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EDAR517 Visual Arts Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment 2

Unit rationale, description and aim

In order to plan and deliver lessons that promote learner engagement and enhance student learning, intending secondary teachers need knowledge and understanding of the senior secondary curriculum, along with theoretical frameworks and pedagogical approaches that are emblematic of teaching in their chosen teaching areas, including teaching/learning that responds to the high-stakes assessment that is a usual feature of senior secondary schooling.

In this unit, pre-service teachers will consider the place of Visual Arts education in contemporary Australian society, and the senior secondary Visual Arts curriculum, in particular. They will explore a range of evidence-based approaches for curriculum development and alignment and to plan for effective teaching and learning, including formative and summative assessment. Pre-service teachers will learn approaches for building knowledge of Visual Arts and how to provide constructive feedback and reporting. They will learn approaches for engaging senior secondary learners and to meet the learning needs of diverse students in the senior secondary years. They will further develop skills to shape the dialogic talk of the classroom. Pre-service teachers will formulate unit and assessment plans in order to demonstrate a knowledge of curriculum, learning and assessment theory. They will assemble a resource folio to demonstrate capacity to collect, create and critique resources for effective teaching and learning and to link with curriculum. They will investigate issues and considerations of curriculum implementation as found in the practical reality of schools.

The aim of this unit is for the pre-service teacher to develop their pedagogical content knowledge through becoming familiar with the knowledge, understanding and skills necessary for teaching Visual Arts at a senior secondary level.

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.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - critically analyse and evaluate historical and contemporary approaches to designing, advocating for and implementing curriculum in Visual Arts and Design education (GA4; APST 2.1, 3.6)

LO2 - identify, describe and critique the significance of discourses informing curriculum change in Visual Arts and Design education in local, national and global contexts (GA8; APST 2.1, 3.6)

LO3 - demonstrate in-depth knowledge and understanding of the relationship of discourses in art education to the identity the teacher, students, content and context of Visual Arts in education (GA5; APST 2.1, 7.4).

Graduate attributes

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

GA5 - demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 

GA8 - locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information 


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

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

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

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


The topics will include:

  • Modernist and post-structural approaches to critiquing and evaluating curriculum in art education
  • Art education as aesthetic knowledge
  • Art education as discipline
  • Art education as visual culture
  • Art education as visual literacy
  • Art in national curricula
  • Standards-based curriculum
  • Creativity and art education
  • The discourse of the textbook in contemporary art education
  • the contribution of museums, galleries, online sites, artists in residence programs and professional associations to the Visual Arts curriculum. 

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

This unit applies a social constructivist approach to develop the pre-service teacher’s understanding of effective pedagogies through active engagement and collaborative learning. The pre-service teacher will build an understanding of teaching strategies through critical reading, lecturer modelling, discussion, and practice in tutorials. The pre-service teacher’s skills of professional communication and ability to work collaboratively will be practised through group work. The pre-service teacher’s teaching skills of planning and assessing, and their ability to locate and synthesise information, will be developed through designing curriculum appropriate for a Visual Arts education context. The pre-service teacher will continue to gather and reflect upon evidence of attainment of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers: Graduate.

Teaching and learning strategy described above will use an appropriate selection of approach, including, for example:

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

Assessment strategy and rationale

The assessment tasks and their weightings are designed so that the pre-service teacher can progressively achieve the course learning outcomes and the professional standards. The Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment units in this course focus on pre-service teachers acquiring content knowledge and developing the skills to assimilate conceptual knowledge in order for that knowledge to inform skills that will be applied in practice.

The two assessment tasks are sequenced to allow feedback and progressive development. By completing Task 1 the pre-service teacher will apply knowledge of assessment strategies. In Task 2 pre-service teachers develop a program of work for senior students over a period of time.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment Task 1: will require the pre-service teachers to research and critically analyse a curriculum debate or issue arising from a nominated discourse in Visual Arts and Design education.


LO1, LO3


Assessment Task 2: will require the pre-service teachers to apply methods of critique to comparatively evaluate an example of Visual Arts and Design curriculum.



GA5, GA8

Representative texts and references

Relevant national, state and territory curriculum documents and study designs for secondary school students.

Appropriate Visual arts and Design Education journals and websites.

Addison, N., & Burgess, L. (2012). Debates in art and design education. London: Routledge Falmer.

Addison, N., & Burgess, L. (2003). Issues in art and design teaching. London: Routledge Falmer.

Apple, M. W. (2006). Educating the ‘right’ way: Markets, standards, God, and inequality (2nd ed.). New York: Routledge.

Barbousas, J. (2009). 'The formation of visual as concept and practice in art education: Towards an understanding of disciplinarity. Australian Art Education. 32 (Special Edition)

Darling-Hammond, L. (2010). The flat world and education. New York: Teacher’s College Press.

Efland, A. D. (1988). How art became a discipline: Looking at our recent history. Studies in Art Education, 29(3), 262-274.

Efland, A. D, Freedman K., & Stuhr, P. (1996). The character of a postmodern art curriculum. Postmodern Art Education. Reston, Virginia: The National Art Education Association, 91 - 113.

Eisner, E. W., & Day, M. D. (Eds) (2004). Handbook of research and policy in art education. Mahwah, NJ: National Art Education Association.

Giroux, H. (2002). Postmodernism and the discourse of curriculum criticism. In Gress, J.R. Curriculum: frameworks, criticism and theory. Richmond, CA: McCutchan Publishing Corporation.

Pinar, W. F. (2012). What is curriculum theory? (2nd ed.). New York: Routledge.

Maras, K. (2010). Condition critical: A misdiagnosis in the treatment of critical practice in the proposed curriculum for Visual Arts [Special edition]. Australian Art Education, 32(1), 15-19.

McNeil, J. D. (2009). Contemporary curriculum: In thought and action (7th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons.

Thomas, K. (2009). The misconstrual of creative practices in the Arts: Initial Advice Paper [Special edition]. Australian Art Education, 33(1), 36-40.

Young, M. (2013) Overcoming the crisis in curriculum theory: A knowledge-based approach. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 45(2), 101 -118.

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