementation (2nd ed.). Port Melbourne, Vic: Cambridge University Press

Wood, E. (2013). Play, learning and the early childhood curriculum (3rd ed.). London: Sage Publications.

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