Credit points


Campus offering

Find out more about study modes.

Unit offerings may be subject to minimum enrolment numbers.

Please select your preferred campus.

  • Term Mode
  • Semester 1Multi-mode
  • Term Mode
  • Semester 1Multi-mode
  • Semester 2Multi-mode
  • Term Mode
  • Semester 1Multi-mode
  • Semester 2Multi-mode
  • Term Mode
  • Semester 1Multi-mode
  • Term Mode
  • Semester 1Multi-mode
  • Semester 2Multi-mode
  • Term Mode
  • Semester 1Multi-mode
  • Semester 2Multi-mode
  • Term Mode
  • Semester 1Online Scheduled
  • Semester 2Online Scheduled
  • ACU Term 1Online Unscheduled
  • ACU Term 3Online Unscheduled
  • Term Mode
  • Semester 1Multi-mode
  • Semester 2Multi-mode, Multi-mode Indigenous


EDES100 Understanding Learning and Teaching OR EDES103 Understanding Learners and Their Contexts


EDFX241 Education Studies and Professional Experience 1: Becoming a Teacher , EDFX271 Creating Inclusive, Safe and Supportive Learning Environment

Unit rationale, description and aim

Includes: 15 days placement in an educational setting

Teaching is a multi-faceted profession and teachers need to have an understanding of the complexities of the teacher’s role in order to inform their teaching practice and meet the challenges of teaching in a rapidly changing world.

Becoming a Teacher is the first unit in the Effective Teaching sequence. It explores the evolving aims and structures of education and the consequent changing nature of teachers' work. Though engagement with education literature and policy documents, pre-service teachers will develop knowledge of the ethical, legal and professional responsibilities of teachers and understanding of the challenges of teaching in a contemporary world characterised by rapid advances in technologies, and increased diversity of student populations. Effective teaching strategies and the skills of communication in education contexts will be observed, practised, and critiqued. Pre-service teachers will have opportunities to observe and critically reflect on educational contexts and to practise and apply introductory teaching skills through undertaking a professional experience placement.

The aim of this unit is to enable pre-service teachers to develop their understanding of the role of teachers in the 21st century, and to develop their initial philosophy of teaching and their teaching skills.

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
LO1Describe the diverse characteristics of Australian educational settings and Australian learners and demonstrate an understanding of the complexities of the teacher’s roleGC1, GC2
LO2Identify and comply with legal and ethical requirements of teachers, and describe and apply policies and strategies for providing safe and supportive environments for children and young peopleGC1, GC2
LO3Apply introductory knowledge of curriculum, communication and teaching strategies to organise content and design and implement learning activities to engage learnersGC1, GC2
LO4Complete a successful professional experience in an educational setting engaging in critical reflection and responding to feedback from colleagues and supervisors to improve teaching practiceGC1, GC2, GC3, GC4

ACECQA Curriculum Specifications

In connection to the learning outcomes, on successful completion of this unit, pre-service teachers should have developed the following industry specific knowledge based on the Australian Children's Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) standards:

Industry StandardRelating toRelevant Learning Outcome

Child health, wellbeing and safety

LO2, LO4

The Australian curriculum

LO3, LO4

Teaching methods and strategies

LO3, LO4

Historical and comparative perspectives


Ethics and professional practice

LO2, LO4

Professional identity and development

LO1, LO4

Australian Professional Standards for Teachers - Graduate Level

In connection to the learning outcomes, on successful completion of this unit, pre-service teachers should have developed the following industry specific knowledge based on the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers - Graduate Level standards:

Industry StandardRelating toRelevant Learning Outcome
APST(GA)1.1Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of physical, social and intellectual development and characteristics of students and how these may affect learning.LO1, LO3
APST(GA)1.2Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of research into how students learn and the implications for teaching.LO3
APST(GA)1.3Demonstrate knowledge of teaching strategies that are responsive to the learning strengths and needs of students from diverse linguistic, cultural, religious and socioeconomic backgroundsLO4
APST(GA)2.1Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the concepts, substance and structure of the content and teaching strategies of the teaching area.LO4
APST(GA)2.2Organise content into an effective learning and teaching sequence.LO3, LO4
APST(GA)2.3Use curriculum, assessment and reporting knowledge to design learning sequences and lesson plans.LO3, LO4
APST(GA)3.1Set learning goals that provide achievable challenges for students of varying abilities and characteristics.LO3, LO4
APST(GA)3.2Plan lesson sequences using knowledge of student learning, content and effective teaching strategies.LO3, LO4
APST(GA)3.3Include a range of teaching strategies.LO3, LO4
APST(GA)3.4Demonstrate knowledge of a range of resources, including ICT, that engage students in their learning.LO3, LO4
APST(GA)3.5Demonstrate a range of verbal and non-verbal communication strategies to support student engagement.LO2, LO4
APST(GA)4.2Demonstrate the capacity to organise classroom activities and provide clear directions.LO2, LO4
APST(GA)4.4Describe strategies that support students’ wellbeing and safety working within school and/or system, curriculum and legislative requirements.LO2, LO4
APST(GA)4.5Demonstrate an understanding of the relevant issues and the strategies available to support the safe, responsible and ethical use of ICT in learning and teaching.LO2, LO4
APST(GA)5.1Demonstrate understanding of assessment strategies, including informal and formal, diagnostic, formative and summative approaches to assess student learning.LO3, LO4
APST(GA)5.2Demonstrate an understanding of the purpose of providing timely and appropriate feedback to students about their learning.LO4
APST(GA)6.1Demonstrate an understanding of the role of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers in identifying professional learning needs.LO4
APST(GA)6.3Seek and apply constructive feedback from supervisors and teachers to improve teaching practices.LO4
APST(GA)7.1Understand and apply the key principles described in codes of ethics and conduct for the teaching profession.LO2, LO4
APST(GA)7.2Understand the relevant legislative, administrative and organisational policies and processes required for teachers according to school stage.LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4


Topics will include:

The profession of teaching:

  • The history of schooling in Australia: its aims and purposes, the consequent changing nature of the teacher’s role and the complexities of the teacher’s role in Australia in the 21st Century
  • Australian Professional Standards for Teachers; organisational policies and processes; principles and codes of ethics and conduct; legal and professional responsibilities including Duty of Care, Child Protection and Mandatory reporting
  • Developing a personal philosophy of teaching

Professional communication in educational contexts:

  • Characteristics of effective teachers: teacher persona and voice,
  • Teacher behaviours to promote positive engagement - setting achievable and challenging learning goals, giving clear directions, with-it-ness (whole class awareness); attention-getting moves, establishing rules.
  • Building positive, safe and supportive learning environments, getting to know your learners, appropriate teacher-student communication

Introduction to teaching strategies:

  • Explicit strategies such as demonstrating and explaining
  • Strategies for teaching small groups
  • Introduction to technology and teaching: multi-modal communication

Introduction to planning:

  • The structure of Australian schooling and curriculum: stages of education and authorities (Federal, State, Catholic, Independent, and home schooling)
  • Setting clear and appropriate learning goals
  • Planning and implementing learning activities linked to curriculum content and learning outcomes
  • Formal and informal assessment strategies and strategies for providing appropriate feedback

The Professional Experience:

  • Teacher self-care: physical and mental wellbeing and building resilience
  • Observation, reflection and applying constructive feedback as strategies that guide professional learning and growth
  • This unit includes a mandatory module on working with children and young people that focuses on responding to concerns and strategies to keep ourselves and others safe and support children, young people and vulnerable adults.

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

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. This includes direct teaching, reading and preparation of assessments, and a professional experience placement.

This unit applies a social constructivist approach to develop pre-service teachers’ understanding of the complexities of the teacher’s role through engagement in readings, class discussions and group activities. The skills of professional communication and the ability to work collaboratively are developed through practical tasks in tutorials, culminating in group presentations. This provides opportunities for pre-service teachers to build their skills of verbal, written and multi-media communication, and to build their confidence in presenting to groups, in a safe and supportive environment prior to applying these skills in a relevant educational setting. Knowledge of curriculum and teaching strategies and planning skills are introduced and developed through designing learning experiences and lesson plans appropriate for the educational context. The placement enables pre-service teachers to observe and engage with experienced practitioners and to make links between theory and its application to the learning environment.

The unit is hosted on a Learning Management System (LMS) site with resources and online links, announcements, and a discussion board to post questions and reflections that promote connection between content and educational experiences.

Mode of delivery: This unit may be offered in different modes to cater to the learning needs and preferences of a range of participants.


Learning activities are delivered through a planned mix of online and in-person classes, which may include full-day sessions and/or placements, to enable interaction. Activities that require attendance will appear in a student’s timetable.

Online unscheduled

Learning activities are accessible anytime, anywhere. These units are normally delivered fully online and will not appear in a student’s timetable. 

Online scheduled

All learning activities are held online, at scheduled times, and will require some attendance to enable online interaction. Activities will appear in a student’s timetable.

ACU Online 

In ACU Online mode, this unit is delivered asynchronously, fully online using an active, guided learning approach. Pre-service teachers are encouraged to contribute to asynchronous weekly discussions and receive regular and timely feedback on their learning.   


Within this Effective Teaching unit pre-service teachers will undertake, in pairs where possible, a professional experience placement comprising 15 days in an educational setting.

  • A pre-service Early Childhood teacher – in an Early Childhood context
  • A pre-service Primary teacher – in a Primary context
  • A pre-service Early Childhood and Primary (ECP) teacher – in an Early Childhood context (aged 3 – 5 years)
  • A pre-service teacher preparing to teach across Primary and Secondary – in a Primary context, or with the permission of the Lecturer-in-Charge, alternatively a Secondary context
  • A pre-service Secondary teacher – in a Secondary context.

Pre-service teachers will develop the habit of critically reflective practice through guided reflection upon their observations of their class and the educational setting. In collaboration with their supervising teachers and other professional colleagues, they will develop basic teaching skills through assisting in the delivery of high-quality teaching episodes and teaching small groups and whole classes. They will critically reflect upon their teaching, and self-audit their progression and attainment of key teaching skills and standards.

The recommended arrangement of the 15 days is:

  • 5 days prior to the commencement of the block for example one day a week, by negotiation with the educational provider
  • 10 days of continuous engagement (the “Block”).

Or a variation of this as described below.

Recommended Teaching Experiences

The following engagements are recommended across the 15 day placement. They provide a scaffolded, praxis-oriented approach to building experience, competency and confidence, and are designed to align with on-campus content. These engagements are to be discussed, negotiated and planned with the supervising teacher/s.

Days 1 – 5 (Single days or incorporated into the block)

Proposed Teaching Expectations

Day 1 – 3: Orientation, observation and assisting the supervising and nominated teacher/s in the teaching and learning process

Days 3 – 5: Observation and assisting the supervising and nominated teacher/s, plus planning and implementation of one teaching episode per day with a focus on small groups and practicing the skills developed through micro-teaching opportunities

Block Practicum: Days 6 – 15

Proposed Teaching Expectations

Days 6 – 15: Observation and assisting the supervising and nominated teacher/s, plus planning and implementation of one or two teaching episodes per day, including transitions, small groups and building to taking responsibility for whole classes/groups and class routines. Practicum reflection, self-auditing and evaluation.

The following engagements are recommended across the 15-day placement for early childhood settings. Pre-service teachers should complete EDET100 together with their completion of EDEC111 during the same semester.

Days 1 – 5 (First five days, which may be scheduled as 1-2 days per week or as part of a block)

Proposed Teaching Expectations

  1. Orientation, observation and assisting the supervising teacher/s
  2. Observation and assisting the supervising teacher/s, plus planning and implementation of two teaching episodes per day
  3. Observation and active participation in small group teaching; assisting the Supervising Teacher in the teaching and learning process, plus managing context routines
  4. Observation of teachers in the learning context, their teaching and practices, management of contexts and individuals
  5. Observe communication skills that the Supervising Teacher uses with children/learners, parents and other staff
  6. Critical reflection on pre-service teacher’s role in the early childhood education setting as participant, leader, team member, co-teacher/collaborator 

Days 6-15

Proposed Teaching Expectations

  1. Structured observations and small group / team teaching
  2. Plan / implement and assess a set of two, play-based, sequential learning experiences per day individually or with the other pre-service teacher (if in a paired placement)
  3. Managing context routines or transitions connected to sequenced lesson/learning experience
  4. Ongoing observation of teachers and other education stakeholders (e.g. transdisciplinary specialists, leadership teams, other teachers etc.) in the education setting, their teaching and practices, management of the learning environment and children
  5. Continual self-reflection and evaluation

Assessment strategy and rationale

The assessment load and weighting of the assessments in this unit have been designed to incorporate the professional experience. The written assessment load in this unit has been adjusted accordingly.

The Effective Teaching units in this course focus on developing understanding of, and skills across the domains of professional knowledge, practice and engagement needed to meet expectations of the Australian Children's Education and Care Authority (ACECQA) curriculum specifications, and the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers: Graduate level (APST).

The assessments in this unit focus on understanding the profession of teaching and the facilitation of pre-service teachers’ development of their philosophy of teaching and their communication and teaching skills. The two summative and graded assessment tasks are sequenced to allow feedback and progressive development. Through completing Task 1, the pre-service teachers will have the opportunity to observe, read and reflect on their experiences and current education literature to analyse contemporary challenges and understand the implications for the teacher of the 21st century. Undertaken in groups, task 1 will expand their understanding of the diversity of educational settings and build their capacity to communicate professionally and to work collaboratively with colleagues. Task 2 will help pre-service teachers to observe and reflect on their placement experiences as they identify and describe a specific learner or group of learners in their educational setting and design a teaching and learning activity that will meet their particular needs and align with specific curriculum content.

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, pre-service teachers are required to submit and pass all assessment tasks, meet the learning outcomes of the unit and achieve a minimum and overall Pass grade.   

In addition, pre-service teachers must attain a Pass in the two hurdle tasks. These are the preparation for the Professional Experience Placement (PEP) and the Professional Experience Assessment (PEA).

The first hurdle task comprises a collection of preparatory tasks that must be completed to a high standard prior to commencement of the placement.

The second comprises a placement – which is assessed on a pass/fail basis. 

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate CapabilitiesStandards

Assessment Task 1: Group Presentation on a Dilemma, Challenge or Opportunity for Teachers

In small groups, investigate a current dilemma, challenge or opportunity that the 21st Century teacher is likely to face, as identified in the unit readings and wider literature. Summarise the key elements of the topic and analyse the likely implications for teachers, educational providers and learners. Example topics could include:

  • The aims of education
  • Educational systems and structures
  • Diverse learning contexts
  • The role of technology
  • The influence of social media
  • Codes of conduct and ethics for teachers
  • The Professional Standards framework
  • A specific education initiative
  • A specific education policy

Present to the tutorial group, using clear verbal, visual and multi-modal communication and actively engaging them in learning activities.



Assessment Task 2: Observation and Targeted Lesson Plan

Based on observations during the placement, describe the physical, social and intellectual development characteristics of a learner, a small group or a class within the placement setting.

Design a learning activity (lesson plan) to cater to the identified strengths and needs of the learner/s. Set learning goals and include teaching strategy/ies that provide achievable challenges for the identified learner/s and are linked to the content and learning outcomes of a specific curriculum/learning area. Demonstrate the capacity to organise classroom activities including the provision of clear directions on the implementation of the learning activity.

From the lesson plan, identify evidence addressing each of the following APST descriptors: 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3.


LO3GC1, GC2ACECQA -B2, ACECQA -C4, APST(GA)1.1, APST(GA)2.1, APST(GA)2.2, APST(GA)2.3, APST(GA)3.1, APST(GA)3.2, APST(GA)3.3, APST(GA)3.4, APST(GA)5.1, APST(GA)7.2

Hurdle Requirement: Preparation for the Professional Experience Placement

Prior to commencing the Professional Experience placement, pre-service teachers must complete a series of compulsory online preparation modules, attaining a score of 95% or above in each module. The modules cover:

  • Professional Standards;
  • Professional expectations and codes of conduct;
  • Workplace Health & Safety;
  • Legal requirements, including Duty of Care, Child Protection and Mandatory Reporting; and
  • Professional relationships.

Pre-service teachers must also complete and provide evidence of the following:

  • Working with Children Check or a Police Check where this is appropriate or mandated.
  • Mandatory requirements as specified by the pre-service teacher's state/territory.


  • Completion of this module does not exempt pre-service teachers from seeking a Working with Children Check or a Police Check where this is appropriate or mandated.
  • Anticipated completion time: 7 hours.
  • Multiple attempts at this hurdle task are permitted.



Professional Experience Assessment

Pre-service teachers must demonstrate attainment of the relevant Australian Professional Standards for Teachers: Graduate within a relevant educational setting. Refer to Professional Experience Handbook and Report.

A pass grade for this task will be awarded following:

  • the successful completion of 15 professional experience days and,
  • submission of a satisfactory Professional Experience Assessment Report


  • Multiple attempts at this hurdle task are not permitted.
  • Professional Experience is a mandated part of Initial Teacher Education courses. Failing this task will result in a fail grade for the unit overall and pre-service teachers will be required to enrol in a future offering of the unit. 


LO4GC1, GC2, GC3, GC4ACECQA -A4, ACECQA -B2, ACECQA -C4, ACECQA -E3, ACECQA -F3, APST(GA)1.3, APST(GA)2.1, APST(GA)2.2, APST(GA)2.3, APST(GA)3.1, APST(GA)3.2, APST(GA)3.3, APST(GA)3.4, APST(GA)3.5, APST(GA)4.2, APST(GA)4.4, APST(GA)4.5, APST(GA)5.1, APST(GA)5.2, APST(GA)6.1, APST(GA)6.3, APST(GA)7.1, APST(GA)7.2

Representative texts and references

Required text(s)

Australian Curriculum

Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA)

Relevant State and Territory curriculum documents.

Churchill, R., Keddie, A., Letts, W., Mackay, J., McGill, M., Moss, J., Nagel, M., Shaw, K., et al. (2022). Teaching: Making a difference (5th ed.). John Wiley & Son Australia.

Recommended references

Call, K. (2018). Professional teaching standards: A comparative analysis of their history, implementation and efficacy. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 43 (3), 93-108.

Dawson, V., & Shand, J. (2019). Impact of support for pre-service teachers placed in disadvantaged schools. Issues in Educational Research, 29 (1) 19-37.

Ewing, R., Glass, C., Kervin, L., Gobby, B., & Le Cornu, R. (2019). Teaching: Dilemmas, challenges and opportunities. Cengage Learning Australia.

Gutierrez, A., Fox, J., & Alexander, C. (2019). Professionalism and teacher education: Voices from policy and practice. Springer Singapore.

Kauchak D., & Eggen, P. (2022). Introduction to teaching: Becoming a professional (7th ed.). Pearson.

Kennedy, K., Henderson, D., & Marsh, C. (2020). Becoming a teacher (7th ed.). Pearson Australia.

Killen, R., & O'Toole, M. (2016). Effective teaching strategies: Lessons from research and practice (7th ed.). Cengage Learning Australia.

Marzano, R.J., & Haystead, M.W. (2008). Making standards useful in the classroom. Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Pritchard, A. (2017). Ways of learning: Learning theories and learning styles in the classroom (4th ed.). Routledge.

Whitton, D. et. al. (2021). Teaching: Early childhood, primary and secondary. Cengage Learning Australia.

Have a question?

We're available 9am–5pm AEDT,
Monday to Friday

If you’ve got a question, our AskACU team has you covered. You can search FAQs, text us, email, live chat, call – whatever works for you.

Live chat with us now

Chat to our team for real-time
answers to your questions.

Launch live chat

Visit our FAQs page

Find answers to some commonly
asked questions.

See our FAQs