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EDSS516 Commerce and Business Studies Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment 1 OR EDSS534 Humanities and Social Sciences Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment 1

Unit rationale, description and aim

In order to plan and deliver lessons that promote learner engagement and enhance student learning, intending secondary teachers need knowledge and understanding of the senior secondary curriculum, along with theoretical frameworks and pedagogical approaches that are emblematic of teaching in their chosen teaching areas, including teaching/learning that responds to the high-stakes assessment that is a usual feature of senior secondary schooling.

In this unit, pre-service teachers will consider the place of Economics in contemporary Australian society, and the senior secondary Economics curriculum, in particular. They will explore a range of evidence-based approaches for curriculum development and alignment and to plan for effective teaching and learning, including formative and summative assessment. Pre-service teachers will learn approaches for building knowledge of Economics and how to provide constructive feedback and reporting. They will learn approaches for engaging senior secondary learners and to meet the learning needs of diverse students in the senior secondary years. They will further develop skills to shape the dialogic talk of the classroom. Pre-service teachers will formulate unit and assessment plans in order to demonstrate a knowledge of curriculum, learning and assessment theory. They will assemble a resource folio to demonstrate capacity to collect, create and critique resources for effective teaching and learning and to link with curriculum. They will investigate issues and considerations of curriculum implementation as found in the practical reality of schools.

The aim of this unit is for the pre-service teacher to develop their pedagogical content knowledge through becoming familiar with the knowledge, understanding and skills necessary for teaching Economics at a senior secondary level.

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 in-depth understanding of the aims, content, structure, outcomes and theoretical concepts of the Economics Syllabus at senior secondary levels (GA5, GA8; APST 2.1)

LO2 - critically analyse, develop and implement a variety of research-informed classroom strategies which cater for individual differences in student learning (e.g. differences informed by cognitive, physical, socio-economic, cultural, linguistic and religious diversity) and integrate general capabilities and cross curriculum priorities in the Economics classroom (GA4, GA5, GA9; APST 1.2, 1.3, 2.1, 2.2, 2.5, 2.6, 3.3, 4.1, 4.5)

LO3 - critically examine a wide range of resources including relevant state-based Syllabus and Curriculum Support Documents, sample Unit Plans, school based texts and items from professional and other associations (GA4, GA5, GA8; APST 3.4)

LO4 - analyse the relationships between learning task design, student learning and expertise, higher order thinking, assessment, feedback and reporting in Economics, and apply to the development and modification of own teaching practice (GA4, GA5, GA8; APST 3.1, 5.1, 5.2, 5.5)

LO5 - critically evaluate teaching strategies for basic Economics concepts, including those for those concepts which are commonly misunderstood by students (GA5, GA8; APST 1.2, 2.1, 1.5, 3.2)

LO6 - analyse and critique the relationship of assessment to intervention strategies, student learning and high stakes assessment, moderation and examination practices in Economics Education, and interpret student assessment data to evaluate student learning and modify teaching practice (GA3, GA5, GA8; APST 2.3, 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.4)

LO7 - analyse and critique key perspectives associated with the teaching of Economics to develop a philosophy for the teaching of Economics based on research into teaching and learning in Economics (GA2, GA3, GA4; APST 2.1)

Graduate attributes

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 

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

GA9 - demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media 


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.

2.2 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.

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

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.

5.4 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:

  • factors in the educational context of Economics (international, national, state, territory and local levels) including curriculum policies and perspectives that shape the identity of Economics Education in Secondary Years
  • the concepts, substance and structure of senior secondary curriculum content in Economics
  • specific professional practices and key pedagogical approaches related to teaching and learning in Economics contexts, and their theoretical underpinnings
  • alignment and coherence in content, learning outcomes, pedagogy in curriculum programming in Years 11-12 Economics classes
  • catering for a diverse range of learners in Economics classes
  • strategies to develop students’ General Capabilities (e.g., literacy and numeracy skills) in the context of this curriculum area
  • specific teaching strategies and issues related to Indigenous students in Economics classes
  • effective use of resources for teaching, including ICT’s and technologies specific to Economics
  • pedagogical strategies to facilitate creativity, promote problem solving and foster critical and higher order thinking in Economics classes
  • ways to assess student learning, provide effective feedback, make consistent and comparable judgments, interpret student data, report on student achievement and ethical practice in assessment
  • resources and sources of professional learning for teachers for teachers, including professional associations, external professionals, community representatives and support networks.

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

This unit applies a social constructivist approach to develop the pre-service teacher’s understanding of effective pedagogies through active engagement and collaborative learning. The pre-service teacher will build an understanding of teaching strategies through critical reading, lecturer modelling, discussion, and practice in tutorials. The pre-service teacher’s skills of professional communication and ability to work collaboratively will be practised through group work. The pre-service teacher’s teaching skills of planning and assessing, and his/her ability to locate and synthesise information, will be developed through designing curriculum appropriate for an Economics education context. The pre-service teacher will continue to gather and reflect upon evidence of attainment of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers: Graduate.

Teaching and learning strategy described above will use an appropriate selection of approach, including, for example:

  • Weekly face-to-face lectures and / or online lectures (synchronous and asynchronous)
  • Hands-on tutorials and discussions that promote peer learning
  • Microteaching opportunities
  • Self-directed reading and research
  • Collaborative learning opportunities

Assessment strategy and rationale

The assessment tasks and their weightings are designed so that the pre-service teacher can progressively achieve the course learning outcomes and the professional standards. The Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment units in this course focus on pre-service teachers acquiring content knowledge and developing the skills to assimilate conceptual knowledge in order for that knowledge to inform skills that will be applied in practice.

The two assessment tasks are sequenced to allow feedback and progressive development. By completing Task 1 the pre-service teacher will apply knowledge of assessment strategies. In Task 2 pre-service teachers develop a program of work for senior students over a period of time.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment Task 1:

Curriculum, assessment and evaluation practice

A program/unit of work constructed for senior students over a nominated period (e.g., term/semester), following a theme. The program will incorporate:

  • context for the unit (e.g. learners, school, resource, etc)
  • an identification of the theme and justification for its inclusion of the theme which draws upon syllabus documents and personal philosophies of teaching
  • nominated curriculum content represented in a learning and teaching sequence, and how this is related to the aims, content, structure, outcomes and theoretical concepts of the Economics syllabus in your local jurisdiction
  • a current issue or innovation in the teaching area or a particular context/scenario
  • a critical examination of a wide range of resources (including school based texts and items from professional and other associations) that could be used to support effective teaching and learning of this theme
  • an identification of concepts related to the chosen theme which commonly misunderstood by students, and an explanation of teaching strategies that could be used to address those
  • differentiation of assessment for learning tasks to suit the needs of diverse learners
  • literacy/numeracy strategies in the teaching area
  • learning outcomes/indicators of learning
  • the integration of assessment in learning and teaching tasks
  • nominated pedagogical strategies to support higher order learning
  • resources (e.g. including ICT and a field trip or excursion)


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5, LO7

GA2, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9

Assessment Task 2:

Formative and Summative Assessment Folio

Develop an assessment plan consisting of two or more tasks designed for senior students. The plan will include:

  • a variety of assessment strategies, including diagnostic, formative and summative, that reflect the assessment requirements specific to the curriculum area while catering to diverse learner strengths and needs
  • a rationale which accounts for the inclusion of content in relation to how the demand of each task supports the development of higher order thinking
  • learning outcomes/achievement standards
  • strategies for making consistent and comparable judgements, including marking guidelines/criteria, and moderation
  • ways in which data will be interpreted to modify teaching practice
  • relationship with high stakes assessment performance and data
  • strategies for providing feedback
  • source material as appropriate


LO1, LO4, LO6

GA3, GA4, GA5, GA8

Representative texts and references

Relevant State and National Curriculum documents.

Chapman, S., & Devenish, N. (2011). Business studies in action – preliminary course. Milton, Qld: John Wiley & Sons Australia.

Chapman, S., & Freak, M. (2013). New concepts in commerce (3rd ed.). Milton, Qld: John Wiley & Sons Australia.

Chapman, S., Freak, M., Devenish, N. & Broadbridge, D. (2005). New concepts in commerce worksheets. Milton, Qld: John Wiley & Sons Australia.

Driver, T. (2004). Our commercial future book 1. Port Melbourne, Vic: Cambridge University Press.

Driver, T., & Petelo, M. (2005). Our commercial future book 2. Port Melbourne, Vic: Cambridge University Press.

Hamilton, E., & Farr, R. (2008). Concepts and skills. (2nd ed.). Wilston, Qld: Farr Books.

Harper, G., & Mulas, R. (2005). Commerce in action. (5th ed.). Sydney: McGraw-Hill Australia.

Hickey, M., Nader, T., & Williams, T. (2011). Cambridge HSC business studies. Port Melbourne, Vic: Cambridge University Press.

Parker, B. (2009). Commerce for Australian citizens (2nd ed.). South Yarra, Vic: Macmillan Education Australia.

Sykes, D., & Crawford, K. (2010). Preliminary business studies: Get going with business. Canberra, ACT: RedPeg Publishing.

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