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


EDAR424 Visual Arts Education

Unit rationale, description and aim

The Visual and Media Arts make a unique contribution to the lives of young people, their learning, and their ability to be creative thinkers. An education in Visual and Media Arts enhances children’s confidence and success as individuals and as members of society. Teachers must be equipped with knowledge and skills in Visual Arts and Media Arts, in order to provide learning opportunities for children in these disciplines.

In this unit pre–service teachers will engage in an in–depth study of Visual Arts and Media Arts practice, curriculum and pedagogy. Unit content builds understanding of the concepts, practices and conventions of Visual Arts and Media Arts as discrete disciplines, and their role in education. Pre–service teachers’ knowledge and skills will be developed through engagement in practical Visual and Media Arts 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 Visual and Media Arts education. These will inform the design of authentic Visual and Media Arts learning sequences for implementation in diverse primary school settings.

This unit aims to provide pre–service teachers with the knowledge, skills and values required to evaluate, develop and implement engaging and developmental Visual and Media Arts 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 principles of Visual Arts and Media Arts in Education both as two of the five Arts strands within the primary curriculum, and their connections across-curriculum (GA5, GA9; APST 2.1, 2.4; ACECQA B2, B7)

LO2 - Critically examine and demonstrate an in-depth understanding of key curriculum concepts and advanced making skills in Visual Arts and Media Arts education, 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 interpret resources, content and sources of professional learning in Visual Arts and Media Arts 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 apply key approaches to teaching and learning in Visual and Media Arts that involve active, creative and developmental pedagogies (GA4, GA5; APST 2.1, 3.3, 3.4, 4.1; ACECQA C1, C2, C4)

LO5 - Plan, implement and critically evaluate a range of Visual Arts and Media Arts learning and assessment sequences that develop primary school students’ Visual and Media Arts 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 Media Arts and Visual Arts education as domains of knowledge and practice in the primary curriculum and in society
  • The distinctive contribution Media Arts and Visual Arts education make to the Creative Arts as a broad field of study
  • An in-depth investigation of Media Arts and Visual Arts concepts and practices as applied to a range of cultural contexts, times, places and traditions and how this can contribute to the primary classroom
  • The nature of the Media Arts and Visual Arts curriculum, requirements, content, concepts, scope and issues for learning in the development of sequenced learning activities
  • A range of specific pedagogies to engage students in practical and theoretical and to promote children’s learning in Media Arts and Visual Arts, including major influential approaches
  • Cultural perspectives including Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander people
  • Assessment for learning in the Media Arts and Visual Arts curriculum
  • Strategies for researching, planning and implementing, making and appreciating activities in the development of lesson plans
  • The integration of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), literacy and issues of social justice in curriculum content and learning
  • Appropriate external professionals, community representatives, excursions and field experiences for the extension and generation of Media Arts and Visual Arts content for the classroom and co-curriculum, and as sources of professional learning.

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

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

Pre-service teachers will build their conceptual knowledge and performance skills through undertaking individual special interest projects in Visual and/or Media Arts, based on the “real-world” contexts of schools and classrooms. 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, discussions
  • 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 Arts activities that mimic the ‘real-world’ of schools. They will develop art-making and responding skills, and the ability to work autonomously, through undertaking individual projects in topics of their choosing. 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, pre-service teachers 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

Assessment Task 1

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

A. Mastery of Art-Making Skills / Portfolio and Reflection

  • Identify a set of “Making” skill in Visual Arts and/or Media Arts that would be useful to develop for future classroom practice. Develop a Visual Arts and/or Media Arts Portfolio comprising a collection of the students’ own art-making works, Document and reflect on the learning through an Arts Practice and Learning Journal.


B. Appreciation Report and Resource Kit

  • Research an Art style, genre or artist of choice. Analyse a selection of works appropriate to the primary curricula and develop a resource folder and guided appreciation / “responding” activities,

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

  • Visual/Media Arts elements and principles in the context of the selected works
  • the nature of Visual Arts learning in children and key Visual Arts pedagogies
  • relevance to the primary Visual Arts / Media Arts curricula.
  • 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:

Visual/Media Arts Unit of Work.

Develop a series of learning activities in Visual and/or Media Arts. May focus on one or more specific Art 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

GA1, GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8, GA9

Representative texts and references

Required text(s)

Australian Curriculum

Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA)

Recommended references

Barnes, R. (2015). Teaching art to young children (3rd ed.). London: Taylor and Francis / Routledge.

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

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

Haughey, S. (2019). Wonder Art workshops: Creative child-led experiences for nurturing imagination, curiosity, and a love of learning. Beverly MA: Quarry Books.

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.

Ruscoe, A. (2012). Classroom Art, Ages 5-7. Balcatta: RIC publications.

Russell-Bowie, D. (2015). 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. 

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