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EDSS234 Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment in Humanities and Social Science Education 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 Society and Culture Education in contemporary Australian society, and the senior secondary Society and Culture Education curriculum, in particular. They will explore a range of evidence-based approaches for curriculum development and alignment and plan for effective teaching and learning, including formative and summative assessment. Pre-service teachers will learn approaches for building knowledge of Society and Culture 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 the capacity to collect, create and critique resources for effective teaching and learning and to link with the 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 Society and Culture 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 a Society and Culture curriculum program for senior students which involves a variety of pedagogical approaches and resources appropriate to these year levels, assessment tasks and curriculum content (GA4, GA5; APST 2.1, 2.2, 2.6, 3.2, 3.4)

LO2 - Critically analyse a variety of classroom strategies which differentiate teaching to meet the specific learning strengths and needs of students across the full range of abilities in the Society and Culture classroom and to cater for the needs of learners from diverse backgrounds (e.g. cognitive, physical, social, cultural backgrounds, and including students from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander backgrounds) and integrate general capabilities and cross-curriculum priorities (GA4, GA5, GA9; APST 1.3, 1.5, 2.4, 3.1, 3.3)

LO3 - Demonstrate an understanding of the literacy and numeracy strategies applicable to teaching and learning in Society and Culture Education and analyse a variety of classroom strategies which differentiate teaching to meet the variety of student needs in this respect (GA4, GA5; APST 1.5, 2.4, 2.5, 3.3)

LO4 - Examine the relationships between student learning and expertise, higher-order thinking, learning task design, assessment, feedback, reporting and evaluation in Society and Culture Education (GA4, GA5, GA8; APST 2.3, 3.6, 5.1, 5.4, 5.5)

LO5 - Interpret and explain the relationship of assessment to intervention strategies, student learning and high stakes examination practices in Society and Culture Education (GA5, GA8; APST 2.1, 2.3, 3.6, 5.1, 5.4)

LO6 - Articulate the relationship between Society and Culture Education, legislation, relevant community and professional agencies and the professional responsibilities of Society and Culture teachers (GA8; APST 6.2, 7.1, 7.4)

LO7 - Demonstrate understanding of sociocultural influences of Society and Culture Education within society, at individual, interpersonal, institutional, social and cultural levels (GA5; APST 2.1)

Graduate attributes

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 

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:

1.3 Demonstrate knowledge of teaching strategies that are responsive to the learning strengths and needs of students from diverse linguistic, cultural, religious and socioeconomic backgrounds.

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. 

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.

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

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.

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

5.1 Demonstrate understanding of assessment strategies, including informal and formal, diagnostic, formative and summative approaches to assess student 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.

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.

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


The 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 Society and Culture in the senior years
  • Coverage of resources relevant to jurisdictional syllabus documents
  • Specific professional practices related to teaching and learning in Society and Culture (eg working with and interpreting primary source materials and historiography)
  • An understanding of how effective teaching, including curriculum rigour, engagement, participation and inclusion, is a key factor in effective classroom management
  • General capabilities and cross-curriculum priorities including the integration of literacy and numeracy, and local, state, territory and national perspectives in the Society and Culture classroom
  • Alignment and coherence in content, learning outcomes, pedagogy in curriculum programming in Society and Culture
  • The relationship between reflexive learning and effective concept formation to build higher-order thinking in Society and Culture
  • Catering for a diverse range of learners in Society and Culture, including second language learners
  • Effective use of resources for teaching, including ICT’s and technologies specific to Society and Culture
  • Literacy and numeracy teaching strategies applicable to teaching and learning within Society and Culture Education
  • Pedagogical strategies to promote problem-solving and critical thinking in Society and Culture including cooperative and enquiry-based learning
  • School-based assessment, external examinations in Society and Culture
  • Interpreting assessment data, intervention, feedback, and reporting in the Society and Culture
  • Extending and challenging learners in Society and Culture.

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 a curriculum appropriate for a Society and Culture Education context. The pre-service teacher will continue to gather and reflect upon evidence of attainment of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers: Graduate.

The 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 of higher-order thinking
  • outcomes/achievement standards
  • marking guidelines/criteria
  • strategies for providing feedback
  • source material as appropriate


LO1, LO2, LO3

GA4, GA5, GA9

Assessment Task 2: All relevant Learning Outcomes must be addressed in both assessment task choices.

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
  • pedagogical strategies to support differentiated learning with respect to literacy and numeracy
  • 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.


LO1, LO3, LO4, LO5, LO6, LO7

GA4, GA5, GA8

Representative texts and references

Relevant State and National Curriculum documents.

Denemark, D., Meagher, G., Wilson, S., Western, M., & Phillips, T. (2007). Australian social attitudes 2: Citizenship, work and aspirations. Sydney: University of New South Wales Press.

Donnelly, K., Grove, S-J., Leaver, M., Lieberman, F., Lovat, T., & Webster, P. (2008). Society and culture: Preliminary and HSC. Melbourne: Thomson Social Science Press.

Germov, J., & Poole, M. (2011). Public sociology: An introduction to Australian society (2nd ed.). Crows Nest NSW: Allen & Unwin.

Hattie, J. (2012). Visible learning for teachers: Maximising impact on learning. Oxon: Routledge.

Henslin, J. (2012). Sociology: A down-to-earth approach (10th ed.). Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

Howitt, B., & Julian, R. (2002). Society and culture. Port Melbourne, Vic: Heinemann.

Marsh, C. (2008). Studies of society and environment (5th ed.). Frenchs Forest, NSW: Pearson Education Australia.

Nilan, P., Julian, R., & Germov, J. (2007). Australian youth: Social and cultural issues. Frenchs Forest, NSW: Pearson.

Pollock, D., & Van Reken, R. (2009). Third culture kids: Growing up among worlds. Boston: Nicholas Brealey Publishing.

Schaeffer, R. (2011). Sociology: A brief introduction (9th ed.). New York: McGraw Hill.

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