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EDLA278 Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment in English Education 1 OR EDLA478 English Curriculum and Teaching 1

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 English Education in contemporary Australian society, and the senior secondary English Education 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 English Education 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 English Education 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 - Generate and critically evaluate an English curriculum program for senior secondary students which involves a variety of pedagogical approaches and resources appropriate to these year levels, assessment tasks and curriculum content (GA4, GA5)

LO2 - Critically analyse a variety of classroom strategies which cater for individual differences in student learning in the English Education classroom (e.g. cognitive, physical, social, cultural) and integrate general capabilities and cross curriculum priorities (GA5, GA9, GA10)

LO3 - Examine the relationships between student learning and expertise, higher order thinking, learning task design, assessment, feedback, reporting and evaluation in English curriculum (GA4, GA5)

LO4 - Interpret and explain the relationship of assessment to intervention strategies, student learning and high stakes examination practices in English curriculum (GA5, GA9, GA10).

Graduate attributes

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:

1.3 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.

2.4 Demonstrate broad knowledge of, understanding of, and respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories, cultures and languages.

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.

3.2 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.

4.5 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.

6.1 Demonstrate an understanding of the role of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers in identifying professional learning needs.

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

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

7.2 Understand the relevant legislative, administrative and organisational policies and processes required for teachers according to school stage.


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 English in Years 11-12.
  • Specific professional practices related to teaching and learning in English, including integrating grammar into the curriculum, the teaching of critical literacy, and critical analysis of film and other multimodal texts
  • General capabilities and cross curriculum priorities including the integration of literacy, and local, state, territory and national perspectives in the English classroom
  • Alignment and coherence in content, learning outcomes, pedagogy in curriculum programming in English
  • The relationship between reflexive learning and effective concept formation to build higher order thinking in English
  • Catering for a diverse range of learners in English, including English language learners
  • Discipline specific teaching strategies and issues related to Indigenous students in English, including incorporating Indigenous texts into the curriculum
  • Effective use of resources for teaching, including ICT’s and technologies specific to teaching English, including investigating issues such as planning for teaching “classic” texts (e.g Shakespeare) as well as contemporary texts, including Asian texts
  • Pedagogical strategies to promote problem solving and critical thinking in English
  • School-based assessment, external examinations in English
  • Interpreting assessment data, intervention, feedback, and reporting in English
  • Extending and challenging learners in English

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 his/her ability to locate and synthesise information, will be developed through designing curriculum appropriate for a English Education 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:

Formative and Summative Assessment Practice: An assessment plan of two or more tasks designed for senior students. Each task designed will include:

  • a rationale which accounts for the choice of content in relation to how the demand of each task supports the development English curriculum goals English curriculum outcomes/achievement standards
  • marking guidelines/criteria
  • strategies for providing feedback
  • source material as appropriate


LO1, LO3

GA4, GA5

Assessment Task 2:

Curriculum, assessment and evaluation practice: A program of work or scope and sequence statement constructed for senior students over a nominated period of time (eg. term/ semester/ year). The curriculum will be designed to address:

  • a current issue or innovation in the subject area or a particular context/scenario
  • nominated curriculum content represented in a learning and teaching sequence
  • differentiation of assessment for learning tasks to suit the needs of diverse learners
  • learning outcomes/levels of achievement
  • the integration of assessment in a learning and teaching sequence tasks
  • nominated pedagogical strategies to support higher order learning
  • resources, including a field trip or excursion
  • a proposal for curriculum evaluation.


An essay or position paper that addresses current issues and debates in curriculum, pedagogy and assessment in the teaching subject.


LO2, LO4

GA5, GA9, GA10

Representative texts and references

Relevant Australian, state and territory curriculum documents and study designs for secondary school students.

Anstey, M., & Bull, G. (2006). Teaching and learning multiliteracies: Changing times, changing literacies. Newark, Del: International Reading Association.

Choate, J. S. (Ed) (2004). Successful inclusive teaching: Proven ways to detect and correct special needs (4th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson/Allyn and Bacon.

Durrant, C., & Starr,K. (2009). English for a New Millennium: Leading change. Kent Town, SA: Wakefield Press in association with the Australian Association for the Teaching of English.

Gannon, S. Howie, M. & Sawyer, W. (Eds). (2009) Charged with Meaning: Re-viewing English (3rd ed.). Putney, NSW: Phoenix Education.

Gibbons, P. (2009). English learners. Academic literacy and thinking. Learning in the challenge zone. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Humphrey, S., Love, K., & Droga, L. (2011). Working Grammar: An introduction for secondary English teachers. Melbourne: Pearson Australia.

Kress, G., & van Leeuwen, T. (2006). Reading images: The grammar of visual design (2nd ed.). Abingdon, Eng: Routledge.

Millum, T. (2008). ICT and literacy: Ideas and resources. Albert Park, Vic: Teaching Solutions.

Misson, R., & Morgan, W. (2006). Critical literacy and the aesthetic. Adelaide: AATE.

Unsworth, L. (2008). New literacies and the English curriculum: Multimodal perspectives. London; New York: Continuum

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