Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit



Unit rationale, description and aim

Professional experience placements are offered in a range of non-mainstream educational settings such as high support needs special schools, hospital and aged care education programs, refugee and community educational support programs and international, rural and remote teaching opportunities. These placements offer the opportunity to enhance critical reflection and to challenge and extend established beliefs. The experience focuses on a reciprocal partnership in which pre-service teachers contribute their educational expertise and in exchange, gain insight and teaching experience in diverse and often marginalised and disadvantaged educational settings. This unit encourages pre-service teachers to reflect on the value of education and how such experiences have the ability to transform their personal and professional lives as engaged and socially aware educators and citizens.

This unit aims to assist pre-service teachers to gain knowledge and understanding of the needs, value and influence of educational diversity and to engage effectively with this diversity in its many forms.

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 - Identify and respond to diverse contexts and complex needs in community educational settings. (GA1, GA2; APST 1.5; ACECQA D1)

LO2 - Engage with community educational programs through the sharing of personal expertise and time. (GA5; APST 7.4; ACECQA D1)

LO3 - Develop open and flexible thinking and reflect on their own values and beliefs related to diverse community educational approaches and environments (GA5; APST 7.4; ACECQA D1)

LO4 - Identify the value of community education programs as a key component of open and life-long learning opportunities especially for marginalised and disadvantaged groups. (GA5, GA8; APST 6.2; ACECQA D1)

LO5 - Develop an understanding of cognitive strengths, awareness of learning styles, and higher-order thinking skills relevant to diverse and challenging learning environments (GA8; APST 1.1; ACECQA D1)

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 

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

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


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

1.1 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of physical, social and intellectual development and characteristics of students and how these may affect learning.

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. 

6.2 Understand the relevant and appropriate sources of professional learning for teachers.

7.4 Understand the role of external professionals and community representatives in broadening teachers’ professional knowledge and practice.


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

D. Families and community partnerships      

D1. Developing family and community partnerships


Placement in a non-mainstream community educational setting provides the opportunity for pre-service teachers to:

  • Engage with the needs, values, and influences of educational diversity in a range of settings.
  • Develop effective learning and teaching skills and management strategies to cater to individual differences and diverse pedagogical approaches.
  • Critically examine and reflect on needs, challenges and established beliefs in unfamiliar experiences.
  • Develop knowledge and a depth of awareness of social justice and inclusive education issues in diverse communities and educational programs.

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, including:

  • Pre-service teachers work with the University and agencies within the community to undertake at least 10 days or equivalent hours of professional experience.
  • This component of the Professional and Community Engagement Program is fully integrated within the Education Studies sequence, particularly through the co-requisite unit EDFD221/261/271 Creating Inclusive Safe and Supportive Learning Environments.
  • Seminars, tutorials, or workshops in the co-requisite unit, which include pre-service teacher-led discussions and group work, provide opportunities for pre-service teachers to reflect on and build on their experiences in the field.
  • Briefing and debriefing meetings will be provided to ensure all details and requirements for the community engagement experience are clearly conveyed to the pre-service teachers.
  • Use of the information and communication technologies, including online discussion, may be utilised to facilitate the development of an educational community of practice. Such technologies may also be used to maintain connection with the University representatives/mentors, and the Placement Office while participating in this fieldwork experience.

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.

Assessment is through the maintenance of a professional learning portfolio focused on: critical reflections; documenting of insights gained through experiences; analysis of episodes; identification of issues/concerns; forward planning and responses of key stakeholders. The University will award the final grade based on reports from relevant personnel in the community educational settings.

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