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    Critically evaluates a range of pedagogical approaches to early childhood education, and explores how these approaches influence teachers’ thinking about children’s learning and development in the early years.

    This paper critically evaluates a range of pedagogical approaches to early childhood education, and explores how these approaches influence teachers' thinking about children's learning and development in the early years.

    About this paper

    Paper title Pedagogy in Early Childhood Education
    Subject Education
    EFTS 0.1667
    Points 20 points
    Teaching period Not offered in 2024 (Distance learning)
    Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD ) $1,482.46
    International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
    Limited to
    PGCertEdLn, PGDipEdLn, MEdLn, BA(Hons), PGDipArts, MA(Coursework), MA(Thesis)
    (i)Students outside of the approved programmes, with 54 300-level EDUC points, may be admitted with approval from the Dean of the College of Education. (ii)This paper is normally available in alternate years.
    To successfully complete this paper, students will need either a background in education studies with a focus on early childhood or teaching experience in an early childhood centre.
    Teaching staff

    Professor Alex Gunn

    Paper Structure

    We will consider the following kinds of topics and expect students will bring their own ideas to the curriculum as well:

    • A socio-historical-cultural examination of thinking, scholarship and practice in pedagogy, including students' own theories of pedagogy and of national and international trends
    • Relationships between pedagogy and socio-historical-cultural shifts in thinking about children, childhood, learning, teaching and early childhood education (research and policy based)
    • Research, scholarship and theory of pedagogy
    • Interrelatedness of pedagogy, curriculum, assessment and learning: implications for teachers' practice and children's learning

    There are three assignments, all of which can build on each other. First up will be an annotated bibliography of about 10-15 studies on a topic of student choice related to socio-historical-cultural research and theory around pedagogy. Then an essay on the student identified topic will be prepared (5,000-7,000 words) and followed up with the third assessment, which will be a poster presentation (online) of the inquiry.

    Teaching Arrangements

    This Distance Learning paper is a combination of remote and in-person teaching.

    The paper is offered via distance delivery only; however, face-to-face meetings in person or online will be expected. Online video conferencing with students in other regions will be expected and a schedule of approximately 6 online hui will be negotiated at the start of the course.


    Students will be expected to access required readings via the library and the internet and to source their own relevant readings.

    Graduate Attributes Emphasised
    Critical thinking.
    View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
    Learning Outcomes
    1. Critically analyse, appraise, compare and contrast different theoretical and research perspectives on pedagogy
    2. Critically explain socio-historical-cultural influences on pedagogy, including implications for teachers' practices
    3. Appraise and explain relationships between theories of pedagogy and theories of learning in and for early childhood education


    Not offered in 2024

    Teaching method
    This paper is taught through Distance Learning
    Learning management system
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