Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit



Unit rationale, description and aim

In this unit pre-service teachers elect to engage in an in-depth study of Visual Arts curriculum and teaching to examine the field of Visual Arts in an educative and societal context. Unit content encourages an understanding and appreciation of the practices and conventions of Visual Arts education as applied to the primary classroom. This unit enables pre-service teachers to develop a comprehensive understanding of the relationships between pedagogical principles, theoretical components and practice within Visual Arts education as a discipline and how this informs the research, design and implementation of authentic creative arts practices in school settings.

The unit aims to increase pre-service teachers’ knowledge, skills and appreciation of the role of Visual Arts practitioners through the provision of practical studio and appreciation experiences.

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 in Education both as one of the five Arts strands within the primary curriculum and across-curriculum (GA5, GA9; APST 2.1, 2.4)

LO2 - Critically examine and demonstrate an in-depth understanding of key curriculum concepts and pedagogy in Visual Arts education and how these are engaged, interpreted and explained creatively in the primary classroom (GA5, GA7; APST 2.1, 2.4)

LO3 - Apply advanced knowledge and skills in Visual Arts curriculum and pedagogy in the classroom and school setting (GA4, GA5, GA9; APST 2.1, 3.3, 3.4, 4.1)

LO4 - Critically examine and demonstrate understandings and applications of a range of strategies for researching, interpreting and resourcing content in Visual Arts education (GA4, GA5, GA9; APST 1.3, 1.5, 2.1, 2.4, 2.6, 3.6)

LO5 - Plan, implement and critically evaluate a range of Visual Arts learning and assessment activities which involve a range of pedagogical approaches, strategies and resources appropriate to the Primary curriculum, catering for the learning needs and strengths of diverse learners (GA4, 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, 6.4).

Graduate attributes

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.

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


Topics will include:

  • The nature, purpose and philosophy underpinning Visual Arts education as a domain of knowledge and practice in the primary curriculum and in society
  • The distinctive contribution Visual Arts education makes to the Creative Arts as a broad field of study
  • An in-depth investigation of 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 Visual Arts curriculum, requirements, content, concepts, scope and issues for learning in the development of sequenced learning activities
  • Teaching strategies to engage students in practical and theoretical learning in the primary classroom
  • Cultural perspectives including Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander people
  • Assessment for learning in the 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
  • Integrated excursions and field experiences in the generation of Visual Arts content for the classroom.

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

Pre-service teachers will be involved in a variety of teaching-learning strategies to progress and demonstrate their understandings in this unit. Participants will be involved in a variety of teaching-learning strategies to support learning, including practical workshops and tutorials, formal lectures and visits to galleries, museums, and performances.

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 (or equivalent in intensive mode).

Technology Enhanced Learning

The unit will include a Learning Environment Online (LEO) site to enhance teaching and learning, as well as in assessment, as a means of communication, production and feedback.

Assessment strategy and rationale

The assessment tasks and their weightings are designed to allow pre-service teachers to progressively demonstrate achievement against the unit learning outcomes and develop graduate attributes consistent with University assessment requirements.

Minimum Achievement Standards

In order to pass this unit, pre-service teachers are required to submit and participate in all assessment tasks.

The total assessment tasks will amount to the equivalent of 5,000 words.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment Task 1

Report or essay (2500 words or equivalent)

Must demonstrate in-depth knowledge and critical understanding of:

  • the unique contribution of Visual Arts in the education of children
  • the nature of Visual Arts learning in children
  • key Visual Arts pedagogies
  • one or more Visual Arts forms / works appropriate to the primary curricula
  • the content, concepts and scope of the primary Visual Arts curriculum.


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4

GA4, GA5 GA9

Assessment Task 2: CHOICE

For the purposes of national moderation all campuses must select the same task (2500 words or equivalent)

  • Portfolio of work completed in the Tutorial/studio workshops


  • Research task: the nature, purpose and philosophy of Visual Arts in the curriculum, related to a specific context or social/ cultural perspective.


  • Visual Arts Unit program including: situational analysis of context and identified learner strengths and needs; overview of learning activities across the unit; resources and strategies appropriate to needs of diverse learners; individual plans for 2-3 of the lessons; assessment and feedback strategies; resources.


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5

GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8, GA9

Representative texts and references

Coutts, G. (2004). Multimedia, curriculum and public art. Art Education, 57(4), 33.

Efland, A (2004). The entwined nature of the aesthetics: A discourse on visual culture. Studies in Art Education, 45(3), 234.

Eisner, E. W., & Day, M. D. (2004). Handbook of research and policy in art education. Mahway, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Farrelly, J., & Farrelly, B. (2004). A month of Sundays. Today’s Catholic Teacher, 37(6), 48.

Freeman, N.H., (2004) Aesthetic judgement and reasoning. In Handbook of research and policy in art education, E. W. Eisner & M. D. Day (Eds.), Reston. National Art Education Association.

Kolbe, U. (2007) Rapunzel’s supermarket: All about young children and their art (2nd ed.). Byron Bay, NSW.: Peppinot Press.

Riddoch, J. V., & Waugh, R. F. (2003). Teaching students with severe intellectual disabilities non-representational art using a new pictorial and musical programme. Journal of Intellectual and Developmental Disability, 28(2), p145.

Ruscoe, A. (2004). Classroom art, drawing, painting, printmaking: Easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions. Greenwood, WA: RIC Publications.

Russell-Bowie, D. (2012). MMADD about the arts: An introduction to primary arts education (3rd ed.). Frenchs Forest, NSW: Pearson Australia.

Trimis, E., & Savva, A. (2004), The in-depth studio approach: Incorporating an art museum program into a pre-primary classroom. Art Education, 57(6), p. 20.

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