Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit



Unit rationale, description and aim

This unit examines a range of Arts disciplines, including drama, dance, music, media and visual arts, and how these contribute to creative learning environments and their place in the curriculum. In this unit pre-service teachers will give attention to the role of the Arts in children's play, development and learning and the importance of creativity and aesthetics within early childhood and primary curriculum. Pre-service teachers will develop knowledge and understanding of Arts knowledge as represented in curricula and links to practices in broader society. They will critically examine theoretical frameworks, curriculum documents (including Early Years Learning Framework and Australian Curriculum) and contemporary pedagogical issues for teaching and learning in the Arts and the provision of creative learning environments. Focus will be given to the participation rights of children from a broad range of diverse backgrounds and across the full range of abilities with the Arts, and to engagement with artists and artistic works from diverse cultures, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. Pre-service teachers design activities and experiences of contemporary relevance, the development and sourcing of appropriate resources, and use of assessment, feedback and reporting strategies that will support learning and teaching for children across birth to age 12.

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 - demonstrate understanding and knowledge of a range of Arts disciplines (including drama, dance, music, media arts and visual arts) and how these relate to or contribute to contemporary creative learning environments for children birth to 12 (GA4, GA5; APST 2.1, 2.2, 2.6, 3.3; ACECQA A1, A4, A6, B7, C1, C2, D4)

LO2 - demonstrate knowledge of relevant theoretical frameworks, curriculum documents (including Early Years Learning Framework) and contemporary pedagogical issues, and articulate the contribution they make to the provision of creative learning environments and teaching and learning in the Arts and demonstrate knowledge of the distinct pedagogies appropriate for the disciplines of Visual Arts, Music, Dance, Drama and Media Arts (GA4, GA5, GA10; APST 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 3.3; ACECQA B1, B2, B7,C1, C2, C4, E2)

LO3 - articulate the role of the Arts in children’s play, development and learning, including literacy and numeracy, and the importance of creativity and aesthetics within early childhood and primary curriculum (GA4, GA5; APST 2.1, 2.5; ACECQA A1, A4, B1, B2, B7, C2)

LO4 - design, implement, and evaluate arts experiences and resources for young children which are responsive to individual learning, development and interests and sociocultural contexts, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures; and which are responsive to broad range of diverse backgrounds and full range of abilities children bring to learning experiences (GA3, GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8, GA10; APST 1.5, 2.1, 2.2, 2.4, 3.2, 3.3; ACECQA A1, A4, A6, B7, C5, D4)

LO5 - demonstrate an understanding of the purpose, use and format of appropriate and varied assessment strategies, and feedback and reporting strategies that will support learning and teaching in the Arts and creative experiences (GA4, GA5; APST 5.1, 5.2, 5.5; ACECQA B7, B9).

Graduate attributes

GA3 - apply ethical perspectives in informed decision making

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

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

GA7 - work both autonomously and collaboratively 

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

GA10 - utilise information and communication and other relevant technologies effectively.


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.

2.4 Demonstrate broad knowledge of, understanding of, and respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories, cultures and languages.

3.3 Include a range of teaching strategies.

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.

This unit provides teaching and learning support to:  

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.

2.2 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.  

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

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.


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

A1Learning, development and care  

A4Child health, wellbeing and safety  

A6Diversity, difference and inclusivity learners with special needs  

B1Early Years Learning Framework  

B2The Australian Curriculum  

B7Creative arts and music  

B9Curriculum planning, programming and evaluation  

C1Alternative pedagogies and curriculum approaches  

C2Play based pedagogies  

C4Teaching methods and strategies  

C5Catering to children with diverse needs and backgrounds  

D4Socially inclusive practice  

E2Contemporary theories and practice  


  • An introduction to concepts, elements and theories particular to each of the Arts 
  • Children’s rights to an arts education
  • Consideration of the child as artist, musician, dramatist, dancer, media and technology user
  • Understanding play and learning within the Arts, making links to the relevant national and state curriculum documents
  • Exploration of indoor and outdoor learning environments
  • Cross cultural and inclusive education approaches 
  • The promotion of social justice and equity in and through the arts in early childhood contexts and primary schools
  • Children as engaged learners and participants in decision-making in developing an Arts curriculum
  • Planning, implementing, monitoring, evaluating and reporting/sharing integrated learning experiences in the Arts in early childhood contexts and primary schools
  • Resources and environments that facilitate learning in the Arts in early childhood contexts and primary schools
  • The Arts in The Australian Curriculum and the Early Years Learning Framework
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, histories and artistic expression; working sensitively and respectfully with artists, art works and artistic practices 
  • The significance of The Arts in education as forms of aesthetic knowledge, self-expression, cultural literacy, communication, creativity, critical commentary and relational systems 
  • Teaching strategies that explore and acknowledge The Arts from diverse linguistic, cultural, religious and socio-economic perspectives and contexts.
  • Identification of a range of resources, including ICT, that can be used to enhance teaching and foster children’s learning across The Arts
  • Strategies that can be used to evaluate and modify The Arts teaching programs to support children’s learning.
  • Designing, structuring and implementing learning activities for different age groups which take into account the art-making practices of artists, designers, architects, crafts people, and interpretive practices of critics and art historians
  • Pedagogical approaches to building learners’ understanding of the elements of Music through concepts including pitch, duration, structure, tone, colour and dynamics, and music practices of performing, organising sound and listening
  • Pedagogical approaches to building learners’ understanding of the elements of Dance through concepts including action, dynamics, time, space, relationships and structure and dance practices of composing, performing and appreciating
  • Pedagogical approaches to building learners’ understanding of the elements of Drama through concepts including collaboration, role play, context, dramatic tension, contrast, time, space, focus and mood and drama practices of performing and appreciating
  • Pedagogical approaches to building learners’ understanding of the elements of Media Arts through concepts including languages, representation, audience, technologies, codes and conventions and media Arts practices including making and appreciating
  • Adopting viewpoints to engage students in investigations of contemporary and historical Arts in local, Australian, Indigenous and global contexts.

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

Engagement for learning is the key driver in the delivery of this curriculum which is offered in online mode. A range of teaching and learning strategies are employed to reflect technology-enhanced learning in developing pre-service teachers’ knowledge and understanding of contemporary Arts learning pedagogies as can be applied in early childhood and primary contexts. These include synchronous and/or asynchronous digital engagement in: interactive learning activities and experiences; student-led discussion forums and group work; directed reading activities; and ICT as a pedagogical tool for mediating across artistic disciplines. 

Pre-service teachers will follow guidelines to identify and engage in art-based activities that facilitate their own artistic expression and exploring cultural practices and artefacts across the Arts disciplines. Online learning activities and resources will facilitate pre-service teachers’ critical analysis and reflection of these experiences for the purpose of developing pedagogies and practices for developing creative environments and planning learning activities for learners in early learning and primary contexts. There will be an opportunity for the content to be applied in Professional Experience Studies where pre-service educators will draw on the ethical, theoretical and practical considerations of this unit for planning and implementing learning activities in The Arts during professional placement.

Technology Enhanced Learning 

The online teaching and learning in this unit will be offered via a LEO unit site. Lectures, lecture summaries and/or tutorial activities may be recorded to support student learning. Pre-service teachers and indigenous community participants will be notified when an activity is being recorded prior to the commencement of the activity.

Assessment strategy and rationale

The assessment tasks and their weightings allow pre-service teachers to progressively demonstrate achievement against the course learning outcomes by demonstrating academic and professional standards through achievement against the unit learning outcomes. The Curriculum Studies units in this course focus on developing understanding of and skills in curriculum, pedagogy and assessment for a selected discipline with reference to the Early Years Learning Framework and the primary learning areas of the Australian Curriculum. Emphasis is given to demonstrating professional knowledge of the content and how to teach it (APST 2), and professional practice in planning and implementing learning (APST 3) and assessing learning (APST 5) in the selected area. In EDAR562 the assessment focuses on applying pedagogical content knowledge to culturally responsive and creative learning opportunities in The Arts for learners and their families from birth to 12 years. The two assessment tasks are sequenced to allow feedback and progressive development in demonstrating pedagogical practice in: understanding and evaluating the role of The Arts in the learning and development of children from birth to 12 years (Task 1); and applying knowledge of curriculum, pedagogy and assessment to the development of teaching strategies and resources covering the five arts studies, music, dance, drama, media and visual arts, for children from birth to 12 years (Task 2).  The weighting of the tasks reflects the advanced application of knowledge and skills through pedagogical content knowledge in the portfolio of resources (Task 2). 

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 for pre-service teachers to demonstrate achievement of each learning outcome. In order to pass this unit, students are required to successfully complete all assessment tasks.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment Task 1

Podcast/Blog for Parents/Carers; Rationale for The Arts learning area

Critical analysis of the relevance of the Arts to develop a rationale for teaching and assessing the Arts across birth to 12 years, including: significance of the Arts to development and learning; the Arts as communication; creativity and the Arts; play and other early learning pedagogies in The Arts; engaging learning and assessment activities across The Arts disciplines (with examples for birth to 5, 6 to 8 and 9 to 12 years); and differentiating to respond to learner backgrounds and abilities.


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5

GA3, GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8, GA10

Assessment Task 2

Portfolio of Arts Resources

Critical annotation of a portfolio of creative Arts teaching strategies, resources and provocations covering music, dance, drama, media and visual arts across early childhood and primary settings, including: indoor and outdoor play and learning; integration with ICTs; intentional teaching of arts skills and knowledge; independent creativity; and respectful engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts and artists as historical and cultural artefacts. 


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5

GA3, GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8, GA10

Representative texts and references

Required Texts

Clark, B., Grey, A., & Terreni, L. (2013). Kia tipu te wairua toi: Fostering the creative spirit: Arts in early childhood education. Auckland, NZ: Pearson.

Englebright-Fox, J., & Schirrmacher, R. (2015). Art and creative development of young children (8th ed.) Stamford, CT: Cengage Learning.

Recommended References

Ahn, J., & Filipenko, M. (2007). Narrative, imaginary play, art, and self: Intersecting worlds. Early Childhood Education Journal, 34(4), 279-289. 

Dinham, J. (2016). Delivering authentic arts education (3rd ed.). South Melbourne, Vic: Cengage Learning.

Bamberger, J. (2006). What develops in musical development? A view of development as learning. In G. MacPherson (Ed.), The child as musician: Musical development from conception to adolescence. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Bruce, T. (2004). Cultivating creativity in babies, toddlers and young children. London: Hodder & Stoughton.

Edwards, L. (2014). The creative arts. A process approach for teachers and children (Pearson New International ed: 5th ed.).Harlow, Essex: Pearson Education.

Isenberg, J., & Jalongo, M. (2018). Creative thinking and arts-based learning: Preschool through fourth grade (7th ed.). New York, NY: Pearson.

Lubaway, J. (2009). Visions of creativity in early childhood: Connecting theory, practice and reflection. Castle Hill, NSW: Pademelon Press.

Rankin, B. (2009). Nurturing through music. Sound Ideas, 8(1), 38

Wright, S. (2015). Signs, meaning and embodiment: Learning and pedagogy in the early years. In The International Handbook of the Arts and Education. London: Routledge. 

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