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EDU8000 Early Childhood Principles and Practices

Semester 1, 2020 External
Short Description: Early Child Principles & Prac
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts
School or Department : School of Education
Student contribution band : National Priority - Teaching
ASCED code : 070101 - Teacher Education: Early Child
Grading basis : Graded


Examiner: Nicole Green

Other requisites

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 practica/researching with children under the age of 18, in the state of Queensland must hold a valid Blue Card OR Exemption Card
If undertaking placement outside of Queensland you must ensure that all relevant checks are completed and evidence of this is provided to the Professional Experience Team


This course examines the pedagogical principles and practices which are most frequently adopted and considered most relevant in contemporary early childhood communities. Recent conceptions of learning and development in early childhood encompass views that children derive multiple benefits from meaningful relationships and positive interactions, from engaging in play, problem-solving and projects that are contextualised in personally evocative endeavours. It acknowledges that children have multiple pathways for learning, challenging taken-for-granted discourses.


Through inquiry learning, participants study the anthology of play and learning experiences that facilitate children's voice and participation in contemporary early childhood communities. This introductory course is designed to engage participants to direct their own learning of play and development, learning, and pedagogy for young children from birth to eight years of age, informed by scholarly research and relevant conversations from the field. This course will also focus attention on professional self-renewal. A 15 day professional experience placement is attached to this course.


On successful completion of this course students should be able to demonstrate:

  1. the ability to define and describe the anthology of play, learning and development in early childhood;
  2. knowledge of critical reflection on children’s learning to inform pedagogical practices;
  3. the ability to critically evaluate learning contexts that enable young children to develop agency;
  4. the ability to synthesise, analyse and apply knowledge of the importance of relationships and interactions that are foundational to everyday life in contemporary learning communities;
  5. competence in and appropriate use of language and literacy, including spelling, grammar, punctuation and bibliographic referencing.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Introduction to philosophical underpinnings of early childhood education and social construction of children and childhood 20.00
2. Building a repertoire of sophisticated knowledge of learning and development trajectories in children 20.00
3. Impact of critical reflection on the development of child agency in effective learning contexts 20.00
4. Development of effective relationships and interactions with key stakeholders across early childhood contexts 20.00
5. The importance of play in programming: integrating play, development and practice 10.00
6. Teaching as inquiry 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. (

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.
Arthur, L, Beecher, B, Death, E, Dockett, S & Farmer, S 2018, Programming & Planning in early childhood settings, 7th edn, Cengage, Melbourne, Victoria.
Ebbeck, M & Waniganayake, M (Eds.) 2016, Play in early childhood education : learning in diverse contexts, 2nd edn, Oxford University Press, South Melbourne, Victoria.
Fleer, M 2018, Play in the early years, 2nd edn, Cambridge University Press, Port Melbourne, Victoria.
MacLachlan, C, Edwards, S, Margrain, V & McLean, K 2013, Children’s learning and development: Contemporary assessment in the early years, Palgrave McMillan, Melbourne.
Yelland, N 2010, Contemporary Perspectives on Early Childhood Education, Open University Press, Buckingham, United Kingdom.

Student workload expectations

Activity Hours
Directed Study 80.00
Independent Study 85.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE 1 1 25 Feb 2020 (see note 1)
ASSIGNMENT 1 40 40 08 Apr 2020
ASSIGNMENT 2 60 59 03 Jun 2020

  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:
    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.

    It is the students' responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities (such as lectures, tutorials, laboratories and practical work) 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 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:
    Not applicable.

  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 at

Other requirements

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

Date printed 25 June 2020