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EDDR501 Drama Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment 1

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 Drama education in contemporary Australian society, and the senior secondary Drama 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 Drama 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 Drama 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 - generate and critically evaluate a Drama Education curriculum program for senior students which synthesises a variety of pedagogical approaches and resources appropriate to these year levels, assessment tasks and curriculum content (GA4, GA5; APST 1.2, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3)

LO2 - critically analyse, synthesise, develop and implement a variety of research-informed classroom strategies which cater for individual differences in student learning (e.g. differences informed by cognitive, physical, socio-economic, cultural, linguistic and religious diversity) and integrate general capabilities and cross curriculum priorities in the Drama classroom (GA4, GA5, GA9, GA10; APST 1.3, 2.1, 2.5, 3.3, 4.1)

LO3 - analyse the relationships between learning task design, student learning and expertise, higher order thinking, assessment, feedback and reporting strategies and evaluation in Drama Education, and apply to the development of own teaching practice (GA4, GA5, GA8; APST 3.1, 5.2, 5.5)

LO4 - analyse and articulate the relationship of assessment to intervention strategies, student learning and high stakes assessment, moderation and examination practices in Drama Education, and interpret student assessment data to evaluate student learning and modify teaching practice (GA3, GA5, GA8; APST 2.3, 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.4).

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 

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

GA9 - demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media 

GA10 - utilise information and communication and other relevant technologies effectively


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.

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.

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.

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.

4.1 Identify strategies to support inclusive student participation and engagement in classroom activities.

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.


Topics will include:

  • factors in the educational context of Drama and Theatre (international, national, state, territory and local levels) including curriculum policies and perspectives that shape the identity of Drama Education in Years 11 and 12
  • the concepts, substance and structure of senior secondary curriculum content in Drama
  • specific professional practices and key pedagogical practices related to teaching and learning in Drama Education, and their theoretical underpinnings
  • general capabilities and cross curriculum priorities including the integration of literacy and numeracy, and local, state, territory and national perspectives in the Drama Education classroom
  • alignment and coherence in content, learning outcomes, pedagogy in curriculum programming in Drama Education
  • the relationship between reflexive learning and effective concept formation to foster creativity and build higher order thinking in Drama Education
  • catering for a diverse range of learners in Drama Education
  • strategies to develop students’ literacy and numeracy skills in the context of Drama Education
  • specific teaching strategies and issues related to Indigenous students in Drama Education
  • effective use of resources for teaching, including ICT’s and technologies specific to Drama Education
  • pedagogical strategies to facilitate creativity, promote problem solving and foster critical thinking in Drama Education
  • ways to assess student learning, provide effective feedback, make consistent and comparable judgments, interpret student data, report on student achievement and ethical practice in assessment in Drama
  • maintaining student safety in this curriculum area including risk identification, management and legislative requirements 
  • resources and sources of professional learning for teachers for teachers, including professional associations, external professionals, community representatives and support networks.

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 Drama 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:

Curriculum, assessment and evaluation practice

A program/unit of work constructed for senior students over a nominated period of time (e.g., term/semester). The program will be evidence-based and designed to address:

  • the scope and sequence
  • a current issue or innovation in the teaching area or a particular context/scenario
  • nominated curriculum content represented in a learning and teaching sequence
  • differentiation of assessment for learning tasks to suit the needs of diverse learners
  • literacy/numeracy strategies in the teaching area
  • learning outcomes/indicators of learning
  • the integration of assessment in learning and teaching tasks
  • nominated pedagogical strategies to support higher order learning
  • resources, including ICT and a field trip or excursion
  • a proposal for curriculum evaluation.


LO1, LO2

GA4, GA5, GA9, GA10

Assessment Task 2:

Formative and Summative Assessment Folio

Develop an assessment plan of two or more assessment for learning tasks designed for senior students. Each task designed will include:

  • a variety of assessment strategies, including diagnostic, formative and summative, that reflect the assessment requirements specific to the curriculum area while catering to diverse learner strengths and needs
  • a rationale which accounts for the inclusion of content in relation to how the demand of each task supports the development of higher order thinking
  • learning outcomes/achievement standards
  • strategies for making consistent and comparable judgements, including marking guidelines/criteria, and moderation
  • ways in which data will be interpreted to modify teaching practices
  • strategies for providing feedback
  • source material as appropriate.


LO3, LO4

GA3, GA4, GA5, GA8

Representative texts and references

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

Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA). (2015). Australian Curriculum: The Arts Foundation – Year 10. (Available for use: awaiting final endorsement).

Cornett, C.E. (2013). Creating meaning through literature and the arts: Arts integration for classroom teachers (5th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson.

Dinham, J. (2014). Delivering authentic arts education (2nd ed.). South Melbourne, Vic: Cengage Learning Australia.

Gelineau, R. P. (2012). Integrating the arts across the elementary school curriculum (2nd ed.). Southbank, Vic: Wadsworth/Cengage Learning.

Isenberg, J. P., Jalongo, M. R., & Isenberg, J. (2014). Creative thinking and arts-based learning: Preschool through fourth grade (6th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson.

Poston-Anderson, B. (2012). Drama: Learning connections in primary schools (2nd ed.). South Melbourne, Vic: Oxford University Press.

Rattigan, M., & Rawlinson, J. (2006). Kidz-fiz-biz physical business for kids: Learning through drama, dance and song. Carmarthen, Wales: Crown House Pub.

Reed, F. (2005). Dance and drama bites for juniors: Enriching the everyday curriculum with dance and drama. Invercargill N.Z.: Essential Resources Educational Publishers.

Roy, D., Baker, W., & Hamilton, A. (2012). Teaching the arts: Early childhood and primary education. Port Melbourne, Vic: Cambridge University Press.

Sinclair, C., Jeanneret, N. & O’Toole, J. (2012). Education in the arts: Teaching and learning in the contemporary curriculum (2nd ed.). South Melbourne, Vic: Oxford University Press.

Wight, S. (2012). Children, meaning making and the arts (2nd ed.). Frenchs Forest, NSW: Pearson Australia. 

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