Credit points


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EDFD340 Diversity and Inclusive Education , EDFD478 Catering for Diversity and Inclusion in the Classroom , EDFD261 Creating Inclusive, Safe and Supportive Learning Environments ,

Unit rationale, description and aim

Pre-service teachers need to be able to support all children/students as unique learners with diverse strengths, backgrounds, challenges, interests and capabilities. Understanding all students and how they learn and knowing how to adapt and teach curricula effectively are essential to teachers’ professional knowledge and inclusive practice.

This unit promotes positive attitudes towards understanding student diversity, developing wider sociocultural perspectives of students with disability, mental health, learning difficulties, behaviour and social-emotional needs, gifted and talented, and students from Indigenous and cultural and linguistic diverse backgrounds. Human rights, social justice and ethical principles are analysed within policy frameworks and international, national and state legislative requirements. Society and education systems are constantly changing, and pre-service teachers need to be flexible, open-minded and reflexive life-long learners in developing differentiated and responsive teaching, learning and assessment. Universal design for learning is an approach that supports all learners across varying ages and requires careful planning in differentiated teaching and suitable adjustment strategies that embrace student differences within safe, inclusive, collaborative home, community and whole-school/centre educational contexts.

The unit is designed to equip pre-service teachers with high-quality research-informed, evidence-based knowledge, innovative pedagogical skills and practical student-centred experiences so that they can take responsibility for supporting all their students to access, participate and thrive. 

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 complex nature of student diversity and identify the implications for teaching and supporting diverse learning (GA1, GA4; APST 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 1.6; ACECQA A5, A6, A7, B1, B2, B5, B9) 

LO2     Explain how relevant policy, legal and curriculum frameworks, and research inform the adoption of ethical practice to support diverse learners including learners with a disability (GA2, GA3, GA5; APST 1.6, 4.4, 7.2; ACECQA B1, B2, B5, C7, E3)

LO3     Construct responsive differentiated teaching, learning and assessment planning using evidenced-based approaches (GA4, GA5, GA7; APST 1.5, 2.1, 2.3, 2.5, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.5, 4.1, 4.3, 4.4, 5.4; ACECQA B9, C1, C5, C6, E2)

LO4     Evaluate strategies for building respectful collaborative relationships across home, community and diverse educational contexts (GA1, GA4, GA5, GA7; APST 3.6, 3.7, 5.5, 6.4, 7.3, 7.4; ACECQA A8, D1, D2, D3, D4, D5)

LO5    Identify and evaluate their own professional learning needs in supporting diverse learning, and appropriate sources of professional learning (GA4, GA5, GA7; APST 6.1, 6.2, 6.3, 6.4; 7.1, 7.2, 7.4; ACECQA 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 

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

GA7 - work both autonomously and collaboratively 


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

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.

1.4 Demonstrate broad knowledge and understanding of the impact of culture, cultural identity and linguistic background on the education of students from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander backgrounds.

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. 

1.6 Demonstrate broad knowledge and understanding of legislative requirements and teaching strategies that support participation and learning of students with disability.

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

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.

3.4 Demonstrate knowledge of a range of resources, including ICT, that engage students in their learning.

3.5 Demonstrate a range of verbal and non-verbal communication strategies to support student engagement.

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

3.7 Describe a broad range of strategies for involving parents/carers in the educative process.

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

4.3 Demonstrate knowledge of practical approaches to manage challenging behaviour.

4.4 Describe strategies that support students’ well-being and safety working within school and/or system, curriculum and legislative requirements.

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.

6.1 Demonstrate an understanding of the role of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers in identifying professional learning needs.

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

6.3 Seek and apply constructive feedback from supervisors and teachers to improve teaching practices.

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.

7.3 Understand strategies for working effectively, sensitively and confidentially with parents/carers.

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

ACECQA Curriculum Specifications

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

A Child development and care

A5 early intervention

A6 diversity, difference and inclusivity

A7 learners with special needs

A8 transitions and continuity of learning (including transition to school)

B Education and curriculum studies

B1 Early Years Learning Framework

B2 the Australian curriculum

B5 English as an additional language

B9 curriculum planning, programming and evaluation

C Teaching pedagogies

C1 alternative pedagogies and curriculum approaches

C5 children with diverse needs and backgrounds

C6 working with children who speak languages other than, or in addition to, English

C7 contemporary society and pedagogy

D Family and community contexts

D1 developing family and community partnerships

D2 multicultural education

D3 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives

D4 socially inclusive practice

D5 culture, diversity and inclusion

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:

  • Contexts– philosophy underpinning inclusive practice; policy and legislation NDIS, National consistent data collection
  • Differentiating and Universal Design for Learning
  • Collecting Data
  • Personalised Planning
  • Support strategies and effective adjustments including literacy and numeracy
  • Safety, Wellbeing and Child Safe principles
  • Collaborating and consultation with stakeholders including advocacy
  • Collaborating
  • Human Rights
  • Inclusive School Communities
  • Big Picture

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

The unit will be taught in a variety of teaching and learning modes during on campus semester weeks or equivalent in intensive and online modes. In each case, the teaching and learning strategy is designed to be flexible and promote self-regulated and guided learning, underpinned by adult learning principles will include:

  • Lectures face-to-face or online to enhance knowledge
  • Seminars, tutorials or workshops; online activities to engage in active learning
  • Reading guides which involve directed reading as well as self-directed online study materials
  • Discussion Forum online postings and responses designed to encourage peer collaboration
  • Webinars and podcasts for lecturer and student communication and for further information.

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 semester. To achieve a passing standard in this unit, students will find it helpful to engage in the full range of learning activities and assessments utilised in this unit, as described in the learning and teaching strategy and the assessment strategy. The learning and teaching and assessment approaches include a range of methods to support learning such as reading, reflection, discussion, webinars, podcasts, video etc.

Technology Enhanced Learning

Lectures will be recorded and links will be provided on the Learning Environment Online (LEO).

Assessment strategy and rationale

Assessment tasks are criterion-referenced and designed to demonstrate that the unit learning outcomes have been met and match accreditation requirements for Professional Standards. Types of assessments involve a variety of tasks to challenge students’ learning and to enable differentiation of achievement and be equitable and ethical.

Minimum Achievement Standard

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%.

Assessment in EDET300 includes a Critical Task: Assessment Task 3 Case Study on Differentiation. This task is core to the demonstration of a number of Australian Professional Teacher Standards. Pre-service teachers must demonstrate mastery of every summative listed in the learning outcomes and attain a score of at least 50% in Task 3 in order to pass this unit.

Electronic Submission, Marking and Return

Electronic submission and marking of assignments through Turnitin will be used.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment Task 1

Teaching Children with Diverse Backgrounds

Using key research and experience, critically reflect on teaching children/students with diverse backgrounds, including disabilities, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and English as an Additional Language/Dialect background, Gifted and talented, with a focus on effective ways to support their learning.



GA1, GA4

Assessment Task 2

Policy Analysis

Analyse legal and policy frameworks, stakeholders’ and focus student’s perspectives and other relevant sources informing support for students with diverse learning needs including disabilities.



GA2, GA3, GA5

Assessment Task 3.

Case Study on Differentiation

Critical Task

Report on a case study into the needs of a learner with a disability requiring differentiated teaching, learning and assessment planning, to provide support for their participation and achievement in learning activities. Include analysis of the context, description of the learner, identification of the learner needs and strengths, design of the differentiated curriculum and the learning and teaching strategies proposed.

 Reflect on working collaboratively across contexts and identify ongoing professional learning and possible sources of professional learning to support the engagement, learning and success of diverse students.


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5

GA1, GA4, GA5, GA7


This task requires the development of a personalised learning plan to cater for a case study student with diverse learning needs. The task relates to adapting and developing lesson content, activities, resources (including the use of ICT) and classroom behaviour management strategies to enhance the learning opportunities for the individual needs of identified student. This task will incorporate your knowledge of required legislation and teaching strategies that assist schools to become safe and supportive learning environments for all students, including strategies to minimise bullying. Strategies also need to demonstrate knowledge and understanding in your teaching area or specialisation.

  1. You are required to develop a personalised plan and to imagine a student you may be working with in the future who has significant specific learning need/s. You decide the age, gender, strengths and potential risks confronting the student. Outline the characteristics, strengths and challenges for the identified student and for the others in the class/setting.
  2. Outline three key focus areas – i) social and emotional learning, ii) communication and iii) functional literacy and/or numeracy and support the aspects you will focus on with research.
  3. Write one specific (SMART) outcome for each key focus area.
  4. Identify a range of strategies, adjustments and differentiation to content, activities, resources (including use of ICT, also assistive technology where appropriate) and classroom behaviour management strategies.
  5. Include how you will assess the effectiveness of the strategies to reach the outcomes
  6. Evaluate the plan overall and make recommendations for possible future directions for the student.
  7. As a way of demonstrating your application of aspects of the personalised plan you need to do a lesson for the class. Write the related curriculum/syllabus outcomes for class, briefly outline the lesson steps, write one SMART outcome that you want your case study to achieve the by the end of the lesson, write the adjustments and differentiation strategies you plan to take to support your student reach the SMART outcome, and identify the assessment strategies you will use to see if the student reached the SMART outcome. 
  8. Incorporate clear connections with relevant legislation/frameworks documents throughout.
  9. Use positive strength-based language.
  10. Reflect on your learning about catering for student diversity and your role as an inclusive educator.
  11. Support your work with research and references relevant to the Australian context using APA referencing.

Representative texts and references

Required text(s)

Australian Curriculum

Early Years Learning Framework

Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA)

Australian Human Rights Commission

Relevant State and Territory curriculum documents. 


Recommended references

(2019). Education for inclusion and diversity (6th ed.). Frenchs Forest, NSW: Pearson Education Australia.

Dempsey, I., & Dally, K. (2014). Professional standards for Australian special education teachers. Australasian Journal of Special Education, 38, 1-13. doi:10.1017/jse.2014.1

Forlin, C., & Loreman, T. (Eds.). (2014). Measuring inclusive education. West Yorkshire, England: Emerald.

Foreman, P., & Arthur-Kelly, M. (Eds.). (2017). Inclusion in action (5th ed.). South Melbourne, Vic: Cengage Learning Australia.

Gargiulo, R., & Metcalf, D. (2017). Teaching in today’s inclusive classrooms: A universal design for learning approach (3rd ed.). South Melbourne, Vic: Cengage Learning Australia.

Hyde, M., Carpenter, L., & Dole, S. (2017). Diversity, inclusion and engagement (3rd ed.). South Melbourne, Vic: Oxford University Press.

Reid, A. (Ed.). (2018). The Australian school: Promises, problems and possibilities. Deakin, ACT: Australian Curriculum Studies Association.

Sailor, W. (2017). Equity as a basis for inclusive educational systems change. Australasian Journal of Special Education, 41, 1-17. doi:10.1017/jse.2016.12.

Scorgie, K., & Sobsey, R. (2017). Working with families for inclusive education: Navigating identity, opportunity and belonging. Bingley, UK: Emerald.

Tomlinson, C. (2014). The differentiated classroom responding to the needs of all learners (2nd ed.). Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD).

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