Contemporary Issues and the Young Child

Subject EDUC90613 (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 1, 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

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 24 hours
Total Time Commitment: 125 hours
Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: Recommended
Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
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.


Dr Kylie Smith


Education Student Centre
Subject Overview: Contemporary international research is calling for the early childhood field and education more broadly, to reconceptualise their understandings of children as innocent and malleable to an image that supports children as sophisticated agentic builders and negotiators of identities. In this subject students will study major issues in how the young child as learner is understood through examining current early childhood research from different disciplinary areas including the new sociology of childhood, socio-cultural theory, developmental theory, linguistics, postmodern and postcolonial theory. Students will negotiate a study program of classes, reading and investigative work to develop an in-depth case study of a major contemporary issue or debate about early childhood identities in the 21st century.

Objectives: On completion of this subject students will be able to:
  • Identify and understand changing historical and contemporary theoretical perspectives on conceptualising childhood;
  • Identify the diverse ways the young child is understood across and within local and international contexts and across and within different theories;
  • Engage with new and multiple theoretical understandings of the young child in order to rethink and respond to contemporary issue;
  • Understand and discuss the intersections of theory and practice (praxis) in working with the young child in early childhood education policy and practice.
Assessment: Assignment requirements are connected to the development of an in-depth case study:
One essay of 1,500 words introducing the major contemporary issue or debate due mid-semester (25%)
One class presentation of case study due last two sessions of subject (equivalent to 1500 words, 25%)
One essay of 2,000 words that further develops case study and response due during the examination period (50%)
Prescribed Texts: Reading booklet will be provided
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 students will be able to:
  • Identify and be familiar with a range of contemporary theories, concepts and strategies for contextualising and exploring the young child and their identities;
  • Through the development of an in-depth case study, enhance their engagement, knowledge and skills in a contemporary issue of the young child today;
  • Enhance their skills of scholarly critique through reading widely in diverse journals and texts;
  • Use knowledge of a wide range of contemporary theories to engage with debates around the young child in contemporary times.

Related Course(s): Master of Education (Stream 100B)Coursework
Master of Education (Stream 150)

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