EDUC 5261


Course Level


Offered Externally

Note: This offering may or may not be scheduled in every study period. Please refer to the timetable for further details.


Course ID


Unit Value


University-wide elective course


Second Semester
(Study Period 5 & 6)
Course owner

Course owner
UniSA Education Futures

Course aim

To enable students to critically analyse and synthesise a body of research related to human development, learning and thinking, and to understand the application of these theories in educational settings for children and young people from birth-18 years. To support students to develop an integrated understanding of complex social issues and adversities that impact children's and young people’s healthy development, well-being, and education, and provide strategies to support students to identify and effectively respond to such diversities within an educational setting.

Course content

Students will critically analyse of a range of theories and theoretical perspectives which have been developed over time and are encompassed within a constructivist approach to learning. Students will critically analyse, reflect on, compare and contrast, and synthesise key theoretical concepts in Piaget’s Cognitive Development Theory, Vygotsky’s Socio-cultural Theory, Operant-Conditioning and Bandura's Social Cognitive Theory, Social and emotional development; Information Processing Theory, and Bronfenbrenner’s Bio-Ecological Systems Theory. Students will develop an integrated understanding about how theoretical perspectives underpin children and young people’s development and learning including Aboriginal children and children with special needs. Students will critically reflect on theoretical perspectives to apply these established theories to educational practice.

Students will develop specialised knowledge of the complexity of children’s and young people’s social context and the adversity and challenges for children and families living with poverty, parental mental illness, family breakdown, domestic violence, child neglect and/ or abuse and the effects on children’s and young people’s learning and development.

Students will develop and integrate understanding of theoretical perspectives of children’s learning and development and the influences of children's social environments to inform their understanding of how children’s living and learning environments influence their learning and development. These concepts will feed into educational practice as a whole and will inform all other courses in the Master of Teaching program.


Duchesne, S, McMaugh, A & Mackenzie, E 2022, Educational psychology for learning and teaching, 7th edn, Cengage Learning Australia, South Melbourne, Victoria





Teaching method

Component Duration
Lecture 1 hour x 12 sessions
Workshop 2 hours x 12 sessions
Lecture 1 hour x 12 sessions
Workshop 2 hours x 12 sessions
Online (Online activities) 3 hours x 12 sessions

Note: These components may or may not be scheduled in every study period. Please refer to the timetable for further details.


Essay, Project


EFTSL*: 0.125
Commonwealth Supported program (Band 1)
To determine the fee for this course as part of a Commonwealth Supported program, go to:
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Fee-paying program for domestic and international students
International students and students undertaking this course as part of a postgraduate fee paying program must refer to the relevant program home page to determine the cost for undertaking this course.

Non-award enrolment
Non-award tuition fees are set by the university. To determine the cost of this course, go to:
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Not all courses are available on all of the above bases, and students must check to ensure that they are permitted to enrol in a particular course.

* Equivalent Full Time Study Load. Please note: all EFTSL values are published and calculated at ten decimal places. Values are displayed to three decimal places for ease of interpretation.

Course Coordinators

Degrees this course is offered in

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