TEAC 7037 Early Learning Environments

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 102622

Coordinator Katina Dimoulias Opens in new window

Description This subject will support students to develop their philosophy, approach to and practice of teaching within the context of a rapidly changing and dynamic human global culture that has important cultural, social, historical and environmental dimensions. The subject explores theoretical perspectives and approaches, including indigenous perspectives, human/nature theories, socio-cultural considerations, inclusivity and place-based pedagogies that support learning and teaching in the curriculum areas of history, geography, civics and citizenship and sustainability for children in early childhood and primary school settings. Drawing on their understanding of theory students will examine key local and international policies and frameworks around risk, play and pedagogy. Through field and / or virtual visits to early childhood and community settings, students will have an opportunity to evaluate the relationship between physical environments and children’s experience of place and everyday learning. Students will also design, plan and rationalise learning experiences that support children’s investigation, discovery, problem solving and meaning making using man made and natural materials. A strong focus of this subject is for students to develop an understanding and appreciation for learning environments that promote a connection to place and sustainability.

School Education

Discipline Teacher Education: Early Childhood

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 1 10cp

Check your fees via the Fees page.

Level Postgraduate Coursework Level 7 subject


Students must be enrolled in 1783 Master of Teaching (Birth-5 Years/Birth-12 Years) or 1708 Bachelor of Arts (Pathway to Teaching Birth - 5 / Birth -12) or 6017 Diploma in Arts/Bachelor of Arts (Pathway to Teaching Birth-5/Birth-12).

Students in 1708 must have successfully completed 160 credit points before enrolling in this subject.

Students in 6017 must have successfully completed 190 credit points (160 at Level 1 or higher) before enrolling in this subject.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  1. Investigate central concepts, modes of enquiry and a range of pedagogies for teaching history and geography, civics and citizenship and their application for early childhood and primary school settings
  2. Critique key local and global policies and regulatory documents to identify the way in which children and marginalised groups within society and their cultural identity and citizenship is respected and valued.
  3. Discuss the relationship between indigenous perspectives of place, contemporary theories and philosophies of child - nature relationships and sustainability education
  4. Explain the way in which pedagogical approaches support place-based learning and connection in early education and primary school settings
  5. Examine the role and impact that stimulating and engaging physical environments have for the development of the whole child
  6. Analyse the impact of sociocultural and inclusive representations in physical environments on children’s learning experiences
  7. Design and justify learning environments, curriculum and assessment items for children in early education and school settings that draw on theories of place and place pedagogies, child- nature connections and sustainability 
  8. Integrate strategies that support differentiation and inclusivity to meet the diverse needs of children in early childhood and primary school settings

Subject Content

  1. Introduction to theories of children in nature and outdoor learning through play.
  2. Methods for researching inside and outside physical learning environments for and with children, including evaluating relationships between these environments and children’s experiences of place.
  3. Changes to children’s play and learning spaces over time.
  4. Significance of place, space and time as influencing factors on everyday interactions.
  5. Relevant national and international theories and philosophies related to child-nature relationships and sustainability education, including Indigenous perspectives, socio-cultural influences, and place-based pedagogies.
  6. Key global policies and regulations for outdoor learning, play, safety and risk, and inclusive environments that recognise agency, cultural identity, rights and responsibilities. 
  7. Documenting and implementing learning programs through a range of strategies that support place-based pedagogies, sustainability learning, civics and active citizenship, and social sciences in early childhood and primary school contexts.
  8. Planning and designing children’s physical learning spaces that are underpinned by place-based pedagogies, child/nature theories and integrated sustainability learning and play affordances.
  9. Planning and designing curriculum and assessment utilising the NSW History and Geography Syllabi, and curriculum frameworks such as the Early Years Learning Framework for Australia. 

Inherent Requirements

Students must meet the Inherent Requirements for the Master of Teaching (Birth – 5 Years / Birth -12 Years).


The following table summarises the standard assessment tasks for this subject. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated, where there is a difference your Learning Guide takes precedence.

Type Length Percent Threshold Individual/Group Task
Reflection 800 words 20 N Individual
Report 1,800 words 40 N Individual
Portfolio 1,800 words 40 N Individual

Prescribed Texts

  • Green, D., & Price, D. (Eds.). (2019). Making humanities and social sciences come alive. Cambridge University Press.

Teaching Periods

Spring (2023)

Bankstown City


Subject Contact Kumara Ward Opens in new window

View timetable Opens in new window

Parramatta - Victoria Rd


Subject Contact Katina Dimoulias Opens in new window

View timetable Opens in new window