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EDE2101 Early Childhood Education Contexts

Semester 1, 2012 On-campus Springfield
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Education
School or Department : Education

Contents on this page


Examiner: Michelle Turner
Moderator: Karen Noble


Pre-requisite: EDC1400 or EDU1010

Other requisites

Students must have successfully completed the entire previous year's professional experience courses in order to enrol in this course. Students must be available for a prescribed period of time to undertake a placement in a school or other approved site as required in this course. State law in Queensland (Australia) requires that all adults working/undertaking professional experience/researching with children under the age of 18, in the state of Queensland are required to possess a current suitability card (Blue Card). (See "Other Requirements" for further information.) Also see: //


Understanding the social construction of children and childhood requires individuals to possess sound understanding of their personal identity development and the integral role they play as emerging early childhood educators. Therefore an examination and appreciation of the impact context plays on children's' learning trajectories requires critically reflective practitioners who are responsive to all key stakeholders.


This course presents an introduction to the theory and practice of developing effective learning environments for young children and their families. Students study the social ecology of childhood that underpins the emergence of children's voice and participation in contemporary learning communities. It also requires individuals to possess an understanding of local, national and international perspectives and the concomitant relationship that enables and constrains different philosophical and pedagogical approaches. A 15 day professional experience placement is attached to this course. NOTE: Minimum enrolment numbers apply to this offering. Should enrolments not reach the minimum number required for on-campus study, students may be transferred to the EXT or WEB offering and advised of this change before semester commences.


The course objectives define the student learning outcomes for a course. The assessment item(s) that may be used to assess student achievement of an objective are shown in parenthesis. On successful completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. define and describe the ecology of childhood (Critical Reflection);
  2. demonstrate knowledge of critical reflection on pedagogical practice (Critical Reflection, Case Study and Professional Experience Portfolio.);
  3. critically evaluate learning contexts that enable young children to develop agency (Critical Reflection, Case Study and Professional Experience Portfolio);
  4. synthesise, analyse and apply knowledge of the importance of relationships and interactions that are foundational to the construction of effective contemporary learning communities (Case Study and Professional Experience Portfolio);
  5. focus on communicating theoretical knowledge through engagement in authentic pedagogical conversation (Critical Reflection and Case Study);
  6. demonstrate competence in and appropriate use of language and literacy, including spelling, grammar, punctuation and bibliographic referencing. (All assessments)


Description Weighting(%)
1. Introduction to philosophical underpinnings of early childhood education and the social construction of children and childhood 20.00
2. The importance of context in understanding contemporary local, national and global early childhood issues. 20.00
3. Impact of critical reflection on the development of child agency in effective learning contexts. 20.00
4. Application of the ethic of care in developing, managing and evaluating learning contexts. 10.00
5. Development of effective relationships and interactions with key stakeholders across early childhood contexts 20.00
6. Context of partnerships within different philosophical approaches to early childhood education 10.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

  • Arthur, L., Beecher, B., Death, E., Dockett, S., & Farmer, S 2012, Programming and planning in early childhood settings, 5th edn, Cengage Learning, Melbourne.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
  • Bowes, J (ed) 2008, Children, families and communities: contexts and consequences, 3rd edn, Oxford University Press, Melbourne.
  • Dahlberg, G., Moss, P., & Pence, A 1999, Beyond quality in early childhood education and care: postmodern perspectives, RoutledgeFalmer, London.
  • Fleer, M., Edwards, S., Hammer, M., Kennedy, A., Ridgway, A., Robbins, J., & Surman, L 2006, Early Childhood Learning Communities: sociocultural research in practice, Pearson Education, Frenchs Forest.
  • Fraser, S 2006, Authentic childhood: experiencing Reggio Emilia in the classroom, 2nd edn, Nelson Thomson, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
  • McNaughton, G 2005, Doing Foucault in early childhood studies: applying post-structural ideas, Routledge, London.
  • Raban, B., Nolan, A., & Waniganayake, M 2007, Building Capacity: strategic professional development for early childhood practitioners, Thomson, Melbourne, VIC.
  • Whether you are on, or off campus, the USQ Library is an excellent source of information //

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Directed Study 70.00
Independent Study 70.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
PRACTICUM 1 1 28 Feb 2012 (see note 1)
ASSIGNMENT 1 40 40 02 Apr 2012
ASSIGNMENT 2 60 59 28 May 2012

  1. A mark of one (1) indicates you have passed the Professional Experience component. A mark of zero (0) indicates you have not passed the Professional Experience component. Professional Placement should be conducted as per the Professional Experience Calendar unless approval has been granted by the Course Examiner.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    There are no attendance requirements for this course. However, it is the students' responsibility to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    If students submit assignments after the due date without (prior) approval of the examiner then a penalty of 5% of the total marks gained by the student for the assignment may apply for each working day late up to ten working days at which time a mark of zero may be recorded. No assignments will be accepted after model answers have been posted.

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course and must satisfactorily complete the sector-based professional experience.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    There is no examination in this course.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    As there are no examinations in this course, there will be no deferred or supplementary examinations.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. APA style is the referencing system required in this course. Students should use APA style in their assignments to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The APA style to be used is defined by the USQ Library's referencing guide. //

Other requirements

  1. Students will require access to e-mail and have Internet access to UConnect for this course.

  2. IMPORTANT NOTE: Working with Children: State law in Queensland requires that all adults (including university students, pre-service educators, trainers, vocational teachers, industry educators) working with children under the age of 18, in the state of Queensland*, obtain approval before commencing such work. Many education courses include a practical component (professional experience, project work, research, assessment etc.) that may require engagement with children under the age of 18. It is your responsibility to ensure that you possess a current suitability card (Blue Card) before commencing any practical components of this course. DO NOT PARTICIPATE IN ANY PRACTICAL EXPERIENCE WITH CHILDREN UNDER 18 UNLESS YOU POSSESS A CURRENT ?BLUE CARD?. For further information: // and
    *If you are undertaking practical experience outside the state of Queensland, Australia you should check local requirements.