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EDET460 Effective Teaching 5: Understanding and Implementing Assessment and Data Informed Practice


EDET401 Effective Teaching 6: Professional Engagement and Reflection

Unit rationale, description and aim

Includes 20 days placement in an early learning centre

Effective teaching is underpinned by reflection, enquiry and evidenced based practice. It is necessary for pre-service teachers to develop skills that enable continual, self-regulated professional development.

This unit facilitates induction into the profession and provides opportunities for centre-based critical enquiry. It enables pre-service teachers to reinforce and expand their professional knowledge and practice of the different roles of a teacher and their capacity to transform student learning. The unit provides pre-service teachers with a substantial block of extended reflective professional experience that approximates the realities of everyday teaching; extends pre-service teachers’ repertoire of pedagogical skills in the planning, delivery and assessment of appropriate teaching and learning programs; and develops pre-service teachers’ understanding of the teachers’ role within the centre and broader educational community. Pre-service teachers will use a critical enquiry framework to further develop capacities in the alignment of curriculum, assessment, learning and teaching. They will collect and interpret data to evaluate the impact of their teaching on children’s learning to support quality teaching practices. They will reflect on their development as teacher, analyse their attainment of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers and construct a professional learning plan.

The aim of this culminating unit is to synthesise learning from Education Studies, Effective Teaching and Curriculum Studies to ensure pre-service teachers are prepared for their transition to the teaching profession.

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 the importance of teacher action research and evidence-based interventions as means to enhance teaching practices and improve student learning (GA3, GA4, GA7, GA8; APST 1.2, 6.2, 6.4, 7.4; ACECQA C1, C4, F5)

LO2 - Critically analyse contemporary research literature and apply field-based research to identify teaching problems or issues in an early childhood setting and formulate a pedagogical intervention (GA1, GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8; APST 1.1, 1.2, 1.5, 2.3, 2.5, 3.1, 3.2; ACECQA C1, C4, E2, F5)

LO3 - Analyse multiple sources of evidence, including assessment data to ensure consistent judgements of children’s learning (GA3, GA4, GA7, GA8; APST 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.4, 6.3, 7.1; ACECQA F5)

LO4 - Construct a professional learning plan identifying professional learning needs and sources of professional development (GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9, GA10; APST 3.6, 6.1, 6.2, 6.4, 7.4; ACECQA F3)

LO5 - Demonstrate effective teaching that evidences ‘readiness to teach' (GA1, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8, GA9, GA10; APST 1.1, 1.3, 1.5, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.5, 2.6, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.5, 3.6, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 4.4, 4.5, 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.4, 5.5, 6.3, 7.1, 7.2; ACECQA C4)

Graduate attributes

GA1 - demonstrate respect for the dignity of each individual and for human diversity

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 

GA10 - utilise information and communication and other relevant technologies effectively.


Students will have the opportunity to apply some or all of the content of this unit in the particular context of their teaching specialisation (refer to the section on ‘Professional Experience: Teaching Requirements’, below)

Topics will include:

  • Establishing and maintaining an engaging learning environment cognizant of current teaching and learning theories in early childhood settings
  • Management of the full range of teacher’s responsibilities including routines, transitions, supervision, pastoral care of children and relationships within the centre community
  • Analysing the particular centre and class context for the identification of issues and problems to formulate a pedagogical intervention
  • Strategies that can be used to evaluate teaching programs to improve student learning
  • Strategies for interpreting student assessment data to evaluate student learning and modify teaching practice to improve learning outcomes
  • Ethical professional practice for engaging with data and evidence for enquiry into and critical reflection of teaching and learning in centre contexts.
  • Critical reflection and collaborative interaction with other educators, teachers, leadership, and other professionals to improve teaching, assessment and support consistent and comparable professional judgement.
  • Seeking and applying constructive feedback from supervisors, mentors and teachers to reflect on and improve teaching practices
  • Opportunities for continued professional learning within and beyond the centre context and the implications for improved student learning.
  • Finalising the professional portfolio

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

The key strategy of this unit will be enquiry-based learning, enacted predominantly in the centre. The pre-service teacher engages in the Capstone Assessment Task (CAT) as a capstone experience in the centre context. Approximately 12 hours of directed teaching (lectures or workshops), readings and online support before, during and after the placement. Directed instruction will provide support for students in the completion of that task.

In this unit the pre-service teacher will engage in the sustained role of teacher in an early childhood setting undertaking the diverse duties of a practising teacher, including: planning, teaching, assessment and moderation, differentiated engagement with children, organisation/centre/leadership meetings, collaborative team planning sessions, supervision, and other duties required within the setting. Further, the pre-service teacher will engage in a capstone experience in the centre setting. They will undertake self-auditing activities against the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers: Graduate level and construct a professional learning plan as part of their inquiry-based learning opportunity by selecting children and teaching areas relevant to their inquiry. The inquiry-based CAT is further supported when the pre-service teacher engages in the activities collegially with a mentor and/or supervising teacher and will engage in feedback discussions and proactive planning with both the supervising teacher and the university academic.

Teaching and learning strategies may include, but are not limited to:

  • Weekly face-to-face lectures and / or online lectures (synchronous and asynchronous)
  • Hands-on tutorials and discussions that promote peer learning;
  • Self-directed reading and research
  • Collaborative learning opportunities.

Differentiated instruction will be provided, through tutorial arrangements, so that students will have the opportunity to study some or all of the content of this unit in the particular context of their teaching specialisation.

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 /centre experiences. It may include:

  • Online review exercises.
  • Discussion board to exchange ideas and refine learning.
  • Video illustrations of teaching practice and focussed readings addressing a wide spectrum of teaching contexts, practices and competencies

Professional Experience: Teaching Requirements

In the final professional experience, pre-service teachers must satisfactorily demonstrate attainment of the Australian Standards for Teachers: Graduate level in order to complete requirements and pass this unit.

Within this final Effective Teaching unit pre-service teachers will undertake, individually, a professional experience placement comprising 20 continuous days in a centre

In this unit, pre-service teachers will be expected to undertake:

  • 4 weeks of teaching, with a teaching load at 75-80% of normal load
  • Capstone Assessment Task (CAT) Project development, implementation and data collection. (Refer to Professional Experience Handbook and Record for detailed guidelines regarding teaching and other requirements).
  • A pre-service Early Childhood Teacher will undertake placement under supervising teacher and will work in collaboration across the centre with Centre Director, Assistant Director and Educational Leader throughout the block.

Assessment strategy and rationale

The assessment tasks allow pre-service teachers to demonstrate achievement against the course learning outcomes by demonstrating academic and professional standards. The Education Studies units in this course focus on developing understanding of, and skills across the professional knowledge, practice and engagement needed to meet expectations of ACECQA criteria and the APST: Graduate level. Assessment of learning and assessment for learning are incorporated in this unit. The first assessment focuses on the effectiveness of research and skills of inquiry as means to enhance teaching practices and strategies. These teaching strategies and practices are implemented and provide content for students to complete their second assignment. An informed reading of the literature about issues that would form the basis of the Capstone Assessment Task (CAT) ) is critical for improving teaching practice.

The Capstone Assessment Task (CAT) is the centrepiece of this unit and its assessment. The CAT must be conducted in a practical teaching context, and this is acknowledged in the Professional Experience Assessment. The Professional Learning Plan arises out of the CAT and a portfolio of work that has been collected throughout the whole course and is a vital connection between university studies and the professional learning expected of teachers in the early years of their profession.

A range of assessment procedures are used to meet the unit learning outcomes and develop graduate attributes and professional standards and criteria consistent with University assessment requirements. 

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 submit all assessment tasks, meet the learning outcomes of the unit and achieve a minimum overall passing grade of 50%.

Pre-service teachers must attain a Pass in both assessment tasks and the Professional Experience Placement (PEP).

Assessment in EDET461 includes two Critical Tasks the Capstone Assessment Task (CAT) and the Portfolio and professional learning plan. Observation and Targeted Learning Experience Plan. Pre-service teachers must demonstrate mastery of every summative Graduate Teacher Standard identified and attain a score of at least 50% in these Critical Tasks in order to pass this unit.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment Task 1:

Capstone Assessment Task (CAT).

Critical Task

The CAT asks pre-service teachers to reflect critically on curriculum decision-making and the role educational assessment plays within that. It must be accompanied by documentary evidence of the teaching, learning and assessment cycle and of children’s learning.

Further information about the specific requirements of the CAT is detailed in the guideline materials supplied via the LEO site of this unit.


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4

GA1, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8, GA9

Assessment Task 2:

Portfolio and Professional Learning Plan

Critical Task

Self-audit of professional practice to evidence and reflect on attainment of the Professional Standards. Identify professional learning needs and construct a plan for professional learning including rationale for continued learning and appropriate sources.



GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9, GA10

Assessment Task 3:

Hurdle Requirement:

Professional Experience Assessment

The summative Professional Experience is assessed in consultation with a supervising teacher and a university academic over the placement. The pre-service teacher must demonstrate attainment of the Australian Professional Standards of Teachers: Graduate within the context of early childhood centre

practices. Refer to the Unit Professional Experience Guidebook for interim and final reports.


LO3, LO4, LO5

GA1, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8, GA9, GA10

Representative texts and references

Required text(s)

Australian Curriculum

Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority. Early Years Learning Framework

Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) 

Relevant State and Territory curriculum documents. 

Recommended references

Eckhoff, A. (2019). Participatory research with young children: Educating the young child. Springer International Publishing.

Fleet, A., Patterson, C., & Robertson, J. (2017). Pedagogical documentation in early years practice seeing through multiple perspectives. Sage

McLachlan, C., Fleer, M., & Edwards, S. (2018). Early childhood curriculum: Planning, assessment and implementation (3rd ed). Cambridge University Press.

Mills, G. E. (2018). Action research: A guide for the teacher researcher (6th ed.). Pearson.

Mukherji, P., Albon, D. (2018). Research methods in early childhood: An introductory guide (3rd ed). Sage

Newman, L, Leggett, N., Duggy-Fagan, M., Higginbottom, K., & Early Childhood Australia (2018). Strengthening quality through critical reflection and action research. Research in Practice, 25(4), 1-35.

Queensland College of Teachers (2017). Transition to full registration. An evidence guide for early childhood teachers. Author.

South Australian Government Department for Education. (2020). Respect, reflect, relate: Assessing for learning and development in the early years using observation scales. Author

Taylor, L. A. (2017). How teachers become teacher researchers: Narrative as a tool for teacher identity construction. Teaching and Teacher Education, 61, 16-25.

Wall, K., & Hall, E. (2017) The teacher in teacher-practitioner research: three principles of inquiry. In Boyd, P. and Szplit, A., International Perspectives: Teachers and Teacher Educators Learning Through Enquiry, KielceKrakow: 35-62 

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