Science in Early Childhood (EDEC3005)


Infants, toddlers and young children are naturally curious about the world around them, questioning, making assumptions and conducting experiments through play to determine how things work. This unit of study assists students to develop knowledge and skills in the teaching of science at the early childhood level. It provides students with the ability to help infants, toddlers and young children gain a foundational understanding of scientific concepts such as physics, biology, astronomy and technology as part of their everyday world. Understanding the importance of care and sustainability of the environment should begin at an early age and students need to foster environmental awareness in young children to promote lifelong care attitudes. Through lectures, workshops, readings and other activities, students will examine the theoretical underpinnings and practical knowledge required to guide the learning of infants, toddlers and young children and to encourage essential lifelong scientific reasoning skills such as hypothesis, inference, prediction and estimation, as they investigate the natural and created world. Mathematics, logical thinking and problem solving, and the use of language and literacy in communicating findings, participating in discussions, and representing experiences will be integrated into the science unit. Students will be encouraged to examine their own scientific experiences, conceptions, and knowledge as means to better understand the emerging scientific conceptions of young children.

Our courses that offer this unit of study

Further unit of study information


1x1-hr lecture/wk for 10 wks, 1x2-hr workshop/wk for 10 wks


1500 wd lesson plan with demonstration (30%) and 3500wd science portfolio (50%) and 1000wd professional development journal (20%)


Campbell, C., Jobling, W., & Howitt, C. (2015). Science in early childhood (2nd ed.). Victoria, Australia: Cambridge University Press.

Faculty/department permission required?


Unit of study rules


120 credit points including EDEC3001 and EDEC3002 and EDEC3003

Study this unit outside a degree

Non-award/non-degree study

If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student.

Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.