Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit



Unit rationale, description and aim

This unit explores attitude formation evident in past and current discourse is examined and compared with students’ own familial, cultural, and peer group experiences. Processes and effects of stereotyping are identified by examination of media and local research, to articulate everyday examples of the ways people may be socially excluded in their daily lives. Students are encouraged to actively confront and develop strategies to address the barriers faced by people with living with disability.  

The unit aims to assist pre-service teachers to explore attitude formation and engender broad understanding of the impact that societal attitudes to disability have on the social experiences of people living with disability.

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 society’s view of difference and disability from contemporary perspectives in local, Australian indigenous and international settings (GA4)

LO2 - Critique the role of the media and the portrayal and representation of people living with disability, on attitude formation and potential change (GA1, GA4)

LO3 - Demonstrate an understanding of attitude formation and the impact of attitudes on inclusion, social supports and the quality of life of people living with disability (GA1).

Graduate attributes

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

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 


Topics will include:

  • Attitude formation;
  • Attitudes and disability;
  • Contemporary understanding of disability and inclusion; 
  • Media and attitudes;
  • Attitudes towards disability and gender, sexuality and indigenous experience

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, including: lectures, tutorials, review of resource material provided and group and individual discussion.

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 is approximately 150 hours in total with a normal expectation of 36 hours of directed study and the total contact hours should not exceed 36 hours. Directed study might include lectures, tutorials, webinars, podcasts etc. The balance of the hours then become private 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 will comprise three assignments which will specifically address each learning outcome and graduate attribute.

The total of assessment tasks will amount to the equivalent of 4,000 words.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment Task 1

1500 words

Students will complete a critical review of the issues related to attitude formation; attitudes and disability; and contemporary understanding of disability and inclusion.



GA1, GA4

Assessment Task 2

Class presentation plus 800 word essay

Students will analyse and critique an example of public media related to inclusion and disability. Student will present their findings to the class and complete and essay on their findings.



GA1, GA4

Assessment Task 3

1000 words

Students will select from a range of topics on attitude formation related to disability and gender, sexuality and indigenous experience which they will further research and present their findings in an essay.



GA1, GA4

Representative texts and references

Briant, E., Watson, N., & Philo, G. (2013). Reporting Disability In The Age of Austerity: the changing face of media representation of disability and disabled people in the United Kingdom and the creation of new ‘folk devils’, Disability & Society, 28(6), 874-889.

Goggin, G., & Newell, C. (2005). Disability in Australia: Exposing a social apartheid. Sydney: UNSW Press.

MacMillan, M., Tarrant, M., Abraham, C. & Morris, C. (2014). The Association Between Children's Contact With People With Disabilities And Their Attitudes Towards Disability: a systematic review. Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology, 56, 529–546.

Morin, D., Rivard, M., Crocker, A. G., Boursier, C. P., & Caron, J. (2013). Public Attitudes Towards Intellectual Disability: a multidimensional perspective. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 57, 279–292.

Oliver, M. (2009). Understanding disability: From theory to practice. (2nd ed.). Basingstoke: Palgrave; Macmillan.

Pirsl, D., & Popovska, S. (2013). Media Mediated Disability: How to Avoid Stereotypes. International Journal of Scientific Engineering and Research (IJSER), 1(4).

Shakespeare, T. (2014). Disability rights and wrongs revisited. (2nd ed.). London: Routledge.

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