Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit



Unit rationale, description and aim

This unit is designed to establish a knowledge base for pre-service teachers in the areas of curriculum, pedagogy and assessment in Outdoor Education for secondary students in the junior and middle years of schooling (Years 7 - 10). The unit is also designed to develop students' understanding of contemporary theory, concepts and skills in Outdoor Education studies as applied in the junior to middle secondary teaching and learning contexts with a focus on cross-curriculum priorities. Theoretical concepts, pedagogical principles and curriculum structures within Outdoor Education are examined and applied in the evaluation, design and implementation of learning experiences that are responsive to the needs of diverse learners.

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 an understanding of teaching strategies for Outdoor Education, and an understanding of how students learn through Outdoor Education opportunities (GA5; APST 1.2, 2.1)

LO2 - Critically analyse a range of Outdoor Education learning and teaching activities and sequences for junior students (7-10), which involve a variety of pedagogical approaches and resources appropriate to these year levels and curriculum content (GA4, GA5, GA9, GA10; APST 1.2, 2.2, 2.3, 2.6, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 4.5)

LO3 - Describe, design and evaluate a variety of teaching strategies which cater for individual differences in student learning (e.g. cognitive, physical, social, cultural) and integrate general capabilities and cross curriculum priorities for Outdoor Education (GA1, GA4, GA5, GA9; APST 1.3, 1.5, 2.5, 3.3, 4.1)

LO4 - Analyse the relationships between learning tasks, student learning and expertise, higher order thinking, feedback and assessment in Outdoor Education (GA4, GA5, GA9; APST 2.3, 5.1, 5.2)

LO5 - Theorise the important role that Outdoor Education can play in promoting environmental health and aiding in understanding cultural issues (GA1, GA4, GA5, GA9; APST 1.2, 2.1)

Graduate attributes

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

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

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

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

GA10 - utilise information and communication and other relevant technologies effectively.


On successful completion of this unit, pre-service teachers should be able to:

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.

1.5 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.

2.5 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.

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

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.


This unit is designed to provide pre-service teachers with strategies for planning, implementing and monitoring learning experiences for students in Outdoor Education. Topics will be tailored to the needs of the group and may include: 

  • factors in the educational context (international, national, state, territory and local levels) including curriculum policies and perspectives that shape the identity of Outdoor Education in Years 7-10. 
  • the concepts, substance and structure of curriculum content in Outdoor Education 
  • contemporary understandings of the unique ways in which students learn in Outdoor environments  
  • specific professional practices and key pedagogical approaches related to teaching and learning in an Outdoor Education context, and the theoretical underpinnings 
  • general capabilities and cross curriculum priorities including the integration of literacy and numeracy and local, state, territory and national perspectives in Outdoor Education 
  • planning, implementing and evaluating sequences of learning activities in Outdoor Education relative to specific school context and identified factors impacting teaching and learning 
  • the relationship between reflexive learning and effective concept formation to build higher order thinking in Outdoor Education  
  • catering for a diverse range of learners in a diverse range of Outdoor Education environments 
  • cultural awareness/sensitivity in Outdoor Education 
  • effective use of a range of resources for the teaching area, including ICT’s, technologies and equipment specific to Outdoor Education 
  • classroom management in Outdoor Education and the impact of curriculum rigour, engagement, participation and inclusion on learner behaviour 
  • pedagogical strategies to promote problem solving and critical thinking in Outdoor Education 
  • a range of approaches and strategies for assessment, experiences, feedback, and reporting in Outdoor Education 
  • strategies to develop students’ literacy and numeracy skills in the context of Outdoor Education  
  • ways to assess student learning, provide effective feedback, make consistent and comparable judgments, interpret student data and report on student achievement in Outdoor Education. 

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

A variety of teaching and learning strategies will be implemented depending on the needs of the particular group. These will include lectures, student presentations, group work and outdoor experiences. Information technology will be used where appropriate. Students will be encouraged to demonstrate an understanding of the distinctive inquiry process of the discipline and an understanding of where Outdoor Education is situated within various curriculum documents. 


150 hours in total with a normal expectation of 36 hours of directed study and the total contact hours should not exceed 36 hours. Directed study might include lectures, tutorials, webinars, podcasts etc. The balance of the hours then becomes private study. 

Assessment strategy and rationale

A variety of assessment procedures will be used to ascertain the extent to which pre-service teachers achieve stated outcomes. The total of assessment tasks will amount to the equivalent of 4,000 words. 

In order to pass this unit, pre-service teachers are required to submit or participate in all assessment tasks. 

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment Task 1: 

Lesson planning  

Develop a lesson plan for an outdoor education activity (2-3 hrs in duration) that demonstrates knowledge and understanding of:   

  • the concepts and structure of Outdoor Education in the 7-10 curriculum; 
  • the ways in which students learn in Outdoor Education; 
  • teaching strategies that can be applied to Outdoor Education, and the integration of general capabilities and cross curriculum priorities; 
  • learning objectives, teaching content and strategies appropriate to the identified outcome/s, topic and year level;  
  • sequencing;  
  • behaviour management;  
  • appropriate resources and strategies to meet the identified strengths and needs of diverse learners  
  • Risk assessment and management strategies 


1, 2, 3 

4, 5, 9, 10 

Assessment Task 2: 

Resource folio and critical reflection 

Part A 

Create a folio of six practical activities that could be implemented as part of an outdoor education program (e.g., games, challenge style tasks, skill builders, star gazing/astronomy, tree/plant identification etc). Each activity should take between 10 and 30 minutes to complete and be suitable for students in years 7-10.   

For each activity you must: 

  • Clearly explain the activity (purpose, method and resources); 
  • Clearly identify how diverse learner backgrounds and needs are catered for; 
  • Clearly identify how student higher order thinking is promoted (where applicable); 
  • Explain how provision is made for assessment of student learning and feedback; 
  • Identify how cross curricular priorities and General Capabilities of the Australian Curriculum could be incorporated, including the integration of literacy and numeracy (where possible). 
  • Conduct a risk assessment  


Part B  

Critically reflect on how Outdoor Education in general, and the activities discussed in Part A specifically, can promote key ideas (e.g., resilience, empathy, team-work, leadership, personal well-being, environmental health, building cultural awareness, processing and reflection of activities etc) 


1, 4, 5 

1, 4, 5 

Representative texts and references

Warren, K. Mitten, D., & Loeffler TA (2008). Theory and Practice of Experiential Education. Association for Experiential Education. 

Prouty, D., Panicucci, J. & Collinson, R. (2007). Adventure Education: Theory and Applications. Project Adventure. 

Outdoor Education Australia  



Australian Journal of Environmental Education, Australian Association for Environmental Education, Nathan Queensland. 

Australian Journal of Outdoor Education, Outdoor Council of Australia, Milton Queensland. 

Journal of Outdoor and Environmental Education 

Habitat, Australian Conservation Foundation, Carlton Victoria.

Journeys, Victorian Outdoor Education Association, Carlton Victoria. 

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