This unit provides students with a critical introduction to early childhood education as a discipline and as a profession in contemporary Australia. Students will explore the historical and socio-political influences that have shaped the development and provision of early childhood education in Australia, and critically examine theoretical, ethical and social justice underpinnings of early childhood policy and practice. In addition to developing a foundational understanding of their role as a teacher of children aged birth to five years, students will explore how this role extends beyond the classroom, requiring the development of authentic, supportive partnerships with families and collaborations with community networks. Students will become familiar with legal and ethical accountabilities, and critically consider their own development as a professional early childhood teacher. Students' successful transition to university will also be supported through a focus on images of children and childhoods and associated academic literacy tasks.
1x1-hr lecture/week, 1x2-hr tutorial/week over 12 weeks
2000wd essay (30%), 2000wd professional development journal (35%), 2hr open book test (35%)