Policy, Ethics and Professionalism

Subject EDUC90394 (2010)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2010.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2010:

Semester 2, Parkville - 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 total commitment
Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements: Attendance at all classes (tutorial/seminars/practical classes/lectures/labs) is obligatory. Failure to attend 80% of classes will normally result in failure in the subject.


Prof Collette Tayler


Education Student Centre
Subject Overview:

Teacher candidates engage with research-based multi-media case studies of the diverse roles and contexts of the early childhood professional using critical discourse analysis. The case studies focus on the effects of the systemic dimensions of the profession (e.g. regulations, governance, code of ethics, rights of the child, sources of funding, marketing and policy development) for professional discourses, practices and possibilities. International selection of the case studies highlight different approaches to the governance of early childhood services, expose students to contemporary policy debates, and support them as global citizens to evaluate how best to take an ethical and socially just professional stance on those debated within their own local context. The principles of critical discourse analysis are applied to extend on and deepen key dimensions of being critically reflective professionals.

To gain skills in working within a community of practice and researching, analysing and taking a stance within professional debates, students work in small case teams to develop a research-based advocacy case study that examines a contemporary debate (e.g. the effects of increasing corporatism, regulation and professionalism on teacher autonomy) and how it is shaping professional discourses, possibilities, constraints and dilemmas.


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

  • Examine the changing role of early childhood professional as an advocate for children’s rights and social justice for diverse families in diverse contexts.
  • Consolidate their skills as critically reflective professionals capable of creating and sustaining ethical and socially just communities of practice to enhance children’s learning and well-being.
  • Investigate contemporary professional debates (e.g. around the privatisation of early education or the development of nationally mandated curriculum) and articulate a research-based and ethical position on those debates and their implications for socially just teaching and learning in early childhood.
  • Explore, contrast and critique Australian and International research related to early childhood policy development and guidelines for quality teaching and learning.
  • Develop in-depth knowledge about the diverse administrative skills and reporting requirements required to work in a range of positions within a multi-disciplinary and culturally diverse early childhood field.
Assessment: There are 2 assessment tasks:
  • Analysis of a professional case study (equivalent to 2000 words) due mid semester (50%)
  • Presentation and report (equivalent to 2000 words) due end of semester (50%)

Prescribed Texts: None
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 have the knowledge, skills and understanding to enable them to:
  • Be skilled communicators who can effectively articulate and justify their professional practices as ethical and knowledgeable agents of changes;
  • Be flexible and able to adapt their professional roles and responsibilities through knowing how to investigate and learn within changing policy and legislative contexts;
  • Understand how to establish and sustain a professional community of practice with colleagues on the basis of research evidence;
  • Work in multi-disciplinary, culturally diverse teams with skills in cooperation, communication and negotiation;
  • Engage in debate on current and emerging local, national and international polices affecting their professional roles and responsibilities.
  • Have a conscious personal and social values base for critically reflecting on, practicing and innovating as professionals within the early childhood field.

Notes: Attendance at all classes (tutorial/seminars/practical classes/lectures/labs) is obligatory. Failure to attend 80% of classes will normally result in failure in the subject.
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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