Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit




EDFD604 Fostering Positive Behaviour

Unit rationale, description and aim

There are few aspects of teaching more critical than the ability to create safe, productive and positive learning environments. Classroom organisation and routines, classroom management, and positive relationships are some of the many key influencers of positive behaviour, but effective pre-service teachers are able to demonstrate an understanding of the complex factors that underpin classroom environments and apply relevant, appropriate, and effective approaches to promote well-being and optimal learning for students. 

The aim of this unit is to provide pre-service teachers with a comprehensive understanding of the theories and practices that underpin positive learning environments. Pre-service teachers will develop a critical approach, informed by multiple theoretical perspectives, to planning, implementing and evaluating these practices by investigating, analysing and synthesising approaches to building a positive environment for all learners. The unit emphasises the development of pedagogical judgment and practical skill in relevant high leverage practices, including the implementation of organisational routines, specifying and reinforcing productive behaviour, building respectful relationships with and between learners, and engaging effectively with parents/carers to foster positive behaviour and manage challenging behaviour. 

The major focus of this unit is the role of the classroom teacher in planning, leading and evaluating positive and safe learning environments that support equitable and ethical outcomes for learners, and ultimately lead to demonstrable learning and development of learners, both academic and social/emotional. Pre-service teachers in the unit will create and apply theorised pedagogical approaches to their professional experience and engage in critical reflection of their developing understanding of the complex factors that underpin learner behaviour and optimal approaches to foster positive behaviour in the classroom.  

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 - demonstrate in-depth knowledge and understanding of principles, codes of ethics and conduct and legislative requirements regarding student well-being and safety impacting on classroom management in school settings, through a variety of stakeholder perspectives, including parents/carers (GA1, GA5, GA8; APST: 3.7, 4.4, 7.1, 7.2)

LO2 - critically analyse and evaluate a range of theories, policies and practices of classroom and behaviour management (including motivational theories and trauma-informed pedagogy) to support inclusive student engagement and improved student learning outcomes (GA4, GA8; APST 1.1, 1.2, 3.6, 4.1, 4.3, 4.4, 7.2)

LO3 - synthesise and develop principles and policies relevant to promoting positive behaviour in classes and schools, in partnership with students and parents/carers (GA1, GA3, GA5, GA8; APST: 3.7, 4.1, 4.3, 4.4, 7.1, 7.2, 7.3)

LO4 - analyse, critique and synthesise behavioural management principles and approaches for the purpose of identifying and implementing practical, ethical strategies for managing challenging behaviours in collaboration with students, parents/carers, external professionals and community representatives (GA1, GA4, GA8; GA9; APST: 7.1, 7.2, 7.3).

LO5 - critically reflect on the application of behavioural management approaches and principles for the purposes of reflecting on personal development, building personal resiliency, and identifying and planning for learning needs, applying learning, and engaging with colleagues (GA4, GA5, GA7; GA9; APST: 4.2, 4.3, 4.4, 6.1, 6.3, 6.4).

Graduate attributes

GA1 - demonstrate respect for the dignity of each individual and for human diversity

GA3 - apply ethical perspectives in informed decision making

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

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

GA7 - work both autonomously and collaboratively 

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

GA9 - demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media 


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.

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

3.7 Describe a broad range of strategies for involving parents/carers in the educative process.

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

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

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.

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

6.3 Seek and apply constructive feedback from supervisors and teachers to improve teaching practices.

6.4 Demonstrate an understanding of the rationale for continued professional learning and the implications for improved student learnings. 

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.

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


Topics will include:

  • Theories and models of classroom management in schools.
  • Trauma-informed pedagogical theories and practices that promote engagement, achievement and wellbeing in the classroom.
  • Approaches and strategies to develop and review whole school and classroom positive learning environments.
  • Codes of ethics and conduct, and legislative requirements, with regard to managing behaviour
  • Student engagement, effective teaching and learning, prosocial behaviour.
  • Networks of support and collaboration to manage challenging behaviour.
  • Bullying identification, prevention and response strategies in school and social media contexts.

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

Delivery may be on-campus, online, or blended mode. The primary rationale for multiple modes lies in the fundamental structure of the course as part of an employment-based pathway. As participants in this unit will be working as employed first-year teachers in their placement school, multiple modes of delivery enable participants to learn concurrent with their professional responsibilities. This approach supports the employment-based pathway to create a continuous spiral of teaching, practice, and assessment within the authentic context of their teaching role. As a unit nested within the employment-based model of this course, praxis is the central organising principle for teaching and learning within the unit, such that participants are provided with regular and consistent opportunities to apply the content within this unit to the context of their professional responsibility as a working teacher. This approach aims to develop pedagogical judgment alongside the essential skills, or core practices, that are critical in an employment-based pathway.   

The unit specifies a number of core practices that are particularly relevant to the focus of the unit, utilising an approach that combines critical analysis of multiple representations of practice, deconstruction of the characteristics of particular practices, rehearsal and actual application of practice in authentic contexts, and critical evaluation and reflection. 

The unit content will be presented in a variety of teaching-learning modes and active participation in the learning process will be encouraged where possible through self-directed and problem-based learning experiences, as well as guided reflection. Through the adoption of a reflective approach to the teaching-learning process, participants will be encouraged to critically analyse their own learning approaches and preferences in relation to the content of the unit.

Teaching and learning strategies may include:

  • Lectures – face-to-face and/or online – which include interactive learning situations
  • Seminars – which include analysis of critical incidents, student-led discussions, microteaching, role play
  • Reading materials – includes both directed reading for the unit as well as self-directed study materials
  • Online activities and discussions
  • Collaborative and co-operative learning opportunities.

Assessment strategy and rationale

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.(

The assessment strategy for this unit is underpinned by the practical nature of this particular course, which provides a professional experiential context within which participants can produce evidence that they have successfully met unit learning outcomes (and by extension, that they have addressed the corresponding APST. Thus, each task is based on the development of authentic artefacts of teaching that highlight the progressive development of knowledge and skills within the unit and their application within professional experience. The progression of assessment tasks within this unit mirror the progression of essential activities undertaken by early-career teachers related to promoting positive behaviour, which begins with behavioural management planning, then moves into application of practice, and culminates in critical evaluation and consideration of implications for professional learning.  A variety of assessment procedures will be used to ascertain the extent to which pre-service teachers achieve stated outcomes.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment Task 1

Behavioural Management Plan

Develop a behaviour management plan, synthesising two to three key approaches to classroom management and linking to specific strategies for managing challenging behaviour. Rationale for the plan must include analysis and evaluation of codes of ethics and conduct, approaches to and practices for establishing positive learning environments to support inclusive student participation, approaches and practical strategies for managing challenging behaviour and promoting positive classroom environments, and strategies for working effectively with colleagues and parents/carers to support positive behaviour for students.


LO1, LO2 LO3, LO4

GA1, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9

Assessment Task 2

Reflective Analysis of Behavioural Management Practice 

Critically reflect on a series (at least three) lessons you have taught, based on implementing a variety of behavioural management approaches and strategies. Reflection should: 

  • Draw connections to research and theory that have informed the approaches and strategies you’ve prioritised.
  • Address at least two of the following core practices: implementing routines and providing directions, specifying and reinforcing productive behaviour, building respectful relationships with and between students, communicating and collaborating with parents in support of student engagement and positive behaviour.
  • Make to reference feedback and shared reflection undertaken with a colleague who has observed teaching.
  • Provide critical evaluation of the effectiveness of particular strategies, development of expertise and implications for future professional learning goals and planning.


LO2, LO4, LO5

GA1, GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8, GA9

Assessment Task 3

Critical Reflection, Analysis and Response to Challenging


Critically reflect on and evaluate the implementation of the behavioural management plan created for the first assessment of this unit. Drawing on relevant literature and personal experience, provide analysis to account for both successes and challenges related to creating and sustaining a positive, safe, and inclusive learning environment.

Develop, implement, and evaluate an approach with specific evidence-informed strategies in response to this critical reflection and which addresses an important behavioural issue, considering future implications for practice and synthesising principles for promoting positive behaviour.


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5

GA1, GA3, GA4, GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8, GA9

Representative texts and references

Ashman, A., & Elkin, J. (Eds). (2019). Education for inclusion and diversity (6th ed.). Frenchs Forest, NSW: Pearson Education Australia.

Berns, R. (2013). Child, family, school, community (9th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning. 

Brunzell, T., Stokes, H., & Waters, L. (2016). Trauma-informed positive education: Using positive psychology to strengthen vulnerable students. Contemporary School Psychology, 20(1), 63-83.

Charles, C.M. (2018) Building classroom discipline (11th ed.; International edition). Boston: Pearson Education.

Groundwater-Smith, S., Ewing, R., & Le Cornu, R. (2015). Teaching: Challenges and dilemmas (5th ed.). South Melbourne. Vic: Cengage Learning Australia.

Lyons, G., Ford, M., & Slee, J. (2014). Classroom management: Creating positive learning environments (4th ed.). South Melbourne, Vic: Cengage Learning.

Marzano, R.J., Marzano, J.S. and Pickering, D., 2003. Classroom management that works: Research-based strategies for every teacher. ASCD.

McDonald, T. (2019). Classroom management: Engaging students in learning (3rd ed.). South Melbourne, Vic: Oxford University Press.

Roffey, S. (2011). Changing behaviours in schools: Promoting positive relationships and wellbeing. London: Sage publications.

Rogers, W. (2011). You know the fair rule: Strategies for positive and effective behavior management and discipline in schools (3rd ed.). Camberwell, Vic: Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER).

Have a question?

We're available 9am–5pm AEDT,
Monday to Friday

If you’ve got a question, our AskACU team has you covered. You can search FAQs, text us, email, live chat, call – whatever works for you.

Live chat with us now

Chat to our team for real-time
answers to your questions.

Launch live chat

Visit our FAQs page

Find answers to some commonly
asked questions.

See our FAQs