Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit



Unit rationale, description and aim

As the world of the twenty–first century becomes increasingly complex and challenging, creative thinking becomes essential for the adults of tomorrow. This unit explores the nature of imagination and creativity, as experienced through the Creative Arts, and the potential they each offer education today.

As the first unit in the Creative Arts specialisation sequence, this unit introduces the foundational knowledge and skills related to the ‘big ideas’ of the Arts and how these have contributed to society, with an emphasis on the importance of children’s engagement with the arts (art, dance, drama, music, movement, and media) in educational settings. Pre–service teachers will investigate the ways in which children experience and interpret the arts, and the ways in which their thoughts and feelings are expressed through the arts, as a foundation for subsequent learning in arts curriculum and pedagogy. Through exploration, analysis and engagement in practical art making and responding experiences, pre–service teachers will begin to develop their personal creativity, knowledge and skills in the Arts, and will explore resources, strategies and frameworks for guiding children’s artistic expressions. The unit will include a focus on the unique contributions of Australian Indigenous arts and multi–cultural perspectives.

This unit aims to provide pre–service teachers with a broad understanding of the foundational concepts of the creative arts, and to nurture imaginative and creative engagement in the arts for themselves and their future students.

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 knowledge and understanding of the key principles and concepts of the Creative Arts: Dance, Drama, Music, Visual arts and Media Arts (GA5, GA8; APST 2.1; ACECQA B7)

LO2 - Research and describe various interpretations of imagination and creativity, and international and national perspectives, including Australian Indigenous, on the role of the Arts in children’s education (GA5, GA8; APST 1.2, 2.4; ACECQA B7, C1)

LO3 - Articulate an understanding of how children engage in, respond to, make meaning and learn in the Creative Arts (GA4, GA5; APST 1.2, 2.1; ACECQA A1, B7, C1, C2, C4, C5)

LO4 - Evaluate and select resources, including technologies, to facilitate young children’s engagement in a range of artistic domains (GA4, GA5, GA8, GA10; APST 3.4, 4.5; ACECQA B7, C1, C3, C4)

LO5 - Design a framework that nurtures imagination and creativity through engagement in the Creative Arts, incorporating a range of strategies to guide children’s artistic expressions, including Australian Indigenous children and children from diverse backgrounds (GA1, GA5, GA8; APST 1.2, 2.1, 2.4, 3.3; ACECQA A6, B7, C1, C2, D2, D3, D5)

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 

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.

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

2.4 Demonstrate broad knowledge of, understanding of, and respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories, cultures and languages.

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.

4.5 Demonstrate an understanding of the relevant issues and the strategies available to support the safe, responsible and ethical use of ICT in learning and teaching.


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

Standard/Attributes/CriteriaLearning Outcomes

A Child development and care

A1 learning, development and care

A6 diversity, difference and inclusivity

B Education and curriculum studies

B7 creative arts and music

C Teaching pedagogies

C1 alternative pedagogies and curriculum approaches

C2 play based pedagogies

C3  Professional identity and development

C4 teaching methods and strategies

C5 children with diverse needs and backgrounds

D Family and community contexts

D2 multicultural education

D3 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives

D5 culture, diversity and inclusion


Topics will include:

  • The distinct nature of the Arts disciplines; Dance, Drama, Music, Visual and Media Arts
  • An overview of the concepts, principles and practices of the Arts disciplines
  • Definitions of imagination and creativity in arts education and meaning-making for children
  • 21st-century skills applicable to the Arts - critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity
  • National and international perspectives on the role of the Arts in the education of children
  • Australian Indigenous perspectives and multi-cultural perspectives on imagination and creativity in the Arts
  • How children engage in, respond to and learn in the Arts
  • Approaches and frameworks to nurture children’s imagination and creativity through engagement in the Arts including play, exploration and experimentation, collaboration and project-based approaches
  • Resources – innovative approaches to the selection and organisation of resources, including ICTs, to facilitate young children’s meaning-making through the Arts

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

The unit aims to increase pre-service teachers’ knowledge, skills and appreciation of the creative arts and their contribution to society and education through exploration, critical analysis and engagement in practical art making and responding experiences. The learning and teaching strategy follows a constructivist model, Page 205 of 404 with an emphasis on social learning and scaffolding such that concepts and tasks are built progressively. Pre-service teachers will build their conceptual knowledge of the substance and practices of the creative arts through exploration of and critical engagement with unit content using a broad range of technologies. The ability to work collaboratively will be developed through collaborative online discussion forums. Their personal creativity and the development of self as artist is promoted through open-ended assessment tasks which involve the integration of a number of artistic domains. This unit is generally taught fully online across a 12 week semester. Participants should anticipate undertaking 150 hours of study for this unit including a variety of flexible teaching and learning strategies, dependent on the needs of the particular group. These may include self-paced readings for developing the ability to work autonomously, synchronous tutorials, and assignment preparation

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 critical engagement. It may include:

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

Assessment strategy and rationale

This unit requires that three assessment tasks be completed covering the selected areas of study. Assessments in this unit engage pre-service teachers in practical tasks that enable them to experience, respond to and understand the Arts from the child’s perspective. Their knowledge and understanding of the Arts disciplines, and capacity to think analytically and work autonomously, will be developed through undertaking individual guided reading and exploration activities, and the ability to work collaboratively will be developed through online discussions. Arts skills will be developed through preparing special interest children’s art projects and sharing these with peers. Reflective practice is encouraged through critical reflection on these learning activities.

Minimum Achievement Standards

The assessment tasks and their weighting for this unit are designed to demonstrate achievement of each learning outcome. In order to pass this unit, students are required to submit all assessment tasks, meet the learning outcomes of the unit and achieve a minimum overall passing grade of 50%. Learning Outcome 4 (evaluate and select resources, including technologies, to facilitate young children’s engagement in a range of artistic domains) and Learning Outcome 5 (design a framework that nurtures imagination and creativity through engagement in the Creative Arts, incorporating a range of strategies to guide children’s artistic expressions, including Australian Indigenous children and children from diverse backgrounds) are only assessed in Assessment Task 3. A pass in these components of the assessment is an additional requirement for passing the unit overall.

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

Collaborative online discussions and personal reflective critiques of learning module content including readings, demonstrating understanding 20% LO1, L02 GA5, GA8 2.1 Page 206 of 404 of the key principles and concepts of the Creative Arts disciplines: Dance, Drama, Music, Visual and Media Arts.


LO1, LO2

GA5, GA8

Assessment Task 2

Research and critical writing: Articulate a coherent rationale for the place of the creative arts in society and in children’s education with reference to creativity, imagination and engagement. Include national, international and cross-cultural perspectives.


LO1, LO2, LO3

GA4, GA5, GA8

Assessment Task 3

Multimedia task: Design an extended collaborative arts experience for children using a project-based approach. Must demonstrate:

  • An understanding of how children experience, respond to and learn in the arts.
  • A selection of resources to facilitate children’s engagement in a range of artistic domains.
  • A description of approach/es to nurture imagination and creativity and guide children’s artistic expressions, such as play, exploration and experimentation.


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5

GA1, GA4, GA5, GA8, GA10

Representative texts and references

Required text(s)

Bouza Kosta, J. (2015). Growing artists: teaching the arts to young children (6th ed.). Stamford CT: Cengage Learning.

Recommended references

Addison, N., Burgess, L., Steers, J., & Trowell, J. (2010). Understanding Art education. Engaging reflexively with practice. Abingdon, Oxon England: Routledge

Bresler, L. (Ed.). (2007). International Handbook of Research in Arts Education. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer.

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

Dyson, J. (Ed.). (2019). More than words can say: a view of literacy through the arts. Indooroopilly QLD: National Advocates for Arts Education (NAAE).

Englebright-Fox, J., Schirrmacher, R. (2015). Art & creative development for young children (8th ed.).Stamford CT: Cengage Learning.

Hunter, M., Aprill, A., Hill, A & Emery, S. (2018). Education, Arts and Sustainability. Emerging Practice for a Changing World. London: Springer.

Isbell, R., Raines, S. (2013). Creativity and the Arts with young children (3rd ed.). Belmont CA: Wadsworth/Cengage Learning.

Robinson, K. & Aronica, L. (2016). Creative Schools: The grassroots revolution that’s transforming education. New York NY: Penguin Books.

Wright. S. (2012). Children, meaning making and the arts (2nd ed.). Frenchs Forest, NSW: Pearson.

Zimmerman, E. (2009/2015). Reconceptualizing the role of creativity in art education theory and practice. Studies in Art Education 50(4), 382-399

Have a question?

We're available 9am–5pm AEDT,
Monday to Friday

If you’ve got a question, our AskACU team has you covered. You can search FAQs, text us, email, live chat, call – whatever works for you.

Live chat with us now

Chat to our team for real-time
answers to your questions.

Launch live chat

Visit our FAQs page

Find answers to some commonly
asked questions.

See our FAQs