Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit



Unit rationale, description and aim

This unit enables pre–service teachers to develop a strong understanding and knowledge of Science Design and Technologies and Digital Technology, and the interconnected ideas of sustainability, and environmental diversity. This understanding and knowledge will enhance their efficacy in promoting children’s continued experiences of design, use of technologies, and engagement with scientific knowledges, concepts and skills of inquiry and investigation.

Pre–service teachers will explore and develop understandings of effective, ethical & culturally appropriate pedagogical practices that are responsive to contemporary understandings of how children learn (including planning and assessment) in a range of early years and primary educational contexts., They will develop their knowledge and skills to support children in developing scientific knowledge, dispositions for learning and rich, interconnected understandings about the world around them, and in developing a range of skills and knowledge associated with Science and Design and Digital Technology.

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 - recognise science and sustainability, and design and digital technology as particular ways to understand and engage with the world, and using research and analysis of literature, current education policies, relevant State and National curriculum frameworks be able to articulate ways teachers can to support children as they investigate their contribution to and impact on society and the environment (GA2, GA4, GA5; APST 2.1, 4.4; ACECQA B1, B2, B3, B6, F5) 

LO2 - examine and understand a range of design and digital technology and scientific concepts which are relevant to the early years and primary curricula within a framework of creativity, tools, patterns, order and organisation; form and function; stability and change; systems; scale and measurement; and matter and energy (GA4, GA5; APST2.1; ACECQA B1, B2, B3, B9) 

LO3 - demonstrate an understanding of and ability to plan a range of learning and teaching approaches appropriate for design and digital technology and science, with particular focus given to setting challenging goals for children's learning in these areas through exploratory, purposeful play and inquiry-based learning (GA2, GA4, GA5, GA6; APST 2.2, 2.6, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 4.2, 4.5; ACECQA B3, B6, C1, C2, C4) 

LO4 - demonstrate knowledge of appropriate teaching and planning practices that will support the integration of literacy and numeracy across the curriculum areas (GA2, GA5; APST 2.1, 2.5; ACECQA B9) 

LO5 - demonstrate knowledge of appropriate assessment strategies, including making and moderating judgements, to evaluate children’s learning of science, technologies and sustainability (GA2, GA4, GA5; APST 2.2, 2.3, 3.1, 3.2, 3.6, 5.1, 5.3; ACECQA B1, B2, B3, B6, C1, C2, C4, C7). 

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 

GA6 - solve problems in a variety of settings taking local and international perspectives into account


On successful completion of this unit, pre-service teachers should be able to:

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.

3.6 Demonstrate broad knowledge of strategies that can be used to evaluate teaching programs to improve student learning.

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

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.

5.3 Demonstrate understanding of assessment moderation and its application to support consistent and comparable judgements of student learning.

ACECQA Curriculum Specifications

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

B Education and curriculum studies

B1 Early Years Learning Framework  

B2 The Australian Curriculum  

B3 Numeracy, science and technology  

B6 Social and environmental education  

B9 Curriculum planning, programming and evaluation  

C Teaching pedagogies

C1 Alternative pedagogies and curriculum approaches  

C2 Play based pedagogies  

C4 Teaching methods and strategies  

C7 Contemporary society and pedagogy  

F Early childhood professional practice

F5 Research  


Topics covered will include: 

  • Science, Technology and Scientific Inquiry; including problem solving, inquiry, experimentation, hypothesising, researching and investigating 
  • Science education  in the Early Years Learning Framework and School-based Curriculum; including Science understanding, Science as human endeavour and Science inquiry skills in the Australian Curriculum and other state-based curricula  
  • Design and Technologies and Digital Technology education in Early Years Learning Framework and School-based Curricula, including knowledge and understanding, processes and production skills in the Australian Curriculum and other state-based curricula 
  • Sustainability in early learning; integrating science, design, technology, sustainability and the environment across learning outcomes from the Early Years Learning Framework and cross-curriculum priorities in the Australian Curriculum 
  • Indigenous perspectives and ways of knowing for inquiring in science, design, technology, sustainability and the environment 
  • Key Science, Design and Technologies and Digital Technology content, concepts, understandings and alternative conceptions developed by children in early childhood and primary settings 
  • Science; investigating the nature, development and usefulness of Science in the biological, chemical, physical and earth and space sciences 
  • Design and Technologies; investigating material and systems and using design thinking to identify and define problems and research, plan, implement, test and evaluate solutions 
  • Digital Technology; defining and solving problems through using digital systems, critical and creative thinking and applying computational thinking through coding and programming  
  • Key Science, Design and Technologies and Digital Technology resources and materials; including safe and responsible use of physical and ICT resources and materials 
  • Knowledge of learning and development in Science, Design Technologies and Digital Technology for setting learning goals that provide achievable challenges for students of varying abilities and characteristics  
  • Pedagogical and theoretical knowledge of teaching and assessment of Science, Design Technologies and Digital Technology to children in early childhood and primary settings; including integration and use of ICTs as pedagogical tools 
  • Contemporary approaches to curriculum for teaching of Science, Design Technologies and Digital Technology including inquiry-based, play-based, emergent and integrated curriculums 
  • Contemporary approaches to assessment and reporting; working with data and evidence of learning in Science, Design Technologies and Digital Technology for diagnostic, formative and summative purposes. 

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

Engagement for learning is the key driver in the delivery of this curriculum which is offered in online mode. A range of teaching and learning strategies are employed to reflect technology-enhanced learning in developing pre-service teachers’ knowledge and understanding of contemporary Science and Design and Digital Technology learning pedagogies as can be applied in early childhood and primary contexts. 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 engaging in scientific disciplines and inquiries.  

Pre-service teachers will follow guidelines to identify and engage in inquiry-based activities that facilitate their understanding of scientific content and pedagogical content knowledge for engaging children with Science and Design and Digital Technology. This will include the manipulation of physical and ICT resources and tools as would be available in early childhood and primary contexts. Online learning activities and resources will facilitate pre-service teachers’ critical analysis and reflection of these experiences for the purpose of developing pedagogies and practices for developing inquiring practices and dispositions within built and natural environments with learners in early learning and primary contexts. There will be an opportunity for the content to be applied in Professional Experience Studies where pre-service educators will draw on theoretical, practical and safety considerations from this unit for planning and implementing extended learning sequences in Science in the unit EDFX633.  

Technology Enhanced Learning  

The online teaching and learning in this unit will be offered via a LEO unit site. Lectures, lecture summaries and/or tutorial activities may be recorded to support student learning. Pre-service teachers will be notified when an activity is being recorded prior to the commencement of the activity. 

Assessment strategy and rationale

The assessment tasks and their weightings allow pre-service teachers to progressively demonstrate the course learning outcomes by demonstrating academic and professional standards through achievement against the unit learning outcomes. The Curriculum Studies units in this course focus on developing understanding of and skills in curriculum, pedagogy and assessment for a selected discipline with reference to the Early Years Learning Framework and the primary learning areas of the Australian Curriculum. Emphasis is given to demonstrating professional knowledge of the content and how to teach it (APST 2), and professional practice in planning and implementing learning (APST 3) and assessing learning (APST 5) in the selected area. In EDST561 the assessment focuses on applying pedagogical content knowledge to inquiry-based learning in Science and Design and Digital Technology for learners from birth to 12 years. The three assessment tasks are sequenced to allow feedback and progressive development in demonstrating pedagogical practice in: demonstrating knowledge and skills for implementing inquiry-based activities suitable for exploring concepts in Science and Design and Digital Technology (Task 1); applying knowledge of the Science learning area to develop skills in making, moderating and justifying judgements of learner performance to assess learning and recommend next-steps in teaching (Task 2); and applying knowledge and skills to develop a learning sequence for teaching a selected Science topic to young children (Task 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 are mapped across the course 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 

Folio of Inquiry Activities 

Develop an evidence-based folio of at least six teaching and learning activities using a range of resources that demonstrate knowledge and skills  for inquiry learning in Science, Design Technologies and Digital Technology covering early childhood (Birth to 5) and primary (5-12) learners.  


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4 

GA2, GA4, GA5, GA6 

Assessment Task 2 

CTITE4: Lesson Plan 

Develop a teaching and learning plan for learners between 3 and 8 years outlining a sequence of learning experiences in Science to demonstrate understanding of the concepts and structure of Science and how to organise scientific content and processes into a learning sequence. 


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5 

GA4, GA5 

Assessment Task 3 

Project-based Assessment 

Design and develop a project-based assessment task for learners aged 5 to 12 years, including a marking guide that incorporates the use of a programming language. Independently complete and mark your task. In groups moderate your tasks to justify judgements of performance, recommend areas of focus for further teaching and learning; and critically reflect on judgement-making and moderation. 


LO1, LO2, LO5 

GA4, GA5

CTITE4: Lesson Plan 

Develop a teaching and learning plan outlining a sequence of learning experiences in Science.   

The plan should demonstrate:  

  • understanding of the concepts and structure of Science; 
  • linking teaching to relevant curriculum documentation, such as Australian Curriculum and/or Early Years Learning Framework; 
  • selecting and/or developing resources to support learning, including ICTs; 
  • identifying appropriate and challenging learning goals;  
  • a pedagogical approach relevant to Science and the developmental needs of learners in early learning contexts;  
  • sequencing and organising learning activities and experiences to promote learning;  
  • innovative teaching strategies for developing learners’ knowledge and skills in Science;  
  • strategies for explicitly teaching identified literacy and numeracy capabilities; 
  • assessment strategies for collecting evidence of student learning in Science; and 
  • critical reflexive practices for evaluating the effectiveness of the teaching for learning. 

Representative texts and references

Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (2015). Australian Curriculum. Accessed from  

Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (2009). Being, belonging and becoming: Early Years Learning Framework for Australia. ACT: Commonwealth of Australia. 

Aitken, J., Hunt, J., Roy, J., & Sajfar, B. (2012). A sense of wonder. Science in early childhood education. Melbourne: Teaching Solutions.  

Campbell, C., Jobling, W., & Howitt, C. (Ed.). (2015). Science in early childhood (2nd ed.). Melbourne: Cambridge University Press. 

Elliot, S. (2014). Sustainability and the early years learning framework. Castle Hill, NSW: Pademelon Press.  

Fleer, M., & Jane, B. (2011). Design and technology for children (3rd ed.). Frenchs Forest, NSW: Pearson. 

Fleer, M. (2015). Science for children. Melbourne: Cambridge University Press  

Grover, D., Range, J., Knights, H., Gormley, E., & Perri, S. (2008). Information and software technology: A project-based approach. Sydney, NSW: Pearson Education Australia.  

Harlen, J. (2014). Science experiences for the early childhood years: An integrated affective approach (10th ed.). Saddle River NJ: Pearson. 

Howell, J. (2012).Teaching with ICT: Digital pedagogies for collaboration and creativity. South Melbourne, Vic: Oxford University Press. 

MacDonald, A. (2015). Investigating mathematics, science and technology in early childhood. Melbourne: Oxford University Press.  

Skamp, K. (Ed.). (2017). Teaching primary science constructively (6th ed.). South Melbourne, Vic: Cengage Learning Australia.  

Sneddon, S., & Pettit, A. (2016). Sustainability in action in early childhood settings. Melbourne: Teaching Solutions.  

Warden, C. (2015). Learning with nature. Embedding outdoor practice. Los Angeles, CA: Sage Publications. 

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