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EDFD548 Effective Teaching and Professional Practice

Unit rationale, description and aim

In order to be effective classroom practitioners, teachers need a comprehensive understanding of theories and practices that underpin effective teaching and learning environments, coupled with the opportunity to develop and apply knowledge and skills in practical teaching contexts which are authentic and professionally supportive environments. In this unit, pre-service teachers will engage with research, scholarship and school-based professional experience that links theory with practice. They will critically address the complexities of teachers’ roles and practices, communication and interpersonal skills, planning processes and diverse teaching and assessment strategies to support the needs of diverse learners. Pre-service teachers will engage with research-derived ‘core practices’ as high-leverage strategies for creating effective learning environments. They will develop strong pedagogical judgment by describing, analysing and reflecting upon current pedagogical approaches and will engage in critical reflection upon their developing professional selves as confident and effective teachers, aligned with the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers.

This unit combines lectures, tutorials, and self-paced independent study, with a professional experience component that comprises a minimum of 16 days of placement and supervised teaching in a school context, which will include the opportunity throughout the placement for targeted professional experience teaching within the specialisation area. Through this unit, pre-service teachers engage in professional learning experiences that provide opportunities for the development of knowledge and skills, deeper cultural awareness, and professional identity. This unit enables pre-service teachers to employ a range of teaching approaches that cater for different learning needs and fosters both independent and collaborative learning. Pre-service teachers will develop their understanding of codes of ethics and conduct and will be required to complete online modules in legal and professional requirements, including Duty of Care, Child Protection and Mandatory Reporting.

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 - Articulate a comprehensive understanding of the complexities of the teacher’s role and the implications for practice, including: Professional Standards; policies and processes; codes of ethics and conduct; legal and professional responsibilities; and the broader contexts of schooling (GA1, GA3, GA5, GA10; APST 4.4, 4.5, 6.1, 7.1, 7.2, 7.4)

LO2 - Identify, explain, and apply a range of effective verbal and non-verbal communication and interpersonal skills and strategies to support learner engagement and achievement, including classroom organisation, to be employed during teaching episodes (GA5; APST 3.5, 4.1, 4.2)

LO3 - Critically examine the nexus between theories and models of human development, learning and classroom management and effective classroom practices. critically examine the nexus between theories and models of human development, learning and classroom management and effective classroom practices including the ‘core practices’ literature. (GA4, GA5; APST 1.1, 1.2, 6.1, 6.4)

LO4 - Critically analyse and develop appropriate teaching strategies for differentiating curriculum and teaching (including the use of digital technologies) to identify the strengths and meet the needs of diverse learners and to support inclusive student engagement in learning (GA1, GA4, GA5; APST 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 2.2, 2.3, 2.6, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 4.5)

LO5 - Plan for, implement, and evaluate learning, teaching, assessment and feedback strategies, with reference to multiple sources of evidence (GA5, GA8; APST 1.1, 1.2, 2.2, 2.3, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.6, 5.1, 5.2, 5.4, 6.3)

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 

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

7.1 Understand and apply the key principles described in codes of ethics and conduct for the teaching profession.

7.2 Understand the relevant legislative, administrative and organisational policies and processes required for teachers according to school stage.

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


Topics will include:

  • The complexities of the teacher’s role and the implications for practice, including: Australian Professional Standards for teachers; organisational policies and processes; principles and codes of ethics and conduct; legal and professional responsibilities including Duty of Care, Child Protection and Mandatory reporting; diverse contexts of teacher supervision of students within school.
  • An overview curriculum theory and in particular the national and state curriculum and key learning areas
  • Communication and interpersonal skills in the classroom, school, community and other education contexts, including - including effective teacher stance and presence, and directing students and activities in the classroom.
  • Theories and practices of lesson planning and evaluation procedures and how these impact on classroom teaching and learning 
  • Interpreting the syllabus: linkages between outcomes, teaching/learning strategies and key assessment tasks
  • Assessment and Evaluative processes to enhance teaching and learning in order to build reflective practice based on a range of sources of evidence
  • Approaches to assessment, a range of assessment strategies and the role of feedback in learning and assessment
  • A range of teaching strategies that support inclusive student participation and engagement in learning, including insights from Grossman’s ‘Core Practices’
  • Differentiation of content, teaching and assessment strategies to engage diverse learners, including:
  • Routines and Strategies for organising classroom activities and maintaining smooth transitions
  • Basic ICT applications and ICT-based resources to enhance teaching and learning
  • The Australian Professional Standards for Teachers: Graduate - their purpose, structure and role in identifying professional learning needs
  • Effective communication and classroom management skills appropriate for creating and maintaining positive, safe and challenging learning environments
  • Strategies to foster reflective and self-auditing practices to improve learning and teaching
  • Analysing and responding to feedback from mentors, TFAs, colleagues, supervisors and students

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

The course of which this unit is a part is an employment-based pathway (pre-service teachers in this unit will be working as employed first-year teachers) and therefore multiple modes of delivery enable pre-service teachers to learn concurrently with their professional responsibilities. In this context, the continuous spiral of teaching, practice, and assessment within the authentic context of their teaching role is paramount. A social constructivist and practice-based approach to develop the participant’s understanding of effective pedagogies through active engagement and collaborative learning. It is designed to build the participant’s understanding of teaching approaches through critical reading, lecturer modelling, discussion, practice in on-campus or simulated tutorials, and professional experience.

Praxis is the central organising principle for teaching and learning within the unit, such that pre-service teachers are provided with regular and consistent opportunities to apply the content within this unit to the context of professional experience. This approach aims to develop pedagogical judgment alongside essential skills, or core practices, that are critical in an employment-based pathway. The participant’s skills of planning and assessing, his/her ability to locate and synthesise information, and other skills aligned to the unit learning outcomes will be progressively developed through learning opportunities and professional experience that will culminate in successful achievement of the unit learning outcomes. 

The teaching and learning strategy described above will use an appropriate selection of approaches, including, for example:

  • Online lectures (synchronous and asynchronous)
  • Face-to-face tutorials (including hands-on tutorials, discussions, peer learning and microteaching opportunities)
  • Self-directed reading and research
  • Collaborative learning opportunities;
  • Online tutorials
  • Individual in-workplace support

Further to this, the specific elements of professional experience will involve:

  • Assisted immersion in school and class contexts to begin to experience aspects of the -primary school teacher’s role and responsibilities
  • Participation and engagement, as a community of learners with peers, supervising teachers and university staff, in observation opportunities, team and small group teaching, and whole class teaching, observations and analysis of high-quality teaching episodes.
  • Observation and analysis of high-quality teaching episodes. 


Refer to Professional Experience Handbook for detailed guidelines regarding teaching and other requirements. (Uploaded as accreditation attachment)

Assessment strategy and rationale

The assessment tasks and their weightings are designed so that the pre-service teachers can progressively achieve the Course Learning Outcomes and the Professional Standards and is consistent with University assessment requirements ( This unit focuses on acquiring pedagogical knowledge and developing the skills to assimilate conceptual knowledge in order for that knowledge to inform skills that will be applied in practice.

The first task, a hurdle requirement, ensures that pre-service teachers initially meet the minimum requirements for entry into a school context. As pre-service teachers undertake learning opportunities and commence professional experience within the unit, they will begin compiling an evidence base that demonstrates their growing progression towards the unit learning outcomes (and their correspondingly relevant Australian Professional Standards for Teachers. By the culmination of the unit, this assessed professional experience will provide a clear and defensible portfolio of authentic artefacts to indicate that pre-service teachers have met the unit learning outcomes and made satisfactory progress towards the identified focus areas within the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers as they complete their professional experience. The unit then culminates with the participant drawing upon all sources of learning throughout the unit, including but not limited to professional experience, to synthesise a profile of effective teaching and personal development plan to guide their ongoing professional experience. This critical task highlights the significant development of professional knowledge, practice, and engagement and refocuses the participant to continue to invest in continued personal development in areas addressed in future units, including professional experience units. 

Pre-service teachers, the University, TFA 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 staff. All assessments must be passed in order to pass this unit. 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

Hurdle Requirement: Online preparation modules

Prior to commencing the Professional Experience placement, pre-service teachers must complete a series of compulsory online preparation modules, attaining a score of 95% or above in each module.

The modules cover:

  • Professional Standards;
  • Professional expectations and codes of conduct;
  • Legal requirements, including Duty of Care, Child Protection and Mandatory Reporting.
  • Professional relationships.

Prior to commencing the Professional Experience placement, pre-service teachers must also complete and provide evidence of the following:

  • Anaphylaxis training;
  • Working with Children Check or a Police Check where this is appropriate or mandated.
  • Child-safe online module: Online multiple choice or short answer questions in 4 sub-modules. Pre-service teachers will need to attain a mark of 75% or more in each sub-module before progressing to the next sub-module.

Note: Completion of this module does not exempt students from seeking a Working with Children Check or a Police Check where this is appropriate or mandated.

Hurdle requirement: a Pass grade only will be awarded.

Pre-service teachers will not commence the Professional Experience placement until all modules have been passed and all legal requirements have been met.


GA1, GA3, GA5, GA10

Assessment Task: Effective Teaching Profile and Professional Plan (CTITE 1)

Part A: Provide an evidence-informed definition of effective teaching and its most critical characteristics (teacher practices, beliefs, characteristics, etc.) 

Part B: Provide a critical reflection of your knowledge and expertise with reference to the definition of effective teaching provided in part a. Must draw connections to the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers and identified professional learning needs. 

Part C: Create a professional development plan for an extended period (one term) that reflects a comprehensive understanding of the complexities of the role of the teacher, steps to be taken to develop in identified areas, and improvement goals.

A pass or fail grade will be awarded for the completion of the task.

LO1, LO2, LO4

GA1, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA10

Professional Experience Assessment

Professional Experience requirements include compilation of evidence as required.

(Refer to Professional Experience Handbook and Report).

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
  • lesson plans and relevant teaching resources
  • critical reflection on own teaching experiences and evidence of observation and debriefing with mentors, peers, or other collegial support staff, including university staff
  • documented feedback from supervising teacher/s and university staff.

This evidence must be compiled into a well-presented and well-organised Professional Experience folder, which will be updated 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

GA1, GA3, GA4, GA5, GA8, GA10

Representative texts and references

Relevant national, state and territory curriculum documents and study designs.

Archer, A. L., & Hughes, C. A. (2010). Explicit instruction: Effective and efficient teaching. Guilford Press.

Groundwater-Smith, S., Ewing, R., & Le Cornu, R. (2020). Teaching: Challenges and dilemmas (6th ed.). South Melbourne, Vic: Cengage Learning Australia.

Grossman, P. L. (2018). Teaching Core Practices in Teacher Education. Harvard Education Press

Hattie, J. (2012). Visible learning for teachers: Maximizing impact on learning. Routledge.

Killen, R. (2016). Effective teaching strategies: Lessons from research and practice (7th ed.). South Melbourne, Vic: Cengage Learning Australia.

Marzano, R. J., Pickering, D., & Pollock, J. E. (2012). Classroom instruction that works: Research-based strategies for increasing student achievement (2nd ed.). ASCD.

Marsh, C. (2014). Becoming a teacher: Knowledge, skills and issues (6th ed.). Frenchs Forest, NSW: Pearson.

Price, K. (Ed.) (2019). Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education: An introduction for the teaching profession. Port Melbourne, Vic: Cambridge University Press.

Roblyer, M. D., & Doering, A. D. (2018). Integrating educational technology into teaching (8th ed.). Boston, MA; Sydney, NSW: Pearson Education Inc.

Rosenshine, B. (2012). Principles of Instruction: Research-Based Strategies That All Teachers Should Know. American educator36(1), 12.

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