Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit



Unit rationale, description and aim

To be an effective primary HASS teacher, pre-service teachers need to understand how Humanities and Social Sciences enable students to re-conceptualise and make sense of the world around them as twenty-first century learners. 

This unit will utilise adult learning principles to enrich, refine and extend pre-service teachers' knowledge and understanding, skills, values and attitudes related to learning and teaching the Australian Curriculum: Humanities and Social Sciences. Pre-service teachers have the opportunity to examine the patterns of interaction amongst humanity in various socio-cultural, political and environmental settings throughout time, with a particular focus on Indigenous peoples. It focuses on developing primary educators who will prepare society's future adults to be critical thinkers functioning effectively within a rapidly changing, global and multicultural society. Primary educators should be able to make connections between the various elements of society such as environments, time, change and continuity, culture, identity and systems, resources and power.

This unit aims to assist pre-service teachers to examine pedagogical approaches to teaching social science education, developing an appreciation of the socio-cultural factors that lead to inequities in society, and their implications for education.

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 - Articulate an in-depth understanding of the rationale and underlying principles for the knowledge, skill and values development of student learning within the Australian Curriculum: Humanities and Social Sciences (GA1, GA2, GA5; APST 2.1)

LO2 - Plan sequenced and culturally appropriate units of work which are inclusive in the selection of content and resources, responding to student diverse abilities, learning styles and needs (GA1, GA10; APST 1.3, 1.5, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 3.1, 3.2, 4.1)

LO3 - Demonstrate broad knowledge and understanding of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories, cultures and language and the impact of these on the education of students from Indigenous backgrounds (GA1, GA5; APST 1.4, 2.4)

LO4 - Synthesise knowledge and skills for implementation and modification of teaching and learning strategies, based on effective and consistent assessment and analysis of student learning (GA4; APST 1.3, 1.5, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 3.3, 5.1, 5.4, 5.5)

LO5 - Research, evaluate and critically analyse a range of pedagogical approaches and teaching resources (including enquiry based learning, the ethical use of ICT, and literacy/numeracy learning), and how these connect to the Australian Curriculum: Humanities and Social Sciences and other relevant curricula (GA4, GA5; APST 2.1, 2.5, 2.6, 3.3, 3.4, 3.6). 

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 

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

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

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.

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

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.

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

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


Topics will include:

  • Core rationales for the Australian Curriculum: Humanities Social Sciences in the primary school within the context of the Australian Goals for Schooling and Young Australians
  • Humanities and Social Science Education conceptual frameworks and sources of knowledge such as academic rationalist, social constructionist and critical radical approaches
  • The skills, values, attitudes and behaviours central to living as members of society such as cultural and social literacy
  • History and Geography within the primary school context (F-6)
  • Indigenous perspectives about the past, present and future
  • Indigenous peoples and cultures and notions of shared histories
  • Studies of Asia perspectives that examines concepts of global interdependence, cultural identity and economic relationships
  • Global identity, interdependence, equity and cultural understanding
  • Civics and citizenship education and social justice in a democratic society
  • Economics and Business education in the upper primary context
  • Core values education and controversial issues that are presented in the media and society
  • Inquiry teaching strategies and learning theories
  • Integrative curriculum approaches to teaching Humanities and Social Sciences within Australian Curriculum and relevant frameworks
  • ICT rich and partnering pedagogies in Humanities and Social Science Education
  • Assessment and evaluation approaches to Humanities and  Social Science Education
  • The appropriate selection, usage and evaluation of resources for teaching Humanities and Social Science Education
  • Planning and/or implementing units of work that teach Humanities and Social Science Education
  • Critiquing resources and syllabus documents for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and multi-cultural perspectives, anti-racism or biases
  • Identifying and applying the literacy and numeracy demands for successful Humanities and Social Sciences inquiry.

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. Participants will be involved in a variety of teaching-learning strategies to support learning, including lectures, workshops, seminars, site studies and excursions reading and class/online discussion of journal articles.

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. A range of assessment procedures will be used to meet the unit learning outcomes and develop graduate attributes consistent with University assessment requirements.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment task 1. Unit of work

The assessment will comprise of two parts:

Part A: Unit Plan (Group)

Pre-service teachers, in groups of 3-4. are to prepare a unit of work from the Australian Curriculum: Humanities and Social Science Education Years F-6. The submission must demonstrate an ability to plan, develop and implement a unit of work from the syllabus and be underpinned by inquiry principles with reference to civics and citizenship. Pre-service teachers should demonstrate a variety of pedagogical strategies and develop resources ready for classroom use to teach this unit. Clear evidence of cross-curriculum priorities as well as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives, literacy and numeracy demands, and the ethical use of ICT should be embedded within the work. Planned strategies for assessment of student learning, recording, tracking and moderation of student achievement, and evaluation of the effectiveness of the unit must be included. The unit of work can be submitted as a hardcopy/web developed resource/combination of the two.

Part B

Individual participants are to select and develop a detailed lesson plan from the Unit of Work. This lesson should incorporate sound inquiry pedagogy and demonstrate clear links to the overall unit and syllabus document. Original classroom ready resources to teach the lesson must be included. Strategies to develop literacy, numeracy, and the ethical use of ICT as well as cross-curricular priorities including teaching Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, EAL/D and ESL students should be evident within the lesson plan. Planned assessment strategies for student learning must also be included.


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5

GA1, GA2, GA4, GA5, GA10

Assessment Task 2 : Choice: For the purposes of national moderation all campuses must select the same task.

  1. Critical discussion paper
  2. Examination covering the points below
  3. Presentation of unit of work developed in Task 1 to the tutorial group.
  4. Creation of a digital learning resource (website) on a community resource with links to current and relevant curriculum documents. Covering all key elements of the unit.

In each of the four tasks students should address the following points:

  • The purpose and key influences of humanities teaching in primary school 
  • Conceptual knowledge and rationale of humanities curricula
  • National and state curriculum documents
  • Anti-discrimination policies and legislation
  • Pedagogical approaches appropriate to the teaching of humanities
  • Relevant elements of society and ways in which these contribute to an informed humanities curriculum.


LO1, LO5

GA1, GA2, GA4, GA5, GA10

Representative texts and references

Asia Education Foundation. (2005). National statement for engaging young Australians with Asia in Australian schools. Melbourne, Vic: Curriculum Corporation.

Gilbert, R., & Hoepper, B. (Eds.) (2011). Teaching society and environment (4th ed.). South Melbourne, Vic: Cengage Learning.

Marsh, C., & Hart, C. (2011). Teaching the social sciences and humanities in an Australian curriculum (6th ed.). Frenchs Forest, NSW: Pearson.

Reynolds, R. (2009). Teaching studies of society and environment in the primary school. South Melbourne, Vic: Oxford University Press.

Reynolds, R. (2012). Teaching history, geography and SOSE in the primary school (2nd ed.). South Melbourne, Vic: Oxford, University Press.

Seefeldt, C., Castle, S., & Falconer R.C. (2014). Social studies for the preschool/primary child (9th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson.

Sunal, C., & Haas, M. (2011). Social studies for the elementary and middle grades: A constructivist approach (4th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson.

Taylor, T., Fahey, C., Kriewaldt, J., & Boon, D. (2012). Place and time: Explorations in teaching geography and history. Frenchs Forest, NSW: Pearson.

Zajda, J. (2009). Society and the environment. Melbourne, Vic: James Nicholas Publishers.

Zajda, J., & Daun, H. (Eds.) (2009). Global values education: Teaching democracy and peace. Dordrecht. The Netherlands: Springer.

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