Credit points


Campus offering

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Unit rationale, description and aim

This unit will focus on assisting pre-service teachers to develop and apply a critical understanding of a variety of social and cultural contexts, including addressing issues of disadvantage. Pre-service teachers will prepare for teaching experience by engaging with strategies related to classroom organisation and management, lesson planning and assessment procedures which include setting differentiated learning goals. It is expected that a commitment to social justice and inclusivity as well as an appreciation of the sacred will deepen and broaden as an understanding of the diverse religious, cultural and social backgrounds of children is emphasised. Pre-service teachers will form links between theory and practice in a coherent manner as they describe, analyse and reflect upon current practices, develop communication, planning and organisational skills and relate their observations to the theoretical foundations introduced and their developing professional framework.

This unit aims to introduce pre-service to divcerse ways of selecting and implementing appropriate teaching, learning and assessment strategies to address a variety of social and cultural contexts, including addressing issues of disadvantage.

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 - Discuss and critically examine the complexity of the social and cultural world of children and learning environments with reference to major sociological perspectives and consider the impact that these have upon learning communities (schools and centres), classroom interaction and student learning outcomes (GA1, GA2, GA4; APST 1.2; ACECQA C5)

LO2 - Identify and select teaching, learning and assessment strategies, including effective communication with students and parents, that are appropriate to the socio-cultural context and cater for a variety of learning needs and learning styles, and justify the selection (GA5; APST 1.3, 1.5, 3.5, 4.1, 5.2, 5.5; ACECQA B9, D4, D5)

LO3 - Develop the beginning of their own pedagogy demonstrating an understanding of ‘significance’ in the selection and use of teaching and basic management strategies (GA1; APST 1.3, 4.3)

LO4 - Identify, develop and apply communication skills that foster interaction within the learning environment and which are appropriate to shared reflection, moderation of assessment and collaboration with peers and teachers in learning communities (schools and early childhood centres) (GA8; APST 3.5, 5.3, 6.3)

LO5 - Reflect critically on teaching and classroom organisation and management strategies used in the context of the various learning environments visited online and through Professional Experience (GA5; APST 3.6, 4.3)

Graduate attributes

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

GA2 - recognise their responsibility to the common good, the environment and society 

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

GA5 - demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 

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


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

1.2 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of research into how students learn and the implications for teaching.

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. 

3.5 Demonstrate a range of verbal and non-verbal communication strategies to support student engagement.

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.

4.3 Demonstrate knowledge of practical approaches to manage challenging behaviour.

5.2 Demonstrate an understanding of the purpose of providing timely and appropriate feedback to students about their learning.

5.3 Demonstrate understanding of assessment moderation and its application to support consistent and comparable judgements of student learning.

5.5 Demonstrate understanding of a range of strategies for reporting to students and parents/carers and the purpose of keeping accurate and reliable records of student achievement.

6.3 Seek and apply constructive feedback from supervisors and teachers to improve teaching practices.


On successful completion of this unit, pre-service teachers should have developed the following specific knowledge:

B. Education and curriculum studies 

B9. Curriculum planning, programming and evaluation

C. Early childhood pedagogies          

C5. Catering to children with diverse needs and backgrounds

D. Families and community partnerships      

D4. Socially inclusive practice

D5. Culture, diversity and inclusion


Topics will include:

  • Understanding society, families and educational provision

In this part of the unit pre-service teachers will develop an understanding of the social forces influencing people’s lives. Key concepts regarding how society shapes people and institutions and the impact on learning in the classroom will be addressed. Additionally, this part of the unit will look briefly at the history and roles/purposes of educational provision. Issues such as gender, families, class, ethnicity, mass media and religious influences will be discussed. These issues will serve as a particular focus for how these concepts and themes impact upon the learning experience and educational outcomes of students.

  • Communication skills to facilitate teaching and learning

This part of the unit is designed to introduce pre-service teachers with an understanding of the importance of communication both verbal and non-verbal in facilitating teaching and learning, and in communicating such learning to appropriate stakeholders. It will focus on the principles and practice of effective communication and relationships with colleagues, students, parents and community members. Questioning and effective feedback skills to facilitate cognitive development will be introduced and linked with relevant learning theories. Effective strategies to promote teaching and learning and interpersonal skills will be discussed and evaluated.

  • Planning teaching and learning strategies

This final part of the content will further direct the learnings of the above section for implementation in the classroom. It will draw from practice in the field and from theory delivered in lectures and readings. Particular teaching and learning strategies will be discussed, analysed and evaluated as teachers in schools demonstrate a wide variety of effective teaching and management strategies and as lecture material and readings provided are compared with these practices. The planning of lessons and the use of a range of resources will be explored alongside the basic understandings of resultant student learning outcomes. Particular emphasis will be given to addressing and managing the needs of the diversity of children found within the classroom.

  • Integration of understandings and skills with reflections on school experiences and associated activities.
  • Reflection on professional learning

The reflection on professional and learning experiences is intended to deepen understanding of the various concepts met, to inform application of these understandings, to inform observations in future experiences in schools with regard to communication, planning and organising learning, classroom management and the role of assessment in these.

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: online engagement, lectures, tutorials, seminar presentations and group discussions, both online and face-to-face, self-directed study activities and assessment tasks. Some participation in appropriate educational settings maybe required.

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 become private study.

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 demonstrate attainment of professional standards.

Assessment tasks can include a variety of strategies such as essays, projects, presentations, displays, reflective journals and examinations.

Minimum Achievement Standards

The assessment tasks for this unit are designed to demonstrate the achievement of each learning outcome.

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

Assessment Task 1

Pre-service teachers will develop a written critique of a sociological issue that has ramifications for classrooms or learning environments. The critique will apply sociological perspectives and a range of sociological concepts, whilst analysing the implications for student learning. It is required that pre-service teachers identify a range of teaching and assessment strategies. This range should respond to the varying learning needs and styles, different socio-cultural contexts and demonstrate awareness of the purpose of effective feedback to students. Examples taken from the field and from readings and other literature would be included.


LO1, LO2

GA1, GA2, GA4

Assessment Task 2

Students will collaborate to apply and integrate knowledge gained from field experience, lectures and readings. The pre-service teachers will complete an assessment task that will include the following items:

·    planning for teaching and learning

·    management strategies within the learning environment

·    critical reflection on issues of communication

demonstration of an awareness of the importance of professional collaboration and shared reflection which can support consistency of teacher judgements and moderation of assessment.


LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5

GA1, GA5, GA8

Representative texts and references

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

Bowes, J., & Grace. R. (Eds.). (2012). Children, families and communities: Contexts and consequences (4th ed.). South Melbourne, Vic.: Oxford University Press.

Cennamo, K.S., Ross, J.D., & Ertmer, P.A. (2010). Technology integration for meaningful classroom use: A standards-based approach. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Edwards, C.H., & Watts, V. (2008). Classroom discipline and management (2nd Australasian ed.). Milton, Qld: John Wiley & Sons.

Good, T. L., & Brophy, J. E. (2008). Looking in classrooms (10th ed.). Boston: Pearson/Allyn and Bacon Publishers

Groundwater-Smith, S., Ewing, R., & Le Cornu, R. (2011). Teaching: Challenges and dilemmas (4th ed.). South Melbourne, Vic: Cengage Learning.

Killen, R. (2013). Effective teaching strategies: Lessons from research and practice (6th ed.). South Melbourne, Vic.: Cengage Learning.

Levin, J., & Nolan, J. F. (2013). Principles of classroom management: A professional decision-making model (7th ed.). Boston, Ma: Pearson.

Marsh, C. (2010). Becoming a teacher: Knowledge, skills and issues (5th ed.). Frenchs Forest, NSW: Pearson Education.

McDonald, T. (2013). Classroom management: Engaging students in learning. (2nd ed.). South Melbourne, Vic.: Oxford University Press.

Whitton, D., Barker, K., Nosworthy, M., Sinclair, C., & Nanlohy, P. (2010). Learning for teaching, teaching for learning (2nd ed.). South Melbourne, Vic.: Cengage Learning Australia.

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