search SEARCH
Apply Now

Contemporary Perspectives of Learning and Development

duration Duration: 1 Teaching Period

unit code Unit Code: EDU20003

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

About this unit

In this unit students will consider and critique contemporary educational approaches and theories which deepen understandings of the school-aged child as individual persons and members of social groups. All students will explore a range of theories concerning the physical, cognitive and psychosocial aspects of development, and will examine ideas and debates about the context of development with specific reference to family, school, peers, culture and diverse social contexts. The unit aims to help students acquire a deep knowledge of key characteristics, strengths and needs of contemporary societal influences.


  • Introduction to early childhood development and learning
  • Historical and philosophical underpinnings of early childhood education
  • Traditional and contemporary influential philosophies and approaches (including Reggio Emilia, Steiner, Montessori, Te Whariki, Forest Schools)
  • Past and present images of children and childhood
  • Ecology of socialisation
  • Contemporary research perspectives of child and childhood including traditional and contemporary theoretical approaches (including humanist, behaviourist, social constructivist, social learning, ecological, critical, queer, post-structuralist, social cultural-historical)
  • Issues that affect children in the 21st Century, e.g. bullying, social media and childhood obesity
  • The role of effective learning environments

View further information on this unit.