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EDAR504 The Arts Curriculum , EDAR560 The Arts Curriculum and Pedagogy (B-12)

Unit rationale, description and aim

Teachers must be equipped with knowledge and skills in The Arts disciplines and pedagogy in order to provide learning experiences for children.

This unit is designed to provide pre-service teachers with a critical pedagogical and theoretical knowledge and understanding of curriculum practice in Arts education in diverse primary classrooms. Consideration is given to how Arts curriculum is shaped by broader educational policies and how the Arts make a unique inclusive contribution to the education of all students. Unit content includes the study of Australian Curriculum: The Arts, and other state/jurisdictional documents and resources, in Dance, Drama, Media Arts, Music, Visual Arts. Pre-service teachers will consider their own role in Arts making as artists and as pedagogues by participating in Arts based experiences in the university classroom. Through understanding how Arts knowledge is represented in curricula and Arts practices in broader society, pre-service teachers will create authentic activities and resources of contemporary relevance to support inclusive, ethical Arts learning in the 21st century primary classroom. 

This unit will challenge students to investigate and reflect on how to plan and implement culturally responsive Arts experiences in the primary classroom for diverse student needs, including those of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students. 

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

Learning Outcome NumberLearning Outcome DescriptionRelevant Graduate Capabilities
LO1Outline a broad knowledge and understanding of the concepts, substance and structure of the Arts as distinct forms, of their place in communities and within the Australian Curriculum and relevant state-based documents (APST 2.1, 6.2)GC1, GC3, GC11
LO2Combine knowledge of distinct Arts pedagogies, theoretical foundations and assessment strategies to describe how children engage in, through and about the Arts in the F-6 classroom. (APST 1.2, 2.1, 5.1)GC1, GC3, GC7, GC11
LO3Evaluate a range of resources, including digital resources, for engaging diverse students in their learning in Arts education (APST 1.3, 1.5, 2.1, 2.2, 2.6, 3.4, 4.5)GC1, GC3, GC7, GC9, GC10, GC11
LO4Apply current theories and pedagogy to design and implement learning sequences employing a range of teaching strategies that engage and respond to the needs of diverse learners and respects the cultural heritage of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander learners (APST 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 2.5, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.6, 4.1, 4.2, 5.1)GC1, GC2, GC3, GC5, GC7, GC9, GC11


On successful completion of this unit, pre-service teachers should be able to:

1.2 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of research into how students learn and the implications for teaching.

1.3 Demonstrate knowledge of teaching strategies that are responsive to the learning strengths and needs of students from diverse linguistic, cultural, religious and socioeconomic backgrounds.

1.4 Demonstrate broad knowledge and understanding of the impact of culture, cultural identity and linguistic background on the education of students from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander backgrounds.

1.5 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of strategies for differentiating teaching to meet the specific learning needs of students across the full range of abilities.

2.1 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the concepts, substance and structure of the content and teaching strategies of the teaching area.

2.2 Organise content into an effective learning and teaching sequence.

2.3 Use curriculum, assessment and reporting knowledge to design learning sequences and lesson plans.

2.4 Demonstrate broad knowledge of, understanding of, and respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories, cultures and languages.

2.5 Know and understand literacy and numeracy teaching strategies and their application in teaching areas.

2.6 Implement teaching strategies for using ICT to expand curriculum learning opportunities for students.

3.1 Set learning goals that provide achievable challenges for students of varying abilities and characteristics.

3.2 Plan lesson sequences using knowledge of student learning, content and effective teaching strategies.

3.3 Include a range of teaching strategies.

3.4 Demonstrate knowledge of a range of resources, including ICT, that engage students in their learning.

3.6 Demonstrate broad knowledge of strategies that can be used to evaluate teaching programs to improve student learning.

4.1 Identify strategies to support inclusive student participation and engagement in classroom activities.

4.2 Demonstrate the capacity to organise classroom activities and provide clear directions.

4.5 Demonstrate an understanding of the relevant issues and the strategies available to support the safe, responsible and ethical use of ICT in learning and teaching.

5.1 Demonstrate understanding of assessment strategies, including informal and formal, diagnostic, formative and summative approaches to assess student learning.

6.2 Understand the relevant and appropriate sources of professional learning for teachers.


Following an introduction to The Arts as an area of study in the curriculum, The Arts disciplines will be investigated as distinct subject areas. Subject-specific investigations may consider ways to integrate The Arts into the primary classroom.

Introduction to Arts education

  • Theoretical and pedagogical perspectives of Arts education
  • An overview of the various disciplines comprising the key learning area ‘The Arts’
  • The role of the Arts in society and the relationships between artist, audience, artistic output and society
  • The Arts’ contribution to learning
  • Curriculum / learning framework policy implementation in The Arts

The Arts disciplines

  • An introduction to the concepts, elements, and practices of each distinct Arts discipline
  • Curriculum structure and practices of making and responding in each Arts discipline
  • Educational Arts research in the 21st century
  • Strategies for facilitating learning in and through the Arts, including play-based pedagogies, creative and collaborative exploration, and acknowledging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples’ ways of knowing
  • Planning, implementing and evaluating learning experiences in each art form
  • Strategies for differentiating teaching to meet the strengths and needs of diverse learners
  • Appropriate resources, including art outputs from diverse cultures, ICTs, which engage learners in The Arts
  • The integration of ethically resourced information and communication technologies in The Arts
  • Literacy and Numeracy strategies and their application in The Arts
  • An overview of assessment strategies
  • Relevant sources of professional learning for teachers in The Arts

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

In this unit, pre-service teachers will have the opportunity to experience Arts education in action. Through engagement in and reflection on authentic Arts making and responding activities, they will build knowledge and skills in The Arts.

Through application of the above, pre-service teachers will build their knowledge of the Arts curriculum and Arts-specific pedagogy, developing the ability to work autonomously, and locate, organise and synthesise information through undertaking planning tasks. The ability to work collaboratively will be developed through designing teaching and learning activities, culminating in presentations to the class and/or an audience. Reflective practice will be promoted through critical reflection on these learning experiences.

The learning and teaching and assessment strategies include a range of approaches to support learning such as reading, reflection, discussion, webinars, podcasts, video etc. Participants will be involved in a variety of learning and teaching strategies including:

  • face-to-face lectures and/or online lectures (synchronous and asynchronous)
  • professional readings for both independent and collaborative tutorial work
  • practical tutorials including Arts making and responding activities
  • individual and collaborative learning opportunities

This is a 10-credit point unit and has been designed to ensure that the time needed to complete the required volume of learning to the requisite standard is approximately 150 hours in total across the semester. To achieve a passing standard in this unit, students will find it helpful to engage in the full range of learning activities and assessments utilised in this unit, as described in the learning and teaching strategy and the assessment strategy. 

Technology Enhanced Learning

The unit will include a Canvas site with resources and online links, announcements, and a discussion board to post questions and reflections that promote connection between on campus content and school practices. It may include:

  • Lecture and tutorial notes/guides
  • Webinars, podcasts, videos
  • Reviews/quizzes
  • Discussion board to exchange ideas and refine learning.
  • Focussed readings addressing a wide spectrum of Arts education and practices.

Lectures will be recorded for this unit and available to students for reflection and extended study. Pre-service teachers will be able to access recorded lectures through the Canvas site.

Face-to-face/Online Learning support

Students enrolled in both face to face and online learning modes are required to regularly log into the Canvas to access recorded lectures and important announcements, to communicate with other students and lecturers, and to submit assessment and access feedback and grades. Students who are enrolled in either face to face or online learning will have equal access to support from the lecturer in charge and tutors.

Additional equipment requirements for online learning:

  • Reliable broadband access is recommended.
  • Headset with microphone to listen to podcasts, view videos and interact in synchronous classes.

Assessment strategy and rationale

A range of assessment procedures are designed to allow pre-service teachers to progressively demonstrate achievement of the unit learning outcomes and to develop graduate attributes consistent with University assessment requirements. Assessment tasks will address the full range of Arts subjects offered in the various jurisdictions and comprise two assessments.

Assessments in this unit engage pre-service teachers in practical tasks that mimic the ‘real-world’ of schools. The ability to design learning and teaching sequences, and capacity to think analytically and work autonomously, will be developed through undertaking individual and shared tasks. Arts skills will be developed through preparing special interest tasks and sharing these with peers. Reflective practice is encouraged through critical reflection on these learning activities.

Minimum Achievement Standards

The assessment tasks and their weighting for this unit are designed to demonstrate achievement of each learning outcome. In order to pass this unit, students are required to submit all assessment tasks, representing all Arts disciplines, to meet the learning outcomes of the unit. In addition, they must attain a Pass in Assessment 2 and achieve a minimum overall passing grade of 50%.

Electronic Submission, Marking and Return

Assessment task submission and return of marked assessment will be done through Turnitin on the Learning Management System. Tasks will be marked and returned three weeks after the assessment is completed.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning Outcomes

Assessment Task 1

Write an outline of the content and structure of the Australian Primary Creative Arts Curriculum, including an overview of the content and the relationship between the inter-related strands of Making and Responding. Include a rationale for the Arts in children’s education.

 Must demonstrate:

  • Knowledge and understanding of the constructs of the Arts curriculum
  • Critical reflection on the importance of The Arts in children’s education, incorporating current literature.


LO1, LO2

Assessment Task 2 – The Arts Making/Practice

Select one of the following, focussing on 2-3 Arts disciplines:

  • Design an Educational Resource Kit that develops areas of the Arts – making – for implementation for a specific stage level of an F-6 classroom.
  • Develop an Arts Practice journal, based on university workshop experiences.
  • Collaboratively develop and present an Arts making product relevant to the F-6 curriculum.
  • Collaboratively present/teach an Arts learning activity to your peers.
  • <


LO1, LO2, LO3

Assessment Task 3

Sequence of Learning Activities

(NB: must select different Arts disciplines to Task 1, to ensure all disciplines are assessed).

 Develop a sequence of learning activities in two or three of the Arts disciplines studied, for an F-6 class. The sequence must demonstrate knowledge, understanding, analysis and synthesis of:

  • The concepts and structure of the chosen discipline(s) and their Primary school curricula;
  • Learning in the Arts;
  • A range of pedagogies and teaching strategies appropriate to the Arts;
  • Effective sequencing for developing skills and conceptual understanding in the Arts;
  • Appropriate resources, including ICT, to engage learners in the Arts;
  • Differentiation strategies to meet the needs of diverse learners;
  • A range of assessment strategies for supporting diverse learning in the Arts and guide further teaching and learning.
  • <


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4

Representative texts and references

Arts Curriculum Documents - various state/territory and national authorities

Russell-Bowie, D. (2015). MMADD about the arts! An introduction to primary arts education (4th ed.). Pearson Australia. 

Other Arts references

Australia Council for the Arts. (2012). Protocols for producing Indigenous Australian music (2012). (2nd ed.). The Australia Council for the Arts.

Dinham, J., & Chalk, B. (2018). It's arts play: Young children belonging, being and becoming through the arts. Oxford University Press.

Dinham, J. (2019). Delivering authentic arts education: Visual arts, drama, music, dance, media (4th ed.). Cengage Learning.

Roy, D., Baker, W., & Hamilton, A. (2019). Teaching and the arts: Early childhood and primary education (3rd ed.). Cambridge University Press.

Sinclair, C., Jeanneret, N., & O'Toole, J. (2017). Education in the arts (3rd ed.). Oxford University Press Australia.

Further references

Daubney, A. (2017). Teaching primary music. Sage Publications.

Poston-Anderson, B. (2012). Drama: Learning connections in primary schools (2nd ed.). Oxford University Press.

Rank, K. (2014). Teaching primary dance : A primer for generalist primary teachers. Education Services Australia.

Scarratt, E., & Davidson, J. (2012). The media teacher's handbook. Routledge.

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