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Major: Early Childhood Teaching

Award(s) to which this major is a Qualifying Major:

Early Childhood Teaching


Department of Educational Studies
Faculty of Human Sciences

This major must be completed as part of an award. The general requirements for the award must be satisfied in order to graduate.

Requirements for the Major:

Completion of a minimum of 36 credit points including the following prescribed units:

Credit points

100 level

Play and Inquiry in Early Childhood (3)
Health and Wellbeing (3)
The Arts in Children's Lives (3)
Infancy and Early Development (3)

200 level

Child Development Preschool to Adolescence (3)
Early Childhood Pedagogy and Curriculum (3)
Language and Literacy Learning in Early Childhood (3)
STEAM Integration in the Early Years (3)

300 level

Management and Leadership 1 - The Socio-Political Context of Teaching (3)
Children, Families and Communities in a Diverse Society (3)
Practice of Teaching: Outdoor Learning Environments (3)

400 level

The Educational Leader (3)


Units marked with a C are Capstone units.
Overview and Aims of the Program The major in Early Childhood Teaching when completed within the BABEd(Primary) qualifies graduates to teach in both prior-to school and primary educational school settings. The program focuses on developing specialist knowledge of young children's learning and development. Students explore a range of philosophical, theoretical and practical aspects of learning and teaching, which equips them with the professional capacity to respond to the complexity and diversity of children, families and communities in Australian society to plan, implement and evaluate curriculum and learning experiences in the early years. A key component of this major is focussed on the development of leadership and advocacy skills with an emphasis on working collaboratively with families to achieve the best learning outcomes for young children.
Graduate Capabilities

The Graduate Capabilities Framework articulates the fundamentals that underpin all of Macquarie’s academic programs. It expresses these as follows:

Cognitive capabilities
(K) discipline specific knowledge and skills
(T) critical, analytical and integrative thinking
(P) problem solving and research capability
(I) creative and innovative

Interpersonal or social capabilities
(C) effective communication
(E) engaged and ethical local and global citizens
(A) socially and environmentally active and responsible

Personal capabilities
(J) capable of professional and personal judgement and initiative
(L) commitment to continuous learning

Program Learning Outcomes By the end of this program it is anticipated you should be able to:
1. articulate and apply an in-depth, broad and coherent knowledge of discipline content, educational theory and practice relevant to early childhood teaching (K, P, T)
2. critically reflect on and apply a range of evidence-based theories in child development, health and well-being, curriculum, pedagogy, leadership and management to understand children in the contexts of families, schools and communities; (K,T,P)
3. demonstrate authentic relationships with children aged birth to five years and their families to support and guide children's behaviour and engagement in the education and care environment; (C,E,A,J)
4. critically evaluate early childhood curricula documents and policies drawing on knowledge of educational research principles and methods;(K,T,P,C)
5. apply an understanding and respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories, cultures and languages in early childhood teaching to design, implement and differentiate teaching strategies that are responsive to the local community and cultural setting of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children; (K,T,J,I)
6. communicate effectively as ethical, reflective and informed teachers when working with colleagues, children, families, and other stakeholders;(K,C,E,J)
7. demonstrate an understanding of codes of ethics and conduct, initiative, accountability, professional judgment and autonomy when undertaking research, policy development and teaching practice; (K,T,P,C,J)
8.apply professional judgment in relation to the Australian regulatory requirements for early childhood and use the National Quality Framework as a tool for increasing the quality of education and care experiences for children from birth through to the transition to school;(K,C,E,A,J,L)
9. model leadership, management and advocacy skills and act as mentors to other early childhood educators based on knowledge of policy, pedagogy, practice and awareness of external professional associations and community networks. (K,C,E,A,J,L)
Learning and Teaching Methods Approaches to learning and teaching incorporate a range of methods including inquiry, professional practice, discussion, and collaboration. Delivery reflects a blended approach including lectures, tutorials, and online tasks. These methods are designed to develop both knowledge and capabilities in
• integrating theories of child development with contemporary approaches to curriculum and pedagogy,
• understanding theories of children’s learning and relating this to curriculum knowledge,
• working with a diverse range of families,
• understanding and applying the National Quality Framework as a tool for increasing the quality of education and care experiences for all children,
• becoming competent, reflective and ethical professionals, and
• applying knowledge and skills to effective professional experience in early childhood education settings.

Inquiry-led reflective practice experiences inform and enrich the learning that takes place at university. Professional Experience placements are embedded throughout the program, ensuring relevancy and helping you to make connections from theory to real-world practice. The structure and sequencing of units reflects an integrated approach whereby content knowledge and pedagogical practice are addressed and revisited throughout the program supporting your development to effectively link theoretical and content knowledge with pedagogy. This major provides a framework for you to develop knowledge, research skills and confidence to take a leadership role in teaching and advocacy for the education and care of children in early childhood contexts.
Assessment The program includes a range of formative and summative assessment approaches that allow you to demonstrate your developing knowledge and skills related to child development, health and wellbeing, educational theory, curriculum, pedagogy, professional practice, and management and leadership. Assessment tasks vary across units depending on the focus of the unit and the learning outcomes being assessed. Some examples of assessment tasks include:
• essays and reports identifying and critically analysing themes and issues in the professional literature, contemporary research and media
• development of resources for use in teaching practice
• development of resources for families aimed at supporting their children’s learning, development and wellbeing
• planning for learning and teaching in individual and integrated Key Learning Areas • planning and presenting units of work to peers
• observation and analysis of learning in children’s play
• designing, planning and analysing children’s learning environments
• developing pedagogical documentation to provide insight into children’s interaction, dispositions, relationships, learning or behaviour which would not be as apparent through traditional observational or assessment procedures
• reflective portfolio
Recognition of Prior Learning

Macquarie University may recognise prior formal, informal and non-formal learning for the purpose of granting credit towards, or admission into, a program. The recognition of these forms of learning is enabled by the University’s Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Policy (see and its associated Procedures and Guidelines. The RPL pages contain information on how to apply, links to registers, and the approval processes for recognising prior learning for entry or credit.

Information can be found at:

Support for Learning

Macquarie University aspires to be an inclusive and supportive community of learners where all students are given the opportunity to meet their academic and personal goals. The University offers a comprehensive range of free and accessible student support services which include academic advice, counselling and psychological services, advocacy services and welfare advice, careers and employment, disability services and academic skills workshops amongst others. There is also a bulk billing medical service located on campus.

Further information can be found at

Campus Wellbeing contact details:
Phone: +61 2 9850 7497

Program Standards and Quality

The program is subject to an ongoing comprehensive process of quality review in accordance with a pre-determined schedule that complies with the Higher Education Standards Framework. The review is overseen by Macquarie University's peak academic governance body, the Academic Senate and takes into account feedback received from students, staff and external stakeholders.

Assessment Regulations

This program is subject to Macquarie University regulations, including but not limited to those specified in the Assessment Policy, Academic Honesty Policy, the Final Examination Policy and relevant University Rules. For all approved University policies, procedures, guidelines and schedules visit

Inherent requirements are the essential components of a course or program necessary for a student to successfully achieve the core learning outcomes of a course or program. Students must meet the inherent requirements to complete their Macquarie University course or program.

Inherent requirements for Macquarie University programs fall under the following categories:

Physical: The physical inherent requirement is to have the physical capabilities to safely and effectively perform the activities necessary to undertake the learning activities and achieve the learning outcomes of an award.

Cognition: The inherent requirement for cognition is possessing the intellectual, conceptual, integrative and quantitative capabilities to undertake the learning activities and achieve the learning outcomes of an award.

Communication: The inherent requirement for communication is the capacity to communicate information, thoughts and ideas through a variety of mediums and with a range of audiences.

Behavioural: The behavioural inherent requirement is the capacity to sustain appropriate behaviour over the duration of units of study to engage in activities necessary to undertake the learning activities and achieve the learning outcomes of an award.

For more information see

2019 Unit Information

When offered:
S1 Day
Permission of Executive Dean of Faculty
HSC Chinese, CHN113, CHN148