This unit introduces students to the field of early years education through the exploration of historical and contemporary approaches to the education of young children. Foundational philosophies such as those developed by Dewey, Steiner, Montessori and Petalozzi are critically discussed in relation to their influence on contemporary approaches that inform early childhood education in local and global contexts. Students develop insights into a range of contemporary programs including but not limited to the Reggio Emilia and Forest Schools approaches.
In addition students are introduced to practice guidelines and principles relevant to their specific contexts such as the professional code of ethics, curriculum frameworks and policy documents. Understandings of daily practice are informed by the United Nations Conventions on the Rights of the Child to uphold the rights of the child and by ethical considerations for respectful, meaningful and quality education and care for children. Through critique and analysis of historical and contemporary practices, students develop their own emerging personal philosophy of early years
1. demonstrate understandings of foundational philosophies and contemporary international approaches that have informed current local early years education practices
2. demonstrate understanding of policy, practice guidelines and principles in key early years education documents used in local contexts
3. prepare a well-informed personal learning and teaching philosophy that reflects foundational philosophy and contemporary models of early years education.