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EDET460 Effective Teaching 5: Understanding and Implementing Assessment and Data Informed Practice


EDET401 Effective Teaching 6: Professional Engagement and Reflection

Unit rationale, description and aim

Includes 20 days placement in an early learning centre

Effective teaching is underpinned by reflection, enquiry and evidenced based practice. It is necessary for pre-service teachers to develop skills that enable continual, self-regulated professional development.

This unit facilitates induction into the profession and provides opportunities for centre-based critical enquiry. It enables pre-service teachers to reinforce and expand their professional knowledge and practice of the different roles of a teacher and their capacity to transform student learning. The unit provides pre-service teachers with a substantial block of extended reflective professional experience that approximates the realities of everyday teaching; extends pre-service teachers’ repertoire of pedagogical skills in the planning, delivery and assessment of appropriate teaching and learning programs; and develops pre-service teachers’ understanding of the teachers’ role within the centre and broader educational community. Pre-service teachers will use a critical enquiry framework to further develop capacities in the alignment of curriculum, assessment, learning and teaching. They will collect and interpret data to evaluate the impact of their teaching on children’s learning to support quality teaching practices. They will reflect on their development as teacher, analyse their attainment of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers and construct a professional learning plan.

The aim of this culminating unit is to synthesise learning from Education Studies, Effective Teaching and Curriculum Studies to ensure pre-service teachers are prepared for their transition to the teaching profession.

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 Description
LO1Describe the importance of teacher action research and evidence-based interventions as means to enhance teaching practices and improve student learning (APST 1.2, 6.2, 6.4, 7.4; ACECQA C1, C4, F5)
LO2Critically analyse contemporary research literature and apply field-based research to identify teaching problems or issues in an early childhood setting and formulate a pedagogical intervention (APST 1.1, 1.2, 1.5, 2.3, 2.5, 3.1, 3.2; ACECQA C1, C4, E2, F5)
LO3Analyse multiple sources of evidence, including assessment data to ensure consistent judgements of children’s learning (APST 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.4, 6.3, 7.1; ACECQA F5)
LO4Construct a professional learning plan identifying professional learning needs and sources of professional development (APST 3.6, 6.1, 6.2, 6.4, 7.4; ACECQA F3)
LO5Demonstrate effective teaching that evidences ‘readiness to teach' (APST 1.1, 1.3, 1.5, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.5, 2.6, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.5, 3.6, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 4.4, 4.5, 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.4, 5.5, 6.3, 7.1, 7.2; ACECQA C4)


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

1.1 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of physical, social and intellectual development and characteristics of students and how these may affect learning.

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.

1.5 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.

2.5 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.

3.5 Demonstrate a range of verbal and non-verbal communication strategies to support student engagement.

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.

4.3 Demonstrate knowledge of practical approaches to manage challenging behaviour.

4.4 Describe strategies that support students’ well-being and safety working within school and/or system, curriculum and legislative requirements.

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.

5.2 Demonstrate an understanding of the purpose of providing timely and appropriate feedback to students about their learning.

5.3 Demonstrate understanding of assessment moderation and its application to support consistent and comparable judgements of student learning.

5.4 Demonstrate the capacity to interpret student assessment data to evaluate student learning and modify teaching practice.

5.5 Demonstrate understanding of a range of strategies for reporting to students and parents/carers and the purpose of keeping accurate and reliable records of student achievement.

6.1 Demonstrate an understanding of the role of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers in identifying professional learning needs.

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

6.3 Seek and apply constructive feedback from supervisors and teachers to improve teaching practices.

6.4 Demonstrate an understanding of the rationale for continued professional learning and the implications for improved student learnings.

7.1 Understand and apply the key principles described in codes of ethics and conduct for the teaching profession.

7.2 Understand the relevant legislative, administrative and organisational policies and processes required for teachers according to school stage.

7.4 Understand the role of external professionals and community representatives in broadening teachers’ professional knowledge and practice.

On successful completion of their initial teacher education, graduate teachers should be able to draw upon three domains of teaching: Professional Knowledge (know students and how they learn, and know the content and how to teach it); Professional Practice (plan for and implement effective teaching and learning; create and maintain supportive and safe learning environments; and assess, provide feedback and report on student learning) and Professional Engagement (engage in professional learning and engage professionally with colleagues, parents/carers and the community).

In this final professional experience unit, pre-service teachers are required to demonstrate mastery of the APST: Graduate level by completing three culminating assessments:

  • Capstone Assessment Task;
  • ePortfolio and Professional Learning Plan; and
  • Final Professional Experience Report 

The following Professional Standards must be demonstrated in the Professional Experience placement:

All APST with the exception of 1.2, 1.4, 1.6, 2.4, 3.7, 6.1, 6.2, 6.4, 7.3, 7.4.

ACECQA Curriculum Specifications

On successful completion of this unit, pre-service teachers should have developed the following specific knowledge:

C Teaching pedagogies

C1 alternative pedagogies and curriculum approaches

C4 teaching methods and strategies

E History and philosophy of early childhood

E2 contemporary theories and practice

F Early childhood professional practice

F3 professional identity and development

F5 research


Students will have the opportunity to apply some or all of the content of this unit in the particular context of their teaching specialisation (refer to the section on ‘Professional Experience: Teaching Requirements’, below)

Topics will include:

  • Establishing and maintaining an engaging learning environment cognizant of current teaching and learning theories in early childhood settings
  • Management of the full range of teacher’s responsibilities including routines, transitions, supervision, pastoral care of children and relationships within the centre community
  • Analysing the particular centre and class context for the identification of issues and problems to formulate a pedagogical intervention
  • Strategies that can be used to evaluate teaching programs to improve student learning
  • Strategies for interpreting student assessment data to evaluate student learning and modify teaching practice to improve learning outcomes
  • Ethical professional practice for engaging with data and evidence for enquiry into and critical reflection of teaching and learning in centre contexts.
  • Critical reflection and collaborative interaction with other educators, teachers, leadership, and other professionals to improve teaching, assessment and support consistent and comparable professional judgement.
  • Seeking and applying constructive feedback from supervisors, mentors and teachers to reflect on and improve teaching practices
  • Opportunities for continued professional learning within and beyond the centre context and the implications for improved student learning.
  • Finalising the professional portfolio

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

The key strategy of this unit will be enquiry-based learning, enacted predominantly in the centre. The pre-service teacher engages in the Capstone Assessment Task (CAT) as a capstone experience in the centre context. Approximately 12 hours of directed teaching (lectures or workshops), readings and online support before, during and after the placement. Directed instruction will provide support for students in the completion of that task.

In this unit the pre-service teacher will engage in the sustained role of teacher in an early childhood setting undertaking the diverse duties of a practising teacher, including: planning, teaching, assessment and moderation, differentiated engagement with children, organisation/centre/leadership meetings, collaborative team planning sessions, supervision, and other duties required within the setting. Further, the pre-service teacher will engage in a capstone experience in the centre setting. They will undertake self-auditing activities against the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers: Graduate level and construct a professional learning plan as part of their inquiry-based learning opportunity by selecting children and teaching areas relevant to their inquiry. The inquiry-based CAT is further supported when the pre-service teacher engages in the activities collegially with a mentor and/or supervising teacher and will engage in feedback discussions and proactive planning with both the supervising teacher and the university academic.

Teaching and learning strategies may include, but are not limited to:

  • Weekly face-to-face lectures and / or online lectures (synchronous and asynchronous)
  • Hands-on tutorials and discussions that promote peer learning;
  • Self-directed reading and research
  • Collaborative learning opportunities.

Differentiated instruction will be provided, through tutorial arrangements, so that students will have the opportunity to study some or all of the content of this unit in the particular context of their teaching specialisation.

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 /centre experiences. It may include:

  • Online review exercises.
  • Discussion board to exchange ideas and refine learning.
  • Video illustrations of teaching practice and focussed readings addressing a wide spectrum of teaching contexts, practices and competencies

Professional Experience: Teaching Requirements

In the final professional experience, pre-service teachers must satisfactorily demonstrate attainment of the Australian Standards for Teachers: Graduate level in order to complete requirements and pass this unit.

Within this final Effective Teaching unit pre-service teachers will undertake, individually, a professional experience placement comprising 20 continuous days in a centre

In this unit, pre-service teachers will be expected to undertake:

  • 4 weeks of teaching, with a teaching load at 75-80% of normal load
  • Capstone Assessment Task (CAT) Project development, implementation and data collection. (Refer to Professional Experience Handbook and Record for detailed guidelines regarding teaching and other requirements).
  • A pre-service Early Childhood Teacher will undertake placement under supervising teacher and will work in collaboration across the centre with Centre Director, Assistant Director and Educational Leader throughout the block.

Assessment strategy and rationale

The assessment tasks allow pre-service teachers to demonstrate achievement against the course learning outcomes by demonstrating academic and professional standards. The Education Studies units in this course focus on developing understanding of, and skills across the professional knowledge, practice and engagement needed to meet expectations of ACECQA criteria and the APST: Graduate level. Assessment of learning and assessment for learning are incorporated in this unit. The first assessment focuses on the effectiveness of research and skills of inquiry as means to enhance teaching practices and strategies. These teaching strategies and practices are implemented and provide content for students to complete their second assignment. An informed reading of the literature about issues that would form the basis of the Capstone Assessment Task (CAT) ) is critical for improving teaching practice.

The Capstone Assessment Task (CAT) is the centrepiece of this unit and its assessment. The CAT must be conducted in a practical teaching context, and this is acknowledged in the Professional Experience Assessment. The Professional Learning Plan arises out of the CAT and a portfolio of work that has been collected throughout the whole course and is a vital connection between university studies and the professional learning expected of teachers in the early years of their profession.

A range of assessment procedures are used to meet the unit learning outcomes and develop graduate attributes and professional standards and criteria consistent with University assessment requirements. (

Minimum Achievement Standards

The assessment tasks 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, meet the learning outcomes of the unit and achieve a minimum overall passing grade of 50%.

Pre-service teachers must attain a Pass in both assessment tasks and the Professional Experience Placement (PEP).

Assessment in EDET461 includes two Critical Tasks the Capstone Assessment Task (CAT) and the ePortfolio and professional learning plan. Observation and Targeted Learning Experience Plan. Pre-service teachers must demonstrate mastery of every summative Graduate Teacher Standard identified and attain a score of at least 50% in these Critical Tasks in order to pass this unit.

Electronic Submission, Marking and Return

Assessment task submission and return of marked assessment will be done through Turnitin on Canvas. 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:

Capstone Assessment Task (CAT).

Critical Task

The CAT asks pre-service teachers to reflect critically on curriculum decision making and the role educational assessment plays within that. It must be accompanied by documentary evidence of the teaching, learning and assessment cycle and of children’s learning.

Further information about the specific requirements of the CAT is detailed in the guideline materials supplied via the Canvas site of this unit.


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4

Assessment Task 2:

ePortfolio and Professional Learning Plan

Critical Task

Self-audit of professional practice to evidence and reflect on attainment of the Professional Standards. Identify professional learning needs and construct a plan for professional learning including rationale for continued learning and appropriate sources.



Assessment Task 3:

Hurdle Requirement:

Professional Experience Assessment

The summative Professional Experience is assessed in consultation with a supervising teacher and a university academic over the placement. The pre-service teacher must demonstrate attainment of the Australian Professional Standards of Teachers: Graduate within the context of early childhood centre

practices. Refer to the Unit Professional Experience Guidebook for interim and final reports.


LO3, LO4, LO5

Representative texts and references

Required text(s)

Australian Curriculum

Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority. Early Years Learning Framework

Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) 

Relevant State and Territory curriculum documents. 

Recommended references

Eckhoff, A. (2019). Participatory research with young children: Educating the young child. Springer International Publishing.

Fleet, A., Patterson, C., & Robertson, J. (2017). Pedagogical documentation in early years practice seeing through multiple perspectives. Sage

McLachlan, C., Fleer, M., & Edwards, S. (2018). Early childhood curriculum: Planning, assessment and implementation (3rd ed). Cambridge University Press.

Mills, G. E. (2018). Action research: A guide for the teacher researcher (6th ed.). Pearson.

Mukherji, P., Albon, D. (2018). Research methods in early childhood: An introductory guide (3rd ed). Sage

Newman, L, Leggett, N., Duggy-Fagan, M., Higginbottom, K., & Early Childhood Australia (2018). Strengthening quality through critical reflection and action research. Research in Practice, 25(4), 1-35.

Queensland College of Teachers (2017). Transition to full registration. An evidence guide for early childhood teachers. Author.

South Australian Government Department for Education. (2020). Respect, reflect, relate: Assessing for learning and development in the early years using observation scales. Author

Taylor, L. A. (2017). How teachers become teacher researchers: Narrative as a tool for teacher identity construction. Teaching and Teacher Education, 61, 16-25.

Wall, K., & Hall, E. (2017) The teacher in teacher-practitioner research: three principles of inquiry. In Boyd, P. and Szplit, A., International Perspectives: Teachers and Teacher Educators Learning Through Enquiry, KielceKrakow: 35-62 

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