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EDLL603 Catering for Diverse Learners OR EDFD687 Catering for Diversity in the Inclusive Classroom

Unit rationale, description and aim

Pre-service teachers must be able to support all students as unique learners with diverse strengths, backgrounds, challenges, interests, and capabilities. For this, they must be flexible, open-minded and reflexive life-long learners with the ability to adapt and teach curricula effectively for all students, including students with disability, through inclusive practice.

This unit promotes positive attitudes towards understanding student diversity and the fundamental concepts of inclusive education. This is achieved through contemporary knowledge about various sociocultural impacts on learning and how to overcome barriers to equitable access. This includes the ability to form collaborative partnerships with parents/carers, community services and other professionals, and knowledge about how to differentiate for students with disability. Human rights, anti-discrimination and ethical principles are analysed within policy frameworks and international, national and state legislative requirements.

The unit is designed to equip pre-service teachers with high-quality research-informed, evidence-based knowledge, innovative pedagogical skills, and practical student-centred experiences so that they can take responsibility for supporting all their students as unique individuals to access, participate and thrive. 

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 - Describe the complex nature of student diversity and disability, and identify educational implications for supporting inclusive learning (GA1, GA4; APST 1.1, 1.5, 1.6; ACECQA A5, A6, A7, B1, B2, B5, B9) 

LO2 - Explain how relevant policy, legal and curriculum frameworks and contemporary research inform the adoption of ethical practice to support students with disability and inclusive learning (GA2, GA3, GA5; APST 1.2, 1.5, 1.6, 4.4, 7.2; ACECQA A4, B1, B2, B5, C7, D4, E3)

LO3 - Construct responsive differentiated teaching, learning and assessment planning using data-driven, evidenced-based approaches (GA4, GA5, GA7; APST 1.5, 1.6, 2.1, 2.3, 2.5, 2.6, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.5, 4.1,4.3, 4.4, 5.4; ACECQA B9, C1, C5, C6, E2)

LO4 - Evaluate strategies for building respectful collaborative relationships to support students with disability across home, community and educational contexts (GA1, GA4, GA5, GA7; APST 3.6, 3.7, 5.5, 7.3, 7.4; ACECQA A8, D1, D4, D5)

LO5 - Exercise critical thinking and judgements through a systemic approach in relation to the educational needs of students with disability; enabling pre-service teachers as lifelong learners to Identify and evaluate their own professional learning needs in supporting inclusive learning, and appropriate sources of professional learning (GA4, GA5, GA7; APST 1.5, 6.1, 6.2, 6.3, 6.4; 7.1, 7.2, 7.4; ACECQA F3).

Graduate attributes

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

GA2 - Recognise their responsibility to the common good, the environment and society 

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 


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.

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. 

1.6 Demonstrate broad knowledge and understanding of legislative requirements and teaching strategies that support participation and learning of students with disability.

2.1 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the concepts, substance and structure of the content and teaching strategies of the teaching area.

2.3 Use curriculum, assessment and reporting knowledge to design learning sequences and lesson plans

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.

3.5 Demonstrate a range of verbal and non-verbal communication strategies to support student engagement.

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.

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.

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

6.2 Understand the relevant and appropriate sources of professional learning for teachers.

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.

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

ACECQA Curriculum Specifications

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

A. Child development and care:

A4 Child health, wellbeing and safety

A5 Early intervention

A6 Diversity, difference and inclusivity

A7 Learners with special/additional needs

A8 Transitions and continuity of learning (including transition to school)

B Education and curriculum studies

B1 Early Years Learning Framework

B2 the Australian curriculum

B5 English as an additional language

B9 curriculum planning, programming and evaluation

C. Teaching pedagogies:

C1 Alternative pedagogies and curriculum approaches

C5 Children with diverse needs and backgrounds

C6 working with children who speak languages other than, or in addition to, English

C7 Contemporary society and pedagogy

D. Family and community contexts:

D1 Developing family and community partnerships

D4 Socially inclusive practice

D5 Culture, diversity and inclusion

E. History and philosophy of early childhood

E2 Contemporary theories and practice

E3 Ethics and professional practice

F. Early childhood professional practice:

F3 Professional identity and development


Topics will include:

  • The fundamental concepts of inclusive education, how inclusive school cultures are promoted through ethical practices, and current international, national and state legislative requirements and policies relating to inclusion and equity of educational experiences. The historical development of inclusive education from exclusion to inclusion including concepts with specific reference to the difference between the medical model of disability and the social model of disability, and the difference between integration and inclusion.   
  • The nature of diversity, including students with disability
  • Diversity statements in the Australian Curriculum and the foundations of the Disability Standards for Education
  • Student resilience and wellbeing as supported through pro-social practices and embedding the teaching of social-emotional skills within the curriculum
  • Evidence of the impact of inclusion for students with and without disability, and the importance of ‘student voice’ in devising effective adjustments to curriculum, pedagogy, and assessment.
  • Foundations of differentiation for content, process, product and learning environment through Universal Design for Learning.
  • Measurement and recording techniques to assess students’ progress, to guide appropriate instructional programming decisions, to modify teaching practice, and to report to parents/carers of students with diverse learning needs
  • Curriculum knowledge to program effectively for the diverse students in every classroom with discussion of case studies on literacy, numeracy, language development and behaviour
  • A range of diverse teaching and learning strategies and resources (including assistive technologies) to engage all students in learning, including verbal and non-verbal communication strategies
  • Behaviour management strategies and social skills development in conjunction with instructional programs
  • Attitudes, strategies, and skills required for effective collaboration and productive partnerships with colleagues, parents/carers, community groups, medical professionals, and other external professionals
  • A range of support networks and services at a class, school, system and community level to support the inclusion of students with disability.

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

The teaching and learning strategy in this unit is designed to be flexible and promote self-regulated and guided learning, underpinned by adult learning principles. 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, pre-service teachers will be encouraged to critically analyse their own learning approaches and preferences in relation to the content of the unit. 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 teaching period.

The unit is hosted on a Learning Management System (LMS) site with resources and online links, announcements, and a discussion board to post questions and reflections that promote connection between content and educational experiences.

Mode of delivery: This unit is offered in different modes to cater to the learning needs and preferences of a range of participants and maximise effective participation for isolated and/or marginalised groups.

On Campus

Most learning activities or classes are delivered at a scheduled time, on campus, to enable in-person interactions. Activities will appear in a student’s timetable.


Learning activities are delivered through a planned mix of online and in-person classes, which may include full-day sessions and/or placements, to enable interaction. Activities that require attendance will appear in a student’s timetable.

Online unscheduled

Learning activities are accessible anytime, anywhere. These units are normally delivered fully online and will not appear in a student’s timetable. 

Online scheduled

All learning activities are held online, at scheduled times, and will require some attendance to enable online interaction. Activities will appear in a student’s timetable.

ACU Online 

In ACU Online mode, this unit is delivered asynchronously, fully online using an active, guided learning approach. Pre-service teachers are encouraged to contribute to asynchronous weekly discussions and receive regular and timely feedback on their learning. They will have an opportunity to attend facilitated synchronous online sessions with peers.

Assessment strategy and rationale

The assessment will relate directly to the achievement of the associated learning outcomes. The assessment strategy aims to elicit evidence that pre-service teachers have developed the requisite in-depth knowledge of diversity, inclusive frameworks, and approaches to developing an evidence-informed perspective on the diverse learning needs of a group of students. The assessment strategy mirrors the progression of learning within the unit. Pre-service teachers will be expected to provide evidence of practice that builds on this theoretical and actual practical knowledge of diverse learning needs and reflects adjustments in curriculum, resources, and teaching strategies that respond to diverse learning needs and promote a more inclusive learning environment for their students.

The first assessment task is a critical task that enables pre-service teachers to demonstrate knowledge of specific issues and concepts addressed in the learning outcomes through evidence-based responses to specific questions and problem scenarios. The second assessment is a critical task that requires pre-service teachers to develop a personalised learning plan to cater for a case study student with a disability and diverse learning needs. This task allows pre-service teachers to apply their knowledge of evidence-based approaches to differentiation and to critically reflect on issues important to inclusive practice.

Minimum Achievement Standards

The assessment tasks and their weighting for this unit are designed to demonstrate the achievement of every learning outcome. In order to pass this unit, pre-service teachers are required to submit all assessment tasks, to meet the learning outcomes of the unit and achieve a minimum overall passing grade of 50%.

Both assessment in EDES601 are Critical Tasks which are core to the demonstration of a number of Australian Professional Standards for Teachers.  Pre-service teachers must demonstrate mastery of every summative Graduate Teacher Standard identified and attain a score of at least 50% in Task 2 in order to pass this unit.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment Task 1: Critical Reflection and Analysis

Critical Task

This assessment requires you to critically reflect on teaching students with disability, with a focus on effective ways to support their learning through inclusive practice. You must support your reflection with recent academic research and address issues of access and participation in learning. This will be achieved through engagement with relevant Australian legislation and policy frameworks, the perspectives of the focus student and relevant stakeholders, as well as other relevant professional sources which provide support for students with disability in inclusive settings.


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5

GA1, GA2, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA7

Assessment Task 2: Case study on Differentiation

Critical Task

Plan successful inclusion strategies for one of the four students in the following hypothetical scenarios. This will include differentiated teaching, learning, and assessment planning, and strategies for how to provide support for their participation and achievement in learning activities. In the report you should:

  • Describe the learner and their specific condition
  • Identify the learner’s strengths and barriers to learning with reference to research and the implications for teaching
  • Analyse the demographic and academic context
  • Identify relevant and contemporary Australian legislation that protects and supports the learner’s access, participation, inclusion, and learning
  • Plan for three SMART learning outcomes to overcome barriers to learning for the selected learner
  • Design differentiated teaching strategies to support your learner’s needs and inclusion and ways to assess the student’s progress on achieving the SMART outcomes
  • Explain strategies for how you would work collaboratively across contexts with parents/ care givers and other education and medical professionals
  • Identify ongoing professional learning that currently exists to support the engagement, learning, and success of students with disability in inclusive contexts
  • Reflect on the broader implications of disability, inclusive learning, and the teachers’ responsibilities and duty of care to meet these needs
  • Reflect on how can schools provide high quality inclusive education for students with disability and better align whole school support and educational adjustments.


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5

GA1, GA2, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA7

Representative texts and references

Required Texts

Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) (2016). Student Diversity. Retrieved from

Commonwealth Government, Department of Education and Training Education (1992). Disability Discrimination Act. Retrieved from

Commonwealth Government, Department of Education and Training Education (2005). The Disability Standards for Education. Retrieved from

Education Council (2019). NCCD. Nationally consistent collection of data on school students with a disability. 2019 Guidelines. Retrieved from:

United Nations (2016). General Comment No. 4. Article 24: Right to inclusive education. Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities. Retrieved from

Recommended Texts

Ashman, A., & Elkins, J.R. (Eds.). (2019). Education for inclusion and diversity (6th ed.). Pearson Australia.

Carrington, S., & Kimber, M. (2020). Ethical leadership for inclusive schools. Australian Educational Leader, 42, 10-14.

Foreman, P., & Arthur-Kelly, M. (2017). Inclusion in action. Cengage Learning. 

Gargiulo, R., & Metcalf, D. (2017). Teaching in today’s inclusive classrooms: A universal design for learning approach (3rd ed.). Cengage Learning Australia.

Graham, L. (2020). Inclusive education for the 21st century: Theory, policy and practice. Allen & Unwin.

Hyde, M., Dole, S., & Tait, K. (Eds.) (2021). Diversity, inclusion and engagement (4th ed.). Oxford University Press.

Mitchell, D., & Sutherland, D. (2020). What really works in special and inclusive education: Using evidence-based teaching strategies (3rd ed.). Routledge Taylor & Francis Group.

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