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ECHE2180 – Child Development in the Preschool and Primary School Years

2020 – Session 1, Infrequent attendance, North Ryde

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, any references to assessment tasks and on-campus delivery may no longer be up-to-date on this page.

Students should consult iLearn for revised unit information.

Find out more about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and potential impacts on staff and students

General Information

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Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit convenor and teaching staff Convener and lecturer
Penny Van Bergen
Contact via Email
By appointment
Shirley Wyver
Contact via Email
By appointment
Helen Little
Contact via Email
By appointment
Rebecca Andrews
Contact via Email
By appointment
Emma Sutherland
Contact via Email
By appointment
Iliana Skrebneva
Contact via Email
By appointment
Credit points Credit points
Prerequisites Prerequisites
40cp at 1000 level or above
Corequisites Corequisites
Co-badged status Co-badged status
Unit description Unit description
This unit offers a critical overview of current theory, research and issues in child development from the preschool years through to late middle childhood and puberty. The unit covers the major aspects of children's cognitive, physical and social/emotional development, personality, gender and moral development. The unit also considers the influence of key relationships with siblings and peers for children's development. An understanding of factors that promote and attenuate optimal development and well-being and the unique contribution of child rearing contexts is integrated throughout. In addition, students develop knowledge of strategies for the promotion of good mental health for young children. During the course of the unit, students are encouraged to engage in active interpretation of the material covered and to consider both the implications and practical application in their professional contexts. Particular attention is paid to the implications for prior to school and primary school educators within the contemporary Australian social/cultural context.

Important Academic Dates

Information about important academic dates including deadlines for withdrawing from units are available at https://students.mq.edu.au/important-dates

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:

  • ULO1: Demonstrate a thorough working knowledge of current research, theory and issues in child development.
  • ULO2: Explain the many and varying influences important to the development of a child.
  • ULO3: Understand the whole child by appreciating the links between different areas of development.
  • ULO4: Appreciate cultural, historical and contextual influences on development.
  • ULO5: Appreciate the biological underpinnings of development.
  • ULO6: Examine the role of child development research for informing teaching practice.

Assessment Tasks

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

Assessment details are no longer provided here as a result of changes due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Students should consult iLearn for revised unit information.

Find out more about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and potential impacts on staff and students

General Assessment Information

Further information about each assessment task will be placed on iLearn. Please note the following general guidelines for School of Education units.

Assessment Presentation and Submission Guidelines

  • Allow a left and right-hand margin of at least 2cm in all assignments.
  • Please type all assignments using 12-point font and 1.5 spacing (NB: for your parent booklets, you may choose a different format).
  • All assessments must be submitted through Turnitin in .doc or .pdf format
  • It is the responsibility of the student to ensure that all assessments are successfully submitted through Turnitin.

Draft Submissions & Turnitin Originality Reports

  • If available in your unit, you may use Turnitin’s Originality Report as a learning tool to improve your academic writing.
  • You are strongly encouraged to upload a draft copy of each assessment to Turnitin at least one week prior to the due date to obtain the Originality Report.
  • The Originality Report provides you with a similarity index and shows you where your work overlaps with others. You should make amendments to your draft before your final submission.
  • Generally, one Originality Report is generated every 24 hours up to the due date.

Please note:

  • Students should regularly save a copy of all assignments before submission,
  • Students are responsible for checking that their submission has been successful and has been submitted by the due date and time.

Assignment extensions and late penalties

  • If you experience illness or misadventure resulting in a serious and unavoidable disruption to your assignment preparation, you may be eligible for an extension. Please see here for further rules and guidelines:  https://students.mq.edu.au/study/my-study-program/special-consideration
  • Submit your request for extension to https://ask.mq.edu.au/. Extensions can only be granted if they meet the Special Considerations policy and are submitted via https://ask.mq.edu.au/.
  • Late submissions without extension will receive a penalty of 5% reduction of the total possible mark for each day late (including weekends and public holidays). Submitting just 1 day late could be the difference between passing and failing a unit.
  • Late penalties are applied by unit convenors or their delegates after tasks are assessed.
  • No assessments will be accepted after the return/release of marked work on the same topic. If you have a valid extension, an alternative topic or task may be set.
  • Please keep an electronic file of all assessments (both on your computer/cloud and on USB). Claims regarding "lost" assessments cannot be made if the file cannot be produced. It is also advisable to keep an electronic file of all drafts, and to ensure stored copies are not opened after submission. This way, you will be able to easily demonstrate easily that the assessment has not been amended after the submission date.

Requesting a re-assessment of an assignment

If you have evidence that your task has been incorrectly assessed against the grade descriptors you can request a re-mark. To request a re-mark you need to contact the unit convenor within 7 days of the date of return of the assignment and provide a detailed assessment of your script against the task criteria. Evidence from your assignment must be provided to support your judgements. Failed assessments cannot be re-marked as they are all double-marked as a part of the moderation process.

Please note:

The outcome of a re-mark may be a higher/lower or unchanged grade. Grades are standards referenced and effort is NOT a criterion.


University policy on grading

Criteria for awarding grades for assessment tasks

Assignments will be awarded grades ranging from HD to F according to guidelines set out in the University's Grading Policy. The following descriptive criteria are included for your information.

Descriptive Criteria for awarding grades in the unit

In order to meet the unit outcomes and successfully pass this unit, students must make a genuine attempt at all assessment tasks. Where any submitted assessment task is considered to be unsatisfactory in this regard, the highest possible final grade that can be awarded for the unit will be 45.

Students will be awarded grades ranging from HD to F according to guidelines set out in the policy: https://staff.mq.edu.au/work/strategy-planning-and-governance/university-policies-and-procedures/policies/assessment-in-effect-from-session-2-2016

The following generic grade descriptors provide university-wide standards for awarding final grades.




(High Distinction)

Provides consistent evidence of deep and critical understanding in relation to the learning outcomes. There is substantial originality and insight in identifying, generating and communicating competing arguments, perspectives or problem solving approaches; critical evaluation of problems, their solutions and their implications; creativity in application as appropriate to the discipline.



Provides evidence of integration and evaluation of critical ideas, principles and theories, distinctive insight and ability in applying relevant skills and concepts in relation to learning outcomes. There is demonstration of frequent originality in defining and analysing issues or problems and providing solutions; and the use of means of communication appropriate to the discipline and the audience.



Provides evidence of learning that goes beyond replication of content knowledge or skills relevant to the learning outcomes. There is demonstration of substantial understanding of fundamental concepts in the field of study and the ability to apply these concepts in a variety of contexts; convincing argumentation with appropriate coherent justification; communication of ideas fluently and clearly in terms of the conventions of the discipline.



Provides sufficient evidence of the achievement of learning outcomes. There is demonstration of understanding and application of fundamental concepts of the field of study; routine argumentation with acceptable justification; communication of information and ideas adequately in terms of the conventions of the discipline. The learning attainment is considered satisfactory or adequate or competent or capable in relation to the specified outcomes



Does not provide evidence of attainment of learning outcomes. There is missing or partial or superficial or faulty understanding and application of the fundamental concepts in the field of study; missing, undeveloped, inappropriate or confusing argumentation; incomplete, confusing or lacking communication of ideas in ways that give little attention to the conventions of the discipline.

Note: If you fail a unit with a professional experience component the fail grade will be on your transcript irrespective of the timing of  the placement.


Withdrawing from this UG Unit

If you are considering withdrawing from this unit, please seek academic advice via https://ask.mq.edu.au before doing so as this unit may be a co-requisite or prerequisite for units in the following sessions and may impact on your progression through the degree.


Results shown in iLearn, or released directly by your Unit Convenor, are not confirmed as they are subject to final approval by the University. Once approved, final results will be sent to your student email address and will be made available in eStudent. For more information visit ask.mq.edu.au


Delivery and Resources

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

Any references to on-campus delivery below may no longer be relevant due to COVID-19.

Please check here for updated delivery information: https://ask.mq.edu.au/account/pub/display/unit_status

Before commencing ECHE2180, please read this outline very carefully and ensure that you can meet all requirements, including unit requirements, attendance requirements, and assessment requirements. We are sympathetic that students often have significant domestic and work-related responsibilities. To be fair to our staff and to other students, however, these cannot be used to justify incomplete work or extension requests. Please ensure that you have sufficient time to dedicate to your studies before attempting this unit. Study includes attending or listening to lectures, attending tutorials, completing recommended readings, completing assignments, and using the unit’s iLearn site. Independent study is strongly encouraged in ECHE2180.

Textbook and readings

The prescribed textbooks for this unit is "Looking Forward Through the Lifespan" (Candida Peterson). This book can be purchased directly from Pearson Publishers, https://www.pearson.com.au/9781488611513, and is also used in ECHE1130.

Some weeks also have additional readings and other resources posted on iLearn. These optional readings/resources are not directly examinable but, like the textbook, will likely enhance your understanding of concepts discussed in class.


This unit has a full web presence through iLearn. Students will need regular access to a computer and the Internet to complete this unit. Weekly access to iLearn is compulsory for all students. Important assessment information will be posted there, as will other relevant unit notices, activities, materials, and guides to assist your study. Please check iLearn before emailing questions to your convener or tutor.


Weekly lectures in ECHE2180 are two hours in length. We recommend that you attend in person if you are able to do so (this provides a richer learning experience). If this is not possible, please ensure you have listed to all lectures before your tutorial/OCD. You can do this via the ECHO360 lecture component. PowerPoint slides are available in iLearn in advance of the weekly lecture and/or are available in the Active Learning Tool.


Attendance at tutorials is expected for all students. For internal students, the unit includes a weekly tutorial. For external students, the unit includes On Campus Day attendance across two days. In 2020, these days are Tues 14/4/2020 and Wed 15/4/2020. Whether you are an internal or external student, you must be on time and attend the entire period.

Access and technical assistance

Information for students about access to the online component of this unit is available at ilearn.mq.edu.au/login/MQ/. You will need to enter your student username and password.

Please do NOT contact the Unit Convenor regarding iLearn technical help. 

No extensions will be given for any technical issues. Allow enough time for your submissions. 

Assistance is available from IT Helpdesk ph: 1800 67 4357, or log a request at help.mq.edu.au. OneHelp is the online IT support service for both students and staff.

This unit requires students to use several ICT and software skills:

  • Internet access: The iLearn site contains materials for this unit; it is also required for the online submission of all Assessment Tasks, and for the use of Turnitin submission for ALL tasks. 
  • Word processing, visual representations, and document formatting: You are required to use an appropriate form of software to present your assignments.
  • Uploading of assessment tasks to iLearn.

Policies and Procedures

Macquarie University policies and procedures are accessible from Policy Central (https://staff.mq.edu.au/work/strategy-planning-and-governance/university-policies-and-procedures/policy-central). Students should be aware of the following policies in particular with regard to Learning and Teaching:

Students seeking more policy resources can visit the Student Policy Gateway (https://students.mq.edu.au/support/study/student-policy-gateway). It is your one-stop-shop for the key policies you need to know about throughout your undergraduate student journey.

If you would like to see all the policies relevant to Learning and Teaching visit Policy Central (https://staff.mq.edu.au/work/strategy-planning-and-governance/university-policies-and-procedures/policy-central).

Student Code of Conduct

Macquarie University students have a responsibility to be familiar with the Student Code of Conduct: https://students.mq.edu.au/study/getting-started/student-conduct​


Results published on platform other than eStudent, (eg. iLearn, Coursera etc.) or released directly by your Unit Convenor, are not confirmed as they are subject to final approval by the University. Once approved, final results will be sent to your student email address and will be made available in eStudent. For more information visit ask.mq.edu.au or if you are a Global MBA student contact globalmba.support@mq.edu.au

Procedures for the Macquarie School of Education

Attendance for undergraduate units 

Activities completed during weekly tutorials (internal) or on campus days (external) are essential for building the core knowledge and/or skills required to demonstrate the learning outcomes of this unit and to meet the AITSL Graduate Teacher Standards and/or ACECQA requirements.  

Attendance at all tutorials or on campus days is expected and the roll will be taken. 

 Students are required to attend the tutorial in which they are enrolled. Any changes to tutorial enrolments must be completed officially through e-student. Please do not contact the unit convenor requesting a change.  

Unit Expectations

  • Students are expected to read weekly readings before completing tasks and attending tutorials 

  • Students are expected to listen/attend weekly lectures before completing tasks and attending tutorials 

  • Students are required to make a genuine attempt at all assessment tasks to pass the unit. 

Note: It is not the responsibility of unit staff to contact students who have failed to submit assignments.  If you have any missing items of assessment, it is your responsibility to make contact with the unit convenor.


In a 10 credit-point unit you should expect to commit nine (9) hours of your time per week to your studies.

Electronic Communication

It is the student’s responsibility to check all electronic communication on a regular weekly basis.  Communication may occur via:

  • Official MQ Student Email Address [Note: Please do not email staff from any email account other than your uni email account.] 

  • Other iLearn communication functions 

External Students 

  1. The on-campus sessions on 14 and 15 April 2020 are essential to student engagement and learning, and attendance on all days is expected. Failure to attend, or to have an approved Special Consideration, may result in a Fail grade for the unit. Please see attendance requirements in this unit guide.   

  1. Prior to the on-campus sessions, you should have read the prescribed readings and listened to the lectures. Summarise the main points, and make a note of the key terms and definitions. Prepare any discussion questions of your own that you wish to share. 

  1. Please make effective use of the online component of the unit and access iLearn regularly. Keep up to date with listening to the lectures on a weekly basis. 

Student Support

Macquarie University provides a range of support services for students. For details, visit http://students.mq.edu.au/support/

Learning Skills

Learning Skills (mq.edu.au/learningskills) provides academic writing resources and study strategies to help you improve your marks and take control of your study.

The Library provides online and face to face support to help you find and use relevant information resources. 

Student Enquiry Service

For all student enquiries, visit Student Connect at ask.mq.edu.au

If you are a Global MBA student contact globalmba.support@mq.edu.au

Equity Support

Students with a disability are encouraged to contact the Disability Service who can provide appropriate help with any issues that arise during their studies.

IT Help

For help with University computer systems and technology, visit http://www.mq.edu.au/about_us/offices_and_units/information_technology/help/

When using the University's IT, you must adhere to the Acceptable Use of IT Resources Policy. The policy applies to all who connect to the MQ network including students.