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ECHE2200 – Early Years Curriculum and Pedagogy in the Australian Context

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 Unit coordinator
Luke Touhill
Contact via iLearn dialogue
Mia Mia
by appointment
Credit points Credit points
Prerequisites Prerequisites
40cp at 1000 level or above including (ECH113 or ECHE1130)
Corequisites Corequisites
Co-badged status Co-badged status
Unit description Unit description
This unit introduces students to the theoretical and philosophical trends underpinning early childhood pedagogy. Students explore the historical origins of early childhood curriculum and examine the principles and practices that influence contemporary approaches to teaching and learning with young children. Students will be introduced to philosophical principles including equity, diversity, ethics and critical thinking. In addition they will examine issues of professional judgment and curriculum decision making.

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: Understand the historical context and theoretical perspectives that influence contemporary early childhood education and care.
  • ULO2: Identify key characteristics of early childhood teachers and contexts.
  • ULO3: Understand and appreciate self as an early childhood professional, and as a learner.
  • ULO4: Describe contemporary issues surrounding the pedagogy of professional practice.
  • ULO5: Articulate an understanding of curriculum decision making and change.
  • ULO6: Demonstrate increased skills of investigation and the ability to synthesise ideas.
  • ULO7: Use library resources and information technology to enhance learning.

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

Assessment Presentation and Submission Guidelines 

Please follow these guidelines when you submit each assignment: 

  • 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. 

  • 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. 

  • Faculty assignment cover sheets are NOT required. 

Draft Submissions & Turnitin Originality Reports 

  • Students may use Turnitin’s Originality Report as a learning tool to improve their academic writing if this option is made available in the unit. 

  • Students are strongly encouraged to upload a draft copy of each assessment to Turnitin at least one week prior to the due date to obtain an Originality Report. 

  • The Originality Report provides students with a similarity index that may indicate if plagiarism has occurred. Students will be able to make amendments to their drafts prior to their final submission on the due date. 

  • 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 

  • In general, there should be no need for extensions except through illness or misadventure that would be categorised as serious and unavoidable disruption according to the University definition of same, see:  https://students.mq.edu.au/study/my-study-program/special-consideration 

  •  Applications for extensions must be made via AskMQ according to the Special Consideration policy. Extensions can only be granted if they meet the Special Considerations policy and are submitted via https://ask.mq.edu.au/. This will ensure consistency in the consideration of such requests is maintained.  
  • 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). You are reminded that submitting even 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 assessable work will be accepted after the return/release of marked work on the same topic. If a student is still permitted to submit on the basis of unavoidable disruption, an alternative topic may be set.  

  • Students should keep an electronic file of all assessments. 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 the final submission on a USB untouched/unopened after submission. This can be used to 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.  

Note: 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.  

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 this requirement is not met you will be awarded an FA grade with a maximum mark of 45. 

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

In order to ensure clear distinctions between grades, final marks of 49, 64, 74 and 84 will not be used. The following generic grade descriptors provide university-wide standards for awarding final grades. 

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(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


Students must respect the need for sensitivity and confidentiality, and ensure that privacy obligations are met. There should be nothing in assessment submissions that identifies a centre or school. Use pseudonyms for any children or adults referred to in the assignment. Do not record details that enable identification of a site, or of children or adults. 

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

Attendance for undergraduate units

In Session 1, 2020 this unit is only offered as an external unit. All lectures will be available via the unit iLearn site. There will be 2 on-campus days for this unit on Tuesday  and Wednesday 21st & 22nd April. 

Activities completed during on campus days 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  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 and listen to lectures before completing tasks and attending the on-campus sessions

  • In order to be eligible for a passing grade, students must meet the following attendance requirements: 

    External Students: Participate in all on-campus sessions – punctuality is expected. 

  • All assessment tasks must be submitted

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.

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

  • The Dialogue function on iLearn

  • Other iLearn communication functions

School of Education Relevant Documents 

The information in this Unit Guide must be read in conjunction with the following documents available for download from iLearn: 

* Academic Honesty Handbook 

* Unit Reading & Assessment Guides


Unit Texts

The following texts are required for this unit:

McLachlan, C., Fleer, M., & Edwards, S. (2018). Early childhood curriculum: Planning, assessment & implementation. Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press

Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations. (2010). Educators’ guide to the early years learning framework. Retrieved from http://docs.education.gov.au/system/files/doc/other/educators_guide_to_the_early_yea rs_learning_framework_for_australia.pdf

Department of Education, Employment & Workplace Relations. (2009). Belonging, being & becoming. The Early Years Learning Framework for Australia. Canberra, ACT: Commonwealth of Australia. Retrieved from http://docs.education.gov.au/system/files/doc/other/belonging_being_and_becoming_t he_early_years_learning_framework_for_australia.pdf

Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority. (2011). Guide to the National Quality Standards. Retrieved from http://files.acecqa.gov.au/files/National-Quality-Framework- Resources-Kit/NQF03-Guide-to-NQS-130902.pdf

It is also expected that you will use the following referencing guide in preparing written assignments:

Perrin, R. (2016). Pocket guide to APA style (6th ed.). Boston: Cengage Learning.

Required Readings: 

There are required readings each week. These are listed on iLearn. 

Students will access additional required readings from the library e-reserve or the unit ILearn page.



Timetable for ECH 435

Lectures:        All lectures are pre-recorded and available via ECHO on the unit iLearn site

On-campus Sessions:        Tuesday 21st and Wednesday 22nd April (please check iLearn closer to the date for full details) 

All students are expected to have listened to the relevant weekly lectures and completed all assigned readings BEFORE attending the on-campus sessions.  

Time and room details for the on campus sessions will be posted on the Unit iLean page closer to the on-campus dates. Sessions run at the on-campus day will provide external students with the opportunity to clarify and discuss unit content. They are essential to student engagement and learning and attendance on both days is expected. Failure to attend, or to have an approved Special Consideration Request for non-attendance, may result in a Fail grade for the unit.  


The unit iLearn page contains links to all of the lectures and readings required for this unit. In addition a discussion forum is provided. Internal and external students are expected to access the discussion forum for peer interaction, support and general questions directed to the unit coordinator. The unit coordinator will monitor the website regularly but the discussion board is essentially provided for students to talk with each other.  The logon for the web site can be found at: https://ilearn.mq.edu.au/login/MQ/

Ilearn is used to communicate general announcements and provide a forum for discussion about unit content.  All students are expected to visit this site regularly (at least once each week) to keep up to date with announcements and postings, and to communicate with peers enrolled in this unit. It is expected that all postings made on iLearn will relate to the Unit and will be done respectfully and constructively. 

Unit Schedule

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

The unit schedule/topics and any references to on-campus delivery below may no longer be relevant due to COVID-19. Please consult iLearn for latest details, and check here for updated delivery information: https://ask.mq.edu.au/account/pub/display/unit_status

The unit is broken into four  modules, each of which consider key aspects of early childhood education, curriculum and pedagogy. A more detailed unit schedule, with weekly topics and readings will be available on iLearn. 


Module 1: 


Key Ideas in Early Childhood Education 

  • Brief overview of historical background to early childhood education and key ideas underpinning contemporary thinking
  • Introduction to the NQF and EYLF 
  • Defining pedagogy and curriculum 


Module 2: 


The Early Years Learning Framework

  • Unpacking the Principles, Practices and Learning Outcomes
  • How they work together throughout curriculum pedagogy
  • Examining sustainability practices in early childhood settings


Module 3:  


Early Childhood Curriculum and pedagogy

  • Considering the elements of curriculum design (including interactions, experiences, environments, routines)
  • Unpacking pedagogy (including relationships, contexts, theoretical perspectives)


Module  4: 


Documenting, planning and assessing within the NQF

  • Explanation of key legislation and other documents (including the Law, Regulations, NQS and EYLF)
  • Planning for learning, tracking children’s progress against the learning outcomes
  • Contemporary approaches to documentation and planning for learning

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


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) 
  • The Dialogue Function on iLearn
  • Other iLearn communication functions

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.

Changes since First Published

Date Description
12/02/2020 Addition of assessment due dates and timetable information