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Contemporary Perspectives of Learning and Development for Early Childhood

duration Duration: 1 Teaching Period

unit code Unit Code: EDU10007

contact hours Contact Hours: Recommended 10 hours of study per week

About this unit

In this unit, students focus on traditional and contemporary approaches and theories in early childhood education, professional understandings about children and key cultural-historical issues affecting children and their families. The unit also includes revision of child development and consideration of the constructs of childhood.


  • Revision of traditional and contemporary theoretical approaches (including humanist, behaviourist, social constructivist, social learning, ecological, critical, queer, post-structuralist, social cultural-historical)
  • Revision of development and learning as categorised in the national Early Years Learning Framework
  • Identity, contribution and connection to the world, wellbeing, confident learner, communicator
  • Historical and philosophical underpinnings of each childhood education
  • Traditional and contemporary influential philosophies and approaches (Reggio Emilia, Steiner, Montessori, Te Whariki)
  • Past and present images of children and childhood
  • Contemporary research perspectives of child and childhood
  • The sociology of childhood
  • The effects on children and families of attitudes to social class, gender, ethnicity, race and the dominant culture
  • Cross-cultural perspectives on children, childhood and early childhood education

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