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EDFX242 Education Studies and Professional Experience 2: Building Positive Relationships , plus 60 from Curriculum Studies

Unit rationale, description and aim

The unit will investigate theoretical perspectives of teaching practice to create and maintain effective, supportive and safe learning environments. Through engaging with research, scholarship and school-based professional experience, pre-service teachers will develop a critical understanding of pedagogy with particular reference to the importance of creating quality learning environments and catering to the needs of diverse learners. Situational analysis and interpreting student assessment data will be featured, with a view to modifying curriculum and teaching practice based on student needs. Pre-service teachers will continue to gather, self-audit and reflect upon evidence of their attainment of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers: Graduate in the Digital Portfolio of Professional Practice.

The aim of this unit is to assist pre-service teachers to address the complexities of the teacher’s role, classroom management strategies, teaching strategies, curriculum planning and assessment processes.

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 - Use curriculum, assessment and reporting knowledge to organise content and design effective learning sequences; plan, implement and evaluate curriculum and teaching programs; and relate this to current educational developments in curriculum and school organisation (GA4, GA5, GA6, GA8; APST 2.2, 2.3, 3.2, 3.6, 4.5)

LO2 - Describe, develop and implement a range of strategies, including appropriate and ethical use of ICT for differentiating curriculum and teaching, to meet the needs of diverse learners and to support inclusive student engagement in learning (GA1, GA5; APST 1.3, 1.5, 3.1, 4.1, 4.5)

LO3 - Critique current principles and practices of assessment, record keeping, providing feedback and reporting, including the use of appropriate digital student profiling and reporting resources; implement a range of assessment strategies; and demonstrate the capacity to interpret student data (both school and system level data) to evaluate learning and modify teaching practice (GA4, GA5, GA6, GA8; APST 5.1, 5.2, 5.4, 5.5)

LO4 - Demonstrate knowledge of a range of practical approaches to managing challenging behaviour, based on theories of behaviour management, effective teaching strategies and positive engagement for whole school practices (GA1, GA5, GA6, GA8; APST 4.1, 4.3)

LO5 - Confirm deep understanding of the role of critical reflection and the Professional Standards framework in improving teaching programs and practice and student learning outcomes (GA4, GA5, GA8, GA10; APST 3.6, 5.4, 6.1, 6.3, 6.4).

Graduate attributes

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

GA4 - Think critically and reflectively 

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

GA6 - Solve problems in a variety of settings taking local and international perspectives into account

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

GA10 - Utilise information and communication and other relevant technologies effectively.


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

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. 

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.

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.

3.6 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.

4.5 Demonstrate an understanding of the relevant issues and the strategies available to support the safe, responsible and ethical use of ICT in learning and teaching.

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

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

6.1 Demonstrate an understanding of the role of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers in identifying professional learning needs.

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. 


Topics will include:

  • Situational analysis of the context of the school and system in which the pre-service teacher is placed;
  • Curriculum theory that underpins teaching and learning with an examination of curriculum requirements of states and systems
  • Curriculum planning and evaluation processes for the development of an integrated unit of work, including situational analysis, scope and sequence, resources, assessment strategies, and daily plans
  • Quality Teaching pedagogies, in particular creating quality, supportive and safe learning environments, and how these impact on learning
  • A range of teaching strategies that support inclusive student participation and engagement in learning, including:
  1. student-centred learning
  2. integrating ICT
  • Differentiation of curriculum, teaching strategies and assessment to engage diverse learners, including:
  1. learners from diverse backgrounds
  2. learners across the full range of abilities
  3. EAL/D learners and
  4. learners from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander backgrounds.
  • Managing the literacy block, reading groups and working with reading parents/teachers’ aides, including tracking of learning outcomes for individuals and groups eg reading levels and progress
  • Theories and practices of classroom management, including managing challenging behaviours and building positive relationships
  • Ways of providing varied and shared feedback that are teacher, parent and student initiated
  • Processes for evaluating teaching and assessing learning, including reflective practice and using assessment data, to modify teaching practice and improve learning
  • Responsibility and accountability for own learning, and in collaboration with others, for improving own teaching practice
  • The Digital Portfolio of Professional Practice: continuing to compile, reflect upon and annotate evidence of attainment of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers: Graduate level.

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

Participants should anticipate undertaking 150 hours of study for this unit. This unit will be delivered face to face on a weekly basis across a 12-week semester, supported through delivery of online content.

Pre-service teachers will be involved in a variety of teaching-learning strategies including:

  • face-to-face lectures supported through some online delivery of content
  • tutorials
  • collaborative and co-operative learning opportunities
  • assessment tasks.

In addition, pre-service teachers will undertake a Professional Experience placement comprising of a minimum of 20 days in a mainstream school setting, involving:

  • Observations, classroom communication activities, resource collection and critical reflection on observations and self-auditing progress and own teaching practice;
  • Teaching, moving from individual lessons to units of work and full days of teaching; and
  • Building towards responsibility in all aspects of the teacher’s role, including programming, assessment and tracking learning outcomes.

Assessment strategy and rationale

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

Pre-service teachers must achieve a pass in the professional experience component of the unit in order to satisfactorily complete this unit. If a fail grade is determined in professional experience, regardless of the marks achieved in the other assessment tasks, this will result in a fail for the entire unit. The pre-service teacher will also fail the unit if the grade for the combination of the other assessment tasks is a fail. Pre-service teachers who fail this unit will be asked to ‘show cause’ and their enrolment in the course will be terminated if the unit is failed twice.

Minimum Achievement Standards

In order to pass this unit, pre-service teachers are required to submit or participate in all assessment tasks and professional experience requirements. The total 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

Develop a one week learning sequence, integrating English and one or two other key learning areas, which could be implemented in the Professional Experience placement. Include:

  • a situational analysis of the school and learners
  • a range of strategies, including the ethical use of ICT resources, to cater to the students’ identified strengths and needs;
  • an explanation of how the unit differentiates the curriculum to meet the needs of the students described;
  • a range of assessment strategies; and
  • strategies related to student data access, tracking learning outcomes and reporting progress and achievement to students and parents/carers.

2000 words/6 pages


LO1, LO2, LO3

GA1, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA8

Assessment Task 2

Develop a Learning Engagement plan aligned with the school behaviour management policy, with a focus on developing positive/preventive behaviours and responding to challenging behaviour, for a mainstream, mixed-ability class in a primary school. Must demonstrate critical understanding of 2 – 3 theoretical approaches to managing behaviour, with an emphasis on setting appropriate learning goals, practical approaches to engaging students in learning and managing challenging behaviours.

1000 – 1200 words/4 pages


LO2, LO4

GA1, GA5, GA6, GA8

Assessment Task 3: Professional Experience Assessment

Professional Experience requirements include compilation of evidence as required.

(Refer to attached Professional Experience Handbook and Report).

Compilation of evidence will include:

  • structured observation and analysis of school and classroom contexts, and teaching programs and practices
  • preparation for all teaching episodes including the setting of goals, outcomes, content, assessment criteria catering for a variety of abilities and characteristics
  • Relevant teaching resources
  • critical reflection on own teaching experiences and practices of teaching and program evaluation
  • feedback from supervising teacher/s and university staff.

This evidence must be compiled into a well-presented and well-organised Professional Experience folder, which must be updated on a daily basis throughout the placement.

Artefacts and reflections should provide evidence of attainment of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers: Graduate, and can be included in the ePortfolio.

A pass or fail grade will be awarded for completion of the professional experience days

LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5

GA1, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA8, GA10

Representative texts and references

Relevant National, State and Territory curriculum documents.

Brady, L., & Kennedy, K. (2014). Curriculum construction (5th ed.). Frenchs Forest, NSW: Pearson Australia.

Brady, L., & Kennedy K. (2012). Assessing and reporting. Celebrating student achievement (4th ed.). Frenchs Forest, NSW: Pearson Australia.

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

Foreman, P. (2014). Inclusion in action (4th ed.). South Melbourne, Vic: Cengage Learning Australia.

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

Keeffe, M., & Carrington, S. (2007). Schools and diversity (2nd ed.). Frenchs Forest NSW: Pearson Prentice Hall.

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

Lyons, G., Ford, M., & Arthur-Kelly, M. (2014). Classroom management: Creating positive learning environments (4th ed.). Southbank, Vic: Cengage Learning.

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

Queensland Government. (2011). Embedding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives in schools: A guide for school learning communities. Accessed 12 August, 2014, from:

Rogers, B. (2011). Classroom behaviour: A practical guide to effective teaching, behaviour management and colleague support (3rd ed.). London, England: Sage.

Yates, L., Collins, C., & O’Connor, K. (2011). Australia’s curriculum dilemmas: State cultures and the big issues. Carlton, Vic: Melbourne University Press.

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