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EDAR368 Creative Arts Education: Introduction to Creative Arts , EDAR241 The Arts Education 1: Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment , EDAR342 The Arts Education 2: Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment

Unit rationale, description and aim

This unit provides pre–service teachers with an introduction to Arts education. The Arts make a unique contribution to children’s education, enhancing their social–emotional well–being and promoting creativity, cultural understanding and social harmony. Teachers must be equipped with knowledge and skills in The Arts disciplines and pedagogy in order to provide learning experiences for children.

Through research and exploration pre–service teachers will develop foundational knowledge and understandings of Arts practice, pedagogical principles and curriculum structures within Dance, Drama, Media Arts, Music and Visual Arts. Through engagement in practical activities, analysis and discussion they will develop skills in making and responding across five distinct Arts disciplines, with an emphasis on practical application in the classroom. Pre–service teachers will apply and demonstrate their conceptual, pedagogical and curriculum knowledge through developing learning experiences that are responsive to the needs of diverse learners in school settings.

This unit aims to develop skills and confidence in providing active, developmental and differentiated learning experiences in the Arts for diverse contexts.

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 a broad knowledge and understanding of the concepts, substance and structure of the Arts as distinct forms, and of their place in society and within the Australian Curriculum and relevant state-based documents (GA5; APST 2.1; ACECQA B2, B7)

LO2     demonstrate knowledge of how children learn the distinct pedagogies of the Arts disciplines and t their research and heir theoretical underpinning (GA5; APST 1.2, 2.1; ACECQA C1, C2, C4)

LO3     locate, evaluate, adapt and develop a range of resources, including digital resources, for engaging students in their learning in Arts education (GA4, GA5, GA8, GA10; APST 1.3, 1.5, 2.1, 3.4; ACECQA C1, C2, C4)

LO4     organise, design and implement learning sequences employing a range of teaching strategies, that engage and respond to the needs of diverse children/learners and respects the cultural heritage of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander learners (GA1, GA5, GA7, GA8; APST 1.3, 1.5, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 4.1, 4.2, 5.1; ACECQA B2, B9, C5).

Graduate attributes

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

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 

GA10 - utilise information and communication and other relevant technologies effectively.


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

1.2 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of research into how students learn and the implications for teaching.

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.

2.6 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.

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.

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


On successful completion of this unit, pre-service teachers should have developed the following specific knowledge:

B Education and curriculum studies

B2 the Australian curriculum

B7 creative arts and music

B9 curriculum planning, programming and evaluation

C Teaching pedagogies

C1 alternative pedagogies and curriculum approaches

C2 play based pedagogies

C4 teaching methods and strategies

C5 children with diverse needs and backgrounds


Topics will include:

Introduction to Arts education

  • Theoretical and historical perspectives of Arts education
  • An overview of the various disciplines comprising the key learning area ‘The Arts’
  • The role of the Arts in society and the relationships between artist, audience, artworks and society
  • The contribution of the Arts to the learning and development of children
  • Curriculum policy implementation in the Arts.

The Arts disciplines

  • An introduction to the concepts, elements, and practices of each distinct art form
  • Curriculum structure and practices of making and responding in each art form
  • Research into how students learn in The Arts, and the implications for teaching
  • Strategies for facilitating children’s learning in the Arts, including play-based pedagogies, creative and collaborative exploration, and acknowledging Aboriginal Ways of Knowing
  • Planning, implementing and evaluating learning experiences in each art form
  • Strategies for differentiating teaching to meet the strengths and needs of diverse learners
  • Appropriate resources, including art works from diverse cultures and ICTs, to engage children and promote their learning in The Arts
  • The integration of information and communication technologies in the Arts
  • Literacy and Numeracy strategies and their application in the Arts disciplines
  • An overview of outcomes-based assessment strategies in the Arts

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

In this unit pre-service teachers will have the opportunity to experience Arts education in action. They will build their knowledge and skills through engagement in authentic Arts making and responding activities.

Through application of the above, pre -service teachers will build their knowledge of the Arts curriculum and Arts-specific pedagogy, and develop their ability to work autonomously, and to locate, organise, and synthesise information, through undertaking planning tasks. The ability to work collaboratively will be developed through designing teaching and learning activities, culminating in presentations to the class and/or an audience. Reflective practice will be promoted through critical reflection on these learning experiences.

Participants will be involved in a variety of learning and teaching strategies including:

  • face-to-face lectures and / or online lectures (synchronous and asynchronous)
  • professional readings for both independent and collaborative tutorial work
  • practical tutorials including Arts making and responding activities
  • individual and collaborative learning opportunities

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 across the semester. To achieve a passing standard in this unit, students will find it helpful to engage in the full range of learning activities and assessments utilised in this unit, as described in the learning and teaching strategy and the assessment strategy. The learning and teaching and assessment strategies include a range of approaches to support learning such as reading, reflection, discussion, webinars, podcasts, video etc.

Technology Enhanced Learning

The unit will include a Learning Environment Online (LEO) site with resources and online links, announcements, and a discussion board to post questions and reflections that promote connection between on campus content and school practices. It may include:

  • Lecture and tutorial notes / guides
  • Webinars, podcasts, videos
  • Reviews / quizzes
  • Discussion board to exchange ideas and refine learning.
  • Focussed readings addressing a wide spectrum of Arts education and practices.

Lectures will be recorded for this unit and available to students for reflection and extended study. Pre-service teachers will be able to access recorded lectures through the LEO site.

Assessment strategy and rationale

This unit requires that two assessment tasks be completed covering the selected areas of study.

Assessments in this unit engage pre-service teachers in practical tasks that mimic the ‘real-world’ of schools. The ability to design learning and teaching sequences, and capacity to think analytically and work autonomously, will be developed through undertaking individual and shared tasks. Arts skills will be developed through preparing special interest tasks and sharing these with peers. Reflective practice is encouraged through critical reflection on these learning activities.

Minimum Achievement Standards

The assessment tasks for this unit are designed to demonstrate achievement of each learning outcome.

In order to pass this unit, pre-service teachers are required to submit and participate in all pieces of assessment, attain a minimum of 50% in each discipline and a combined total of at least 50%. Assignments must be submitted by the due date and according to instructions. Penalty for late submission is 5% per day for the first three days, with no mark awarded if the assessment is submitted four or more days after the due date.

Electronic Submission, Marking and Return

Assessment tasks are to be submitted to Turnitin. Assessments will be marked and returned via Turnitin in accordance with University assessment policy. 

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment Task 1 – Choice

Select 1-2 of the following, focusing on the Arts disciplines not covered in the assessment task below:

  • Develop an Educational Resource Kit that develops an area of the Arts for implementation in a primary classroom. Write an individual reflection on own professional learning from the experience.
  • Develop an Arts Education practice journal including making and responding in the Art form/s. Write an individual reflection on own professional learning from the experience.
  • Develop and present an Arts making product relevant to the primary curriculum (in small groups). Write an individual reflection on own professional learning from the experience.
  • Present/teach a learning activity (in small groups). Write an individual reflection on own professional learning from the experience.


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4

GA1, GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8, GA10

Assessment Task 2

Sequence of learning activities

Develop a sequence of learning activities in two or three of the Arts disciplines not covered in the assessment task above.

These must demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • The concepts and structure of the discipline/s and their curricula;
  • How children learn in the Arts
  • A range of pedagogies / teaching strategies appropriate to the Arts;
  • Effective sequencing for developing skills and conceptual understanding in the Arts
  • Appropriate resources and strategies, including ICT, to engage learners in the Arts
  • Differentiation strategies to meet the needs of diverse learners
  • A range of assessment strategies for supporting learning in the Arts.


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4

GA1, GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8, GA10

Representative texts and references

Required text(s)

Russell-Bowie, D. (2014). MMADD about the arts! An introduction to primary arts education (4th ed.). Frenchs Forest, NSW: Pearson Australia. 

Australian Curriculum and relevant state and territory texts.

Recommended references

Bloomfield, A., & Childs, J., (2013). Teaching integrated arts in the primary school: Dance, drama, music and the visual arts. New York, NY: Routledge.

Buckingham, D., & Willett, R. (2006). Digital generations: Children, young people, and new media. Mahwah, NJ: Laurence Erlbaum Associates.

Caldwell, B., & Vaughan, T. (2012). Transforming education through the arts. Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon, NY: Routledge.

Dinham, J. (2017). Delivering authentic arts education (3rd ed.). South Melbourne, Vic: Cengage Learning Australia.

Gibson, R., & Ewing R. (2011). Transforming the curriculum through the arts. South Yarra, Vic: Palgrave Macmillan.

Koster, J. B. (2012). Growing artists: Teaching art to young children. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning

Roy, D., Baker, W., & Hamilton, A. (2019). Teaching and the arts: Early childhood and primary education (3rd ed.). Cambridge UK: Cambridge University Press.

Sinclair, C., Jeanneret, N., & O’Toole, J. (2017) Education in the arts (3rd ed). Melbourne: Oxford University Press Australia.

Further references

Daubney, A. (2017). Teaching primary music. London, UK: Sage Publications.

Poston-Anderson, B. (2012). Drama: Learning connections in primary schools (2nd ed.). South Melbourne, Vic: Oxford University Press.

Rank, K. (2014). Teaching primary dance : A primer for generalist primary teachers. Carlton South, Vic: Education Services Australia.

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