Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit



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 Science in contemporary Australian society, and the senior secondary Science 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 Science 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 Science 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 mastery of the concepts, substance and structure of the content and best practice teaching strategies of Science, and an in-depth understanding of how students learn in Science Education (GA5; APST 1.2, 2.1)

LO2 - critically analyse, synthesise, develop, and implement a range of Science learning and teaching activities for junior students (7-10) which involve a variety of pedagogical approaches and resources (including safe and ethical use of ICT resources) appropriate to these year levels and curriculum content (GA4, GA5, GA9, GA10; APST 1.2, 2.2, 2.3, 2.6, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 4.5)

LO3 - describe, design, evaluate and implement a variety of teaching strategies which cater for individual differences in student learning (e.g. cognitive, physical, social, cultural) and integrate general capabilities and cross curriculum priorities in Science (GA1, GA4, GA5, GA9; APST 1.3, 2.5, 3.3, 4.1)

LO4 - analyse the relationships between learning task design, student learning and expertise, higher order thinking, assessment, feedback and reporting in Science, and apply to the development and modification of own teaching practice (GA4, GA5, GA9; APST 2.3, 5.1, 5.2)

LO5 - analyse and apply a variety of laboratory skills and techniques including aspects of general and mandatory safety requirements in the laboratory and thus demonstrate expertise in the field of Science Education to meet relevant professional requirements (GA5; APST 2.1, 3.4, 4.4).

Graduate attributes

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

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

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

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.

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.

4.4 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.


The topics will include:

  •        factors in the educational context (international, national, state, territory and local levels) including curriculum policies and perspectives that shape the identity of Science Education in Years 7-10
  •        the concepts, substance and structure of curriculum content in Science
  •        contemporary understandings of the unique ways in which students learn in Science Education
  •        specific professional practices and key pedagogical approaches related to teaching and learning in Science contexts, and their theoretical underpinnings
  •        strategies to promote problem solving, critical thinking and scientific literacy in Science; (eg. Inquiry Learning, Science in Schools Strategy (SiS); Constructivism, Motivation, Metacognition, Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy and Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences)
  •        strategies and tools for active, student-centred learning in Science such as exposition, questioning, inquiry, discovery and constructivist approaches such as role-play, POE, concept mapping, translation tasks, creative writing, group and laboratory based learning, student designed investigation
  •        general capabilities and cross curriculum priorities including the integration of literacy and numeracy and local, state, territory and national perspectives in Science Education
  •        planning, implementing and evaluating sequences of learning activities in Science Education relative to specific school context and identified factors impacting teaching and learning
  •        the relationship between reflexive learning and effective concept formation to build higher order thinking in Science Education
  •        catering for a diverse range of learners in Science Education
  •        discipline specific teaching strategies and issues related to Indigenous students in Science Education
  •        effective use of a range of resources for the teaching area, including ICT’s and technologies specific to Science Education to engage learners
  •        classroom management in Science Education and the impact of curriculum rigour, engagement, participation and inclusion on learner behaviour
  •        a range of approaches and strategies for assessment, feedback, and reporting in Science Education
  •        strategies to develop students’ literacy and numeracy skills in the context of Science Education
  •        ways to assess student learning, provide effective feedback, make consistent and comparable judgments, interpret student data and report on student achievement in Science Education
  •        theory and practice of safe laboratory teaching, laboratory management and safety procedures such as use of Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) and Chemical and Experiment Risk Assessment.

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 their ability to locate and synthesise information, will be developed through designing curriculum appropriate for a Science 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:

Lesson planning

Develop a series of at least three sequential lessons / learning activities.

These must demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

·        the concepts and structure of Science in the 7-10 curriculum;

·        the ways in which students learn in Science Education;

·        learning objectives, teaching content and strategies appropriate to the identified outcome/s, topic and year level;

·        nominated pedagogical approach/es;

·        sequencing;

·        appropriate resources and strategies, including ICT, to meet the identified strengths and needs of diverse learners and to promote critical and creative thinking; and

·        identification and application of laboratory skills and techniques and their associated mandatory safety requirements and procedures.


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO5

GA4, GA5, GA9, GA10

Assessment Task 2: Analysis of the Curriculum

Analysis of Science 7-10 curriculum content, skills and topics; and diagnostic test and/or self-audit to identify key gaps in pre-service teacher’s knowledge, understandings and skills.

Undertake independent research and/or skill practice. Demonstrate mastery of key topics/gaps identified through:

·        skill test and/or

·        written examination and/or

·        written paper and/or

·        group presentation.


LO1, LO4

GA1, GA4, GA5

Assessment Task 3:

CHOICE - For the purposes of national moderation all campuses must select the same task.

Option A: Teaching and Assessment Implementation and Critical Reflection

Implementation and evaluation of a sequence of learning and teaching activities which will take place in microteaching small-group or similar settings and within which:

·         identified syllabus content is addressed;

·        diverse learner backgrounds and needs are catered for;

·        student higher order thinking is promoted;

·        provision is made for assessment of student learning and feedback; and

·        the cross curricular priorities and General Capabilities of the Australian Curriculum are incorporated, including the integration of literacy and numeracy. 

Critically evaluate the ways in which the above addresses identified syllabus content, promotes student higher order thinking, caters for the needs of diverse learners, and addresses the cross curricular priorities and General Capabilities of the Australian Curriculum.


Option B: Resource Folio and Critical Reflection

Create a folio of 6 – 10 practical activities that cover a range of curriculum topics and skills, within which:

·        identified syllabus content is addressed;

·        diverse learner backgrounds and needs are catered for;

·        student higher order thinking is promoted;

·        provision is made for assessment of student learning and feedback;

·        and the cross curricular priorities and General Capabilities of the Australian Curriculum are incorporated, including the integration of literacy and numeracy. 

Critically evaluate the ways in which the above addresses identified syllabus content, promotes student higher order thinking, caters for the needs of diverse learners, and addresses the cross curricular priorities and General Capabilities of the Australian Curriculum.


LO1, LO4

GA1, GA4, GA5

All students, regardless of whether their teaching area has adopted the Australian Curriculum, must make reference to the cross-curriculum priorities and General Capabilities identified in the Australian Curriculum.

Representative texts and references

Australian, state and territory curriculum documents

Bybee, R., Carlson Powell, J., & Trowbridge, L. (2008). Teaching secondary school science: strategies for developing scientific literacy (9th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Merrill Prentice Hall

Corrigan, D., Dillon, J., & Gunstone, R. (2011). The professional knowledge base of quality science teaching. Dordrecht,NLD: Springer.

Davies, D. (2011). Teaching science creatively. New York: Routledge.

Frost, J. (2010). Learning to teach science in the secondary school: A companion to school experience (3rd ed.) Abingdon, UK: Routledge. 

Gregson, R. (2012) Connecting with science education. South Melbourne, Vic: Oxford University Press.

Hoffer, W. (2009). Science as thinking: The constants and variables of inquiry teaching grades 5-10. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Lawson, A. (2010). Teaching inquiry science in middle and secondary schools. Los Angeles: Sage.

Liu, X. (2010). Essentials of science classroom assessment. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage Publications.

Loughran, J. (2010). What expert teachers do: Enhancing professional knowledge for classroom practice. Crows Nest, NSW: Allen & Unwin.

Tytler, R. (2002). School Innovation in Science (SIS) Focusing on Teaching. Investigating. 18(3): 8-12.

Venville, G., & Dawson, V. (2012). The art of teaching science: for middle and secondary schooling. Sydney: Allen and Unwin.

Wellington, J., & Osborne J. (2009). Language and literacy in science education. UK: Open University Press.

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