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EDFX533 Professional Experience 1: Engaging in the Teaching Community (Birth - 5 Years)

Unit rationale, description and aim

This second Professional Experience unit embodies work-integrated learning through active participation with learners, teachers, parents/carers, and staff within educational contexts. The unit focuses on scaffolding explicit skill development to automaticity building specialist knowledge of planning and implementing effective learning experiences and communication practices. Active purposeful participation includes planning and implementing learning and engagement; developing skills in engaging and communicating with participants; and critically reflecting and appraising influence on learners. Prior to placement, pre-service teachers will engage in praxis-oriented learning that develops knowledge of strategies and protocols for communicating with and involving parents/carers, staff, community members and other professionals in the learning environment. It also includes reflective review of curriculum documents and pedagogical practices; planning structures for lessons and learning sequences for effective teaching, learning and assessment; and protocols for observing and responding to learner behaviour and needs.

Pre-service teachers will apply learning during a 20-day placement conducted in learning contexts with children aged between 3-5 years. During placement, pre-service teachers actively engage in teaching and learning with a selected group of learners. This unit extends pre-service teachers' understanding of the complexity of the teaching, management and administration of learning processes and contexts exploring collaborative teaching practices and communication strategies.

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 - demonstrate expert knowledge of content and teaching strategies relevant to curriculum and/or teaching area of the learning context (GA5, GA10; APST 2.2, 2.3, 3.2, 3.3, 3.6; ACECQA B9, C4)

LO2 - demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the complexities of the teacher’s role, the importance and sources of professional learning and alignment with Australian Professional Teaching Standards, and professional conversations that improve teaching knowledge and practice (GA8; APST 6.1, 6.2, 6.3, 6.4; ACECQA E3)

LO3 - expertly demonstrate and consolidate classroom teaching, communication and management skills that are responsive to different learning styles, play-based pedagogies and diversities and incorporate differentiated teaching considering the ethical requirements of the profession (GA5, GA10; APST 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 2.4, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.5, 4.2, 4.3, 4.4, 4.5, 5.2; ACECQA C2, C4, E2)

LO4 - creatively plan and implement lessons and sequential activities for children based on interests, needs diversities and strengths; incorporate informed assessment and reporting strategies including judgement and moderation, and high-level written and oral feedback to students in relation to their learning (GA1, GA7; APST 2.2, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 4.1, 5.1, 5.2, 5.5, 7.3; ACECQA A6, B1, B9) 

LO5 - build teaching partnerships leading and supporting teaching, assessment, professional conversations and involvement of teaching colleagues, parents/carers, (GA3, GA7; APST 3.5, 3.7, 4.2, 4.4, 5.3, 5.5, 7.3; ACECQA D1, F2)

LO - 6critically self-audit and expertly evaluate classroom experiences to develop and refine professional skills that describe, develop and implement effective quality learning activities and sequences considering the ethical inclusion of ICT that engages learners (GA5; APST 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 3.4, 3.5, 4.4, 4.5; ACECQA E3, B9). 

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 

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

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


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.

1.2 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.

1.4 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.

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.

2.4 Demonstrate broad knowledge of, understanding of, and respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories, cultures and languages.

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.

4.2 Demonstrate the capacity to organise classroom activities and provide clear directions.

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.

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.

5.2 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.

5.5 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. 

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

In the second professional experience unit pre-service teachers should explore and develop towards APST 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6. 

ACECQA Curriculum Specifications

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

A Child development and care

A6 Diversity, difference and inclusivity

B Education and curriculum studies

B1 Early Years Learning Framework

B9 Curriculum planning, programming and evaluation

C Teaching pedagogies

C2 Play based pedagogies

C4 Teaching methods and strategies

D Family and community contexts

D1 Developing family and community partnerships

E History and philosophy of early childhood

E2 contemporary theories and practice

E3 Ethics and professional practice

F Early childhood professional practice

F2 Management and administration


Topics covered in praxis-oriented learning will include: 

  • Roles and relationships in educational settings; engaging and communicating with parents/carers, families, staff, community members and other professionals  
  • Strategies for working and communicating sensitively and ethically with parents/carers, families and communities; including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
  • The planning, teaching, assessing and reflecting cycle; including scaffolding concepts, problem solving and direct teaching 
  • Curriculum and frameworks; how to identify differentiation for learner gifts and talents, strengths, needs and disabilities 
  • Pedagogical approaches and teaching strategies for responding to learner behavior, strengths and needs 
  • Self-reflective professional learning: including goal setting, sources of professional learning and feedback 

Topics and activities to be explored by the pre-service teacher during the professional experience placement include: 

  • Setting and developing towards professional learning goals; including engagement and feedback with supervising teachers, leaders and others in the placement context 
  • Planning for and engaging in collaborative teaching episodes with participants in the education setting  
  • Taking responsibility for leading, planning and implementing whole class learning experiences; including lessons, activity sequences and series of lessons 
  • Planning learning events that support individual’s diverse learning styles and needs using relevant curriculums and frameworks 
  • Documenting and reporting on learners and learning 
  • Identifying and using classroom organisational and communication procedures with the range of participants in the education setting 
  • Documenting the roles and relationships of the teacher; including strategies for engaging confidentially and sensitively with parents/carers 
  • Critical reflecting, and questioning teaching and learning practices, curriculum matters and organisational and communication issues in the educational setting
  • Evidencing and assessing attainment of key professional knowledge, practice and engagement in collaboration with teachers and other professional colleagues  

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

Professional Experience at ACU is bound in work-integrated learning theories where pre-service teachers experience the everyday reality of education settings and teaching and bring together ideas and theories from a coherent program of praxis-oriented learning. Praxis-oriented learning will engage pre-service teachers with theories, philosophies and real-world examples of classroom practice. Through immersion in the field pre-service teachers will examine the nexus between theory and practice by knowing, doing and being in the context. 

Pre-service teachers will build conceptual and theoretical understandings of teaching practice through a range of technology-enhanced learning teaching and learning strategies and experiences. These include synchronous and/or asynchronous digital engagement in: interactive learning activities and experiences; student-led discussion forums and group work; directed reading activities; and ICT as a pedagogical tool for learning and assessment. In EDFX632, pre-service teachers will develop knowledge and understanding of professional engagement and communication with the full range of participants in early childhood and primary contexts. Emphasis will be given to strategies for involving and communicating with parents/carers and issues in transitions for early learners. Knowledge and critical reflection about curriculum, teaching, management, communication and administration of learning processes and contexts as introduced in the first Professional Experience Studies unit will be further developed.  

Pre-service teachers will apply their developing knowledge and understanding of professional practice through engagement for an extended time in a selected professional placement. Opportunities for pre-service teachers to apply, exercise, realise and practise knowledges and skills will occur during professional experience. For EDFX632, the placement must include a minimum of 20 days within an early childhood service with children aged 3 to 5 years. Engagement is normally provided as 5 individual days followed by a 15-day block. Pre-service teachers should experience consistent engagement with the same group or groups of learners over the placement. During the professional experience placement, pre-service teachers will initiate active participation and engagement in the educational space by planning and implementing learning, engagement and communication with learners, families, teachers and other professionals and stakeholders. Pre-service teachers will gain experience in planning, implementing, assessing and reflecting on lesson sequences in ways that are responsive to the individual needs and learning abilities of children. To ensure effective learning and teaching, pre-service teachers will build expertise in managing learning environments. They will collate evidence of knowledge and understanding of leadership, administrative and management responsibilities of teachers with early learners and their parents/carers, families and communities. The praxis-oriented engagement encompassed in this unit is also aligned with, reinforces and authenticates learning outcomes and content explored in the Education Studies unit typically scheduled in the same semester. Opportunities to work sensitively and ethically with a range of parents/carers and others in the education setting will facilitate learning and assessment in EDFD692. 

Recommended progression of professional experience engagement

Single Days: - Proposed Teaching Expectations

Days 1-3

  • Observation and active participation in small group teaching; assisting the class teacher in the teaching and learning process, plus managing context routines
  • Observation of teachers in the learning context, their teaching and practices, management of contexts and individuals
  • Observe communication skills that the teacher uses with children/students, parents/carers and other staff
  • Critical reflection on pre-service teacher’s role in the education setting as participant, leader, team member, co-teacher/collaborator 

Days 4-5

  • Structured observations and small group/team teaching
  • Plan /implement and assess two sequential learning experiences per day individually or with other pre-service teacher (if in a paired placement)
  • Managing context routines or transitions connected to sequenced lesson/learning experience
  • Ongoing observation of teachers and other education stakeholders (e.g. specialists, leadership teams, other teachers etc.) in the education setting, their teaching and practices, management of classrooms and individuals
  • Continual self-auditing and evaluation
  • Negotiate with Supervising teacher and other pre-service teacher (if in a paired placement) your responsibilities in the first week of block


Block Professional Experience - Proposed Teaching Expectations



  • Monday: active participation in all aspects of the education setting –establishing your space with students/children and the routine. Assist teacher with teaching events, classroom management and everyday activities
  • Tuesday: plan and teach one small group lesson as an individual. The focus of these plans can be determined according to curriculum and setting needs but literacy and numeracy key ideas must be addressed. Critically reflect on the teaching event
  • Wednesday: plan and teach a small group lesson collaboratively 2 lessons sequentially per day – the focus of these plans can be determined according to curriculum and setting needs but literacy and numeracy key ideas must be addressed. Reflect collaboratively on the teaching experience
  • Thursday: collaboratively (if you are in a paired placement) teach 2 whole class learning events sequentially per day – the focus of these plans can be determined according to curriculum and setting needs but literacy and numeracy key ideas must be addressed. Reflect collaboratively on the teaching experience
  • Friday: Collaboratively (with other pre-service teacher) plan and teach a full session – either morning, middle or afternoon and engage in all teaching duties associated (e.g. transitions, moving of children inside/outside or to morning tea/lunch) When reflecting on the session consider also your management skills. If possible choose a different session to plan for so to experience different routines
  • Critically reflect and self-audit experiences – this can be done with your teaching partner or independently. Consider how your management skills influenced the teaching and how you integrated literacy and numeracy into a range of teaching areas and focuses
  • Collaboratively plan teaching responsibilities with other pre-service teacher and supervising teacher

Week 4: As week 3 sharing teaching responsibilities working collaboratively as part of a teaching team and also developing lessons and teaching independently. Continue to immerse yourself in the education setting working collaboratively with colleagues and engaging in critical reflective practices.

Assessment strategy and rationale

The assessment tasks and their weightings allow pre-service teachers to progressively demonstrate achievement against the course learning outcomes by demonstrating academic and professional standards through achievement against the unit learning outcomes. The Professional Experience Studies units in this course focus on developmentally building knowledge of and skills in professional teaching knowledge, practice and engagement across four placements. Progressively, pre-service teachers develop professional knowledge and understanding of teaching; gather evidence of development towards achieving the Graduate Teacher Standards (APST: Graduate level) and knowledge of Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) requirements; and engage professionally in placement context to demonstrate appreciation for the values, norms and practices of the teaching profession.  

In each Professional Experience Studies unit, the assessment is designed to focus on performance in the professional experience placement in two ways: i) assessment of the praxis-oriented learning focus for the unit; and ii) assessment of the pre-service teacher’s progressive development towards competent professional practice as demonstrated by meeting the Graduate Teacher Standards. The two identified tasks are equally weighted to reflect the connectedness and significance of each of these purposes to the pre-service teacher’s professional learning.  

In EDFX632, the praxis-oriented assessment focuses on developing and applying communication skills for involving, communicating with and reporting to parents/carers in educational contexts (Task 1). To allow for feedback and development this task is submitted in two parts, before and after the placement.  

The development of professional practice across the four Professional Experience units is assessed by triangulating the same three sources of evidence each time (Task 2). These provide different perspectives on performance through a:  

i) report from the supervising teacher in the selected placement context;  

ii) report from the tertiary supervisor allocated to support the pre-service teacher; and  

iii) self-audit and professional learning plan for the following placement, supported by a portfolio of evidence, as prepared by the pre-service teacher.  

Pre-service teachers will use their professional learning plan from EDFX533 to establish goals and identify appropriate sources for further professional learning and development in EDFX632 with their supervising teacher. This should take account of the developmental sequence for meeting the Graduate Teacher Standards and the praxis-orientation of the unit. In EDFX632, the pre-service teacher should demonstrate further development across all seven APST and must meet the minimum standard for the five GTS listed as developed above (3.7; 4.2; 5.5; 6.3; 7.3).   

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 for this unit are designed for pre-service teachers to demonstrate achievement of each learning outcome. In order to pass this unit, students are required to successfully complete all assessment tasks. 

Critical Tasks for Initial Teacher Education (CTITE): This unit includes a Critical Task for Initial Teacher Education (CTITE). This is one of a set of tasks developed as culminating assessment of the Graduate Teacher Standards for use with all pre-service teachers. To pass this CTITE pre-service teachers will need to successfully demonstrate all Graduate Teacher Standards that are summatively mapped to this task. The description, criteria, standards and moderation of these tasks is common across programs to facilitate consistent and comparable judgements. Pre-service teacher data from these tasks is used to confirm achievement of the Graduate Teacher Standards, validate the tasks and evaluate and improve programs.  

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment Task 1 

Praxis-oriented assessment: CTITE3: Research and Artefact Analysis; Parent/Carer communication 

Part ATheoretical investigation 

Research investigation exploring communication strategies and modes for engagement with diverse learners, families, parents/carers and communities, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. 

Part B: Authentic praxis engagement – plan, implement and reflect 

Audit engagement and communication practices used within professional placement. Design two strategies and resources for involving parents/carers with learners and learning.


Part A: 20% 

Part B: 30%

LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4,LO5, LO6

GA1, GA3, GA5, GA7, GA8, GA10

Assessment Task 2 

Professional Experience Assessment  

Outcome will be assessed with reference to submitted:  

Final Report from the supervising teacher/s; 

Report from the tertiary supervisor; and 

Professional learning plan, with self-audit and portfolio of evidence.


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5, LO6

GA1, GA3, GA5, GA7, GA8, GA10

CTITE3: Research and Artefact Analysis; Parent/Carer communication

Part A: Theoretical investigation

Conduct a research investigation exploring a range of communication and engagement strategies and modes that are effectively used in classrooms and educational settings. Consider the different needs of diverse learners and their families and communities, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander learners and students with a disability. Provide theoretical, research and policy perspectives of the effective, confidential and sensitive use of a range of communication techniques and strategies for educational contexts with an emphasis on communication with parents/carers and including reporting on student learning.

Part B: Authentic praxis engagement – plan, implement and reflect

Using this research, conduct an audit of communication and engagement practices used within a specific educational setting then design two communication strategies and resources for involving parents/carers with learner and learning in that setting.

For each communication strategy, present a:

a)      communication plan outlining the reasons for communication, content that needs to be conveyed, and strategies followed;

b)      resource that complements the communication e.g. email, blog, newsletter, oral presentation, video;

c)      critical evaluation of the communication plan and resource; and

d)      reflective audit of professional practice in communication to improve outcomes for learners and their families. 

Representative texts and references

When engaging in a specific placement context students will need to identify and access relevant curriculum documentation for the state and sector in which students have been placed. For example, in a Victorian context students will be required to use the Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework (VEYLDF) in early childhood or the Victorian Curriculum in primary. Students should ensure that they are familiar with identified documentation prior to commencing their placement. 

Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (2009). Being, belonging and becoming: Early years learning framework for Australia. Canberra, ACT: Commonwealth of Australia. 

Blaise, M., & Nuttal, J. (2011). Learning to teach in the early years classroom. South Melbourne, Vic: Oxford University Press.  

Clark, A. (2010). Transforming children’s spaces. Oxon, UK: Routledge.  

Edwards, S. (2009). Early childhood education and care: A sociological approach. Castle Hill, NSW: Pademelon Press  

Ewing, R., Lowrie, T., & Higgs, J. (2009). Teaching & Communicating: Rethinking Professional Experiences. Melbourne, Vic: Oxford University Press. 

Fleer, M., Edwards, S., Hammer, M., Kennedy, A., Ridgway, A., Robbins, J., & Surman, L. (2006). Early childhood learning communities: Socio-cultural research in practice. Frenchs Forest, NSW: Pearson. 

Grieshaber, S.J., & Mcardle, F.A. (2010). The trouble with play. Berkshire, GBR: McGraw-Hill Professional Publishing. 

Keesing-Styles, L., & Hedges, H. (Eds) (2007). Theorising early childhood practice. Castle Hill, NSW: Pademelon Press. 

MacNaughton, G., & Williams, G. (2094). Techniques for teaching young children: Choices in theory and practice (3rd ed.). Frenchs Forest, NSW: Pearson. 

Newman, L., & Pollnitz, L. (2005). Working with children and families: Professional, legal and ethical issues. Frenchs Forest, NSW: Pearson.  

Petriwskyj, A., O'Gorman, L., & Turunen, T. (2013). The interface of the national Australian curriculum and the pre-year 1 class in school: Exploring tensions. Australasian Journal of Early Childhood,38(1), 16-20. 

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