Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit



Unit rationale, description and aim

This unit is designed to critically evaluate the theory and practice of behaviour management in educational settings (primary or secondary). Schools and teachers need to be proactive in establishing a safe whole school context, supported by parent/carers and community stakeholders, to foster positive behaviour and manage challenging behaviour. As such, the major focus of this unit is the role of the classroom teacher, school administration and parents/carers in developing and implementing appropriate curriculum and management principles related to behavioural management across the whole school.

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 to support inclusive student engagement and improved student learning outcomes (GA4, GA8; APST 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    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; APST: 7.1, 7.2, 7.3, 7.4).

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 

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


On successful completion of this unit, pre-service teachers should be able to:

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.

4.3 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.

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.

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


Topics will include:

  • Theories and models of classroom management in schools.
  • 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.
  • Student wellbeing, mental health and safety: risks and protective factors.
  • Strategies that support students’ well-being and safety, working within school and/or system requirements, and family and community contexts.
  • Self-care and managing personal safety.
  • Issues in behaviour management, attribution for misbehaviour, including socio-cultural and socio-historical factors, family and community, and school, class and teacher factors.
  • Interaction between curriculum and behaviour management.
  • Aspects of positive classroom management including:
  • establishing and maintaining supportive and safe learning environments
  • motivating students and maintaining positive behaviour
  • preventing and minimising behaviour problems
  • resolving behaviour problems and building pathways to support positive behaviour
  • defusing aggressive students/situations
  • working collaboratively with parents/carers, external professionals and community representatives
  • 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 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. Through the adoption of a reflective approach to the teaching-learning process, pre-service teachers 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 , role play and practical work
  • 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.


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

A variety of assessment procedures will be used to ascertain the extent to which pre-service teachers achieve stated outcomes.

The total of assessment tasks will amount to the equivalent of 5,500 words.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment Task 1

Critical analysis of incident of challenging behaviour, demonstrating critical understanding of different theories and approaches used in the management and promotion of positive behaviours.

The analysis must include:

  • Identification of potential motivation/ contributing factors for student behaviours such as bullying, cyber-bullying and discrimination
  • Critique of the teacher’s / school’s response
  • Suggestions for other more appropriate processes, adjustments to teaching programs that demonstrate knowledge and understanding of principles, codes of ethics and conduct and legislative requirements regarding student well-being and safety, including strategies for involving students, parents and carers.


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4

GA1, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA8

Assessment Task 2: Choice-  

For the purposes of national moderation all campuses must select the same task.

This assessment task will involve:

  • Investigation into whole school behaviour management policies and practices to support inclusive student participation and engagement in class and school activities, as observed in pre-service teacher’s current or recent context.


  • Development of Behaviour Management Plan, synthesising two to three key approaches to classroom management and linking to specific strategies for managing challenging behaviour.

Both options must include critical analysis and evaluation of:

  • Codes of ethics and conduct
  • School and system policies and legislative requirements
  • Principal approaches to and practices for, establishing positive learning environments to support inclusive student participation and engagement in class and school activities
  • Principal approaches to, and practical strategies for, managing challenging behaviours and promoting positive outcomes in schools
  • Strategies for working effectively with colleagues, parents/carers, external professionals and community representatives


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4

GA1, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA8

Representative texts and references

Ashman, A., & Elkin, J. (Eds). (2012). Education for inclusion and diversity (4th ed.). Frenchs Forest, NSW: Pearson Education Australia.

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

Charles, C.M. (2014) 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.

McDonald, T. (2013). Classroom management: Engaging students in learning (2nd 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).

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