Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit



Unit rationale, description and aim

Best practice in both teaching and in mental health provision requires practitioners to reflect on and develop understanding of their self and the impact on their professional practice and life. By examining current mental health statistics that indicate 20% of the adult population, inclusive of teachers and educators, will experience an adverse mental health issue in any one given year, participants will analyse their own, and their colleagues’ circumstances in relation to their identity as a teacher and educator. This unit examines how individual teachers’ and educators' self-identity is tied to their role as a teacher and educator. The content offers intellectually stimulating, engaging, safe and responsive experiences, using all modes of delivery, to strengthen teachers’ and educators' knowledge about mental health. It uses this knowledge to recognise the preventative and protective factors as well as the triggers that lead to decreased mental health. Secondly, the unit offers opportunities for participants to analyse the psycho-social stressors that impact teacher’s and educator's lives. EDMH610 draws on scholarship about teaching and pedagogy with skills of critical reflection and reasoning and is a prerequisite for EDMH611.

The unit aims to help participants reflect upon and articulate a personal account of Self as a teacher and educator informed by an understanding of agency, self-efficacy and self-actualisation, and knowledge of mental health factors. Further participants are asked to consider while also considering the needs and circumstances of Self in terms of professional, teacher and educator collegial relationships so they can construct a personalised, holistic, self-care plan that promotes human dignity.

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 - Reflect on and apply knowledge of psycho-social learning theories, and mental health self-care to understand the impact on teacher and educator role and identity (GA1, GA4, GA10; APST 6.2, 7.4)

LO2 - Identify symptoms of mental ill-health common to teachers and educators and examine how these impact and influence personal and professional understandings of the self as a teacher (GA1, GA3, GA4, GA6, GA8; APST 6.2, 7.1, 7.2, 7.4)

LO3 - Critically reflect on the impact of mental ill-health, and of personal and professional relationships to apply this understanding to create a mental-health action plan which can support an individual teacher and educator across their adult life-span (GA1, GA4, GA6, GA8, GA10; APST 6.3, 7.1, 7.4)

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 

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, post-graduate students involved in the education sector should have the ability to:

6.2 - Engage in professional learning and improve practice: participate in learning to update knowledge and practice, targeted to professional needs and school and/or system priorities.

6.3 - Engage with colleagues and improve practice: Contribute to collegial discussions and apply constructive feedback from colleagues to improve professional knowledge and practice.

7.1 - Meet professional ethics and responsibilities: Meet codes of ethics and conduct established by regulatory authorities, systems and schools.

7.4 - Engage with professional teaching networks and broader communities: Participate in professional and community networks and forums to broaden knowledge and improve practice.

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


Topics will include:

  • I teach therefore I am: My role and identity as a teacher and educator.
  • Critical incidents in teaching and education which impact the mental health of teachers and educators. Day-to-day challenges and the impact of whole-school events.
  • Symptoms of reduced mental health, identifying the psycho-social factors that prevent, protect and promote good mental health.
  • The link between teacher and educator mental health and student academic achievement. Work overload and community expectations.
  • Mental health and its relationship to leisure, creativity, spirituality and the spiritual self.
  • Strengthening influence of personal and collegial relationships on a teacher’s and educator's mental health. Impact and influence of societal attitudes and sociocultural context on teachers’ morale and mental health.
  • Psycho-social learning theories in terms of self, self-identity, self-efficacy. Considering the work of Albert Bandura and Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.
  • Ageing, well-being and its impact for teaching practice. Considering the work of Albert Bandura and Eric Erickson.
  • What is the good life for a teacher and educator? Considering the virtues and examining the vices of Aristotle in terms of strengthening good mental health
  • What is trauma and how does it impact mental health? Strategies to survive adverse incidents in a teaching life.
  • Psycho pathology of mental ill-health, the plastic brain and the relationship with a self-care plan
  • Decision-making, planning and developing a self-care plan (with or without health care professionals) to manage and regulate mood, emotions and behaviours.

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

This unit is designed to be offered fully online and uses an active learning approach to support participants as they explore essential discipline content. Participants are provided with choice and variety in how they learn. Participants are encouraged to contribute to asynchronous weekly discussions and engage in active learning opportunities to practice and apply their learning in situations similar to their future professions. Activities encourage participants to bring their own examples to demonstrate understanding, application and engage constructively with their peers. Participants receive regular and timely feedback on their learning, which includes information on their progress.

The delivery mode seeks to capitalise on the maturity and capability of the participants within which a community of scholars can be developed. The unit’s content and tasks provide a holistic context for participants to frame their understanding of their own, and others’ situations which will assist in identifying how individual psycho-social factors and a sense of agency contribute to positive mental health. It is structured so both content and academic skills build upon each other, to develop a competent and confident application of knowledge and skills in the assessment tasks. The unit is structured as a progressive, constructive, developmental braid that supports participants’ learning through a sequence of learning stages. In each stage, the learning and teaching support provided are different but complementary. The approach to teaching and delivery is selected and sequenced to reflect inquiry-based pedagogy.

 The online sessions will include lecture material and self-paced activities such as guided readings, annotated reflections, e-Module activities and optional peer collaborative tasks and optional tutorial group activities. To strengthen peer collaboration, some self-paced activities prompt collegial exchanges through online discussion forums, chat rooms, and webinars. In addition, learning e-modules and links to electronic readings will be provided through ACU’s Online Campus learning platform to extend participants’ reading and to enrich their online learning. Lecture material will pose critical questions for research and discussion. This is useful to build up an understanding of the links between theories and concepts so participants can explore assessment task-related activities, either independently or collegially.

 Learning and teaching strategies include reviews of designated resource material, self-paced writing activities, plus group and individual discussions. The aim is to design a reflective and reflexive unit of work whereby the participants engage academically and effectively with the material, and with each other, to allow them to consider the relevance of their mental health in relation to their teaching practice. The online delivery mode seeks to optimise digital teaching strategies and platforms to retain participant engagement. Because of the sensitive nature of the topics, the lecturer-in-charge will create weekly, regular student consultations for discussion and conversations as a duty-of-care matter.

 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. To achieve a Pass grade in this unit, students will find it helpful to engage in the full range of learning activities, assessments and class tasks that are grassroots material for the assessment tasks offered in this unit, as described in the learning and teaching strategy and the assessment strategy. 

Assessment strategy and rationale

The assessment tasks are cumulative in their requirements, demonstrating how concepts of agency, autonomy, self-efficacy and self-actualisation are understood and acted upon to strengthen positive mental health. There are four assessment tasks in this and in each of the units. They are designed as bite-size, achievable tasks to encourage participants, who have time pressures to favourably consider each of the tasks. This will reassure the participants that each of the tasks within the units can be successfully completed.

 The assessment strategy is designed to enable participants to acquire specific teacher - and educator-related mental health knowledge and apply their skills to their circumstances. In addition, the tasks seek to address specific needs, requirements, and circumstances of individual participants in their professional educational contexts.  To successfully complete this unit, participants need to complete and submit four graded assessment tasks.

There are three assessment tasks. The first assessment task is a reflective account of the self as a teacher and educator . It provides an initial learning opportunity embedding existing learning theory knowledge with declarative knowledge through reflection on the participant’s role and identity as a teacher and educator, inclusive of its impact on mental health. The second task builds from the first task. Participants explore how they and their colleagues school life during the last ten years– a shared frame of reference – which utilises both online news and scholarly sources, drawing on educational learning theory and learning philosophies. It is designed for teachers and educators to pinpoint the strategies they used as individuals and as colleagues to manage an adverse mental health circumstance, outside their control. Its purpose is to highlight the level of agency they demonstrated during that time and its impact on their mental health. The third assessment task extends from the second task and requires an analysis of literature to develop an understanding of the inter-relationship of themselves as a teacher and educator within the context of social and collegial networks. The task requires the participants to select and assess both scholarly literature and contemporary, online-news sources that deals with the benefits of social and collegial networks and then to create a personalised, individually tailored, holistic self-care plan that reflects their lived personal and professional life. The plan is designed to include statements that indicate the benefits of social and collegial networks. 

Minimum Achievement Standard

The three assessment tasks for this introductory unit are designed to demonstrate the achievement of each learning outcome. In order to pass this unit, participants are required to complete four assessment tasks and gain an overall Pass result, being equivalent to 50% or more.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment Task 1: Reflective Practice essay

Reflecting on your knowledge of educational pedagogy and psycho-social learning theories and of mental health explore your understanding of your identity as a teacher and educator.



GA1, GA4, GA10

Assessment Task 2: Visual essay

Select 3+ images and/or diagrams from online media sources and using online articles and scholarly literature critically write an account of how changes in teaching and schooling during the last ten years have affected the way you and your colleagues teach and manage school responsibilities.  


LO1, LO2

GA1, GA3, GA4, GA6, GA8, GA10

Assessment Task 3: Writing Task: Rationale and Care Plan

 Using a range of current literature develop a mental-health care plan that examines and prioritises the benefits of developing and maintaining social and collegial networks for positive mental health and well-being, appropriate to your lived experience that reflects both current and future circumstances.  


LO1, LO2, LO3

GA1, GA3, GA4, GA6, GA8, GA10

Hurdle Task: Child Safe online module

Online multiple-choice or short answer questions in 4 sub-modules. Students will need to attain a mark of 75% or more in each sub-module before progressing to the next sub-module.

Representative texts and references

Andrews, M-A., & Rodger S. (2016). “Pre-service teacher education for mental health and inclusion in schools,” Exceptionality Education International, 26 (2): 93-118.

Bandura, A., Social Cognitive Theory (1989). in Vasta E. (ed), Annals of Child Development Vol 6 Six theories of child development (pp. 1-60), Greenwich, CT: JAI Press.

Dings, P.J.M., (2020). Not being oneself: Self ambiguity in the context of mental disorder. PhD Thesis Radboud University, USA.

Harding, S., et al. (2009). Is teachers’ mental health and wellbeing associated with students’ mental health and wellbeing?, Journal of Affective Disorders, 242: 180-187

Jerusalem, M., & Hessling, J.K (2009). Mental health promotion in schools by strengthening self-efficacy, Health Education, 109 (4): 329-341.

Mitra, S. (2018). Disability, health and human development, New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan, USA

Papastylianou, A. (2009). Teachers’ burnout, depression, role ambiguity and conflict. Social Psychology of Education (12): 295-314

Skinner, B., Leavery, G., & Rothi, D. (2021). Managerialism and teacher professional identity: impact on well-being among teachers in the UK; Educational Review 73 (1): 1-16.

Todd, C., Cooksey R., Davies, H., McRobbie, C., & Brophy, S. (2019). Mixed-methods evaluation comparing the impact of two different mindfulness approaches on stress, anxiety and depression in school teachers. BMJ Open, (9): 1-13.

Yoon Yoon, S. Evans, M.G., & Stroebel, J. (2014). Validation of the teaching Engineering Self-Efficacy Scale for K-12 Teachers: A structural equation Modeling Approach. Journal of Engineering Education. 103 (3): 463-485.

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