Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit



Unit rationale, description and aim

This unit is the on-campus component of the professional practicum suite of units which is undertaken in the final year of the course. It facilitates the induction of pre-service teachers into the profession. The unit focuses on the identification of the professional role of the teacher as one of reflector, thinker, learners, and investigator within a variety of learning and teaching contexts. The skills and knowledge consolidated in this unit enhances the pre-service teacher’s capacity as an integral member of an early childhood learning community.

The unit aims to prepare pre-service teachers to undertake the practical component of the professional practicum and to engage them with the early childhood sector as a well prepared professional practitioner.

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 - Demonstrate achievement of the professional standards for beginning early childhood teachers (GA5; ACECQA E3, F3)

LO2 - Synthesise teaching and learning theory with current approaches to early childhood pedagogical practice (GA8; ACECQA C4, E2, E3)

LO3 - Critically respond to the complexities of the professional roles and responsibilities of an early childhood teacher (GA5; ACECQA E3, F3)

LO4 - Articulate a clear understanding of a range of strategies to support their transition from pre-service teacher to professional practitioner (GA8, GA9; ACECQA E3, F3)

LO5 - Through critical self-reflection demonstrate an effective professional development plan, including areas of strength and challenges (GA5, GA8, GA9; ACECQA E3)

Graduate attributes

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

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

GA9 - demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media 


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

C. Early childhood pedagogies

C4. teaching methods and strategies

E. History and philosophy of early childhood

E2. Contemporary theories and practice

E3. Ethics and professional practice

F. Early childhood professional practice       

F3.  Identity


Topics covered in this unit will include such themes as professional practicum, inclusion and diversity, beginning teaching and the teacher as reflective practitioner. These themes are explored in research, reading, critical analysis and discussion. Specifically, they will include:

  • Current teaching and learning theories
  • Establishment of an engaging learning environment
  • Curriculum and policy developments
  • Understanding and managing relationships within learning communities
  • Understanding and guiding behaviours and managing learning environments that facilitate this
  • The place of reflection in developing effective pedagogical practice
  • Expectations of the teacher’s role as a leader within learning communities
  • Australian legal and social context: legal principles and legislative provisions, mandatory reporting, resources
  • Relationships with other professionals, families and parents, and community members.

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. This may involve a combination of face to face, online and blended delivery, on a weekly basis across a 12-week semester or in intensive mode. Students should expect to participate in a range of the following: 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.

Minimum Achievement Standards

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

The total assessment will be equivalent to 4,000 words.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment Task 1

A professional portfolio used to demonstrate achievement of professional standards for early childhood teachers

Equivalent to 2500


LO1, LO2, LO3

GA5, GA8, GA9

Assessment Task 2

A professional learning plan to support the transition from pre-service teacher to professional practitioner, including areas of strength and challenges

Equivalent to 1500


LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5

GA5, GA8, GA9

Representative texts and references

Dahlberg, G., & Moss, P. (2005). Ethics and politics in early childhood education. London: Routledge Falmer.

Fleer, M., Edwards, S., Hammer, M., Kennedy, A., Ridgway, A., Robbins, J., & Surman, L. (2006) Early childhood learning communities. Sociocultural research in practice.

Gibbs, C. (2006). To be a teacher. Journeys towards authenticity. New Zealand: Pearson Education.

Jones, M., & Shelton, M. (2006). Developing your portfolio. Enhancing your learning and showing your stuff. A guide to the early childhood student or professional. New York: Routledge.

MacNaughton, G., & Hughes, P. (2011). Parents and professionals in early childhood settings. Berkshire, England: Open University Press.

Newman, L. & Pollnitz, L. (2005). Working with children and families – professional, legal and ethical issues. French’s Forest, NSW: Pearson.

O’Connor, A., & Diggins, C. (2002). On reflection. Reflective practice for early childhood educators. Aotearoa, NZ: Open Mind Publishing.

Porter, L. (2008). Young children’s behaviour: Practical approaches for caregivers and teachers (3rd ed.). Marrickville, NSW: Elsevier.

Rodd, J., (2013). Leadership in early childhood: The pathway to professionalism (4th ed.). Crows Nest, NSW: Allen & Unwin

Waniganayake, M.,Cheeseman, S., Fenech, M., Hadley, F. & Shepherd, W. (2012). Leadership: Contexts and Complexities in Early Childhood Education. Australia & New Zealand: Oxford University Press

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