Complexity and Diversity in Development

Subject 460-519 (2008)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2008.Search for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.500
Level: Graduate/Postgraduate
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2008:

Semester 1, - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Parkville, On Campus

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 36 hours
Total Time Commitment: 125 hours
Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Karina Davis
Subject Overview: This subject engages teacher candidates in contemporary issues, questions and debates on human development from which an understanding of the complexity and diversity of children’s development is based. Candidates will employ various paradigms through which children can be understood, to deepen their appreciation of individual children and childhood and the need for context-sensitive, equity-based approaches in teaching and learning. The complex interconnecting influences of biology, genetics, relationship experiences, family, society and cultures are explored. Topics include an analysis of examples from scientific research (e.g. genetics and environment studies of early brain development, language acquisition, agency, attachment and social development) which illustrate the significance of the early years of life to children’s long term outcomes. The place of identity, resilience, motivation and social engagement in effective play and learning is highlighted.
Assessment: There are 2 assessment tasks: A group presentation at a Professional Practice Seminar and written summary (equivalent to 2000 words) due as scheduled (50%) A written assignment (2000 words) due end of semester
Prescribed Texts: Collection of readings.
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

On completion of this subject teacher candidates will be able to:

  • Engage with issues, theories, questions and current frameworks that characterise the complexity and diversity in human development
  • Investigate different paradigms through which children are understood
  • Realise the complex interconnecting influences of biology, genetics, relationships, family, society and cultures on development, and from this explain the need for context sensitive, analytical and equity–based approaches in teaching and learning
  • Develop case studies that illustrate the significance of the early years for current and subsequent development and highlight ways that adults can enhance children’s early development and learning
  • Be able to identify ways in which knowledge of developmental processes can be applied to early educational contexts to promote resilience and optimize positive learning outcomes for all children.

On completion of this subject teacher candidates will be able to:

  • Describe human development in terms of complexity and diversity and identify examples of the paradigmatic lenses through which children’s development can be understood
  • Articulate an informed position regarding the cutting-edge issues, theories, principles, debates and frameworks that characterise current understandings of child development and how these have application in early educational contexts
  • Discuss with authority the complex interconnecting influences of biology, genetics, relationships, family, society and cultures on development, and from this, the importance of a context and equity -based, global understanding of development
  • Understand the significance of the early years; the centrality of social and emotional wellbeing, motivation and engagement to optimal learning; and of the connectedness and interrelationship between all domains of development – physical, cognitive, symbolic, intellectual, social-emotional and spiritual.
Related Course(s): Master of Teaching (Early Childhood)
Master of Teaching (Early Childhood)
Master of Teaching (Early Years)
Master of Teaching (Early Years)

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