Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit



Unit rationale, description and aim

It is critical for all pre-service teachers to develop their understanding of diversity in order to engage with and cater for the learning needs of culturally diverse learners in a multi-cultural world.

While other units of study address notions of diversity through topics such as race, gender, sexual orientation and class, this unit explores diversity by looking at the forces of globalisation and how this phenomenon increasingly links and intertwines economic, political, social, cultural, and human capital across what were once disparate geographical or international borders.

The unit also focuses on major educational debates occurring internationally and in Australia and the tensions existing between notions of equality and equity, particularly with regard to “developing” and “developed” world contexts, versus quality, efficiency and parental choice. Topics include the historical role education has played in how societies develop, and which aspects of education are unique to particular settings (e.g., Australia) and which are shared across systems. By comparative analysis of educational systems and practices, this unit will enable pre-service teachers to better understand their own educational/school settings while, at the same time, allow them to make independent and informed professional decisions across diverse jurisdictional systems (Faith-based, Independent and State), diverse geographic settings (Urban, Rural and Remote and International) and diverse students and communities. Such understanding and decision-making assists inter-cultural competence and ethical understandings of how educational opportunity impacts on individuals and communities both locally and globally; a key requirement for responding to current global issues that might be addressed through education.

The aim of this unit is to provide pre-service teachers with specific knowledge about how social, historical, political and cultural contexts impact upon education systems, and by default, on educational opportunity.

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 - Describe the significant features of the educational system and policies in Australia and their impact on educational processes and outcomes within a global context with reference to postcolonialism and relevant theories (GA4, GA8; APST 1.1, 1.3, 6.2; ACECQA A1, A3, A6, F3)

LO2 - Examine and analyse core aspects of education across contrasting systems with regard to political, economic, social, cultural and geographic factors and relate these to educational opportunities for individuals and communities both locally and globally (GA1, GA2, GA3, GA4; APST 1.3, 7.1; ACECQA A6, E2, E3)

LO3 - Explain and draw connections between current and future issues that link to notions of globalisation and impact on educational policy both in Australia and globally (GA2, GA3, GA4; APST 6.4, 7.2; ACECQA E3, F3)

LO4 - Synthesise understandings of the influences of post-colonial theories informing educational systems and policies to demonstrate a critically reflective and ethically responsible outlook on how education might inform a more just and equitable world (GA1, GA2, GA3, GA4, GA8, GA9; APST 1.3, 3.6, 6.4, 7.1; ACECQA A6, E2, E3, F3) 

Graduate attributes

GA1 - demonstrate respect for the dignity of each individual and for human diversity

GA2 - recognise their responsibility to the common good, the environment and society 

GA3 - apply ethical perspectives in informed decision making

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

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

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


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

1.1 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of physical, social and intellectual development and characteristics of students and how these may affect learning.

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.

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

6.2 Understand the relevant and appropriate sources of professional learning for teachers.

6.4 Demonstrate an understanding of the rationale for continued professional learning and the implications for improved student learnings. 

7.1 Understand and apply the key principles described in codes of ethics and conduct for the teaching profession.

7.2 Understand the relevant legislative, administrative and organisational policies and processes required for teachers according to school stage.


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

A Child development and care

  • A1 learning, development and care
  • A3 social and emotional development
  • A6 diversity, difference and inclusivity

E History and philosophy of early childhood

  • E2 contemporary theories and practice
  • E3 ethics and professional practice

F Early childhood professional practice

  • F3 professional identity and development


Topics will include:

  • Introduction to globalization, postcolonialism and critical theory
  • Cultural identity and representation across educational systems
  • Indigenous and multicultural identity
  • Notions of exclusion and marginalisation and their relationship with educational opportunities
  • Contemporary educational policy debates and educational policy levers
  • Frameworks for viewing education and globalisation (neo-liberalism versus social justice)
  • Inter-cultural competence and its place in providing ethical and equitable opportunities in education
  • Relationship between education and equity and justice in a globalised world.

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

This unit may be offered on-campus, online or in a blended mode. 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 teaching period comprising of directed tasks and self-study. This unit positions pre-service as adult learners with responsibility for their own learning and who are capable of problem solving. The learning in this unit is enquiry-based, learner-focused and student centred.

The unit will be delivered through a combination of lectures, tutorials, audio/visual resources and various online activities during the teaching period. The unit will allow the pre-service teacher to reflexively engage with peers and tutors in a range of collaborative activities connected to the unit content. This unit engages learning through a theory-to-practice approach that will be responsive to the diversity of the pre-service teacher’s current knowledge and experience with a key component being the reflexive link between theoretical knowledge and previous/subsequent professional experience placements. Examination of case studies will support the praxis-based approach taken in this unit.

Technology Enhanced Learning

This unit uses ‘Learning Environment Online’ (LEO) for the provision of lecture and tutorial content, required and/or further readings, and other unit material. Recorded lectures will be made available to students through LEO. 

Assessment strategy and rationale

Each assessment item will require pre-service teachers to consider the social, cultural and political dimensions of the issue under examination and the implications these have for learning and teaching. The assessment strategy used allows students to demonstrate their knowledge related to literature and data interpretation in a theoretical and practical manner. Each assessment task and associated weighting will allow pre-service teachers to progressively demonstrate their success in terms of achieving the stated learning outcomes. The assessment tasks are designed in sequence so as to allow for feedback and progressive development across the unit. 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 and their weighting for this unit are designed to demonstrate achievement of each learning outcome. In order to pass this unit, students are required to submit all assessment tasks, meet the learning outcomes of the unit and achieve a minimum overall passing grade of 50%.

Learning Outcome 3 (Explain and draw connections between current and future issues that link to notions of globalisation and impact on educational policy both in Australia and globally) is only assessed in Assessment Task 3. A pass in this component of the assessment is an additional requirement for passing the unit overall.

Electronic Submission, Marking and Return

Turnitin will be used for submitting, marking, and returning of assessment tasks. Assessment tasks will be returned within three weeks of submission.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment Task 1

Examine and describe aspects of the Australian education system with regard to political, economic, social, cultural and geographic factors.



GA4, GA8

Assessment Task 2

Group Presentation, discussion and Report

Small group responsible for preparing a presentation, class discussion and report examining aspects of the education systems of two contrasting countries with regard to political, economic, social, cultural and geographic factors and the relationship between these factors on the educational opportunities for individuals and communities in the selected countries. 


LO1, LO2

GA1, GA2, GA3, GA4, GA8

Assessment Task 3

Comparative Case study

A sociocultural analysis of a distinct local or international educational issue/practice that has been impacted by globalisation. The issue must be assessed from two contrasting case-study perspectives (e.g., jurisdictional, political, geographic, cultural, economic or class) and linked to relevant post colonial theories influencing the issue. A synthesis of these features should culminate in a critical reflection on how an ethical outlook on education policy and practice might inform more just and equitable outcomes concerning the selected issue. 


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4

GA1, GA2, GA3, GA4, GA8, GA9

Representative texts and references

Required text(s)

Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA)

Early Years Learning Framework


Relevant State and Territory curriculum documents. 


Recommended references

Astiz, M., & Akiba, M. (Eds.). (2016). The global and the local: Diverse perspectives in comparative education. The World Council of Comparative Education Societies (Vol. 5). Rotterdam, NL: Sense.

Bartram, B. (2018). International and comparative education: Contemporary issues and debates. The Routledge Education Studies Series. Abingdon, Oxon, UK: Routledge.

Bonal, X., & Bellei, C. (2019). Understanding school segregation: Patterns, cause and consequences of spatial inequalities in education. London, UK: Bloomsbury Academic.

McCowan, T., & Unterhalter, E. (Eds.). (2015). Education and international development: An introduction. London, UK: Bloomsbury Academic.

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). (2018). Education at a glance 2018: OECD indicators, Paris, OECD Publishing.

Reynolds, R., Bradbery, D., Brown, J., Carroll, K., Donnelly, D., Ferguson-Partick, K., & Macqueen, S. (2015). Contesting and constructing international perspectives in global education. Leidon, Boston, US: Sense.

Saltman, K., & Means, A. (2019). The Wiley handbook of global educational reform. Hoboken, NJ, US: Wiley Blackwell

United Nations. (2015). Framework for action: Towards inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong learning for all. Retrieve from

United Nations. (2017). UNESCO study reveals correlation between poverty and education. Retrieved from

Zajda, J. (2018). Globalisation and education reforms: Paradigms and ideologies. Globalisation, Comparative Education and Policy Research (Vol. 19). Dordrecht, NL: Springer.

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