Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit



Unit rationale, description and aim

“Schools play a vital role in promoting the intellectual, physical, social, emotional, moral, spiritual and aesthetic development and wellbeing of young Australians” (MYCEETYA, 2008). This unit explores how teachers and schools can develop an integrated approach to the education and development of the whole person. All of the experiences school students have influence their wellbeing and development. Learning within and between the disciplines, and personal and interpersonal learning each play a part. The unit focuses on the school culture and environment, teaching and learning (both explicit and implicit), the links between school, home and community, and the contribution of all of these to student wellbeing and the development of the whole person.

The aim of this unit is to provide pre-service teachers with the understanding of the role schools play in the wellbeing and development of the whole person, through examining diverse aspects of the school culture, environment and local community.

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 - Analyse critically key school policies and documents such as School Improvement Plans and discuss how these might influence wellbeing and positive development (GA4)

LO2 - Articulate multiple ways in which teacher practices and underpinning values and principles (in particular the preservice teachers’ own), might contribute to student wellbeing (GA2)

LO3 - Identify opportunities for promoting wellbeing and positive development within discipline areas (GA2)

LO4 - Review a range of resources and strategies available for promoting social and emotional learning, connectedness and resilience (GA5)

LO5 - Identify and describe opportunities for working with school, home and community and detail the nature of the interactions and possible impact on wellbeing and development (GA2)

Graduate attributes

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 


Topics will include:

  • Definitions and approaches to wellbeing
  • Current policy frameworks and their implications for wellbeing and positive development
  • Values and principles underpinning student wellbeing with a focus on the whole person, including Catholic social teaching
  • Contribution of teacher language, relationships with students and parents, classroom approaches, behaviour management and other teaching approaches to students’ wellbeing
  • Connections between wellbeing and learning across curriculum areas and within disciplines
  • A range of resources and strategies
  • Models of school/family/community partnerships for learning, wellbeing and development.

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: workshops, seminars, lectures, site visits and online support and investigations.

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).

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.  Such procedures may include, but are not limited to, essays, reports, examinations, student presentations or case studies.

Minimum Achievement Standards

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

There will be three assessment tasks totalling the equivalent of 4,000 words.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Task One

Task 1 requires students to analyse the impact of school policies and teacher practices (including their own) on student wellbeing


LO1, LO2

GA2, GA4

Task Two

Task 2 requires students to critique strategies and resources for the promotion of wellbeing within a discipline


LO3, LO4

GA2, GA5

Task Three

Task 3 requires students to describe a school / family / community partnership identifying the nature of the interactions, immediate and ongoing contributions to wellbeing, and further opportunities which might ensue/flow from this partnership.




Representative texts and references

Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (2007). The learning compact redefined: A report of the Commission on the Whole Child, Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. Retrieved on 2 September 2009 from

Butler, H. (2009). Complex and common sense: What do we know about links between learning outcomes and a strategic whole school approach to promoting student wellbeing? Learning Matters, October 2009.

Catholic Education Office Melbourne. (2008). Student wellbeing: Central to learning and school improvement, Student Wellbeing Research Document 1, Revised Edition.

Catholic Education Office Melbourne. (2009). SEL in Catholic School Communities: Guidelines for a sustainable whole-school approach to social and emotional learning. Catholic Education Office Melbourne.

Kohn, A. (2006). Beyond discipline: From compliance to community, 10th Anniversary Edition Alexandria, Va: Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development.

International Union for Health Promotion and Education (2009). Achieving health promoting schools: Guidelines to promote health in schools.

McGrath, H., & Noble, T. (2003). Bounce Back!: A classroom resiliency program: Teacher’s handbook. Level one: K–2; Level two: Years 3–4; Level three: Years 5–8. Pearson Education.

Ministerial Council on Education, Training and Youth Affairs (2008). Melbourne Declaration on educational goals for young Australians.

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (2007). Understanding the brain: The birth of a learning science. OECD Publications.

Seligman, M., Park, N., & Peterson, C. (2005). Positive psychology progress: Empirical validation of interventions. American Psychologist, 60(5),410–421.

Weare, K., (2000). Promoting mental, emotional and social health: A whole school approach. 2000, Routledge.

West-Burnham, J., Farrar, M., & Otero, G. (2007). Schools and communities: Working together to transform children's lives. Network Continuum Education.

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