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EDFX521 Effective Teaching and Graduate Professional Experience Primary 1 , EDET561 Effective Teaching 1: Early Years Learning and Pedagogies: Play-Based Curriculum and Assessment

Unit rationale, description and aim

This unit includes 20 days professional experience placement.

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 diverse contexts. Learning settings that are inclusive and safe promote engagement and teachers must be able to apply effective planning, teaching, assessment and management practices to facilitate learning.

In this unit, pre-service teachers will develop knowledge of lesson planning and pedagogy through exploring and analysing a range of planning procedures and teaching, learning and assessment strategies. They will apply this knowledge in the development of a range of teaching and assessment strategies which include setting differentiated learning goals to meet the needs of diverse learners. Throughout these activities they will develop their understanding of principles and strategies for communicating professionally with parents/carers and engaging them in the educative process.

Through critical analysis of key theories, contemporary research and system policies, pre-service teachers will acquire a critical understanding of approaches to establish positive learning environments and promote well-being, and practical strategies to manage challenging behaviours. Informed by the principles of Catholic Social Teaching, they will synthesise models, policy and practice to develop a holistic approach to engaging learners and guiding learner behaviour.

The professional placement will enable pre-service teachers to engage with experienced practitioners, and to apply their knowledge and skills in a school setting. Observations in classroom and school contexts will be reflected upon to support the nexus between theory and practice and alignment with the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers: Graduate level.

The aim of this unit is to enable pre-service teachers to develop the knowledge and skills to promote meaningful engagement in learning and to develop pre-service teachers’ professional identities as confident and effective teachers.

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 complexities of the teacher’s role and the implications for practice, including compliance with legal and ethical requirements and system policies and strategies for building safe and supportive environments for children and young people, that support student well-beingGC1, GC2, GC3, GC6, GC7, GC8, GC9
LO2Employ a range of effective communication and teaching strategies and resources, including ICTs, to develop teaching and learning sequences that engage and cater to the needs of diverse learnersGC1, GC2, GC4, GC7, GC8, GC10, GC11, GC12
LO3Synthesise contemporary assessment theories, practices and technologies in the construction of differentiated assessment strategies, including informal, formal, diagnostic, formative and summative, to assess student learningGC1, GC2, GC4, GC7, GC8, GC9
LO4Research and integrate major theories, policies and a range of practical teaching practices, including working sensitively and confidentially with parents/carers, and the principles of Catholic Social Teaching, in the development and application of a positive and holistic approach to positively engaging learners and managing challenging behaviourGC1, GC2, GC4, GC6, GC7, GC8, GC9
LO5Apply professional communication skills and a range of teaching resources and strategies, reflect critically upon teaching practices in the context of the Professional Experience learning environments, and respond to feedback from colleagues and supervisors, as a means to develop and refine professional practiceGC1, GC2, GC3, GC4, GC7, GC8, GC10, GC11, GC12

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)1.3Demonstrate knowledge of teaching strategies that are responsive to the learning strengths and needs of students from diverse linguistic, cultural, religious and socioeconomic backgroundsLO2, LO3, LO4
APST(GA)1.4Demonstrate 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 backgroundsLO2, LO4
APST(GA)1.5Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of strategies for differentiating teaching to meet the specific learning needs of students across the full range of abilities.LO2, LO3, LO4
APST(GA)1.6Demonstrate broad knowledge and understanding of legislative requirements and teaching strategies that support participation and learning of students with disability.LO1, LO2, LO3
APST(GA)2.1Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the concepts, substance and structure of the content and teaching strategies of the teaching area.LO2, LO3, LO5
APST(GA)2.2Organise content into an effective learning and teaching sequence.LO2, LO5
APST(GA)2.3Use curriculum, assessment and reporting knowledge to design learning sequences and lesson plans.LO2, LO3, LO5
APST(GA)2.4Demonstrate broad knowledge of, understanding of, and respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories, cultures and languages.LO2, LO4, LO5
APST(GA)2.5Know and understand literacy and numeracy teaching strategies and their application in teaching areas.LO2, LO5
APST(GA)2.6Implement teaching strategies for using ICT to expand curriculum learning opportunities for students.LO2, LO5
APST(GA)3.1Set learning goals that provide achievable challenges for students of varying abilities and characteristics.LO2, LO3, LO5
APST(GA)3.2Plan lesson sequences using knowledge of student learning, content and effective teaching strategies.LO2, LO3, LO5
APST(GA)3.3Include a range of teaching strategies.LO2, LO3, LO5
APST(GA)3.4Demonstrate knowledge of a range of resources, including ICT, that engage students in their learning.LO2, LO5
APST(GA)3.5Demonstrate a range of verbal and non-verbal communication strategies to support student engagement.LO2, LO4, LO5
APST(GA)3.6Demonstrate broad knowledge of strategies that can be used to evaluate teaching programs to improve student learning.LO5
APST(GA)3.7Describe a broad range of strategies for involving parents/carers in the educative process.LO4, LO5
APST(GA)4.1Identify strategies to support inclusive student participation and engagement in classroom activities.LO2, LO4, LO5
APST(GA)4.2Demonstrate the capacity to organise classroom activities and provide clear directions.LO4, LO5
APST(GA)4.3Demonstrate knowledge of practical approaches to manage challenging behaviour.LO4, LO5
APST(GA)4.4Describe strategies that support students’ wellbeing and safety working within school and/or system, curriculum and legislative requirements.LO1, LO4, LO5
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.LO1, LO4, LO5
APST(GA)5.1Demonstrate understanding of assessment strategies, including informal and formal, diagnostic, formative and summative approaches to assess student learning.LO3, LO5
APST(GA)5.2Demonstrate an understanding of the purpose of providing timely and appropriate feedback to students about their learning.LO2, LO3, LO5
APST(GA)5.3Demonstrate understanding of assessment moderation and its application to support consistent and comparable judgements of student learning.LO3
APST(GA)5.5Demonstrate 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.LO2
APST(GA)6.1Demonstrate an understanding of the role of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers in identifying professional learning needs.LO5
APST(GA)6.3Seek and apply constructive feedback from supervisors and teachers to improve teaching practices.LO2, LO5
APST(GA)7.1Understand and apply the key principles described in codes of ethics and conduct for the teaching profession.LO1, LO4, LO5
APST(GA)7.2Understand the relevant legislative, administrative and organisational policies and processes required for teachers according to school stage.LO1, LO4, LO5
APST(GA)7.3Understand strategies for working effectively, sensitively and confidentially with parents/carers.LO4


Topics will include:

The complexities of the teacher’s role and the implications for practice, including:

  • 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.


Communication skills to facilitate teaching and learning:

  • Principles and practice of effective verbal and non-verbal communication in facilitating teaching and learning
  • Building positive relationships and rapport with students
  • A range of communication strategies to engage sensitively and confidentially with parents/ carers and involve them in the educative process.

A range of teaching strategies that may include:

  • Direct instruction: Explanations and demonstrations
  • Questioning, feedback and discussion skills to facilitate higher order thinking
  • Group work and co-operative learning
  • Problem solving

Planning for teaching:

  • Purposes and elements of planning
  • Structuring and implementing learning sequences
  • Interpreting curriculum documents to select content and set learning goals

Differentiation of content and teaching strategies to cater for diverse learners including:

  •  learners from diverse cultural, linguistic and SES backgrounds
  • learners across a full range of abilities
  • learners from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander backgrounds


Introduction to fundamentals of assessment including:

  • The role of assessment in the planning, teaching, learning and evaluation cycle and improvement of teaching and learning
  • Purposes and forms of assessment, (formal, informal, diagnostic, formative, summative)
  • Differentiating assessment tasks to meet the specific needs of diverse learners
  • Approaches for providing timely, focused and constructive feedback to learners
  • Processes for gathering, organising and interpreting evidence of learning
  • Maintaining accurate records and reporting student progress to learners and parents/carers


Promoting learner engagement and behaviour management:

  • Contemporary research and theories relating to effective behaviour management:
  • Cognitive and Behaviorist models
  • Psychological or needs-based models: Dreikurs
  • Glasser’s Choice Theory; Bill Rogers’ Decisive Discipline; Canter and Canter’s Assertive Discipline; Ford’s Responsible Thinking
  • Developing proactive engagement and management plans.
  • Strategies for creating safe and positive learning environments and promoting physical, psychological and social well-being:
  • Establishing positive teacher-learner relationships
  • Promoting class cohesion
  • Engaging learners in setting expectations to develop ownership of their behaviour
  • Practical strategies for promoting learner self-motivation and self-direction
  • Behaviour management strategies applicable to diverse learners.
  • Application of the principles of Catholic Social Teaching.
  • Factors contributing to undesired behaviours:
  • Learner related factors
  • Home and social group factors
  • Classroom and teacher factors
  • The impact of changing technologies and social media.
  • A range of practical strategies for responding to low-level undesired behaviours:
  • Positive reinforcement
  • Unobtrusive, non-punitive interventions
  • Re-engaging disengaged learners
  • A range of practical strategies for managing challenging behaviour:
  • Re-building relationships: Student-teacher conferences; Learning and behaviour contracts
  • Cracking the challenging class
  • Engaging with professional colleagues and other education professionals
  • Engaging sensitively and confidentially with parents/carers
  • Policy, curriculum and legislative requirements that underpin learner wellbeing and safety.
  • Maintaining safe online environments: anti-bullying and cyber-bullying.
  • Strategies for protecting teacher safety and well-being: building resilience and self-care.

 Critical Reflective Practice:

  • Strategies and lenses for critiquing the implementation of learning activities
  • Seeking and responding to feedback from supervisors and teachers to improve practice
  • Approaches to developing a personal Philosophy of Teaching

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 guided teaching, independent study and preparation of assessments, and a 20-day professional experience placement.

This unit applies a social constructivist approach to develop pre-service teachers’ understanding of the teacher’s role. They will build their understanding through critical reading, lecturer modelling, active engagement, rehearsing and discussion. The ability to work collaboratively will be practised through group activities in tutorials, culminating in group micro-teaching presentations to the class. These support pre-service teachers to build their communication and teaching skills, and their confidence in managing groups, in a safe and supportive environment prior to applying these skills in a primary school setting.

Conceptual knowledge and skills of communicating and planning, plus teaching and assessment strategies to promote positive learner engagement, will be developed through lectures and critical reading, and practised in tutorial activities which model the real world of classrooms. Participants will develop their ability to work autonomously, and to locate and synthesise information, through designing teaching, learning and assessment strategies appropriate for the needs of diverse learners. The professional experience placement will enable engagement with experienced practitioners and to make links between theory and its application to the learning environment.

To support this strategy, examples of the teaching and learning approaches that are likely to be applied in this unit include:

  • Face-to-face lectures and /or online lectures (synchronous and asynchronous)
  • Hands-on tutorials, practical workshops and discussions that promote peer learning
  • Self-directed reading and research
  • Collaborative learning opportunities

Technology Enhanced Learning

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

  1. Lecture-style recorded content and supporting notes
  2. Tutorial guides
  3. Video illustrations of teaching practice and focused readings to address a wide spectrum of teaching contexts, practices and competencies;
  4. Online focused readings to help students prepare for the weekly schedule.

Face-to-face/Online Learning support

Students are required to regularly log into 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.


Integral to unit pre-service teachers will apply their knowledge, skills and strategies through undertaking a professional experience placement comprising 20 days in a primary school setting.

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 20 days is:

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

Recommended Teaching Experiences

The following engagements are recommended across the 20-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

Day 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 – 20 - Proposed Teaching Expectations

Day 6 – 10:

  • Observation and assisting the class teacher/s, plus planning and implementation of one to two teaching episodes per day, including transitions, small groups and building to taking responsibility for whole classes/groups and class routines.
  • Practicum midpoint reflection, self-auditing and evaluation.

Day 11 - 20

  • Observation and assisting the supervising teacher/s, plus planning and implementation of two to three teaching episodes per day.
  • Build to teaching half a full-time load including taking responsibility for whole classes and managing routines and transitions.
  • Design, implementation and marking of assessment tasks as relevant to the teaching episodes.
  • Practicum culminating reflection, self-auditing and evaluation.

Completion of all specified preparation and legal modules is compulsory prior to commencement of the professional experience placement.

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.

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. The units in this course focus on developing understanding of, and skills across the professional knowledge, practice and engagement domains needed to meet expectations of the APST: Graduate level.

There are four assessment tasks in this unit, including two hurdle requirements, all of which must be passed to pass the unit. Assessment tasks are sequenced to allow feedback and progressive development. Through completing Hurdle Requirement 1 pre-service teachers will demonstrate understanding of the legal and ethical expectations of teachers. In Assessment Task 1 pre-service teachers apply their conceptual knowledge of pedagogies to engage learners in the analysis and application of teaching strategies. In Task 2 pre-service teachers develop and demonstrate conceptual knowledge and understanding of theoretical models of classroom management and the complexities of managing challenging behaviour, through construction of a learner engagement and behaviour management plan. The final hurdle requirement comprises successful completion of a 20-day professional experience placement in a school setting. This placement facilitates connections between unit content and the ‘real world’ of learning and teaching, thereby preparing pre-service teachers for their role as teacher.

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

Assessment in EDET501 includes a Critical Task: Assessment Task 2 – Rationale and Plan for Engaging Learners, fostering positive behaviour and managing challenging behaviour. This task is core to the demonstration of a number of Australian Professional Teacher Standards.  Pre-service teachers must demonstrate mastery of every summative Graduate Teacher Standard identified and attain a score of at least 50% in Task 2 in order to pass this unit.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Capabilities

Assessment Task 1: Analysis and Application of Teaching Strategies

In small groups, research and analyse an evidence-based teaching strategy.


Present / teach a short activity to the whole class using your selected teaching strategy, modelling explicit teaching and learner engagement.

Include the following:

  • A succinct and specific rationale with reference to research literature summary of evidence of its effectiveness
  • An explanation of its relevance to particular learning context/s and learner characteristics
  • Recommendations for appropriate classroom applications.
  • A description of the content and how it aligns to specific curriculum content
  • A range of resources including ICT to engage learners
  • Safe and ethical use of ICT to expand learning opportunities
  • Differentiation (learning goals, success criteria, activities) for learners of varying characteristics, and across the ability range
  • Informal formative assessment of your “learners”
  • Timely and constructive feedback to students to improve their learning
  • Methods and purpose of recording "learner" achievement
  • Effective verbal/ non-verbal and multi-modal communication

At the conclusion, engage participants in a review of the strategy and its potential to improve practice and student learning.

Include an individual critical reflection on the teaching strategy and on the effectiveness of the group’s application of the strategy. 


LO2, LO3GC1, GC2, GC4, GC7, GC8, GC9, GC10, GC11, GC12

Assessment Task 2:

Task 2a: Rationale and plan for engaging learners, fostering positive behaviour and managing challenging behaviour.

Critical Task

Describe a specific learning setting, such as your placement class. Include physical, social and intellectual development and characteristics of the learners, as well as their linguistic, cultural, religious and socio-economic backgrounds. Develop a rationale and plan for inclusive strategies for fostering positive learner engagement, supporting students' wellbeing and safety, and managing challenging behaviour in this setting. Justify your plan based on your reading of the literature, ethical responsibilities, maintaining professionalism and confidentiality, relevant polices and practices, legislative, administrative and organisational requirements, the principles of Catholic Social Teaching and one or more relevant theoretical frameworks presented in this unit. Refer to authentic example/s of challenging learner behaviour (individual, group or class).

Task 2b: Parent/Carer Communication Strategy

Create 3 artefacts (report, letter, transcript of a parent/carer discussion) for communicating sensitively, confidentially and involving parents/carers in the educative process for:

  • a learner whose engagement and conduct are generally positive, with minor or infrequent lapses; and
  • a learner whose engagement and conduct present significant and/or consistent concerns.


LO1, LO4GC1, GC2, GC3, GC4, GC6, GC7, GC8, GC9, GC10, GC11, GC12

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 these modules 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.


LO1GC1, GC2, GC3, GC6, GC7, GC8, GC9

Professional Experience Assessment

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


A pass grade for this task will be awarded following:

  • the successful completion of 20 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. 


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5GC1, GC2, GC3, GC4, GC6, GC7, GC8, GC9, GC10, GC11, GC12

Representative texts and references

Required text(s)

Australian Curriculum: Curriculum and Reporting Authority (ACARA):

Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership:

Relevant State and Territory curriculum documents

Recommended references

Brady, L., & Kennedy, K. (2018). Curriculum construction (6th ed.). Frenchs Forest, NSW: Pearson Australia.

Churchill, R., Keddie, A., Moss, J. Nagel, M., Shaw, K., Mackay, J., Letts, W., McGill, M., Batt, J., Beckman, K., Apps, T., & Grainger, P. (2022). Teaching: Making a difference (5th ed.). John Wiley & Sons Australia.

Cleak, H., & Wilson, J. (2019). Making the most of field placement (4th ed.). Cengage Learning Australia.

De Nobile, J., Lyons, G., & Arthur-Kelly, M. (2017). Positive learning environments: Creating and maintaining productive classrooms. Cengage Learning Australia.

Ewing, R., Kervin, L., Glass, C., Gobby, B., le Cornu, R., & Groundwater-Smith, S. (2019). Teaching: Dilemmas, challenges and opportunities (6th ed.). Cengage Learning Australia.

Lyons, G., Ford, M., & Slee, J. (2014). Classroom management: Creating positive learning environments (4th ed.). Cengage Learning Australia.

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

Morrison, G., Ross, S., Morrison, J., & Kalman, H. (2019). Designing effective instruction (8th ed.). John Wiley and Sons

Welch, A., & Connell, R. (Eds.). (2018). Education, change and society (4th ed.). Oxford University Press.

Whitton, D., Barker, K., Nosworthy, M., Humphries, J., & Sinclair, C. (2016). Learning for teaching, Teaching for learning (3rd ed.). Cengage Learning Australia.


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