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EDFX534 Professional Practice Secondary 1

Unit rationale, description and aim

Pre-service teachers need to develop their skills and knowledge for teaching in practical teaching contexts which are professionally supportive environments.

This professional experience comprises a minimum of 20 days placement and supervised teaching in a school context. It is complementary to the work in other units and enables pre-service teachers to apply the theory, skills, techniques, and processes presented and learned in Education Studies and Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment studies. This second professional experience focuses on the identification of the professional role of the teacher as one of reflector and learner within a particular classroom context and as an integral member of a school community. The unit allows supervising teachers and pre-service teachers to work collaboratively with the University to assess, challenge, and extend the abilities of pre-service teachers. This school-based professional experience enables pre-service teachers to reinforce and expand their competency in providing for and challenging student learning. This unit provides pre-service teachers with a block of extended reflective professional experience that extends their repertoire of pedagogical skills in the planning and delivery of appropriate teaching and learning programs. It further provides opportunities for school-based study and the development of closer links between theoretical considerations and the teaching and learning experiences encountered in schools.

The aim of the unit is for pre-service teachers to develop their pedagogical and professional knowledge for teaching.

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 - explain in detail the role of stakeholder perspectives on schools, policies, curriculum and procedures: government and education system expectations, philosophies and missions; the local community, including parents/carer and students; and external professionals (GA5, GA7; APST 3.7, 4.4, 7.3, 7.4) 

LO2 - apply and evaluate the use of verbal and non-verbal classroom communication and effective interpersonal skills during teaching episodes that support student engagement in learning (GA5, GA10; APST 3.5, 4.1, 4.2) 

LO3 - critique, contrast and synthesise a range of strategies to manage behaviour within classrooms and school contexts to ensure students’ wellbeing and safety, including involving parents/carers in the educative process (GA5, GA8; APST 3.6, 3.7, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 4.4, 5.4, 6.1, 6.3, 7.4) 

LO4 - evaluate, construct and implement of a variety of teaching strategies and learning activities that utilise engaging resources (including ICT and literacy and numeracy strategies), challenge students intellectually, and support diverse abilities and learning needs (GA4,GA8, GA10; APST 1.1, 1.3, 1.5, 1.6, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.5, 2.6, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 4.1, 4.5) 

LO5 - critique and apply current principles and practices of assessment including feedback, moderation, and reporting procedures, and demonstrate the capacity to interpret student data to evaluate learning and modify teaching practice (GA5, GA8; APST 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.4, 5.5). 

Graduate attributes

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

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

GA7 - work both autonomously and collaboratively 

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:

1.1 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of physical, social and intellectual development and characteristics of students and how these may affect learning. (CTITE 8) 

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. (CTITE 8) 

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. (CTITE 8)

1.6    Demonstrate broad knowledge and understanding of legislative requirements and teaching strategies that support participation and learning of students with disability. (CTITE 8)

2.1 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the concepts, substance and structure of the content and teaching strategies of the teaching area. (CTITE 8) 

2.2 Organise content into an effective learning and teaching sequence. (CTITE 8) 

2.3 Use curriculum, assessment and reporting knowledge to design learning sequences and lesson plans. (CTITE 8) 

2.5 Know and understand literacy and numeracy teaching strategies and their application in teaching areas. (CTITE 8) 

2.6 Implement teaching strategies for using ICT to expand curriculum learning opportunities for students. (CTITE 8) 

3.1 Set learning goals that provide achievable challenges for students of varying abilities and characteristics. (CTITE 8) 

3.2 Plan lesson sequences using knowledge of student learning, content and effective teaching strategies. (CTITE 8) 

3.3 Include a range of teaching strategies. (CTITE 8) 

3.4 Demonstrate knowledge of a range of resources, including ICT, that engage students in their learning. (CTITE 8) 

3.5 Demonstrate a range of verbal and non-verbal communication strategies to support student engagement. (CTITE 8) 

3.6 Demonstrate broad knowledge of strategies that can be used to evaluate teaching programs to improve student learning. (CTITE 8) 

3.7 Describe a broad range of strategies for involving parents/carers in the educative process. (CTITE 8) 

4.1 Identify strategies to support inclusive student participation and engagement in classroom activities. (CTITE 8) 

4.2 Demonstrate the capacity to organise classroom activities and provide clear directions. (CTITE 8) 

4.3 Demonstrate knowledge of practical approaches to manage challenging behaviour. (CTITE 8) 

4.4 Describe strategies that support students’ well-being and safety working within school and/or system, curriculum and legislative requirements. (CTITE 8) 

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. (CTITE 8) 

5.1 Demonstrate understanding of assessment strategies, including informal and formal, diagnostic, formative and summative approaches to assess student learning. (CTITE 8) 

5.2 Demonstrate an understanding of the purpose of providing timely and appropriate feedback to students about their learning. (CTITE 8) 

5.3 Demonstrate understanding of assessment moderation and its application to support consistent and comparable judgements of student learning. (CTITE 8) 

5.4 Demonstrate the capacity to interpret student assessment data to evaluate student learning and modify teaching practice. (CTITE 8) 

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. (CTITE 8) 

6.1 Demonstrate an understanding of the role of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers in identifying professional learning needs. (CTITE 8) 

6.3 Seek and apply constructive feedback from supervisors and teachers to improve teaching practices. (CTITE 8) 

7.3 Understand strategies for working effectively, sensitively and confidentially with parents/carers. (CTITE 8) 

7.4 Understand the role of external professionals and community representatives in broadening teachers’ professional knowledge and practice. (CTITE 8) 


Topics will include: 

  • Identification and analysis of school charters/mission statements and school policies 
  • Professional roles and responsibilities as a member of the school and wider community, professional ethics, and the collegial nature of schools 
  • Relationship building and communication skills (oral, written, electronic) with students, colleagues, parents/carers, and school community 
  • Creating effective class and school learning environments 
  • Lesson, unit and program planning including sequencing of appropriate, effective teaching strategies and learning activities which cater for different learning needs and contexts 
  • Assessment techniques/processes and appropriate reporting procedures for effective learning 
  • The role and impact of assessment and feedback for improved student learning outcomes and modification of teaching practices 
  • Classroom management skills appropriate for creating and maintaining positive, safe and challenging learning environments 
  • The importance of parents/carers as partners in the educative process 
  • Reporting to parents, school community, and educational authorities the role of reflective practice in evaluating learning and modifying teaching practice. 

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

This unit applies a situated, practical approach to develop the pre-service teacher’s understanding of effective pedagogies and professional attributes. Relevant preparation for the school context will be provided in either on-campus or online modes, but the work/learning of the unit is that of being a teacher in a school, working with actual students, colleagues and parents. 

Refer to Professional Experience Handbook for detailed guidelines regarding teaching and other requirements. 

Pre-service teachers in this phase of the Professional and Community Experience undertake a minimum of 20 days under agreed supervision arrangements. This experience will involve: 

  • Taking on aspects of the secondary school teacher’s role and responsibilities as appropriate 
  • Engaging in professional reflective conversations with peers, mentor/supervising teacher and university staff 
  • Learning to work collaboratively with colleagues, including supervising teacher and teacher aides, and parents/carers where appropriate 
  • Structured observation and analysis of high-quality teaching episodes in both the major and the minor teaching areas 
  • Developing and implementing lesson plans and sequences 
  • Guided reflective practice, aligned with collecting and annotating appropriate artefacts for a professional portfolio in line with the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers framework. 

A variety of learning-teaching strategies may be used including: 

  • Face-to-face lectures for briefing and debriefing 
  • Attendance at all Professional Experience briefing, and debriefing meetings is a unit requirement 
  • Seminars, tutorials, or workshops, which include pre-service teacher-led discussions and group work, provide opportunities for pre-service teachers to reflect on and build on their experiences in the field 
  • Information and communication technologies may be utilised to deliver content and facilitate an understanding of an educational community of practice. 

Professional Experience: Teaching Requirements 

Through school-based experiences, pre-service teachers will examine the nexus between theory and practice as they analyse and reflect upon current practices, develop communication, planning and teaching skills and relate their experiences to the theoretical foundations introduced through lectures and tutorials at university. In partnership with the teachers and school communities, they will practice and develop the content and skills explicitly addressed in other units. 

Assessment strategy and rationale

The unit is designed, within the context of the course as a whole, so that the pre-service teacher can progressively achieve the course learning outcomes and work towards the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (Graduate level) in an in-situ, practical context. 

The assessment tasks ensure that the pre-service teacher has met the minimum requirements for entry into a school context, and achieving the sub-set of standards identified for this unit 

Pre-service teacher, the University and schools collaborate in co-ordinating the school-based experiences of the pre-service teachers as they develop further their appreciation and understanding of the role of teacher. The report completed at the end of this unit covers the following themes: 

  • Professionalism – in conduct, in the execution of teaching and learning and in relationships with all parties 
  • Detailed, clearly expressed, thoroughly prepared and well-presented lessons 
  • Organisation and implementation of a range of learning activities and assessment strategies 
  • Diversity of teaching approaches 
  • Development of knowledge, skills and effective classroom strategies, including ICT, to promote engaging learning environments 
  • Engagement in a range of activities around the teacher’s role, including assisting the class teacher, structured observation and critical reflection, as appropriate to the setting. 

The University will award the final grade based on reports from relevant school personnel. Consistent with University regulations, pre-service teachers who fail this unit may be asked to ‘show cause’, and this may in turn lead to termination from the course. 

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Professional Experience Assessment (CTITE 8) 

Professional Experience requirements include compilation of evidence as required. 

(Refer to the Unit Professional Experience Guidebook for interim and final reports) 

Compilation of evidence will include: 

  • Structured observation and analysis of school and classroom contexts 
  • 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 
  • 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 the completion of the professional experience 

LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5 

GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8, GA10 

Representative texts and references

Good, T. L., & Brophy, J. E. (2008). Looking in classrooms (10th ed.). Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon 

Henniger, M. L. (2009). The teaching experience: An introduction to reflective practice (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Pearson Custom Publishing. 

Kennedy, M. (1996). Teachers conducting research. East Lansing, MI: National Center for Research on Teacher Learning. 

Kronowitz, E. L. (2004). Your first year of teaching and beyond (4th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson/Allyn and Bacon. 

Moore, A. (2012). Teaching and learning: Pedagogy, curriculum and culture (2nd ed.). Milton Park, England: Routledge. 

Overall, L., & Sangster, M. (2005). The secondary teacher's handbook. London, England: Continuum. 

Pollard, A., & Black-Hawkins, K. (2019). Reflective teaching in schools (5th ed.). London: Bloomsbury Academic. 

Whitton, D., Barker, K., Nosworthy, M., Humphries, J., & Sinclair, C. (2016). Learning for teaching, teaching for learning (3rd ed.). Southbank, Vic: Cengage Learning Australia. 

Wilen, W. W., Hutchisen, J., & Ischler, M. (2008). Dynamics of effective secondary teaching (6th ed.). Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon. 

Zeichner, K., & Liston, D. (2014). Reflective teaching: An introduction (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Routledge. 

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