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ECP4100 Curriculum and Pedagogy in the Early Years of School

Semester 1, 2019 External
Short Description: Curiclm&Pdagy in Erly Yrs Schl
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts
School or Department : School of Teacher Education and Early Childhood
Student contribution band : National Priority - Teaching
ASCED code : 070101 - Teacher Education: Early Child
Grading basis : Graded
Version produced : 20 May 2019


Examiner: Deborah North


Pre-requisite: ECL2200 or (EDC3100 and EDE3009) and Students must be enrolled in one of the following Programs: BEDU (Early Childhood) or BECH
Enrolment is not permitted in ECP4100 if EDE4103 has been previously completed

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.

Before commencing this course students will be assumed to have read the full details of Professional Experience particulars and familiarised themselves with the requirements. Please see the Education Placement Professional Experience website and the Professional Experience Book for full details.

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 must hold a valid Blue Card OR Exemption Card

Provided a blue card renewal application has been submitted at least 30 days before expiry of the current card, the blue card will remain active while the renewal application is processed (details available at

Blue Card Services cannot process a form dated more than 16 weeks prior to lodgement. In addition, a representative of USQ or a Justice of the Peace, must sight the applicant’s identification documents and check the information on the form, before signing and dating the USQ declaration (refer to

Where a student is denied approval for a blue card, enrolment in any initial teacher education program will be withdrawn (refer to

If undertaking Professional Experience outside of Queensland, students are advised to check the Working with Children requirements of the state within which Professional Experience will be undertaken (refer to


Sociocultural theory provides researchers and practitioners with ‘methodological tools for investigating the processes by which social, cultural and historical factors shape human functioning’ (Daniels 2001). Early childhood teachers use theory and research to inform their understanding of curriculum and pedagogy that prioritises relationships, contexts, and transitions. Prior knowledge and personal experience of pre-service educators, as well as the knowledge, interests and experience that each child brings into the early childhood classroom, will inform curriculum planning, pedagogy, and assessment. While the Australian Curriculum offers direction about what to teach, contemporary approaches to curriculum in early childhood education emphasise the importance of the teacher as a curriculum decision maker.

Contemporary approaches to planning from curriculum emphasise the place of student data as the tool to support teacher decision-making. Through the implementation of a cycle of professional inquiry, teachers collect and interpret data upon which to make curriculum decisions to meet the diverse needs of students in their classes. Reflective practice supports the teacher to assess their impact of implementation on student outcomes, and consider effective practices for the future. As demonstrated through the work of Timperley (2007, 2009), critical reflection on cycles of professional inquiry also provides a lens for identifying professional learning goals.


Pre-service educators will develop the confidence and professional competence necessary to design socio-culturally responsive learning and teaching environments using a repertoire of contemporary pedagogies including dialogic and age-appropriate pedagogy. Emphasis will be placed on the development of authentic inquiry-based programs driven by student data with a strong focus on incorporating early childhood philosophy and pedagogical approaches in the planning and decision-making processes. Curriculum priorities, institutional policy and assessment practices will be explored in the early years of school context. There will be a strong emphasis on the development of critical reflective practices as part of a professional cycle of inquiry designed to build teacher capacity and the formation of an effective teacher identity.

A 25 day professional experience placement is attached to this course. The professional experience will commence with three single days (pre-service educators are required to attend their professional placement one day per week during the three weeks leading to the block professional experience, 22 days). This Practice meets coursework focus upon the implementation of a data driven instruction cycle through the Graduate Teacher Performance Assessment (GTPA).

For full details of the Professional Experience particulars, please refer to the Professional Experience website and the Professional Experience Book.


The course objectives define the student learning outcomes for a course in accordance with the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership’s (AITSL) Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (APST). On successful completion of this course pre-service educators should be able to:

  1. use a variety of data and evidence to establish students’ interests and current learning capabilities to plan teaching and learning sequences connected to official curriculum documentation and the explicit teaching of literacy and numeracy (APST 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.5, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4*, 2.5, 2.6, 3.1, 3.2, 3.4, 3.6, 3.7*, 4.1, 4.3*, 4.4*, 4.5*, 5.1, 5.2, 5.4, 7.2*, 7.3*)
  2. employ a range of suitably challenging and engaging teaching and learning strategies for inclusive and differentiated instruction using data collected and analysed at all stages of data driven instruction cycle (APST 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4*, 1.5, 1.6*, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4*, 2.5, 2.6, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.5, 3.6, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3*, 4.5*, 5.1, 5.2, 5.4)
  3. use observation and assessment tools and moderation processes to assess student learning, make standards based judgements and provide feedback to students (APST 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 1.6*, 2.1, 2.3, 3.2, 3.6, 4.1, 4.4*, 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.4, 5.5, 6.3*, 7.2*)
  4. reflect on practice, drawing on relevant theory and relevant research, at all stages of data driven instruction cycle to improve future teaching and learning (APST 1.2, 1.5, 2.1, 2.3, 3.6, 3.7*, 5.4, 5.5, 6.2*, 6.3*, 6.4, 7.3*)
  5. appraise and discuss the impact of teaching and learning on student outcomes drawing on relevant theory, relevant research, enacted practice and evidence collected (APST 1.1, 1.2, 3.6, 4.4, 5.4, 6.1*, 6.2*, 6.4, 7.4*).


Description Weighting(%)
1. Learning in the early years: major concepts, principles, theories and relevant research 10.00
  1. The planning cycle informed by curriculum documentation in the early years of school
  2. Explicit teaching of literacy and numeracy across the curriculum
3. Professional inquiry (data collection, interpretation, planning, action and reflection) to improve student outcomes 10.00
4. Motivating, challenging and inclusive units of work in early years of school contexts using age appropriate pedagogies, inclusive practices and differentiated instruction 20.00
  1. Contemporary approaches to assessment for, of and as learning to inform planning and decision-making
  2. Moderation of students’ work samples and provision of feedback against the standards
6. Student data and evidence in the early years of school – what is relevant? What is available? What can be generated? 15.00
7. Critical reflection as a process for professional growth and the formation of an effective teacher identity 20.00

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. (

There are no texts or materials required for this course.

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.

Student workload expectations

Activity Hours
Directed Study 80.00
Private Study 85.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE 1 1 10 May 2019 (see note 1)
ASSIGNMENT 1 99 99 27 May 2019

  1. Students must successfully complete the Professional Experience to be eligible for a passing grade for this course. 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 Experience should be conducted as per the Professional Experience Calendar unless approval has been granted by the Program Coordinator.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    It is the students' responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities scheduled for them, and 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 complete assessment items satisfactorily, students must obtain at least 50% of the marks available for each item in addition to the successful completion of the Professional Experience component. Failure of the Professional Experience component will result in a Fail grade for this course.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must successfully complete the Professional Experience component and must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course. Failure of the Professional Experience component will result in a Fail grade for this course.

  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 items for the course.

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

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    There is no examination 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. Referencing in assignments: Referencing in assignments must comply with the APA referencing system. This system should be used by students 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. This guide can be found at

  2. Students are required to demonstrate competence in and appropriate use of academic language and literacy, including spelling, grammar, punctuation, and referencing in all assessment responses. Marks allocated to the aforementioned criteria will be specified in the criteria for assessment of all assessment items.

  3. Students are required to submit ALL assignments to evidence meeting or exceeding the mandatory requirements of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (APSTs).

  4. The successful completion of the Graduate Teacher Performance Assessment (GTPA) is a requirement for graduation from all Initial Teacher Education (ITE) programs.

  5. Professional Experience is a compulsory component of this course and integral to completion of the assessment tasks. Dates for each Professional Experience course are selected to support students’ capacity to apply the theory of the coursework in the Professional Experience placement. Students are advised not to select a course that includes Professional Experience in a semester where they are unable to meet the specified requirements of Professional Experience as outlined in the Professional Experience Booklet. Any application for a ‘change of dates’ for Professional Experience placement must qualify for consideration under the conditions of the USQ Assessment Extension Policy. An unsupported application will delay program completion.

  6. APSTs with an * in the objectives indicates a context-dependent APST for the GTPA task. Preservice teachers may have the opportunity to demonstrate these APSTs as a result of Professional Experience in relevant contexts.

Evaluation and benchmarking

In meeting the University’s aims to establish quality learning and teaching for all programs, this course monitors and ensures quality assurance and improvements in at least two ways. This course:
1. conforms to the USQ Policy on Evaluation of Teaching, Courses and Programs to ensure ongoing monitoring and systematic improvement
2. forms part of the Bachelor of Education and is benchmarked against the:

  1. internal USQ accreditation/reaccreditation processes which include (i) stringent standards in the independent accreditation of its academic programs, (ii) close integration between business and academic planning, and (iii) regular and rigorous review
  2. Queensland College of Teachers
  3. Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (APST) of the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL).

Other requirements

  1. Participation: Students can expect it will be necessary to participate in and contribute to a range of learning opportunities in this course including online study activities, lectures, tutorials, seminar presentations, group discussions and self-directed study activities in order to apply the coursework that will enable quality assessment tasks to be submitted as evidence of professional development.