Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit



Unit rationale, description and aim

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

The unit aims to increase knowledge, skills and appreciation of the role of Drama and Dance practitioners through the provision of practical 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 a broad knowledge and understanding of Dance and Drama as a form of knowledge within the primary curriculum (GA4, GA5)

LO2 - understand key curriculum content, concepts, and pedagogy in Dance and Drama education and how these are engaged, interpreted and explained creatively in the primary classroom (GA3, GA4)

LO3 - understand and apply a range of strategies for researching, interpreting and resourcing content in Dance and Drama Education (GA3, GA4, GA8)

LO4 - plan, implement and evaluate sequenced Dance and Drama learning and assessment experiences for students of different ages (GA3, GA5, GA7, GA9)

LO5 - critically evaluate Dance and Drama curriculum and learning experiences (GA4, GA5, GA8).

Graduate attributes

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 

GA8 - locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information 

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


Topics will include:

  • The contribution Dance and Drama education makes as a domain of knowledge and practice in the primary curriculum
  • The distinctive contribution Dance and Drama education makes to the Creative Arts as a broad field of study
  • An in-depth investigation of Dance and Drama concepts and practices as applied to a range of cultural contexts, times, places and traditions and how this can contribute to the learning in the primary classroom
  • The nature of the Dance and Drama 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
  • Assessment for learning in the Dance and Drama curriculum
  • Strategies for researching, planning and implementing, composing, performing and appreciating activities in the development of lesson plans
  • The integration of ICT, literacy and issues of social justice in curriculum content and learning
  • Integrated excursions and field experiences in the generation of Dance and Drama 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 with a normal expectation of 36 hours of directed study and the total contact hours should not exceed 36 hours. Directed study might include lectures, tutorials, webinars, podcasts etc. The balance of the hours then becomes private study.

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. This unit requires that 2 assessment tasks be completed according to the creative arts area/s selected for study.

Minimum Achievement Standards

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

The total of assessment tasks will amount to the equivalent of 4,000 words.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Common Assessment Task

A structured assignment that assesses understandings of content in each of the selected arts areas.


LO1, LO2, LO5

GA3, GA4 GA5, GA8

Other Assessment Tasks may include:

  • Research task
  • Sequence of lessons
  • Unit overview in selected arts area
  • Portfolio of work completed in tutorial/studio workshops
  • Exhibitions / Performance, which includes a critical evaluation
  • Research assignment
  • Teaching episode


L03, LO4, LO5

GA3, GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8 and GA9

Representative texts and references

Creative Arts Curriculum Documents - State Authorities

Relevant national, state and territory curriculum documents and study designs for primary school students.


Buck, R. (1998). Everyone can dance: Inclusive dance strategies for years 1-10, Brisbane: Education Queensland, pp. 12-23.

Gilbert, A. G. (1992). Creative dance for all ages: A conceptual approach. Reston, VA: National Dance Association, American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance.

Maubach.C. (1997). Step back Sally (Audio CD and booklet with some dance descriptions). Ivanhoe Vic.: Move Records.

Russell-Bowie, D. (2006). MMADD about the arts! An introduction to primary arts education. Sydney: Pearson Education Australia.

Schlaich, J., & DuPont, B. (1993). The art of teaching dance technique (pp. 53-63). Reston, VA: American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance.

Schnebly-Black, J., & Moore, S. (1997). The rhythm inside: Connecting body, mind and spirit through music.  Portland: Rudra Press.

Smith-Autard, J. (2002). The Art of Dance in Education (2nd ed.). London: A&C Black.

Snook, B. (2004). Dance: Count me in! Years 7-10. North Ryde, NSW: McGraw-Hill.

Spurgeon, D. (1991). Dance moves. Sydney: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.

Spurgeon, D. (1998). Dance till you drop. Sydney: Random House.


Ewing, R., & Simons, J. (2004). Beyond the script: Take two: Drama in the classroom. Newtown, NSW: Primary English Teaching Association.

Lowe, K. (2002). What’s the Story? Making meaning in primary classrooms. Newtown, NSW: Primary English Teaching Association.

McCaslen, N. (2006). Creative drama in the classroom. Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.

Mooney, M., & Nicholls, J. (2004). Drama journey: Inside drama learning. Strawberry Hills, NSW: Currency Press.

O’Mara, J. (2003). Repositioning drama to centrestage: Drama, English, text and literacy. Drama Australia, 27(2).

O’Toole, J., & Dunn, J. (2002). Pretending to learn: helping children learn through drama. Frenchs Forest, NSW: Longman/Pearson Education.

Posten- Andersen, B. (2008). Drama- Learning connections in primary schools. South Melbourne, Vic.: Oxford University Press.

Russell-Bowie, D. (2009). MMADD about the arts! An introduction to primary arts education (2nd ed.). Frenchs Forest, NSW: Pearson Education Australia.

Stinson M. & Wall, D. (2003). Dramactive. Brisbane: McGraw-Hill.

Taylor. P. (2000). The drama classroom. New York: Routledge.

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