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ECF3100 Contemporary Approaches to Infant and Toddler Curriculum and Pedagogy

Semester 2, 2021 External
Short Description: Cntmpry Aprchs Inf/Tod Cur&Ped
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts
School or Department : School of Education
Student contribution band : Band 1
ASCED code : 070101 - Teacher Education: Early Child
Grading basis : Graded
Version produced : 21 July 2021


Examiner: Nicole Green


Pre-requisite: ECP3200 and Students must be enrolled in one of the following Programs: BEDU (Early Childhood) or BEED or BECH
Enrolment is not permitted in ECF3100 if EDE2101 has been previously completed

Other requisites

It is highly recommended that Students complete ECF3100 in the same semester as EDE3009 Leadership and Professional Practices.

Students enrolling in courses which do not follow the recommended enrolment pattern cannot be assured of a developmental learning experience or program completion within their preferred timeframe.


Working with infants and toddlers is a privileged role in early childhood. The recognition of the importance of children's first three years of life and the need for authentic and meaningful partnerships with families has led to an increasing awareness of the specialist nature of infant-toddler education and care services. The role of the early childhood educator is grounded in secure, responsive, emotionally available, cognitively stimulating and respectful relationships between child, adult and family. Children’s interactions and explorations shape their experiences of their world; such as how they develop, communicate, learn, move, think and socialise. Advances in theories and research provide compelling confirmation of the fundamental importance of early childhood educators having knowledge of the ways in which infants and toddlers, as inquisitive, active and competent learners influence – and are influenced by – the environments in which they live. Inclusive in this knowledge is an understanding of the importance of the everyday life experiences for infants and toddlers guided by curriculum and pedagogies of play, caregiving and attachment.


Pre-service educators will interrogate issues in facilitating the unique nature of infants' and toddlers' care, learning and development (birth to 3 years) in early childhood contexts. Infants and toddlers are considered within the multiple contexts that inform their learning and development. The importance of understanding and valuing the complexities of supporting and maintaining rich relationships with children and their families, through a curriculum of care, attachment and play, underpins this course. Curriculum approaches, relationship-based teaching and learning, and environmental contexts that are recommended for infants and toddlers are examined. Pre-service educators will deepen their understanding of the applicability of research-based literature and its relevance to infants and toddlers, their families, and contexts.

A 15-day professional experience placement is attached to this course. 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. critically reflect on considerations for facilitating infant’s and toddler’s care, learning and development in early childhood contexts (APST 1.1, 1.2);
  2. collect, document and interpret contextual data through an ecological framework to inform child-centred curriculum and responsive approaches to care, learning and development (APST 1.2);
  3. drawing upon knowledge of families, plan differentiated play, attachment and caregiving curriculum for infants and toddlers from diverse backgrounds (APST 1.3, 1.5, 4.2);
  4. develop effective, sensitive and ethical relationships with infants and toddlers, their families and communities; guided by respect for culture, identity and diversity. (APST 3.5, 7.1, 7.3);
  5. demonstrate professionalism during pre-service teacher placements through observation, practice and assessment of pre-service teacher professional practice (1.1, 1.3, 1.5, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.5, 3.1, 3.3, 3.5, 3.6, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 5.1, 5.4, 6.3).


Description Weighting(%)
1. Broad ecological contexts of infant and toddler development, caregiving and education 20.00
2. The importance of children's first three years of life: curriculum approaches and pedagogies 15.00
3. Relationships, positive interactions and communication strategies to support infant and toddler engagement: conversations, non-verbal cues and gestures 20.00
4. Planning differentiated infant and toddler programs - documenting and assessing children’s learning and development from diverse backgrounds 20.00
5. Designing environments for infants and toddlers (physical and human; indoor and outdoor) 10.00
6. The voice of the young child: perspectives of infants and toddlers in theory, research and practice 15.00

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. (

Sims, M & Hutchins, T 2013, Program planning for infants and toddlers: in search of relationships, 2nd revised edn, Pademelon Press, Castle Hills, New South Wales.

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 13 Jul 2021 (see note 1)
ASSIGNMENT 1 40 40 19 Aug 2021 (see note 2)
ASSIGNMENT 2 60 59 18 Oct 2021 (see note 3)

  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.
  2. Inquiry Task
  3. Portfolio of Work

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 satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks for that item.

  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 achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the 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:
    Deferred and Supplementary examinations will be held in accordance with the Assessment Procedure

  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 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).

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.

  2. Low enrolment numbers: Should enrolments not reach the minimum number required for on-campus study, students may be transferred to the ONLINE/EXTERNAL offering and advised of this change before semester commences.

Date printed 21 July 2021