EMA305 Thinking and Learning through the Arts in Early Childhood (8)

In this subject the students will gain an authentic understanding of the arts as expressive languages through an exploration of visual art, media art, music, drama, construction and movement. In addition students will gain knowledge of research into the impact of an arts rich curriculum on children's development and learning. They will further develop pedagogical skills and approaches to stimulate children's creativity, encourage play based problem solving and construct opportunities with the children to make their thinking visible. Students will explore a variety of methods to encourage children to communicate their ideas through various modes of expression. Students will critically reflect on the impact their personal experiences and perceptions have on their work with children.

Subject Outlines
Current CSU students can view Subject Outlines for recent sessions. Please note that Subject Outlines and assessment tasks are updated each session.


Session 1 (30)
On Campus
Northern Sydney Institute
Albury-Wodonga Campus
Session 3 (90)
Albury-Wodonga Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: EMA305. Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



One session


School of Teacher Education

Enrolment Restrictions

This subject is restricted to students enrolled in the Bachelor of Education (Birth to Five Years) or as approved by the respective Course Coordinator or Course Director.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • use research into the relationship between an arts rich curriculum and children's holistic development and examples of exemplary practices to inform their curriculum planning in early learning programs;
  • communicate and explore an idea through a variety of art media, music, movement and drama activities in order to gain deeper understanding of how they can be used by children;
  • design environments and use teaching strategies that encourage children to make their thinking visible (e.g. pedagogical documentation);
  • describe and demonstrate the early childhood educator's role in provoking and supporting the children's use of art media, music, drama, and movement as expressive languages;
  • recognise the impact of prior experience and cultural values on their views and practices; and
  • articulate a personal philosophy of the role of creative arts in the curriculum.


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • Research into the arts in early education.
  • ‘The Hundred Languages of Children’: the Reggio Emilia experience.
  • Art media, music, drama, movement and construction as expressive languages.
  • Environments that support creative expression and meaning making through the arts.
  • The role of the early childhood educator in designing enriching contexts and supporting articulate use of materials.
  • Pedagogical documentation of children’s use of art for thinking and learning and communication.
  • The museum as a site for experiencing arts as languages for educators and young children.
  • Critical self reflection on beliefs and practices with regard to the arts in early learning.

Special Resources

For this subject students require a laptop computer and/or appropriate mobile device.


Current Students

For any enquiries about subject selection or course structure please contact Student Central or ask@csu.edu.au or phone on 1800 275 278.

Prospective Students

For further information about Charles Sturt University, or this course offering, please contact info.csu on 1800 275 278 (free call within Australia) or enquire online.

The information contained in the 2018 CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: August 2018. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.