Credit points


Campus offering

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Unit rationale, description and aim

Through investigating links between theory and practice, pre-service teachers will learn effective strategies to make adjustments to cater for and support the full spectrum of learners in terms of abilities, difficulties and differing needs, including learning difficulties, cultural, religious and linguistic diversity, and giftedness. Pre-service teachers will examine a broad range of approaches, strategies, programs and resources including inclusive education practices, teaching for literacy and numeracy, specialist support, government and community services. Pre-service teachers will develop skills in analysing effective diverse and inclusive approaches that may best meet and enhance the learning of individuals with differing educational needs.

This unit aims to assist pre-service teachers to gain knowledge and skills to meet the diverse learning and differing educational needs of individuals.

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 and develop solutions for the potential barriers (including attitudes) to learning for students with diverse linguistic, cultural, religious and socio-economic backgrounds particularly Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students (GA1; APST 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 2.4, 6.2, 7.3)

LO2 - Demonstrate an understanding of evidence-based practice, that could be used to achieve appropriate learning outcomes for all students via a differentiated curriculum (GA3, GA5; APST 2.1, 2.5, 2.6, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 4.1, 5.1, 5.4)

LO3 - Demonstrate an understanding of effective support strategies that could be used to make informed adjustments in order to monitor and assess student progress (GA5; APST 2.2, 2.3, 2.5, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.6, 5.1, 5.3, 5.4, 5.5)

LO4 - Demonstrate a range of strategies for engaging and collaborating with support staff/classroom assistants, and parents/care-givers, in order to support students with differing educational needs effectively with suitable programs and resources, enhancing stronger family/ school partnerships through appropriate reporting and accurate record keeping (GA1, GA3, GA7; APST 3.7, 5.5, 6.3, 7.1, 7.3)

LO5 - Articulate and critically examine the principles underpinning current international, national and state legislation and policies on inclusive and special educational practices and critique and analyse the responsibilities of teachers in relation to this legislation and educational policies (GA3, GA5; APST 1.6, 6.2, 7.1, 7.2)

LO6 - Understand the need for ongoing professional learning in the area of children and young people with additional needs and demonstrate an ability to locate and critically evaluate relevant and appropriate resources and sources of professional learning (GA3, GA5; APST 3.4, 3.6, 6.2, 6.4, 7.4).

Graduate attributes

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

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.

1.4 Demonstrate broad knowledge and understanding of the impact of culture, cultural identity and linguistic background on the education of students from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander 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.

2.1 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the concepts, substance and structure of the content and teaching strategies of the teaching area.

2.2 Organise content into an effective learning and teaching sequence.

2.3 Use curriculum, assessment and reporting knowledge to design learning sequences and lesson plans.

2.4 Demonstrate broad knowledge of, understanding of, and respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories, cultures and languages.

2.5 Know and understand literacy and numeracy teaching strategies and their application in teaching areas.

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.

3.2 Plan lesson sequences using knowledge of student learning, content and effective teaching strategies.

3.3 Include a range of teaching strategies.

3.4 Demonstrate knowledge of a range of resources, including ICT, that engage students in their learning.

3.6 Demonstrate broad knowledge of strategies that can be used to evaluate teaching programs to improve student learning.

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.

5.1 Demonstrate understanding of assessment strategies, including informal and formal, diagnostic, formative and summative approaches to assess student learning.

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

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

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.

6.2 Understand the relevant and appropriate sources of professional learning for teachers.

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

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:

  • Socio-cultural and cross-cultural political context of special educational needs: values, attitudes, equity, rights, inclusion, diversity, reasonable adjustments
  • Relevant inclusive and special educational legalisation, policies, strategies and practices
  • Assessment – curriculum based assessment and monitoring procedures for identifying prior achievement and making differentiated assessment and learning decisions, including the reasonable adjustments required to enable students to meet curriculum outcomes
  • Developing, implementing and evaluating effective strategies including personalised learning and inclusive lesson plans
  • Differentiating – making curriculum, instructional and environmental adjustments
  • Using numeracy and literacy capabilities to support students with special educational needs
  • Using personal and social capability to support students with special educational needs
  • Support strategies to meet a range of challenging behaviour needs
  • Specific strategies to support a range of special educational needs including those who are gifted
  • Collaborative consultation
  • Working effectively with classroom assistants
  • Accessing and critiquing resources including ICT and support services
  • Indicators of successful inclusive practice in whole school communities
  • Professional learning resources and opportunities

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. The unit will be taught in a variety of teaching and learning modes during on campus weeks 1 – 12 or equivalent in intensive and online modes. Teaching and learning strategies may include:

  • Lectures face-to-face or online/active learning activities
  • Seminars, tutorials or workshops– which may include student-led discussion and group work
  • Online discussion and activities
  • Audio-visual presentations
  • Reading guides which could involve students in both directed reading for the unit as well as self-directed online study materials

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 will relate directly to the achievement of the outcomes above.

Minimum Achievement Standards

The assessment tasks for this unit are designed to demonstrate achievement of each learning outcome. Assessment tasks will comprise two major pieces. 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 on differentiating the curriculum to include students with specific learning needs in relation to their linguistic, cultural, religious and socio-economic backgrounds

Pre-service teachers will address the following questions

  1. What are the most common issues regarding this case study student?
  2. How can I now put into practice what I have learned?
  3. How will I differentiate a lesson for my whole class with adaptations and assessments for my case study student?
  4. Indicate the strategies you would use to convey the information to students, carers and parents.


LO1, LO2, LO3

GA1, GA5

Assessment Task 2

Research on teaching students with diverse learning needs including strategies for the identification and support of ESL students.


LO4, LO5, LO6

GA3, GA5, GA7

Representative texts and references

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

Brady, L. (2006). Collaborative learning in action. Frenchs Forest, NSW: Pearson Education Australia.

Carrington, S., & MacArthur, J. (Eds.) (2012). Teaching in inclusive school communities. Milton, Qld: Wiley.

Giangreco, M. (2007). Improving instruction for students with learning needs. Educational Leadership. 64(5), 34-37.

Hyde, M., Carpenter, L., & Conway, R. (Eds.) (2010). Diversity and inclusion in Australian schools. Sydney: Oxford University Press.

Noble, T. (2004). Integrating the revised Bloom’s taxonomy with multiple intelligences: A planning tool for curriculum differentiation. Teachers College Record. 106(1), 193–211.

Peterson, M.J., & Hittie, M.M. (2010). Inclusive teaching. The journey towards effective schools for all learners (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.

Shaddock, A., Giocelli, L., & Smith, S. (2007). Students with disabilities in mainstream classrooms: A resource for teachers. Canberra: Australian Government.

Tomlinson, C. A. (2014). The differentiated classroom: Responding to the needs of all learners (2nd ed.). Alexandria, VA: ASCD.

Tomlinson, C.A., & Imbeau, M. (2010). Leading and managing a differentiated classroom. Alexandria. VA: ASCD.

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