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EDFD261 Creating Inclusive, Safe and Supportive Learning Environments AND EDFX271 Creating Inclusive, Safe and Supportive Learning Environment

Unit rationale, description and aim

This unit focuses on a commitment to social justice and human rights applied to inclusive education, a teacher’s duty of care and responsibility in catering for all students. Within the context of relevant legislation, national frameworks, policy and curriculum documents, the notion of differentiated teaching for social justice, personal safety, and wellbeing is applied to develop individual and social capabilities. The unit takes a non-categorical inclusive approach to curriculum while focussing on meeting the diverse needs of children and young people particularly in the areas of additional learning and support needs, students with disabilities, gifted and talented and those for whom English is an additional language or dialect. The unit develops pre-service teachers’ knowledge and skills to meet relevant professional and ethical requirements, as well as their communication and interpersonal skills. There will be a focus on intercultural understandings and promoting respectful relationships, working with children and young people, and collaborating with their parents/carers and colleagues.

This unit aims develop knowledge, skills and raise fundamental awareness and questions about diverse student learning experiences, to equip pre-service teachers to address them with heightened ethical awareness.

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 - exhibit an understanding and apply principles of codes of conduct, ethics and teaching for social justice aligned with relevant inclusion legislation that support participation and learning of students with disability, frameworks and policy to schools, classroom practice and community, recognising the diversity of the contemporary classroom (GA2, GA3; APST 1.5, 1.6, 4.4, 7.1, 7.2)

LO2 - demonstrate strategies that apply principles and legislation for developing positive respectful relationships, catering for individual learning needs and strengths that support students’ well-being, resilience, positive behaviours and safety within school and/or system. (GA2, GA5, GA7; APST 1.3, 1.6, 3.1, 4.1, 4.3, 4.4)

LO3 - identify and demonstrate an awareness of practices to address challenging behaviour and enhance protective factors minimising risk for all students through collaborating effectively, sensitively and confidentially with parents/carers and other stakeholders (GA1; APST 1.3, 3.3, 4.3, 4.4, 5.4, 7.3)

LO4 - critically examine and apply the relevant legislation, systems policies, codes of ethics and conduct for the teaching profession, in conjunction with parents/carers and external agencies within a context of prevention for child protection and duty of care to support teachers in adopting inclusive teaching strategies to facilitate student wellbeing and learning (GA5, GA7; APST 1.6, 3.7, 4.1, 4.4, 7.1, 7.2, 7.3, 7.4)

LO5 - design and demonstrate the application of effective learning and support strategies to cater for individual needs, and diversify the curriculum in an inclusive setting, including the development of individual learning plans in consultation with students and their parents/carers and other relevant stakeholders (GA2, GA7; APST 1.2, 1.5, 2.6, 3.1, 3.3, 4.1, 5.4, 6.4, 7.2, 7.3).

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 

GA3 - apply ethical perspectives in informed decision making

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

GA7 - work both autonomously and collaboratively 


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. 

1.6 Demonstrate broad knowledge and understanding of legislative requirements and teaching strategies that support participation and learning of students with disability.

2.6 Implement teaching strategies for using ICT to expand curriculum learning opportunities for students.

3.1 Set learning goals that provide achievable challenges for students of varying abilities and characteristics.

3.3 Include a range of teaching strategies.

3.7 Describe a broad range of strategies for involving parents/carers in the educative process.

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.

4.4 Describe strategies that support students’ well-being and safety working within school and/or system, curriculum and legislative requirements.

5.4 Demonstrate the capacity to interpret student assessment data to evaluate student learning and modify teaching practice.

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

7.1 Understand and apply the key principles described in codes of ethics and conduct for the teaching profession.

7.2 Understand the relevant legislative, administrative and organisational policies and processes required for teachers according to school stage.

7.3 Understand strategies for working effectively, sensitively and confidentially with parents/carers.

7.4 Understand the role of external professionals and community representatives in broadening teachers’ professional knowledge and practice.


Topics will include:

  • Teaching for social justice

Safe and supportive learning contexts are underpinned by pro-social values of respect, compassion, acceptance of difference, cooperation and friendliness. This theme explores the whole centre/school and class practices that are an expression of these values and studies and critiques international, national and state policies such as Human Rights, the National Safe Schools Framework and the National Framework for Values in Education, Anti-Discrimination and Disability Discrimination legislation.

  • Child Protection: Due Care and Wellbeing

Child protection and mandatory reporting issues are examined, exploring the context of prevention and the implementation of teaching and management practices to reduce risk and enhance protective factors. Legislation and policy in the area of child protection and duty of care is addressed within the context of prevention. This topic develops understanding of strategies to engage with parents/carers, working effectively, sensitively and confidentially to build strong partnerships.

  • Inclusive Education

This topic discusses and critiques social justice concepts and current policies, principles and legislation on anti-discrimination for gifted students, students with disabilities and/or learning difficulties, students with diverse linguistic, cultural, religious and socioeconomic backgrounds. It is underpinned by the fundamental principle of inclusive schools that all students should learn together, wherever possible, regardless of differences or difficulties. Pre-service teachers explore whole school and class practices that respond to the diverse needs of students. The focus is on the task of differentiating the curriculum to accommodate different learning needs and to ensure high-quality education through appropriate curricula, adaptations to tasks, teaching strategies, resources and the class and school environment. Numeracy and literacy capabilities, ICT and assistive technology that support students with special needs are explored.

  • Teaching for positive respectful relationships.

A proactive rather than reactive approach in establishing a safe learning environment is emphasised. The role of the classroom teacher and the school is explored in developing and implementing appropriate curriculum, management principles and strategies related to positive behaviour and respectful relationships within diverse school communities. Understanding of anti-bullying strategies and how to identify and respond to bullying, including cyberbullying in different contexts will also be explored as a key component in the development of positive relationships.

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 any combination of lectures, workshops, tutorials, agency, school visits, case study development, classroom simulations and other online activities.

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. There is 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

A range of assessment procedures will be used to meet the unit learning outcomes and develop graduate attributes consistent with University assessment requirements and the development of Australian Professional Standards for Teachers - Graduate Level. Such procedures may include, but are not limited to, essays, reports, examinations, online activities, student presentations and case studies. This unit requires that two or three assessment tasks be completed one of which is the common assessment task.

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 participate in and submit 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

Assessment Task 1: Case study

Individualised planning and differentiation

Pre-service teachers develop learning plans that cater to the individual needs of students from diverse linguistic, cultural, religious and socioeconomic backgrounds, students with disabilities, students who are gifted and talented, and students who have learning difficulties. The task requires pre-service teachers to:

  • adapt and develop lesson content, resources and classroom management strategies to enhance the learning opportunities for the individual needs of students in an inclusive classroom
  • incorporate a focus on literacy and numeracy skills
  • demonstrate knowledge and understanding of strategies, including ICT and assistive technologies, for differentiating teaching to meet the full range of abilities
  • demonstrate a broad knowledge of relevant legislation, frameworks and policy
  • present strategies to enhance student wellbeing and engage parents/carers, promoting safe and supportive learning environments for all students, including strategies to minimise physical and emotional bullying.


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5

GA1, GA2, GA3, GA5, GA7

Assessment Task 2: Choice- For the purposes of national moderation all campuses must select the same task


Other assessment tasks include:

(i) A situational analysis of an agency with the protection and support of young people at risk, students with disabilities, challenging behaviour or specific additional needs. OR


LO1, LO3, LO4

GA1, GA2, GA3, GA5, GA7

(ii) Individual, pair or group research investigating targeted teaching and learning needs of students with disabilities, challenging behaviour or specific additional needs. OR

LO1, LO2, LO3, LO5

GA1, GA2, GA3, GA5, GA7

(iii) Legislation, Policy and Frameworks – composition of a letter from a student with disabilities, challenging behaviour or additional needs and/or their parents/carers responding to a school that is refusing enrolment. OR

LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4

GA1, GA2, GA3, GA5, GA7

(iv) Examination - allowing pre-service teachers to demonstrate individual synthesis and application of knowledge gained.

LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5

GA1, GA2, GA3, GA5, GA7

Representative texts and references

Ashman, A., & Elkins, J. (Eds.). (2012). Education for inclusion and diversity (4th ed.). Frenchs Forest, NSW: Pearson Education Australia

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. (2013). Child protection Australia 2011-12. Child welfare series no. 55. Cat. no. CWS 43. Canberra, ACT: AIHW.

Banks, J.A. & McGee Banks, C.A. (Eds.). (2013). Multicultural education: Issues and perspective (8th ed.). Hoboken, NY: J. Wiley.

Davis, G.A., Rimm, S.B. & Siegle, D., (2011). Education of the gifted and talented (6th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.

Foreman, P. & Arthur-Kelly, M. (Eds.). (2014). Inclusion in action (4th ed.). South Melbourne, Vic: Cengage Learning Australia.

Harrison, N. (2011). Teaching and learning in Aboriginal education (2nd ed.). Melbourne, Vic: Oxford University Press.

McGrath, H., & Noble, T. (2011). Bounce back! A wellbeing and resilience program. Years K-2, 3-4, 5-8. Port Melbourne, Vic: Pearson Education.

Reinke, W.M., Herman, K.C., & Stormont, M. (2013). Classroom level positive behavior supports in schools implementing SW-PBIS: Identifying areas for enhancement. Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions, 15(1), 39-50. doi:10.1177/1098300712459079

Roffey, S. (2011). Challenging behaviour in schools: Promoting positive relationships and wellbeing. London, England: Sage Publications.

Tomlinson, C.A., & Imbeau, M. (2010). Leading and managing a differentiated classroom. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

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