Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit


EDAC220 Human Rights and Equity

Unit rationale, description and aim

Throughout the Bachelor of Inclusive Education and Disability Studies course students have developed knowledge and skills to enable them to support the inclusion of marginalised people. This unit builds on the concepts of oppression covered in the unit EDAC220 Human Rights and Equity, to provide students with an understanding of concepts of change management and leadership. These skills will be further developed in the unit EDAC319 Leadership for Inclusion 2.

This unit develops students' ability to meet the overall course outcome of being able to be effective change agents to influence structural change and advocate on behalf of marginalised people. The last 20 to 30 years have seen great advances in the kinds of lives that are possible for many vulnerable people including those living with disability, older people, children and minority groups. These changes have come about through the deliberate pursuit of human rights through collective action but continue to be tempered by forces to maintain a status quo and even revert to practices that segregate and congregate. Professionals working to make full inclusion a reality inevitably find themselves working as change agents and leaders in actualizing, maintaining and defending inclusion. This unit explores concepts of leadership and change agency relevant to human services that will enable students to take on roles as change agents and leaders in their chosen areas of work. Critique of service and professional practice will be undertaken to enable the development of frameworks for ethical decision making and the development of communities of learning and support.

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 - Review leadership styles which facilitate inclusion (GA2, GA4)

LO2 - Identify communities of learning and practice relevant to professionals working to enable inclusion (GA2, GA8)

LO3 - Discuss the ethical issues confronting professionals working to enable inclusion (GA2, GA3)

LO4 - Formulate processes and practices that facilitate change (GA2, GA3)

LO5 - Critique service models relevant to marginalized groups including those living with disability (GA2, GA4, GA8).

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 

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


Topics will include: 

  • leadership styles
  • networking and communities of practice
  • ethical decision making and practice
  • theories of change agentry
  • coherent service practice

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

150 hours in total with a normal expectation of 36 hours of directed study and the total contact hours should not exceed 36 hours. Directed study might include lectures, tutorials, webinars, podcasts etc. The balance of the hours then becomes private study.

The teaching and learning organisation may take a number of forms, depending on specific course/subject requirements at the time of delivery, this may include a combination of face to face and/or online learning delivered on a weekly or intensive schedule. Tutorials and/or synchronous learning will enable students to participate in cooperative and supportive learning opportunities. All learning modes will be delivered and/or supported by a range of resources and activities on ACU’s technology learning platform (LEO).

Assessment strategy and rationale

Assessments in this unit aim to deepen students understanding of how to become effective change agents to influence change and advocate on behalf of marginalised people. Assessment one requires students to evaluate leadership styles and develop a vision and plan for their own professional practice (LO1, 2). The second task involves students exploring a case study to write a report examining the ethical decision making and the formulation of processes and practices that facilitate change (LO3, 4). The final assessment requires students to critique a human service model relevant to marginalised individuals and discuss ways in which changes can be made to ensure a person-centred approach is taken leading to inclusion (LO4, 5).

These assessments allow students to recognise their responsibility as future leaders and apply critical thinking skills whilst critiquing human service organisations. The tasks empower students to consider leadership as an opportunity to worth ethically and professionally to make changes to organisations management. They are challenged to take into account a person centred approach to ensure inclusivity.

Assessment Tasks 

The assessment tasks and their weighting for this unit are designed to demonstrate achievement of each learning outcome. In order to pass this unit, students are required to submit and participate in all assessment tasks. 

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment 1

1,500 words

Students will evaluate leadership styles and develop a vision and plan for their own development and practice as a professional. The plan will include consideration of communities of learning and support.


LO1, LO2

GA2, GA4, GA8

Assessment 2

1,000 words

Students will review a case study and write a report examining the ethical dilemmas involved in the case study.


LO3, LO4

GA2, GA3

Assessment 3

1,500 words

Students will critique a human service model relevant to marginalized individuals and discuss ways in which changes can be made to make the model more inclusive and Person-centred.


LO4, LO5

GA3, GA5

Representative texts and references

Harris, H., Wijesinghe, G., & McKenzie, S., (2013). The heart of the good institution: Virtue ethics as a framework for responsible management. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer.

Heres, L. (2014). One style fits all? The content, origins, and effect of follower expectations of ethical leadership. Utrecht: Utrecht University Repository.

Keith, H., & Keith K.D. (2013). Intellectual disability: Ethics, dehumanization and a new moral community. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell.

Klikauer, T. (2012). Seven management moralities. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Langlois, L. (2011). The anatomy of ethical leadership: To lead our organizations in a conscientious and authentic manner. Edmonton: Athabasca University Press.

Pastin, M. (2013). Make an ethical difference. San Francisco, CA: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.

Pless, N.M., & Maak, T. (2012). Responsible leadership. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer.

Shriberg, D., & Shriberg, A. (2011). Practicing leadership: principles and applications (4th ed.). New York: Wiley.

Quinn, J., & Haynes, A. (2010). Continuum studies in educational research: Learning communities and imagined social capital: Learning to belong. London: Continuum International Publishing Group.

Schonert-Reichl K.A., & Roeser, R.W. (2016). Handbook of mindfulness in education: Integrating theory and research into practice. New York: Springer New York.

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