Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit




EDIE447 Cultural Diversity and Refugees

Unit rationale, description and aim

Contemporary approaches to understanding the many factors that affect the success of culturally diverse students – such as overall attitudes toward diversity, involvement of the community, and culturally responsive curriculum, are the focus of unit.  Cultural and linguistic diversity (CALD) characterises the student population is now the norm rather than the exception in Australian society, resulting in the need to cater to the socio-cognitive and developmental needs of all students. Migrants come from different racial, social, economic and linguistic backgrounds, so they have diverse needs and aspirations to fulfil in Australia. Many face discrimination in accessing opportunities and services on the basis of ethnicity, cultural customs and lack of English language skills.

The unit investigates the impact of globalisation, in particular the social and psychological impact of migration experiences and the plight of refugees and cultural minorities along with the resulting tensions, barriers and problems of integration during the settlement process. Diversity in the educational system therefore creates challenges for teaching staff and for students and requires an understanding of the social and psychological background of students and refugees from various cultural backgrounds. Among the most critical factors are the provision of appropriate personal, pastoral and socio-cognitive support to students of CALD and refugee backgrounds. The unit considers the nature, challenges and benefits of diversity and its promotion and the socio-cultural and linguistic challenges faced by refugees.

The main focus of the unit is to identify and examine existing best-practice models of inclusive, multicultural education, including policies, pedagogies and educational resources - that can lead to more just, equitable and productive society.

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 - Understand the history and culture of students and their families from diverse backgrounds (GA1, GA5, GA8; APST 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 7.1, 7.3; ACECQA D1)

LO2 - Engage in personal and professional self-awareness (GA1, GA5, GA7, GA8; APST 3.5, 3.6, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 4.4, 5.1; ACECQA F4)

LO3 - Be responsive to the needs of students with diverse cultural backgrounds and validate their cultural identities (GA1, GA5, GA7, GA8; APST 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 2.5, 3.5, 3.6, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 4.4, 5.1; ACECQA E2)

LO4 - Identity, evaluate and develop effective inclusive pedagogical strategies to support students from refugee, CALD and migrant backgrounds (GA5, GA7, GA8; APST 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 2.5, 3.5, 3.6, 3.7, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 4.4, 5.1, 7.1, 7.3; ACECQA A2, B1, B2, B4, B5, C1, C3, C4, C5, C6)

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.

2.5 Know and understand literacy and numeracy teaching strategies and their application in teaching areas.

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.

3.7 Describe a broad range of strategies for involving parents/carers in the educative process.

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.

4.3 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.

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 the following specific knowledge:

A.   Child development and care

A2  Language development

B.   Education and curriculum studies

B1. Early Years Learning Framework

B2. The Australian curriculum

B4  Language and literacy

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

D.   Families and community contexts

D1. Developing family and community partnerships

D5  Culture, diversity and inclusion

E.   History and philosophy of early childhood

E2  Contemporary theories and practice

F.   Early childhood professional practice

F4  Advocacy


This unit has been developed around the following topic themes.

  • Demonstrate a broad awareness and understanding of contemporary global issues from a cultural perspective
  • Investigate the rationale for current multicultural education, anti-racism, and ESL policies and related programs in the Australian context
  • Appreciate and accommodate the similarities and differences among the students' cultures
  • Develop strategies to build relationships with and between CALD students.
  • Consider the impact of linguistic diversity on learning and cognition
  • Understand and critically analyse cultural influences on key contemporary international political, educational and social issues relating to movement of people globally
  • Develop knowledge of practical approaches to manage challenging behaviours presented by refugee and CALD students
  • Focus on the ways students learn and observe students to identify their task orientations
  • Create positive and safe learning environments for students from refugee backgrounds
  • Self-reflection on own culture, attitudes, values, beliefs and experiences and how these affect the way their classroom works
  • Teach students with language and communication needs, use a variety of instructional strategies and learning activities for literacy and numeracy, UDL and differentiation
  • Consider students' cultures and language skills when developing learning objectives and instructional activities
  • Examine the impact of cultural assumptions, values and biases in teaching EALD and CALD students
  • Demonstrate strategies for culturally and linguistically inclusive teaching practice
  • Incorporate objectives for affective, social and personal development, resilience, wellbeing and anti-bullying.

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

A combination of learning and teaching strategies may include lectures, tutorials, independent research, and expert learning groups, self-directed reading, and online activities. Attention will be given to recognising pre-service teachers as adult learners who have responsibility for their own 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. 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 are used to meet the unit learning outcomes and develop graduate attributes and professional standards and criteria consistent with University assessment requirements. (

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 issue about cultural and linguistic diversity. This paper should address social, cultural and educational aspects of the place of refugees in contemporary educational contexts in Australia


LO1, LO3, LO4

GA1, GA5, GA7, GA8

Assessment Task 2

Pedagogy of teaching literacy and/or numeracy, and behaviour management plan

Identify an educational issue or problem relating to refugees, migrant families or children from CALD backgrounds in accessing and succeeding in the Australian educational context. By developing a sequence of 4 lessons, your project should demonstrate an understanding of the key principles and applications of multicultural education, including literacy and numeracy pedagogies, social integration, assessment and pastoral care.


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4

GA1, GA5, GA7, GA8

Representative texts and references

Required text(s)

Australian Curriculum

Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA)

Recommended references

Cox, R., & Durrant, C. (2015). Multilingualism in Australian educational contexts: Lessons from the research. Cambridge University Press.

Deaux, K., Snyder, M., & Benet-Martinez, V. (2012) Multiculturalism. In The Oxford Handbook of Personality and Social Psychology: Oxford Handbooks Online (Oxford University Press).

Forlin, C. (2010).Teacher education for inclusion : Changing paradigms and innovative approaches. Taylor & Francis.

Mares, S., & Newman, L. (Eds.) (2007). Acting from the heart: Australian advocates for asylum seekers tell their stories. Finch.

May, S., & Sleeter, C. (2010). A Country Too Far: Teacher's Edition. Routledge.

Scott, R., & Keneally, T. (2013). A Country Too Far: Teacher's Edition (eBook). Penguin.

Shakespeare-Finch, J., & Wickham, K. (2009). Adaption of Sudanese refugees in an Australian context: Investigating helps and hindrances. International Migration, 48(1), 23-46. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2435.2009.00561.

Refugee Council of Australia. (2010). Finding the right time and place: Exploring post-compulsory education and training pathways for young people from refugee backgrounds in NSW. Retrieved September 9th 2014  

Refugee Council of Australia. (2010). Stories and video of personal stories of former refugees who have found a new life in Australia. Compiled by RCOA Retrieved from RCOA at

Have a question?

We're available 9am–5pm AEDT,
Monday to Friday

If you’ve got a question, our AskACU team has you covered. You can search FAQs, text us, email, live chat, call – whatever works for you.

Live chat with us now

Chat to our team for real-time
answers to your questions.

Launch live chat

Visit our FAQs page

Find answers to some commonly
asked questions.

See our FAQs