Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit


EDFX522 Social and Cultural Contexts of Development and Learning and Graduate Professional Experience Primary 2

Unit rationale, description and aim

The beginning teacher needs to understand the ethical, legal and professional demands of the primary classroom teacher.

This unit is responsible for drawing together knowledge and skills of previous units studied and building upon them. Particular focus will be given to the purpose and range of assessment practices and tools in forward-planning, evaluation, tracking, profiling, and reporting to parents and caregivers. Finally, critical reflection, working in curriculum planning teams, and developing an understanding of the details of day-to-day classroom organisation will enable pre-service teachers to view themselves as a decision-maker within the classroom. The development of a portfolio will directly link to the relevant Australian Professional Standards for Teachers: Graduate level.

The unit aims to enable pre-service teachers to design, implement and evaluate integrated curriculum, critically analysing national, state, systemic, and school based requirements to the unique sociocultural background of each school and classroom.

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 - design curriculum founded upon an informed concept of curriculum design, including the relationships between syllabus outcomes, pedagogically sound teaching and learning strategies, a range of resources (including ethical use of ICT), relevant assessment practices and evaluation, within national, state, system and school requirements (GA5, GA10; APST 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.6, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.6, 4.4, 4.5, 5.1, 5.4, 7.2, 7.4)

LO2 - critically examine the impact of education system, school philosophies, policy development and school structures on quality learning and teaching practices as a member of a collaborative learning community of professional educators (GA5, GA7; APST 6.2, 6.4)

LO3 - critically evaluate teaching contexts in order to adapt teaching and learning strategies and incorporate culturally responsive and socially critical perspectives in curriculum development, with reference particularly to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and multi-cultural (including ESL & EAL/D) learners and cross-curriculum priorities, stemming from an understanding of the ethos of schools and the communities they serve (GA1, GA7; APST 1.3, 1.4, 3.6)

LO4 - critique a range of teaching and learning strategies, especially with a literacy/numeracy focus, for a differentiated curriculum design that promotes an inclusive learning context for students of diverse abilities and learning needs (GA1, GA5; APST 1.3, 1.5, 2.5, 3.1, 3.3)

LO5 - demonstrate an in-depth understanding of strategies for assessing, moderating, interpreting assessment data, keeping accurate records, tracking and profiling, for the purpose of reporting to parents/carers and other stakeholders and modifying teaching practices (GA5; APST 5.1, 5.3, 5.4, 5.5)

LO6 - articulate deep knowledge and understanding of working sensitively and effectively with and reporting to parents/carers, external professionals and community representatives, for broadening their engagement in the educative process and developing professional knowledge and practice (GA1; APST 3.7, 5.5, 7.3, 7.4)

LO7 - examine and interpret the complexities of the professional demands of the teacher with reference to ethical, legal, and legislative requirements while working in a collaborative school context (GA3, GA7; APST 3.7, 4.5, 7.1, 7.2, 7.4)

LO8 - self-audit and consolidate an individual digital portfolio of evidence that demonstrates achievement of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers: Graduate level and identifies individual professional learning needs and appropriate sources of professional learning for future development (GA5, GA10; APST, 6.1, 6.2, 6.4).

Graduate attributes

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

GA3 - apply ethical perspectives in informed decision making

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

GA7 - work both autonomously and collaboratively 

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


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. 

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.

2.6 Implement teaching strategies for using ICT to expand curriculum learning opportunities for students.

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.

3.6 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.

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

4.5 Demonstrate an understanding of the relevant issues and the strategies available to support the safe, responsible and ethical use of ICT in learning and teaching.

5.1 Demonstrate understanding of assessment strategies, including informal and formal, diagnostic, formative and summative approaches to assess student 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.

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.

6.4 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.


Topics include:

  • International, national, state and local educational systems influences on curriculum decision-making
  • Critical reflection upon models and theories of curriculum design
  • Understand contemporary curriculum and pedagogical approaches, considering international, national, state influences on curriculum and recent curriculum reform including indigenous, cultural, assessment and ICT perspectives.
  • Major contemporary drivers of change in the educational environment and the implications of key reports and initiatives
  • Interrogation of the professional, legal and ethical responsibilities of teachers in curriculum design
  • Discussion of the role of inquiry-based learning in curriculum integration with particular reference to literacy and numeracy strategies
  • Acknowledgement and inclusion of curriculum perspectives e.g. gender, citizenship, Indigenous Australian, Asian perspectives, etc.
  • Identification, analysis and utilisation in curriculum design of the unique school and class contexts (situational analysis). Pre-service teachers may be able to reflect upon their final professional experience placement for this purpose.
  • Identification and analysis of unique learning needs of students with individuals and groups including Australian Indigenous and multi-cultural peoples
  • Recognition and implementation of the relationships between the curriculum elements i.e. syllabus outcomes, sequenced content, differentiated teaching and learning strategies, and realistic assessment tasks
  • Design of assessment tasks with critical discussion regarding the importance of feedback to students to enhance learning
  • Discussion and critique the purposes and tools of program evaluation for forward-planning – pre and post evaluation strategies for teaching and learning plans
  • Investigation of software programs and other means of recording student results to maintain clear records of student development and needs
  • Analysis of student results to determine strengths and areas needing attention for individual, small groups and whole class progression and future programming
  • Administrative systems for attendance
  • Construction of a teaching pedagogy or philosophy which reflects personal beliefs based upon scholarly literature and research
  • Identification of routines, timetables and management practices to enable effective implementation of curriculum and adherence to state, system and school requirements
  • Working collaboratively with specialist teachers and community liaison personnel
  • Managing and working collaboratively with support staff
  • Exploration of partnerships with parents – reporting, parent/teacher nights, parental assistance in the classroom, specific interviews with parents regarding difficulties, ESL or EAL/D students and their families
  • Exploration of the various types of portfolios that could be used to demonstrate professional understandings, skills and work samples
  • Construction of a professional digital portfolio utilising teaching artefacts to support achievement of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers: Graduate level and ACU graduate attributes. 

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

Pre-service teachers will be involved in a variety of teaching-learning strategies to progress and demonstrate their understandings in this unit. The unit is comprised of lectures and tutorials within which national, state, systemic and school documents, DVDs, discussion and debate, use of ICT, and workshop exercises will be utilised to address the outcomes and content of the unit. It should also be noted here that, in conjunction with the delivery of this unit, students will be undertaking their final professional experience and will be able to reflect upon and refer to their own schools and classes when discussing many aspects of this unit.

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 strategies include a range of approaches to support your learning such as reading, reflection, discussion, webinars, podcasts, video, workshops, and assignments etc. 

Assessment strategy and rationale

The assessment tasks and their weightings are designed to allow pre-service teachers to progressively demonstrate achievement against the unit learning outcomes and demonstrate attainment of professional standards.

There will be two assessment tasks for this unit which shall include the following:

1. A unit of work designed to meet the needs of a specific learning context, and the legislative and legal requirements of a nominated state and/or system. This task should preferably be undertaken partly in collaboration with at least one other pre-service teacher to practice the grade or stage team curriculum planning process. An individual situational analysis and teacher philosophy must be included.

2. Construction (or continuation) of a professional digital portfolio reflecting ACU graduate attributes and demonstrating achievement of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers: Graduate level.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment Task 1:

Enquiry-based Integrated unit of work including a statement outlining the pre-service teacher’s educational philosophy.

This Assessment Task must address Learning Outcomes 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 as detailed in the Unit Outline


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5

GA1, GA3, GA5, GA7, GA10

Assessment Task 2:

Professional portfolio.

Submission of a digital portfolio of professional practice with a focus Standard 5 identifying assessment, analysis of results, moderation practices and reporting of student achievement and learning outcomes, providing competency based annotated evidence and reflection of the pre-service teacher’s professional practice evaluated against the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers: Graduate.

This must be accompanied by a statement outlining the pre-service teacher’s educational philosophy and a rationale for continued professional learning, why such professional learning would be considered appropriate and the impact of this on student learning. This rationale must involve consideration of a range of collaborations, including colleagues, external professionals and parents that would support your ongoing work and ethical conduct as a teacher.  


LO5, LO6, LO7, LO8

GA5, GA10

Details of Assessment Task 1.

The assessment of this task will be divided into 2 parts as follows:

Based on the information supplied in the lectures and readings, develop a Unit of Work which integrates three Key Learning Areas (English must be one of the areas) around a theme or focus. The Unit of Work should cover a five week teaching period and should be relevant for the class described in the Situational Analysis.

PART A (Group Component to be undertaken in Pairs)                      (Weighting = 40%)


Class Situational Analysis   Limits: 2 pages    (Weighting = 10%)

  • Read the Situational Analysis provided.
  • Assign a Primary Year Level/class to this fictional class. 
  • Map/chart your chosen class’ scope and sequence for the year for all KLAs and terms
  • Construct a weekly timetable for your class


Theme/Focus Description                              Limits: 2 pages             (Weighting = 10%)

  • Choose a theme/focus and guiding focus question(s) for your Unit of Work and write description (maximum 250 words) of the theme/focus and its relevance to the Primary Year chosen. This description should clearly detail where the theme/focus fits into the scope and sequence for the level you have nominated and the importance of this unit for the students’ learning with reference to social, cultural and diverse learning needs and relevant state/territory and national policies
  • Provide a visual overview of your key knowledge and skills for this 5 week unit of work integrating the 3 KLAs – the unit at a glance!

Unit of Work Overview                                   Limits: 1 page    (Weighting = 5%)

In one page provide an Overview of the Unit of Work covering the following key elements:

  • Aims of the Unit of Work
  • Outcomes to be covered
  • Overview of Learning to be addressed in the 5 weeks, plus a pacing guide
  • Overview of Assessments and tracking systems to monitor and evaluate student learning


Teaching Sequence               Limits: Maximum: 3 Pages + appendices (Weighting = 15%)  

Detail the teaching/learning sequence for the Unit of Work which shows the integration of the Key Learning Areas with the theme or focus across a two week period selected from the overall 5 week integrated unit of work.

The format for this teaching sequence should include:

a)   Outcomes (Syllabus Code Numbers)

b)   Indicators of Learning and Assessment Strategies

c)    Teaching Experiences – knowledge and skills to be developed, including students’ use of ICT, differentiation; management and organisation

d)   Relevant Resources – human and material

e)   Evaluation strategies to determine the success of the unit and future implementation issues

The teaching/learning program should integrate English plus two other Key Learning Areas, and incorporate ethical and appropriate use of ICT.

The sequence of teaching should follow a logical plan, i.e. introductory lesson followed by the next lesson in the sequence etc.

The number and length of lessons/learning experiences should be relevant to the chosen Year level.

Several programming templates will be discussed in Tutorial Sessions but you have the flexibility to create your own template.

You may include up to 3 pages as appendices that demonstrate samples of artefacts that would be found in programs eg assessment tasks/rubrics; organisational details eg types of student groups; rules and routines to manage the teaching and learning environment


PART B (INDIVIDUAL COMPONENT)               Word Limit: 1 Page   (Weighting = 10%)

 Teaching Philosophy and Pedagogical Approach to Teaching the Unit of Work

Develop a statement of your teaching philosophy which will underpin your overall approach to teaching which should underpin your construction of the integrated unit of work. This philosophy should outline your beliefs about teaching, your understanding of how students learn and the approaches you plan to take to develop effective classroom teaching (pedagogical practice). Include reference to state/territories Teaching Frameworks and any other relevant sources.

 Details of Assessment Task 2.

Aim of the Task

In the early stage of graduate teaching careers, part of the accreditation process for teaching in each state/territory requires evidence to be provided by new teachers to demonstrate how they have progressed from the Graduate to Professional Competence level of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers. One way in which this can be demonstrated is by means of a Digital Portfolio in which evidence can be directly linked to varied aspects of the Graduate Teaching Standards. This assessment task aims to develop the skills required to produce a Digital Portfolio of supporting evidence linked to the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers framework.

Elements of the Task:

In order to demonstrate skills and expertise related to the Graduate Teacher Standards pre-service teachers are required to develop a digital portfolio as follows:

1.             Choose four of the Standards from the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers, (including Standard 5 as a mandated area) as the focus for your portfolio

2.             For each of your chosen Standards, select one of the Focus areas listed and choose the aligned numbered section related to that Focus from the Graduate Teacher column.


Standard:        Standard 3: Plan for and implement effective teaching and learning

Focus:            Use effective classroom communication

Graduate:         3.5.1 - Demonstrate a range of verbal and non-verbal communication strategies to support student engagement

3.             Provide evidence to show how you have satisfied the requirements of the chosen section.

NB: You will need to draw on evidence obtained in your practicum experiences undertaken during your program of study (ethical collection of data needs to be considered).

4.             The digital portfolio should be constructed as a web site with all digital components contained in a single computer-based folder and submitted by the due date.


During the lecture and workshop sessions you will develop skills using the web authoring software such as Google Apps which will be used to create a framework for ease of navigation and access to each of the Standards and sources of evidence. You are not expected to use web-authoring tools beyond this basic level.


ASSESSMENT CRITERIA: This task will be assessed on the following criteria:

  • An introductory page as a title page for the digital portfolio which includes:
  • Your name    The Title of the unit. Your Tutor’s name. A short statement about your vision as an educator.
  • A main menu page which should hyperlink to the four Standards you have chosen as your evidence.
  • Four individual web pages (one for each chosen Standard) which should:
  • Clearly state the Standard, the Focus and the Section of that focus for which the evidence is provided (please see the example provided above)
  • Provide a brief critique (maximum of 200 words) of how your evidence demonstrates your ability to meet the requirements of the Section chosen. 
  • Link to a minimum of one and a maximum of two examples of evidence which demonstrate how the criteria for that section of the Standard have been satisfied. Each example of evidence should be clearly hyperlinked to the Standards page and annotated (approx 50 words) to highlight its relevance to the chosen focus area of the standard. 
  • Possible types of evidence could be:
  • Comments from the cooperating teacher or University Supervisor supporting effective teaching/learning
  • A lesson plan demonstrating the criteria required in the focus Section of the Element
  • Student work samples that provide supporting evidence of your skills/expertise.

Representative texts and references

Brady, L., & Scully, A. (2005). Engagement: Inclusive classroom management. Frenchs Forest, NSW: Pearson Education Australia.

Brady, L., & Kennedy, K. (2019). Curriculum construction (6th ed.). Melbourne, Vic: Pearson Australia.

Clarke, M., & Pittaway, S. (2014). Marsh’s becoming a teacher: Knowledge, skills and issues (6th ed.). Frenchs Forest, NSW: Pearson Education Australia.

Groundwater-Smith, S., Ewing, R., & Le Cornu, R. (2015). Teaching challenges and dilemmas (5th ed.). South Melbourne, Vic: Cengage Learning Australia.

Killen, R. (2016). Effective teaching strategies: Lessons from research and practice (7th ed.). South Melbourne, Vic: Cengage Learning Australia

Latham, G., & Blaise, M. (2011). Learning to teach: New times, new practices (2nd ed.). South Melbourne, Vic: Oxford University Press.

Lyons, G., Ford, M., & Slee, J. (2014). Classroom management: Creating positive learning environments (4th ed.). South Melbourne, Vic: Cengage Learning.

McLeod, J., & Reynolds, R. (2003.). Planning for learning. Tuggerah, NSW: Social Science Press.

Roffey, S. (2013). Positive relationships: Evidence based practice across the world. New York, NY: Springer

Stewart, D., & Knott, A. (2002). Schools, courts and the law: Managing student welfare. Frenchs Forest, NSW: Pearson Education Australia.

Relevant national, state, systemic and school curriculum documents.

Have a question?

We're available 9am–5pm AEDT,
Monday to Friday

If you’ve got a question, our AskACU team has you covered. You can search FAQs, text us, email, live chat, call – whatever works for you.

Live chat with us now

Chat to our team for real-time
answers to your questions.

Launch live chat

Visit our FAQs page

Find answers to some commonly
asked questions.

See our FAQs