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EDFX632 Professional Experience 2: Building Practice (3 - 5 Years)

Unit rationale, description and aim

This third Professional Experience unit embodies work-integrated learning through active participation in sustained learning and assessment cycles for facilitating and managing the rich learning experiences to positively contribute to student learning. The unit focuses on explicit skill development in planning for and making pedagogical decisions and judgements to guide effective learning experiences using relevant curriculum and school-based policies and processes. The Science learning area is the focus of learning about planning, implementing and assessing sustained learning experiences that integrate teaching strategies using ICTs. Pre-service teachers engage in reflective review of the organisation and management of primary learning contexts; communicating and engaging with older children; protocols for observing and responding to primary learner behaviour and needs; and communication strategies for engaging with participants in primary contexts. Pre-service teachers undertake a 20-day placement with students aged 8 to 12 years. Within the placement, active purposeful participation includes planning and implementing learning experiences across sustained periods and sequences; developing skills in responsive pedagogical decision-making and judgements about learning; and critically reflecting and appraising impact on learners. This unit extends pre-service teachers’ understanding of the complexity of the teaching, and management of learning processes and contexts exploring children’s learning across sustained sequences. 

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 knowledge of a range of approaches to managing diversity and challenging behaviour, based on theories of communication, behaviour management, advanced teaching strategies and positive engagement for whole school practices (GA1, GA5; APST 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 2.2, 4.2; ACECQA C1, C2, C5, D5)

LO2 - Plan, manage, assess and critically reflect on daily teaching, units and plans incorporating the safe and ethical use of resources and strategies, including ICTs, to complement learning for the full range of learners and abilities (GA3, GA6; APST 1.3, 1.5, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.5, 2.6, 3.3, 3.4, 3.5, 4.2, 4.4, 4.5; ACECQA A8, B1, B2)

LO3 - Utilise assessment data to evaluate child learning and subsequently make expert judgements regarding relevant learning goals and teaching approaches, moderating with other teaching colleagues (GA3, GA10; APST 2.1, 2.2, 2.5, 3.1, 3.2, 5.1, 5.3, 5.4; ACECQA B9)

LO4 - Analyse critically their role in the education setting and reflect on planning and assessment techniques, with a focus on the Science learning area; judgements and student impact using advanced self-evaluation critiques incorporating feedback from others to refine and improve professional practice (GA4, GA6; APST 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.5, 6.3; ACECQA E3)

LO5 - Reflect critically on the nature of the teaching profession and required professional standards and practices as a means to expertly develop and refine professional practice and identify personal professional learning needs (GA3, GA10; APST 5.3, 5.5, 6.1, 6.2, 6.4; ACECQA E3, F3)

LO6 - Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the complexities of the teacher’s role, the importance and sources  of professional learning and alignment with Australian Professional Teaching Standards, and professional conversations that improve teaching knowledge and practice (GA8; APST 6.1, 6.2, 6.3, 6.4, 7.3; ACECQA E3).

Graduate attributes

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

GA3 - apply ethical perspectives in informed decision making

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:

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. 

2.6 Implement teaching strategies for using ICT to expand curriculum learning opportunities for students. 

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

3.3 Include a range of teaching strategies. 

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

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

4.2 Demonstrate the capacity to organise classroom activities and provide clear directions. 

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

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. 

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

7.3 Understand strategies for working effectively, sensitively and confidentially with parents/carers. 

On successful completion of this unit, pre-service teachers should have developed understandings and practices that: 

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. 

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

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

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

4.4 Describe strategies that support students’ wellbeing and safety working within school and/or system, curriculum and legislative requirements. 

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

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

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

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

6.4 Demonstrate an understanding of the rationale for continued professional learning and the implications for improved student learnings. 

This unit provides teaching and learning support to: 

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

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. 

In the third professional experience unit pre-service teachers will explore and develop towards APST standards 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7. 

ACECQA Curriculum Specifications

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

A Child development and care

A8 Transitions and continuity of learning (including transition to school) 

B Education and curriculum studies

B1 Early Years Learning Framework

B2 The Australian curriculum

B9 Curriculum planning, programming and evaluation

C Teaching pedagogies

C1 Alternative pedagogies and curriculum approaches

C2 Play based pedagogies

C5 Children with diverse needs and backgrounds

D Family and community contexts

D5 Culture, diversity and inclusion

E History and philosophy of early childhood

E3 Ethics and professional practice

F Early childhood professional practice

F3 Identity


Topics covered in praxis-oriented learning will include: 

  • Lesson and unit planning; addressing curriculum, context and individual learner expectations and requirements
  • Curriculum development in Science for the 21st century; preparing and assessing lessons and sequences that integrate ICTs as pedagogical tools, including:
  • TPACK and the use of ICT teaching strategies and resources in 21st century learning
  • Teaching resources and strategies; incorporating safe and ethical use of a range of ICT and physical resources
  • Pedagogical decision-making for learning; knowledge, skill development and inquiry approaches to teaching
  • Assessment, data and reporting strategies and purposes; collecting, analysing and using data and evidence of learning across a learning and assessment cycle 
  • Pedagogical approaches and teaching strategies for responding to learner behaviour, strengths and needs; considering the influence of diverse backgrounds, abilities, gifts and talents, and disabilities on learners in primary contexts
  • Self-reflective professional learning: including goal setting, sources of professional learning and feedback

Topics and activities to be explored by the pre-service teacher during the professional experience placement include:

  • Setting and developing towards professional learning goals; including engagement and feedback with supervising teachers, leaders and others in the placement context  
  • Planning, implementing and reflecting on whole class, small group and individual lessons and daily plans
  • Applying content knowledge, curriculum requirements and assessment of learner needs to planning and implementing learning episodes and sequences
  • Assessing learning and learner progress within and between learning experiences to modify teaching plans and practices, including in-the-moment decision-making
  • Engaging in assessment and reporting strategies; including judgement-making, feedback and moderation
  • Developing teaching, learning and assessment plans in the Science learning area; with links to literacy, numeracy, ICTs, and the needs of specific learners
  • Identifying and using classroom organisational procedures and verbal and non-verbal communication to create a safe and supportive learning environment and support engagement of learners with diverse capabilities, needs and backgrounds
  • Critical reflecting, and questioning of teaching and learning practices, curriculum matters and organisational and communication issues
  • Evidencing and assessing attainment of key professional knowledge, practice and engagement in collaboration with teachers and other professional colleagues

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

Professional Experience at ACU is bound in work-integrated learning theories where pre-service teachers experience the everyday reality of education settings and teaching and bring together ideas and theories from a coherent program of praxis-oriented learning. Praxis-oriented learning will engage pre-service teachers with theories, philosophies and real-world examples of classroom practice. Through immersion in the field pre-service teachers will examine the nexus between theory and practice by knowing, doing and being in the context.

Pre-service teachers will build conceptual and theoretical understandings of teaching practice through a range of technology-enhanced learning teaching and learning strategies and experiences. These include synchronous and/or asynchronous digital engagement in: interactive learning activities and experiences; student-led discussion forums and group work; directed reading activities; and ICT as a pedagogical tool for learning and assessment. In EDFX633, pre-service teachers will develop knowledge and understanding of curriculum and assessment practices for planning and implementing sustained sequences of learning. The Science learning area will be used as the focus for developing understandings of the relationship between curriculum, contexts and learners in effective learning and assessment cycles. Knowledge and critical reflection about diverse learner capabilities and backgrounds, management, communication, resources and teaching strategies for learning within the 21st century will be further developed in preparation for placement with older children in a school-based context.

Pre-service teachers will apply their developing knowledge and understanding of professional practice through engagement for an extended time in a selected professional placement. Opportunities for pre-service teachers to apply, exercise, realise and practise knowledges and skills will occur during professional experience. For EDFX633, the placement must include a minimum of 20 days in a block placement with children aged 8 to 12 years. During the professional experience placement, pre-service teachers will plan and implement learning and assessment activities over sustained periods and in sustained sequences. To ensure effective learning and teaching, pre-service teachers will build further expertise in organising and managing learners and learning environments with older children. Emphasis will be given to identifying and responding positively to the strengths and needs of learners with diverse needs, including those with gifts and talents and disabilities, and from diverse backgrounds. Pre-service teachers will collate evidence of knowledge and understanding of teaching and learning in the primary learning areas, demonstrating pedagogical decision-making that is responsive to 21st century contexts and learners.

Recommended progression of professional experience engagement

Week 1 - Proposed Teaching Expectations

Days 1 - 2: Observation and small group teaching

Days 3 - 4: Development of two - three lessons/learning experiences per day

Day 5: Three lessons/learning experiences per day across the various KLAs

Week 2 - Proposed Teaching Expectations

  Days 6 - 10: Three to four lessons/learning experiences per day and taking responsibility for the management of context routines and transitions

Week 3 - Proposed Teaching Expectations

  Days 11 - 15: Half day continuous teaching with management and responsibility for beginning or closure of education setting day and associated routines. Implementation and management of literacy/numeracy block

Week 4 - Proposed Teaching Expectations

  Days 16 - 20:

  • Full day teaching with associated teacher role/duties
  • Working collaboratively with colleagues and teacher aides
  • Professional experience reflection, self-auditing and evaluation.

Assessment strategy and rationale

The assessment tasks and their weightings allow pre-service teachers to progressively demonstrate achievement against the course learning outcomes by demonstrating academic and professional standards through achievement against the unit learning outcomes. The Professional Experience Studies units in this course focus on developmentally building knowledge of and skills in professional teaching knowledge, practice and engagement across four placements. Progressively, pre-service teachers develop professional knowledge and understanding of teaching; gather evidence of development towards achieving the Graduate Teacher Standards (APST: Graduate level) and knowledge of Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) requirements; and engage professionally in placement context to demonstrate appreciation for the values, norms and practices of the teaching profession.  

In each Professional Experience Studies unit, the assessment is designed to focus on performance in the professional experience placement in two ways: i) assessment of the praxis-oriented learning focus for the unit; and ii) assessment of the pre-service teacher’s progressive development towards competent professional practice as demonstrated by meeting the Graduate Teacher Standards. The two identified tasks are equally weighted to reflect the connectedness and significance of each of these purposes to the pre-service teacher’s professional learning.  

In EDFX633, the praxis-oriented assessment focuses on developing a curriculum and assessment unit plan for a sustained learning sequence in the Science learning area (Task 1). To allow for feedback and development this task is submitted in two parts, before and after the placement.  

The development of professional practice across the four Professional Experience units is assessed by triangulating the same three sources of evidence each time (Task 2). These provide different perspectives on performance through a:  

  1. report from the supervising teacher in the selected placement context;  
  2. report from the tertiary supervisor allocated to support the pre-service teacher; and
  3. self-audit and professional learning plan for the following placement, supported by a portfolio of evidence, as prepared by the pre-service teacher.  

Pre-service teachers will use their professional learning plan from EDFX632 to establish goals and identify appropriate sources for further professional learning and development in EDFX633 with their supervising teacher. This should take account of the developmental sequence for meeting the Graduate Teacher Standards and the praxis-orientation of the unit. In EDFX633, the pre-service teacher should demonstrate further development across all seven APST and must meet the minimum standard for the 13 GTS listed as developed above (2.1; 2.2; 2.3; 2.6; 3.2; 3.3; 3.5; 3.7; 4.2; 5.1; 5.5; 6.3; 7.3).

A range of assessment procedures are used to meet the unit learning outcomes and develop graduate attributes and professional standards and criteria consistent with University assessment requirements. ( 

Minimum Achievement Standards

The assessment tasks for this unit are designed for pre-service teachers to demonstrate achievement of each learning outcome. In order to pass this unit, students are required to successfully complete all assessment tasks.

Critical Tasks for Initial Teacher Education (CTITE): This unit includes a Critical Task for Initial Teacher Education (CTITE). This is one of a set of tasks developed as culminating assessment of the Graduate Teacher Standards for use with all pre-service teachers. To pass this CTITE pre-service teachers will need to successfully demonstrate all Graduate Teacher Standards that are summatively mapped to this task. The description, criteria, standards and moderation of these tasks is common across programs to facilitate consistent and comparable judgements. Pre-service teacher data from these tasks is used to confirm achievement of the Graduate Teacher Standards, validate the tasks and evaluate and improve programs.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment Task 1

Praxis-oriented assessment: Learning Sequences 

Part A: Theoretical Investigation

Research investigation exploring models, theoretical perspectives, orientations and conceptions of planning for teaching and assessing learning in the Science learning area.

Part B: Authentic praxis engagement – plan, implement and reflect 

CTITE6: Unit of Work

Design a unit of work for teaching and assessing Science with learners in the placement context.


Part A: 20% 

Part B: 30%

LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5 

GA1, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA8, GA10

Assessment Task 2

Professional Experience Assessment

Outcome will be assessed with reference to submitted: 

  • Final Report from the supervising teacher/s;
  • Report from the tertiary supervisor; and
  • Professional learning plan, with self-audit and portfolio of evidence (formative CTITE8).


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5, LO6 

GA1, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA8, GA10

CTITE6: Unit of Work 

Develop a unit of work, relevant to the professional experience placement, that is a connected sequence of learning experiences designed to facilitate learning that is relevant to the content and achievement standards of the Science learning area of the Australian Curriculum. The sequence should cover a minimum of 5 learning episodes or lessons.   

The plan should demonstrate:  

  • understanding of the concepts and structure of the Science learning area; 
  • linking planning to relevant curriculum documentation, such as the Australian Curriculum; 
  • linking planning to student learning needs as evidenced by relevant assessment data;  
  • designing diagnostic, formative and summative approaches to assessment; 
  • selecting and/or developing resources to support learning, including ICTs; 
  • identifying appropriate and challenging learning goals across the full range of abilities;  
  • a pedagogical approach relevant to the Science learning area and the developmental needs of learners in upper primary contexts;  
  • designing and sequencing learning and assessment activities to promote learning;  
  • innovative teaching strategies, including ICTs, for developing learners’ knowledge and skills in the Science learning area;  
  • strategies for explicitly teaching identified literacy and numeracy capabilities; and 
  • critical reflexive practices for evaluating the effectiveness of the teaching for learning. 


CTITE8: Professional Learning Plan (formative) 

Maintain your evidence-based self-audit of professional knowledge, practice and engagement against the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers taking account of the graduate level. The self-audit should also consider students’ learning, well-being and safety to critically evaluate the impact of teaching on student learning. The evidence used for the self-audit may by identified from across both the academic and professional experience programs of the course.   

Using the self-audit, construct a set of principles that underpin your philosophical approach to teaching as a profession. Identify a set of goals for your ongoing professional learning as a beginning teacher and then develop a plan that identifies sources for and approaches to engaging in that professional learning and development. 

Representative texts and references

Ailwood, J., Boyd, W., & M. Theobald, (2016). Understanding early childhood education and care in Australia. Crows Nest, nsw: Allen & Unwin.

 Arthur, L., Beecher, B., Death, E., Dockett, S., & Farmer, S. (2017). Programming and planning in early childhood settings (7th ed.).South Melbourne, Vic: Cengage Australia.

Cannella, G. (2010). Early childhood curriculum, history of. In C. Kridel (Ed.), Encyclopaedia of curriculum studies (pp. 307-309). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.

Dunphy, E. (2010). Assessing early learning through formative assessment: Key issues and considerations. Irish Educational Studies, 29(1), 41-56.

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

Edwards-Groves, C., Anstey, M., & Bull, G. (2014). Classroom talk: Understanding dialogue, pedagogy and practice. Marrickville, NSW: Primary English Teaching Association Australia (PETAA).

Harcourt, D., Perry, B., & Waller, T. (Eds). (2011). Young children’s perspectives: Ethics, theory and research. London: Routledge.

Hill, L., Stremmel, A., & Fu, V. (2005). Teaching as enquiry: Rethinking curriculum in early childhood education. Sydney: Pearson.

Power, K. M. (2010). Storylines of Indigenous women's leadership in early childhood: A genealogy of Australian Indigenous women's leadership in early childhood education. Germany: Lambert Academic Publishing (LAP).

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