ECED 405: Foundations of Curriculum and Instruction in Early Childhood Education

Course Outline (Online 3.0 credits)


Assignment 1: Weekly responses to questions about course topics and assigned readings

Assignment 2: Write a learning story and planning learning experiences for young children

Assignment 3: Research paper of an early childhood topic or issue

This course is eligible for Credit/D/Fail grading. To determine whether you can take this course for Credit/D/Fail grading, visit the Credit/D/Fail website. You must register in the course before you can select the Credit/D/Fail grading option.


This online course engages students in exploring a range of theoretical perspectives underpinning learning and teaching in early childhood contexts, focusing on children between 3-8 years. Historical, philosophical and cultural roots of contemporary early childhood programs will be surveyed. Issues, trends and debates that impact early childhood education will be discussed. Consideration will be given to the pedagogical principles involved in the development of educational experiences for young children including the relationship between the physical, social-emotional, creative, imaginative and intellectual aspects of learning; while paying attention to and valuing the multiple ways in which young children express their ideas, knowledge and understandings of themselves and the world around them. In addition, the course will explore notions of integrated and responsive ECE curricular frameworks which position the teacher as a researcher, who collaborates with children and families to co-construct learning and knowledge.

ECED 405 is a core course for the Diploma in Education – Early Years Education through the Faculty of Education. It is a core course for the Certificate in Educating Young Children, Enhancing Early Learning Certificate, and the Kindergarten Instruction Certificate.


  • To gain knowledge about the major curriculum approaches and issues in early childhood programs.
  • To define, clarify and examine important concepts relevant to curriculum and instruction in early childhood education.
  • To identify and evaluate underlying theoretical frameworks in early childhood curriculum.
  • To compare and contrast various ECE curriculum models and approaches.
  • To consider how subject areas and developmental domains are addressed in early childhood/primary programs.
  • To integrate information from discussions forums and readings with personal perspectives on classroom practices.
  • To develop curriculum plans for early childhood/primary classrooms based on theory, research and examination of approaches and models of early childhood curricula.


Week 1: Early Childhood Education Curriculum – Roots and Tensions
Week 2: The Evolution of Developmental and Learning Theories in ECE
Week 3: Contemporary Approaches to ECE Curriculum
Week 4: Contemporary Approaches in ECE (Part 2)
Week 5: How Observation and Documentation Inform Curriculum and Practice
Week 6: Who is the Young Child?
Week 7: The Centrality of Play in ECE Theory and Practice
Week 8: Creating Environments
Week 9: Literacy Rich Environment
Week 10: Children as Scientists and Mathematical Thinkers
Week 11: Investigating the World through Art and Creative Explorations
Week 12: Contemporary Childhoods: Diversity and Ecological Engagement in ECE
Week 13: Social, Emotional, Moral, and Spiritual Development


This is an online course offered on Canvas – Students are required to have a computer, access to the Internet, and a Campus Wide Login ID and password to access the course website.

There is no textbook required. Readings are provided online through the Library Course Reserves.


Your EZproxy connection will allow you to access library resources from your computer on or off campus. For more information, go to


Telephone: 604.822.2013, or toll-free in North America: 1.888.492.1122

Latest Revision on: March 29, 2022