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EDAR290 The Arts Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment F 6 OR EDAR299 Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment in Visual Arts Education 1


EDDR403 Dance/Drama Education

Unit rationale, description and aim

In this unit pre–service teachers will engage in an in–depth study of Dance and Drama practice, curriculum and pedagogy. Dance and Drama make a unique contribution to the lives of young people, their learning, and their ability to be creative thinkers. An education in Dance and Drama enhances children’s confidence and success as individuals and as members of society. Teachers must be equipped with knowledge and skills in Dance and Drama, in order to provide Dance and Drama learning opportunities for children.

Unit content builds understanding of the concepts, practices and conventions of Dance and Drama as discrete disciplines and their role in education. Pre–service teachers’ knowledge and skills will be developed through engagement in practical Dance and Drama making and responding experiences which they will apply in the development of special interest projects. Through the analysis and application of contemporary theoretical and pedagogical frameworks, they will develop a comprehensive understanding of the relationships between pedagogical principles, conceptual elements and practices within Dance and Drama education. These will inform the design of authentic Dance and Drama learning sequences for implementation in diverse primary school classroom and co–curricular settings.

This unit aims to provide pre–service teachers with the knowledge, skills and values required to evaluate, develop and implement engaging and developmental Dance and Drama programs for children.

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 an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the underlying elements and principles of Dance and Drama both as two of the five Arts strands within the primary curriculum and co-curriculum, and their connections across the curriculum (GA5, GA9; APST 2.1, 2.4; ACECQA B2, B7)

LO2 - Demonstrate an in-depth understanding of key Dance and Drama concepts and advanced making skills in the curriculum, and how these are interpreted and applied creatively in primary school settings (GA5, GA7; APST 2.1, 2.4 ; ACECQA B2, B7, B9)

LO3 - Research, evaluate, and adapt appropriate Dance and Drama content and sources of professional learning in Dance and Drama education (GA4, GA5, GA9; APST 1.3, 1.5, 2.1, 2.4, 2.6, 3.6, 6.2, 6.4, 7.4; ACECQA B2, B7, B9)

LO4 - Critically examine and implement key approaches to teaching and learning in Dance and Drama that involve active, creative and developmental pedagogies (GA4, GA5; APST 2.1, 3.3, 3.4, 4.1; ACECQA C1, C2, C4)

LO5 - Develop, implement and critically evaluate Dance and Drama learning and assessment sequences that develop primary school students’ Dance and Drama skills and conceptual understandings and cater for diverse learner strengths and needs (GA1, GA5, GA7, GA8; APST 1.3, 1.5, 2.1, 2.4, 2.6, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.6, 4.1, 5.1; ACECQA B2, B7, 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 

GA9 - demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media 


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

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.

2.4 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.

3.2 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.

3.6 Demonstrate broad knowledge of strategies that can be used to evaluate teaching programs to improve student learning.

4.1 Identify strategies to support inclusive student participation and engagement in classroom activities.

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

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

6.4 Demonstrate an understanding of the rationale for continued professional learning and the implications for improved student learnings. 

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


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:

  • The nature, purpose and philosophy underpinning Dance and Drama as domains of knowledge and practice in the curriculum and in society
  • The distinctive nature of Dance and Drama as art forms: the forms and elements; and the relationships between the art forms
  • An in-depth investigation of Dance and Drama concepts and skills as applied to a variety of genre by a range of writers, choreographers and performers from different cultural contexts, times, places and traditions
  • Current research on the nature of learning in Dance and Drama
  • The Dance and Drama curriculum: requirements; content, concepts, skills and scope; and issues for learning in the development of sequenced learning activities
  • A range of specific pedagogies to promote children’s learning in dance and drama, including for example masks, puppetry, improvisation and role play, story-telling, reader’s theatre and process drama
  • Appropriate external professionals, community representatives, excursions and field experiences for the extension and generation of Dance and Drama content for the classroom and co-curriculum, and as sources of professional learning.
  • Cultural Dance and Drama perspectives including Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander perspectives and Ways of Knowing and Learning
  • Strategies for researching, planning and implementing Dance and Drama learning experiences for the development of performing arts skills and conceptual understanding
  • Strategies for catering for the strengths and needs of diverse learners in Dance and Drama
  • The integration of ICT, literacy and issues of social justice in curriculum content and learning activities.

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

The unit aims to increase pre-service teachers’ knowledge, skills and appreciation of Dance and Drama in education through active engagement in practical making and responding experiences.

Pre-service teachers will build their conceptual knowledge and performance skills through undertaking special interest projects in Dance and/or Drama, based on the “real-world” contexts of schools and classrooms. They will collaboratively create a group performance in the discipline/s of their choice, culminating in a presentation to the class and/or an audience. Reflective practice is promoted through guided critical reflection on these learning experiences.

Participants will be involved in a variety of teaching-learning strategies to support learning, including:

  • face-to-face and/or online lectures (synchronous and/or asynchronous)
  • tutorials and practical workshops including classroom and off-site activities
  • reading, reflection, discussion,
  • collaborative learning opportunities
  • and assessment tasks.

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.

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

A range of assessment procedures will be used to meet the unit learning outcomes and develop graduate attributes consistent with University assessment requirements.

Assessments are designed to engage pre-service teachers in authentic Dance and/or Drama activities that mimic the ‘real-world’ of schools. They will develop the ability to work autonomously through undertaking individual projects, and develop skills and work collaboratively on developing group performance tasks. Reflective practice is encouraged through critical reflection on the learning processes.

Minimum Achievement Standards

The assessment tasks for this unit are designed to demonstrate achievement of each learning outcome. In order to pass this unit, students are required to participate in and submit all assessment tasks.

Electronic Submission, Marking and Return

Assessment task submission and return of marked assessment will be done through Turnitin on LEO. Tasks will be marked and returned three weeks after the assessment is completed.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Individual Special Interest Project: Demonstration of Content Knowledge, Skills and Learning Processes

A: Group Performance: Making Skills

  • In groups, develop a Dance and/or Drama performance. Document and reflect on the learning through a Video Diary and Learning Process Journal.


B: Appreciation Report and Resource Kit

  • Research a Dance and/or Drama style, genre or work/performance of choice. Analyse a selection of dance and/or dramatic works appropriate to the primary curriculum and develop a resource kit of guided appreciation / “responding” activities.

Both components must demonstrate in-depth knowledge and critical understanding of:

  • Dance/Drama skills and elements in the context of the selected works
  • the nature of children’s learning in Dance/Drama and appropriate Dance/Drama pedagogies
  • relevance to the content, concepts and scope of the primary Dance/Drama curriculum.
  • relevant and appropriate sources of professional learning, external professionals and community representatives in broadening teachers’ Arts education knowledge and practice.

30 + 30%

Equivalent to 2,500 words

LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4

GA4, GA5, GA7, GA9

Assessment Task 2:

Unit of Work

Develop a series of learning activities in Dance and/or Drama. May focus on one or more specific dance or drama pedagogies. Must address:

  • identified learner strengths and needs;
  • links to the curriculum;
  • overview of learning activities;
  • resources and strategies appropriate to needs of diverse learners;
  • assessment and feedback strategies. 


1,500 words or equivalent

LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5

GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8

Representative texts and references

Required text(s)

Australian Curriculum

Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA)

Recommended references

Barton, G., & Baguley, M. (2017). The Palgrave book of global arts education. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Bloomfield, A., & Childs, J., (2013). Teaching integrated arts in the primary school: Dance, Drama, Music and the Visual Arts New York, NY: Routledge.

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

Hughes, M. (2015). The state of art: Teaching drama in the 21st century. Docklands, Vic: The University of Sydney, NSW: Sydney University Press.

McCarthy-Brown, N. (2017). Dance pedagogy for a diverse world: Culturally relevant teaching in theory, research and practice. Jefferson North Carolina: McFarland & Company.

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.

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

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

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

Van de Water, M., McAvoy, M. & Hunt, K. (2015). Drama and education: Performance methodologies for teaching and learning. London: Routledge.

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