Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit



Unit rationale, description and aim

Contemporary approaches to understanding behaviour recognise that behaviour is the result of an individual’s characteristics, interactions with environmental, social factors and interpersonal relationships. Positive Behaviour Intervention Support (PBIS) is the term given to a wide range of practices that aim to understand and address the behaviour difficulties in a holistic manner. The goals of PBIS are to improve both the behaviour and the quality of life of individuals who display challenging behaviour. This Unit emphasises collaborative, assessment-based approaches that integrate behavioural science and a person-centred values framework. It acknowledges the importance of community participation, system and environmental modifications and social relationships in addressing behaviour difficulties. Positive Behaviour Intervention Support builds on the principles of Functional Behaviour Analysis and integrates this with the key principles of Inclusive education to deliver integrated, sustainable, and comprehensive systems for supporting individuals.

This unit aims to assist pre-service teachers to develop an advanced understanding of behaviour within the context of non-aversive approaches to behaviour management. With a combined focus on both preventative and direct behaviour intervention strategies, students will develop critical analysis skills in the assessment, implementation and review of behaviour support strategies.

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 analyse possible factors and contemporary issues that contribute to challenging behaviour (GA8; APST 1.1, 4.1, 4.3)

LO2 - describe accurately and objectively behaviours that warrant intervention and undertake a functional assessment of behaviour leading to development of new understandings about behaviour and possible responses (GA1, GA5, GA8; APST 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 4.3, 5.1, 5.4, 5.5)

LO3 - utilise appropriate methods for the collection of data and critically analyse data collected (GA5, GA 8; APST 3.6, 5.1, 5.4)

LO4 - select behaviour intervention strategies based on an advanced understanding of the theoretical concepts of PBIS that address the function of behaviours (GA7, GA5, GA8; APST 3.1, 4.4, 5.1, 5.2)

LO5 - provide solutions to a complex behaviour problem through the development of a comprehensive positive behaviour support plan (GA5, GA8; APST 3.5, 3.6, 4.1, 4.3, 5.2, 5.5, 7.1, 7.3).

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 

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.

1.2 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.

3.1 Set learning goals that provide achievable challenges for students of varying abilities and characteristics.

3.5 Demonstrate a range of verbal and non-verbal communication strategies to support student engagement.

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

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

4.3 Demonstrate knowledge of practical approaches to manage challenging behaviour.

4.4 Describe strategies that support students’ well-being and safety working within school and/or system, curriculum and legislative requirements.

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.

5.4 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.

7.1 Understand and apply the key principles described in codes of ethics and conduct for the teaching profession.

7.3 Understand strategies for working effectively, sensitively and confidentially with parents/carers.


This unit has been developed around the following topic themes:

  • Identifying and documenting behaviour
  • Interpreting student data to evaluate student learning and modify teaching practice
  •  Contributing factors of behaviour – personal, social and environmental
  • Functional Behavioural Analysis
  • Preventative behaviour support strategies, including verbal and non-verbal communication strategies
  • Acknowledgment and Corrective intervention strategies to foster student engagement
  • Crisis intervention strategies
  • Social skill development to support student inclusion
  • Strategies for reporting and working effectively with parents/carers
  • The teacher’s role and conduct whilst working with students with challenging behaviours.

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. Participants will be involved in a variety of teaching-learning strategies to support learning which may include lectures, tutorials, independent research, expert learning groups, self-directed reading, and online activities. Attention will be given to recognising students as “adult learners” who have responsibility for their own learning.

This is a 10-credit point unit and has been designed to ensure that the time needed to complete the required volume of learning to the requisite standard of the equivalent of 150 hours of study.

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.

Minimum Achievement Standards

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

The total assessment tasks will amount to the equivalent of 5,000 words.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment Task 1 (individual or group)

Contemporary Issues Investigation.

Conduct an in depth investigation into a contemporary educational issues and its impact on student behaviour (for example, social skills, cyberbullying, single sex classes, culturally diverse classes). Critically evaluate the available research and discuss the appropriateness of current approaches to the issue within the class and school community context.


LO1, LO3, LO4, LO5

GA5, GA7, GA8

Assessment Task 2

Pedagogy of teaching, and behaviour management plan

Demonstrate an understanding of the key principles and applications of effective classroom and behaviour management through the implementation of pedagogical practices for the development of positive behaviour intervention support plans.


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO5

GA1, GA5, GA7

Representative texts and references

B. Saggers (Ed.) 2017, Developing Positive Classroom Environments: Strategies for nurturing adolescent learning. Allen & Unwin.

Chandler, L. K., & Dahlquist, C. M. (2010). Functional assessment: Strategies to prevent and remediate challenging behaviors in school settings (3rd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill/Pearson.

Charles, C.M. (2014). Building classroom discipline (11th ed. International ed.). Boston: Pearson Education.

Education Services Australia. (2013). National Safe Schools Framework. Australian Government. Canberra.

Foreman, P., & Arthur-Kelly, M. (Eds.). (2014). Inclusion in action (4th ed.). South Melbourne, Vic: Cengage Learning.

Kohn, A. (2006). Beyond discipline. From compliance to community (2nd ed.). Virginia, Va: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

McDonald, T. (2013). Classroom management: Engaging students in learning (2nd ed.). South Melbourne, Vic: Oxford University Press.

O’Brien, T. (2013). Promoting positive behaviour. Sydney, NSW: Routledge.

Porter, L. (2014). A comprehensive guide to classroom management: Facilitating engagement and learning in schools. Crows Nest, NSW: Allen & Unwin.

Sugai, G. & Simonsen, B. (2009). School-wide positive behaviour support: A systems level application of behavioural principles. In A. Akin-Little, S. Little, G. Steven, M. Bray, A. Kehle, A. & J. Thomas [Eds]. Behavioral interventions in schools: Evidence-based positive strategies. School Psychology. (pp. 125-140). Washington, DC, US: American Psychological Association.

Shea, T., & Bauer, A. (2012). Behavior management: A practical approach for educators (10th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.

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