Graduate Diploma in Early Childhood Teaching

What will I study?


In this course you will enhance your abilities to teach across the curriculum from birth through to eight years of age.* You will learn to create teaching and learning built on the image of the child as capable and contributing citizens. Central to this work is building relationships with children, families, communities, and the local place and environment.

With a focus on foregrounding Indigenous Worldviews and sustainability, you will learn to incorporate these ways of knowing, being, and doing into your daily teaching in respectful ways. You will be empowered to promote inclusivity and respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, communities, organisations, and standpoints in early childhood education, and adopt a teaching style where children, families, and teachers are contributors to building sustainable communities.

*You will be qualified to teach children between birth and five years but will study learning and teaching for children aged birth up to eight years.

What you will learn

As a graduate of this course, you will:

  • Be culturally and socially aware (in particular, have the ability to foreground Indigenous Worldviews and engage with sustainability within your teaching practice), and able to establish respectful and ethical relationships with students, staff, families, communities, and the broader school communities, learning ecologies and early childhood settings
  • Embody the standards of the teaching profession and support the development of teaching as a profession
  • Be a practitioner of teaching who views children as capable, using an inclusive, developmental and post-developmental, relational approach through complex learning and teaching strategies.
  • Be creative, innovative, self-directed and life-long learners, with the ability to link theory and practice and respond to a changing educational landscape


You should allow an estimated 10.63 hours per week of study time throughout the eight-week term, equating to a time commitment of 85 hours.

Explore this course

The Graduate Diploma in Early Childhood Teaching requires you to complete 100-credit points of study over one year full time, two years part time or 9 months accelerated study.

Students must complete:

  • 7 compulsory subjects; and
  • 60 days of professional practice, which is incorporated into the subject Professional Pedagogical Practices (P3).
Subject Credit points Subject description
Multimodal Literacies 12.5 This subject focuses on the theories and pedagogies that can be implemented in early childhood learning ecologies to support children’s learning and multimodal literacies (linguistic, spatial, visual, aural, oral, kinesthetic). In contemporary society, the focus and purpose of becoming literate has changed dramatically, mainly as the consequence of new technologies in our everyday lives, both locally and globally. Literacy learning includes communicating our ideas and understandings, and using a wide variety of multimodal texts. Specific emphasis is placed on foregrounding Indigenous Worldviews across literacies as well as understanding the relationship between literacies and building sustainable communities.
The Arts and Creative Pedagogies 12.5 This subject examines learning in and through the arts, including music, drama, dance, and the visual arts, with a focus on aesthetics, symbolic communication and creative pedagogies. Students will investigate how children make meaning through creative inquiry as part of sustainable communities. Students will design, implement and evaluate arts experiences for young children, informed by practical and theoretical studies. Students will develop an informed knowledge of arts-based and culturally sustaining pedagogies that include Indigenous Worldviews and concepts of Country.
Professional Pedagogical Practices (P3) 25 The Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework begins with the cultural knowledge story developed by Dr Sue Atkinson, a Yorta Yorta woman, and Annette Sax, a Taungurung woman, positioning Indigenous knowledges as first in understanding how to practice as early childhood teachers. Using the cultural knowledge articulated through the framework, teacher candidates will engage with the Learning and Development Outcomes, Practice Principles and Transitions as explained through the story descriptions inclusive of Indigenous Worldviews. This subject will focus on understanding the learner including:
  • foregrounding the image of children, families, teachers, and communities as capable and contributing to learning and teaching,
  • interrogating multiple theories and worldviews of child development,
  • creating curriculum that builds relationships with children, families, environment, and local place, and
  • utilising assessments to make visible teaching, learning, listening, care, relationships, and understandings.

This subject will include 60 days of professional placement:

  • 10 days 0‐2 aged children setting
  • 35 days in 3‐5 aged children setting
  • 5 days in primary (Foundation 2) settings
  • 10 days in a community setting (for example, multi‐age playgroup or after-school program).
Leadership, Advocacy, Activism and Ethics 12.5 This subject focuses on understanding advocacy, activism, ethics and leadership through multiple perspectives to further equity and support children’s, families’ and teachers’ participation, voice and agency in early childhood settings. This includes defining the role and contributions of educational leadership, understanding building collaborative partnerships, and leadership in relation to teaching, learning, and advocacy. Additionally, an understanding of human rights theories, principles, documents, frameworks and models will be a focus. Concepts of care will be offered as a way to ethically support the principles of social justice. Topics will include the ethics of care, care of self in relation to teacher wellbeing, and ‘ethics of enough’, that is community-building, connection with place, and creating sustainable environments.
STEM Learning Ecologies 12.5 This subject includes Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) and will connect with Place and Country through STEM learning ecologies. The importance of building strong relationships that invite co-participation of children and adults in creating sustainable communities is promoted. Valuing the importance of responsive and reciprocal relationships that engage with local environments and cultural knowledge stories establishes the foundation for children to feel confident exploring and making meaning of their world. STEM promotes new interdisciplinary ways of solving authentic problems using scientific and mathematical ways of thinking. These create learning ecologies where children acquire the foundational skills for exploratory learning.
Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood 12.5 This subject explores the concepts of global childhoods and contemporary multicultural societies with a focus on Indigenous Worldviews and sustainable communities. This includes engaging with understandings about the past, present and future childhoods, relationships between teachers’ values and beliefs and their pedagogies, and of how culture, beliefs and values shape childhoods through educational policy and practices. Issues in relation to policy, curriculum, quality, pedagogical practices, and assessments will be critically analysed. Contemporary issues around social justice, equity and diversity, and intercultural relationships will be interrogated.
Equity, Diversity and Inclusive Practices 12.5 Learning in Australian early childhood environments requires understanding children’s identities in order to create and foster deep relations of belonging and connection. Exploring, analysing and advocating the image of the child as capable requires a recognition of that children have diverse needs. This subject considers a diverse range of perspectives regarding children with special rights. A critical gaze to Western constructions of rights and the implications for alternative worldviews and experiences will be discussed. Further, working from the belief that all children have rights, this subject invites students to engage with issues of equity, social justice and inclusivity by examining policy and curriculum documents.

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