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EDLL516 Interdisciplinary Curriculum, Pedagogy, and Assessment in the Primary Classroom 1

Unit rationale, description and aim

For primary school teachers, planning and delivering interdisciplinary teaching and learning is both common and complex. This unit builds upon the first interdisciplinary curriculum unit in this course, to expand specific knowledge across the curriculum areas of Humanities and Social Sciences, Health and Physical Education, Arts Education and Technologies in upper primary years (3-6) and develop a comprehensive understanding of a range of theories and approaches for integrating curriculum into planning, teaching, and assessment. Pre-service teachers investigate, synthesise and apply multiple aspects of interdisciplinary curriculum, pedagogy and assessment into the development and teaching of units. As part of an employment-based course, this unit emphasises teaching, learning and assessment that is informed by and applied to pre-service teachers’ unique professional experiences. Leveraging professional context and experience, pre-service teachers expand upon the previous units’ emphasis on professional learning through peer coaching to emphasise additional models and approaches of professional engagement, including collaborative planning and teaching, as a means of fostering improvement in teaching and learning. The overall aim of this unit, building on its precursor, to develop a thorough understanding curriculum, pedagogy and assessment practices across multiple learning areas through the full range of primary year levels, to enable participates to utilise multiple approaches to integrating curriculum into cohesive, effective, and relevant teaching and learning experiences for primary-aged students, and to support pre-service teachers to have the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to effectively engage professionally to support effective integrated curriculum in primary schools. 

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 - investigate, synthesise, develop and evaluate pedagogical approaches that utilise a range of theoretical and practical models for integrating curriculum. (GA4, GA5, GA7, GA9; APST 2.1, 2.5, 2.6, 3.3, 3.4, 3.6)

LO2 - research, evaluate and critically analyse a range of pedagogical approaches and teaching resources (including use of ICT) across a range of curriculum areas (Humanities, Arts, Health, and Physical Education in particular), with emphasis on the later years of primary schooling (Year 3 to Year 6.) (GA5, GA7, GA8, GA9; APST 1.3, 1.5, 2.1, 2.6, 3.4, 4.5)

LO3 - design, implement and critically evaluate learning sequences (including units of study) that employ a range of interdisciplinary approaches and teaching strategies that engage learners across multiple curriculum areas as well as general capabilities. (GA5, GA7, GA8; APST 1.3, 1.4,1.5, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 3.1, 3.2, 4.1, 4.4)

LO4 - critically reflect on professional engagement with emphasis on collaborative planning, teaching, and professional learning, including engaging with colleagues and broader networks to improve teaching and learning. (GA4, GA5, GA7; APST: 4.5, 6.1, 6.2, 6.3, 6.4, 7.4)

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 

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


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.

1.4 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. 

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.

4.1 Identify strategies to support inclusive student participation and engagement in classroom activities.

4.4 Describe strategies that support students’ well-being 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 learning and teaching.

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.

6.3 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. 

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


Topics will include:

  • the nature of pedagogical practice and role of the teacher in structuring learning in the arts, humanities, physical education and health in the classroom, with particular emphasis on grades 3-6
  • theoretical underpinnings of integrated curriculum and multiple models of interdisciplinary planning, teaching, and assessment including problem/project-based, negotiated curriculum, service learning, parallel disciplines, fusion
  • the exploration of culture and how it connects with art, physical movement, health, and technology. systems with a focus on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and expressions.
  • teaching strategies that explore and acknowledge curriculum areas from diverse linguistic, cultural, religious and socio-economic perspectives and contexts.
  • identification of a range of resources, including ICT, that can be used to enhance teaching and foster student learning across the curriculum. 
  • the skills, values, attitudes and behaviours central to living as members of society such as cultural and social literacy
  • indigenous perspectives about the past, present and future & Indigenous peoples and cultures and notions of shared histories
  • ICT rich and partnering pedagogies across curriculum areas
  • mental Health and wellbeing, drawing upon culture and community-based resources. 
  • exploring the importance of Food and nutrition (FN), Health benefits of physical activity (HBPA), Active play and minor games (AP), Challenge and adventure activities (CA), Fundamental movement skills (FMS), Games and sports (GS), Lifelong physical activities (LLPA).
  • the Australian Curriculum, including the general capabilities, and programming issues – lesson planning, sequencing of activities, units of work, assessment and evaluation, integration of cross curriculum perspectives.

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

The learning and teaching strategies in this unit include (1) lectures which may be delivered as online workshops to encourage active learning and high level of engagement, (2) tutorials to consolidate learning content and apply knowledge in problem solving tasks and develop analytical and evaluating skills and possible independent online learning tasks to develop GA7. The learning and teaching strategy is based on a Constructivist approach in a sociocultural context and aligns strongly with the employment-based model of the overall course. Professional experience thus sits at the centre of this unit and forms the basis for application of new knowledge within the unit as well as critical reflection and evaluation, informed by attempts to situate theory and practice within authentic contexts.

Pre-service teachers in this unit will first build upon prior knowledge acquired from the first interdisciplinary curriculum unit, in order to develop an enhanced understanding across specified areas of curriculum, pedagogy, and assessment particularly relevant to students in the upper primary years of schooling (3-6.) They will simultaneously build upon their existing understanding of inquiry-based learning as a key approach to integrating curriculum by exploring a range of additional new theoretical and practical models and approaches for integrating curriculum. They will have the opportunity to reflect and act upon prior experiences within their professional experience to integrate curriculum and apply their ongoing teaching and learning within the unit towards their own classrooms, with a focus on developing an evidence-informed, balanced repertoire of additional approaches and strategies for integrating curriculum along with the tools for evaluating teaching and learning in these particular aspects of their programming. As pre-service teachers progress through the unit, the emphasis shifts towards professional engagement as a key mechanism for improving teacher knowledge, skills, and dispositions in service of enhanced interdisciplinary teaching and learning. 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 across the semester.

Assessment strategy and rationale

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. (

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. This unit will focus on developing understanding of, and skills across the professional knowledge, practice and engagement needed to meet expectations of the Graduate Attributes and the APST: Graduate level. The first assessment task establishes and demonstrates the theoretical and practical knowledge of multidisciplinary curriculum as well as multiple interdisciplinary approaches for planning and delivering curriculum learning outcomes. With this knowledge, the second task requires a shift towards adapting and applying this knowledge in the professional context of planning and teaching in their school context, additionally drawing upon enhanced knowledge of the multiple areas of curriculum, pedagogy, and assessment specified in the unit. The final assessment task provides a cumulative opportunity for pre-service teachers to identify, create, evaluate and reflect upon the use of a range of resources that reflect their diverse knowledge across multiple curricular areas as well as expertise in interdisciplinary teaching and learning, with an emphasis on undertaking, evidencing and critically reflecting on professional engagement.  

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment Task 1

Report or Presentation on Interdisciplinary Approaches

Provide a presentation or report that examines multiple theories and approaches to integrating curriculum, including addressing general capabilities for learners.  The presentation should compare and contrast at least three approaches, one of which must be inquiry-based.



GA4, GA5 GA7, GA9

Assessment Task 2

Development of an Interdisciplinary Unit

Students may choose to either revise and expand upon the unit of study designed for the first interdisciplinary unit or develop a new unit of study that builds upon learning outcomes from the unit designed for the interdisciplinary unit. The unit must:

a) Address learning outcomes across all of the following curriculum areas: social studies/humanities, the arts, health and physical education, and technologies.

b) be relevant and applicable to learners and curriculum standards that fall within the later years of primary schooling (Years 3 –

c) Incorporate digital resources

d) Include at least two annotated lesson plans and supporting resources from the unit.

e) Incorporate and analyse the use of multiple theories and approaches to curriculum integration.


LO1, LO2, LO3

GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8, GA9

Assessment Task 3

Resource Portfolio (CTITE 5)

Identify, create, and evaluate a set of high-quality resources that support effective interdisciplinary teaching and learning across the following curriculum areas: social studies/humanities, the arts, health and physical education, and technologies. Critically reflect on the use of these resources in past, present, or future professional experience, discussing engagement with professional networks and/or communities and implications for future teaching and professional development.


LO2, LO3, LO4

GA4, GA5 GA7, GA8, GA9

Representative texts and references

Brady, L., & Kennedy, K. (2018). Curriculum construction (6th ed.). Pearson Higher Education AU.

Billig, S. H. (2017). Implementing service-learning in elementary schools to enhance inclusion. In Service-Learning. Emerald Publishing Limited.

Dinham, J. (2020). The ABC of arts education. In Delivering authentic arts education (4th ed). South Melbourne. Vic: Cengage Learning Australia.

Drake, S. M., & Reid, J. L. (2018). Integrated curriculum as an effective way to teach 21st century capabilities. Asia Pacific Journal of Educational Research1(1), 31-50.

Gilbert, R., Tudball, L., & Brett, P. (2019). Teaching humanities and social sciences: Teaching and learning across Australia (7th ed.). South Melbourne, Vic: Cengage Learning Australia.

Marsh, C. (2018). Teaching studies of society and environment. Sydney, NSW: Pearson Education.

Miller, J., Wilson-Gahan, S., & Garrett, R. (2018). Health and physical education: preparing educators for the future. Cambridge University Press.

Moss, J., Godinho, S. C., & Chao, E. (2019). Enacting the Australian Curriculum: Primary and secondary teachers’ approaches to integrating the curriculum. Australian Journal of Teacher Education44(3), 2.

Reynolds, R. (2019). Teaching humanities and social sciences in the primary school (4th ed.). Docklands, Vic: Oxford University Press.

Voogt, J. M., Pieters, J. M., & Handelzalts, A. (2016). Teacher collaboration in curriculum design teams: effects, mechanisms, and conditions. Educational Research and Evaluation22(3-4), 121-140.

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