Course Title: Investigating in the Sciences (Early Childhood)

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Investigating in the Sciences (Early Childhood)

Credit Points: 12

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


Bundoora Campus


360H Education


Sem 2 2006,
Sem 2 2007,
Sem 2 2008

Course Coordinator: Sue Elliot

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 7804

Course Coordinator

Course Coordinator Location: 220.04.016

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

For many children, exploration of the world is through curiosity, inquiry and wonder. Such processes are fundamental to the development of scientific thinking and understanding.

This course aims to build pre service teachers’ knowledge of learners as investigators. Through this course, students will explore topics which promote children’s knowledge of mathematics, science, environment and technology, and will examine the potential for motivating learners to guide their own learning and understanding of concepts of the sciences in everyday experiences through an inquiry/investigative approach.

Through this course, students will examine the contribution of ideas that particular mathematicians, scientists and technologists have made in their respective disciplines, and how this has influenced the design of curriculum related to the sciences; the ways in which developments in mathematics, science, environment and technology impact on community understandings; and ways in which mathematics, science, environment and technology have been utilised to improve lifestyle. Scientific knowledge and concepts portrayed through popular culture and mass media will be explored, with such material examined as potential resources for investigations and inquiry.

Through this course pre service teachers will be assisted to develop the knowledge and skills to enable them to nurture learners in natural curiosity as investigators. The course will introduce the concepts in mathematical and science processes. The role of the teacher will be explored and pre service teachers will be introduced to curriculum practices that facilitate mathematics, science, environment and technology understandings in learners.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

Capability linkages

This course prepares pre service teachers to be able to prepare and implement worthwhile learning experiences particularly in investigating aspects of mathematics, science and technology.
Approaches to problem-defining and problem-solving will be transferable to other courses.
Students will develop knowledge enabling them to locate and use up to date resources in these fields. They will be aware of how to use a range of assessment techniques to support learning in maths, science and technology.

This course is a compulsory early childhood curriculum course for pre service teachers wishing to gain a qualification in Early Childhood along with their Primary qualification. It is also a compulsory course in the Graduate Diploma of Early Childhood Teaching and also in the Graduate Diploma of Early Childhood Education

Course capabilities

1. Awareness and Understanding of Self and others: 1.1, 1.3
2. Commitment: 2.1, 2.4
3. Creative Problem-solvers: teaching as inquiry: 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4
4. Lifelong Learners (autonomous): 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 4.5, 4.6
5. Communicative competencies: 5.1, 5.4
6. Critical reflective; 6.1, 6.2
7. Professional Knowledge, Understandings and Applications: 7.4, 7.5, 7.8
8. Commitment to Teaching and Learning: 8.2
9. Articulating and Implementing a Vision and Philosophy of the Profession: 9.4
10. Collaborative Decision-making and Action: 10.5, 10.6
11. Organisation and Implementation: 11.1, 11.3, 11.4, 11.6

On completion of this course, students should demonstrate:

1. a belief in the importance of curricula and pedagogy in the sciences, a keenness to improve their knowledge and skills in the sciences, and a positive and confident attitude towards creating learning experiences for children in which mathematics, science and technology is integrated;

2. an understanding of the sciences and the importance of mathematics, science and technology in the lives of learners;

3. a knowledge of suitable learning experiences and strategies for enhancing children’s development and learning in the sciences, and the capacity to plan, implement and evaluate effective learning experiences in the sciences and to organize appropriate resources;

4. an appreciation of the need for an experiential approach for fostering children’s natural curiosity to enhance the development of concepts in the sciences, and a knowledge of current research in key issues within the sciences

5. an ability to effectively use ICT .

6. an ability to observe and analyse a young child’s learning in the Sciences.

7. an ability to design, create, trial and evaluate a suitable artefact that promotes investigation in the sciences for learners from birth to 5 years old.

Overview of Learning Activities

Campus based classes involving lecture-discussions, peer presentations and/or practical workshops, development of a personal artifact and independent research portfolio. Students will be expected to share their ideas and experiences with others, be actively involved in planning their learning experiences, particularly the nature of their practical experiences, undertake an on-line information search and contribute to continuous quality improvement through informal discussions with staff.

Overview of Learning Resources

Australian Journal of Early Childhood
Australian Research in Early Childhood Education
Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood
Every Child
Young Children
Prime number
Mathematics Teacher
Teaching Children mathematics
Family Matters
Child Care Information Exchange
AECA Research in Practice Series

Early Childhood Australia Inc.
Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood (On-line Journal)
National Association for the Education of Young Children
National Council for the Teaching of Mathematics
Mathematics Association of Victoria
Early Years of Schooling website-Education Victoria
ERIC database
Department of Education and Training

Overview of Assessment

There will be two assessment tasks