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EDIE444 Positive Behaviour Intervention Support

Unit rationale, description and aim

Contemporary approaches to understanding behaviour recognise that behaviour is the result of an individual’s characteristics, interactions with environmental, social factors and interpersonal relationships. Positive Behaviour Intervention Support (PBIS) is the term given to a wide range of practices that aim to understand and address the behaviour difficulties in a holistic manner. The goals of PBIS are to improve both the behaviour and the quality of life of individuals who display challenging behaviour.  

This unit emphasises collaborative, assessment-based approaches that integrate behavioural science and a person-centred values framework. It acknowledges the importance of community participation, system and environmental modifications and social relationships in addressing behaviour difficulties. Positive Behaviour Intervention Support builds on the principles of Functional Behaviour Analysis and integrates this with the key principles of Inclusive education to deliver integrated, sustainable, and comprehensive systems for supporting students with disabilities, challenging behaviours and learning difficulties.

This unit aims to assist pre-service teachers to develop an advanced understanding of behaviour within the context of non-aversive approaches to behaviour management. With a combined focus on both preventative and direct behaviour intervention strategies, pre-service teachers will develop critical analysis skills in the assessment, implementation and review of behaviour support strategies.

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 - Identify and analyse possible factors and contemporary issues that contribute to challenging behaviour (GA8; APST 1.1, 4.1, 4.3; ACECQA A3, A6, A7)

LO2 - Describe accurately and objectively behaviours that warrant intervention and undertake a functional assessment of behaviour leading to development of new understandings about behaviour and possible responses (GA1, GA5, GA8; APST 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 2.1, 4.3, 5.1, 5.4, 5.5; ACECQA C5, C6)

LO3 - Utilise appropriate methods for the collection of data and critically analyse data collected (GA5, GA8; APST 3.6, 5.1, 5.4; ACECQA A5, C1, C3, C4)

LO4 - Select behaviour intervention strategies based on an advanced understanding of the theoretical concepts of PBIS that address the function of behaviours (GA5, GA7, GA8; APST 2.1, 3.1, 4.4, 5.1, 5.2; ACECQA B9, C7, D4)

LO5 - Provide solutions to a complex behaviour problem through the development of a comprehensive positive behaviour support plan (GA5, GA8; APST 3.5, 3.6, 4.1, 4.3, 5.2, 5.5, 7.1, 7.3; ACECQA B9, E3, F1)

Graduate attributes

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

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


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.

2.1 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the concepts, substance and structure of the content and teaching strategies of the teaching area.

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

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.

4.3 Demonstrate knowledge of practical approaches to manage challenging behaviour.

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

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.

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.

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

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 their ability to:

A. Child development and care

A3. Social and emotional development

A5. Early intervention

A6. Diversity, difference and inclusivity

A7. Learners with special/additional needs

B. Education and curriculum studies

B9. Curriculum planning, programming and evaluation

C. Teaching pedagogies

C1. Alternative pedagogies and curriculum approaches

C3. Guiding behaviour/engaging young learners

C4. Teaching methods and strategies

C5. Children with diverse needs and backgrounds

C6. Working with children who speak languages other than, or in addition to, English

C7. Contemporary society and pedagogy

D. Families and community contexts

D4. Socially inclusive practice

E. History and philosophy of early childhood

E3. Ethics and professional practice

F. Early childhood professional practice

F1. Educational leadership


This unit has been developed around the following topic themes.

  • Understanding of the function of classification of students with disabilities, challenging behaviour and learning difficulties and developing non-categorical approaches
  • Identifying and documenting behaviour
  • Interpreting student data to evaluate student learning and modify teaching practice
  • Contributing factors of behaviour – personal, social and environmental
  • Functional Behavioural Assessment and Analysis
  • Preventative behaviour support strategies, including verbal and non-verbal communication strategies and curriculum adjustments
  • Acknowledgment and corrective intervention strategies to foster student engagement
  • Crisis intervention strategies
  • Social skill development to support student inclusion
  • Focus on competence, strengths and wellbeing; personalised support
  • Strategies for reporting and working effectively with parents/carers
  • The teacher’s role and conduct whilst working with students with challenging behaviours.

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

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. To achieve a passing standard in this unit, students will find it helpful to engage in the full range of learning activities and assessments utilised in this unit, as described in the learning and teaching strategy and the assessment strategy. The learning and teaching and assessment strategies include a range of approaches to support your learning such as reading, reflection, discussion, webinars, podcasts, video etc.

Assessment strategy and rationale

A range of assessment procedures will be used to meet the unit learning outcomes and develop graduate attributes consistent with University assessment requirements and the development of Australian Professional Standards for Teachers. Such procedures may include, but are not limited to, essays, reports, examinations, online activities, visits to agencies and services, student presentations and case studies.

Minimum Achievement Standard

The assessment tasks for this unit are designed to demonstrate achievement of each learning outcome. In order to pass this unit, students are required to complete all assessment tasks and gain an overall pass result.

Electronic Submission, Marking and Return

Electronic submission and marking of assignments through Turnitin will be used.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment Task 1

Contemporary Issues Investigation.

Conduct an in-depth investigation into a contemporary educational issue and its impact on student behaviour (for example, social skills, cyberbullying, single sex classes, culturally diverse classes). Critically evaluate the available research and discuss the efficacy of current approaches to the issue within the class and school community context.


LO1, LO3, LO4, LO5

GA5, GA7, GA8

Assessment Task 2

Pedagogy of teaching, and behaviour management plan

Demonstrate an understanding of the key principles and applications of effective classroom and behaviour management through the implementation of pedagogical practices and curriculum adjustments for the development of positive behaviour intervention support plans.


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5

GA1, GA5, GA7

Representative texts and references

Required text(s)

Australian Curriculum

Australian Curriculum, Assessment ad Reporting Authority (ACARA)

Recommended references

Chandler, L. K., & Dahlquist, C. M. (2015). Functional assessment: Strategies to prevent and remediate challenging behaviors in school settings (4th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.

Charles, C.M. & Cole, K.M. (2018). Building classroom management: Methods and models (12th ed. International ed.). Boston: Pearson Education.

Hind, K., Larkin, R., & Dunn, A. K. (2018): Assessing Teacher Opinion on the Inclusion of Children with Social, Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties into Mainstream School Classes. International Journal of Disability, Development and Education. Online May, 2018. DOI: 10.1080/1034912X.2018.1460462.

McDonald, T. (2019). Classroom management: Engaging students in learning (3rd ed.). South Melbourne, Vic: Oxford University Press.

Porter, L. (2014). A comprehensive guide to classroom management: Facilitating engagement and learning in schools. Crows Nest, NSW: Allen & Unwin.

Saggers, B. (2017). Developing positive classroom environments. Sydney: Allen and Unwin.

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