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EDLA518 Primary English Education 1



Unit rationale, description and aim

Primary teachers are required to demonstrate a specialisation in English and Literacy. A primary curriculum specialisation equips teachers with high levels of content and pedagogical content knowledge and skills in order to teach and assess a subject area in depth. Teacher leadership is a critical lever for improving schools from the ground up. In addition to extended knowledge, teachers require skills and dispositions to lead others in curriculum and teaching practice in English and Literacy.

This subject supports pre-service teachers’ development of curriculum specialist expertise alongside leadership capabilities and encourages them to adopt a leadership role within the specialisation. Pre-service teachers will examine current literature and practitioner research in their field to critically evaluate successful education programs in the specialisation. They will synthesise their specialised knowledge and theories and practices of leading improvement, innovation and change in education to develop a teaching and teacher-development program to extend learners in the curriculum area. They will further apply their knowledge to develop a professional learning program designed to improve their own practice and that of colleagues in order to enhance student learning outcomes in English and Literacy.

This unit aims to develop pre-service teachers’ capacity to act as leaders in curriculum and teaching practice in order to improve student learning outcomes in a specialist area of the Primary curriculum.

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 - Investigate and synthesise effective teaching and learning approaches related to curriculum, pedagogy and assessment particular to specialisation area, with particular emphasis on differentiation, inclusive learner participation and challenging and extending learning. (GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9; APST 1.2, 1.5, 2.1, 2.5, 4.1)

LO2 - Critically analyse contemporary evidence, both theoretical and practical, of the application of educational leadership approaches seeking improvements in schooling. (GA4, GA5, GA8 APST 1.2, 1.5, 2.1, 3.6, 4.1).

LO3 - Create a professional learning plan using knowledge and understandings of the specialisation, and effective professional learning. (GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8, GA9; APST 2.1, 3.6, 6.2, 6.4, 7.4)

LO4 - Apply knowledge of the specialisation and theories and practices of leading change in education in the development of professional learning in English and Literacy, including engaging parents/carers in the educative process. (GA2, GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8, GA9, GA10; APST 1.5, 2.1, 3.1, 3.3, 3.4, 3.6, 6.2, 6.4, 7.3, 7.4)

Graduate attributes

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

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 

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.

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.

2.5 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.

3.3 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.

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

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. 

7.3 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 will include:

  • Defining characteristics and actions involved in teacher leadership
  • Importance of being and becoming a leader in practice as a teacher in English and Literacy
  • Developing leadership and advocacy knowledge and skills
  • Strategies for leading and advocating as curriculum practitioner in the Arts
  • The connection between leading learning and improving teacher practice and student learning outcomes in the curriculum specialisation in primary learning contexts.
  • The role of reflective practice, external professionals, community organisations and continuing professional learning in becoming a leader of teaching and learning in the specialisation.

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

The learning and teaching strategy is informed by three key objectives. The first is that pre-service teachers will build upon their existing understanding of effective curriculum, pedagogy, and assessment within their specialisation and engage more deeply in research and effective practice to progress their capabilities in this area to an enhanced level of self-efficacy in order to contribute to improved outcomes for learners, including challenging and extending learners. They will accomplish this as they critically investigate and synthesise research and effective practice. The second is that pre-service teachers develop their expertise in the specialisation area in tandem with conceptual and practical knowledge of leadership in education. These understandings will be supported by studying illustrations of best practice and deriving critical insights around effective teaching and learning within the specialist area and leadership. Particular emphasis will be placed on contextualising and examining the complexity surrounding school-based improvement efforts, as well as key levers to effectively lead change. Thus, pre-service teachers will engage with, discuss, and distil key principles of teacher leadership and change leadership in education from examining case studies and examples of real-world, school-based change leadership in a variety of educational contexts, focusing on schools and learners impacted by educational disadvantage. The third objective channels Knowles’ andragogical principles arguing that adults learn best when they do so through experiential learning. Thus, directed learning will prioritise the exploration of practice-based, theory-informed approaches to leading professional learning and school-based change, while the majority of learning will be independent self-directed study focused on the investigation of specialist area research and best practice, the exploration of school improvement opportunities, and the potential for application of learning in authentic school and classroom contexts. 


This unit is generally taught fully online or in multi-mode across a 12-week semester or equivalent. Participants should anticipate undertaking 150 hours of study for this unit including a variety of flexible teaching and learning strategies, dependent on the needs of the particular group. These may include self-paced readings for developing the ability to work autonomously, synchronous tutorials, and assignment preparation.

Technology Enhanced Learning

The unit will include a Learning Environment Online (LEO) site with resources and online links, announcements, and a discussion board to post questions and reflections that promote critical engagement. It may include:

Recorded lectures and lecture notes; tutorial notes / guides

Webinars, podcasts, videos

Reviews, guided explorations, quizzes

Discussion board to exchange ideas and refine learning.

Focussed readings addressing a wide spectrum of English and Literacy education and practices.

Assessment strategy and rationale

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. (

The assessment strategy centres around the development and application of enhanced knowledge of the specialisation area as well as that of teacher leadership, in the context of the primary school environment. The first assessment task develops and hones research skills, and analysis and critical thinking. It builds pre-service teachers’ knowledge and understanding of current theories and innovations in the specialisation.

The second assessment task develops analytical abilities, the capacity to engage in critically reflective practice and to set meaningful goals for professional development. Pre-service teachers will bridge their specialist knowledge and emerging understanding of professional learning to develop a plan for their own professional learning.

The third assessment task draws together the learning from the first two tasks, as pre-service teachers apply this to the development of a plan to improve teacher practice and student learning in the specialisation in primary schools. Pre-service teachers will be able to draw from their expertise in the specialisation to provide the basis for a vision for professional learning, to identify, create, and explain practices and resources that are relevant to the primary classroom, and to develop a professional learning opportunity for colleagues within the specialisation area. This develops pre-service teachers’ ability to apply their specialist knowledge and leadership knowledge in service of improved teaching and learning in a primary school contexts.

Minimum Achievement Standards

The assessment tasks for this unit are designed for you to demonstrate your achievement of each learning outcome.

In order to pass this unit, you are required to submit all assessment tasks and attain a combined total of at least 50%. Assignments must be submitted by the due date and according to instructions. Penalty for late submission is 5% per day for the first three days, with no mark awarded if the assessment is submitted four or more days after the due date.

Electronic Submission, Marking and Return

Assessment tasks are to be submitted to Turnitin. Assessments will be marked and returned via Turnitin in accordance with University assessment policy.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Literature review and evaluative report on current research literature and practitioner research.

Part 1: Compose a brief literature review that summarises best practices, with reference to relevant theory and contemporary practitioner research.

Part 2: Critique two or more specific successful learning and teaching initiatives in the specialisation in primary school contexts. Describe the contexts and initiatives, and analyse their efficacy with respect to extending student learning opportunities in the curriculum area.

Part 1: 30%

Part 2: 20%

LO1, LO2

GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9

Professional Learning Plan

Develop a “self as teacher leader” professional learning plan. Conduct a self-audit of existing knowledge and skills in relation to expertise in the specialisation and leadership. Identify, analyse and reflect on strengths and gaps.


  • practical steps to build your skills
  • relevant and appropriate sources of professional learning; and
  • engaging with relevant external professionals and community representatives to broaden professional knowledge, teaching practice and teacher leadership in the specialisation.



GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9

Vision and Plan for Teacher Leadership

Design a vision and plan for professional learning to improve collective teachers’ practice and extend student learning in a specific area of the specialisation for potential implementation in primary schools. Focus on strategies for differentiating teaching to meet the needs of students across the full range of abilities, including extending learning for students gifted and talented in the learning area.

Include a communication strategy to engage parents/carers in the educative process.


LO3, LO4

GA2, GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8, GA9, GA10

Representative texts and references

Required text(s)

Marzano, R., Heflebower, T., Hoegh, J., Warrick, P., Grift, G., Hecker, L., & Wills, J. (2016). Collaborative teams that transform schools: The next step in professional learning communities. Melbourne: Hawker Brownlow.

Recommended references

Crowther, F., Ferguson, M., & Hann, L. (2009). Developing teacher leaders: how teacher leadership enhances school success (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

Day, C. (2017). Teachers' worlds and work: understanding complexity, raising quality. London: Routledge.

Eacott, S., & Evers, C. (Eds.). (2016). New directions in educational leadership theory. London: Routledge.

Frost, D. (Ed.) (2017). Empowering teachers as agents of change: a non-positional approach to teacher leadership: University of Cambridge Press.

Frost, D. (Ed.) (2014). Transforming education through teacher leadership: University of Cambridge Press.

Harris, A. (2015). Teacher Leadership. In  International encyclopedia of the social and behavioural sciences, (2nd ed.) (pp. 60-63). Elsevier Ltd.

Katzenmeyer, M., & Moller, G. (2009). Awakening the sleeping giant: helping teachers develop as leaders (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

Owens, R., & Valesky, T. (2015). Organizational behavior in education: Leadership and school reform (11th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson.

Wenner, J & Campbell, T. (2017). The theoretical and empirical basis of teacher leadership: A review of the literature. Review of Educational Research 87(1), 134-171,

Wildy, H., & Clarke, S. (2011). Instructional leadership: teacher level. In J. Robertson & H. Timperley (Eds.), Leadership and learning (pp. 151-162): SAGE Publications.

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