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EDAR518 Visual Arts Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment 3

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 the ways in which philosophical frameworks shape how learners can interpret the meaning and function of objects and practices in the Visual Arts (GA3, GA8; AGTS 2.1)

LO2 - identify, describe and critique ways in which frameworks of meaning and value inform the role of the teacher in relation to selecting and teaching art content and implementing teaching strategies in art making, art history and art criticism (GA5, GA8; AGTS 1.2, 2.1, 3.3)

LO3 - demonstrate in-depth knowledge and understanding of how the application of selected frameworks of meaning and value contribute to the development of effective lesson sequences that support learners’ conceptual and practical development in the Visual Arts (GA5; AGTS 1.2, 2.1, 3.2).

Graduate attributes

GA3 - apply ethical perspectives in informed decision making

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:

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

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

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

3.3 Include a range of teaching strategies.


The topics will include:

  •        Frameworks of meaning and value in the Visual Arts (including the psychological, semiotic, socio-cultural, post-structural, relational and indigenous)
  •        How framework orientations inform the relationships of teacher, student, content and context
  •        The role of frameworks of meaning and value to students’ conceptual and practical development in art making, art criticism and art history
  •        Higher order thinking and reasoning in Visual Arts Creativity and Art education
  •        The discourse of the textbook in contemporary art education.

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 his/her 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 pre-service teachers to plan and implement a seminar presentation and/or written paper which examines how a selected framework of meaning and value is applied in an instance of artistic practice (eg. Art making, art criticism or art historical explanations).



GA3, GA8

Assessment Task 2: will require pre-service teachers to select a framework of meaning and value and apply it to the design of a sequence of learning activities which takes into account the pedagogical stance of the teacher in relation to content, students and setting.


LO2, LO3

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

Brown, N.C.M. (1994). Frameworks of meaning. Occasional Seminars in Art Education 6: Art and design practices in education, Sydney: University of New South Wales, College of Fine Arts, 11-16.

Burgin, V. (1986). The end of art theory: Criticism and postmodernity. London: Macmillan

Carroll, J. (2005). How do critical thinking and learning function in the artist to artist/teacher relation? Proceedings of the 2005 PESA Conference.

Carter, M. (1993). Framing art: introducing theory and the visual image. Sydney: Hale and Iremonger.

Danto, A. (1964). The artworld. In Carolyn Korsmeyer (Ed.) (1998) Aesthetics: the big questions, Massachusetts, MA: Blackwell Publishing

Dewey, J. (2005). Art as experience, New York: Perigee Books.

Eisner, E. W., & Day, M. D. (Eds) (2004). Handbook of research and policy in art education. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates

Eisner, E. W. (2002). The arts and the creation of mind. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

Freeman. N. H. (2001). What is currently known about the mental work of children in making art? In A. Weate & K. Maras (Eds.), Occasional seminar in art education 10: Reassessing the foundations of art in education (pp. 22-30). Sydney: UNSW College of Fine Arts.

Goodman, N. (1978). When is art. In Ways of worldmaking, Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing.

Parsons, M. J. (1987). How we understand art. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Maras, K. (2010). Age-related shifts in the theoretical constraints underlying children’s critical reasoning in art. Australian Art Education, 33(1), 20-28

Wolff, T. F., & Geahigan, G. (1997). Art criticism and art education. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press.

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