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EDSI100 Science in Our World AND EDSI290 Science Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment (B-12)

Unit rationale, description and aim

Teachers have a responsibility to support their students’ development of skills in cross-disciplinary, critical and creative thinking, problem solving and digital technologies, because these are seen as essential in all 21st century occupations.

This unit will support pre-service teachers in this endeavour through a focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education in a primary school context. This unit contributes to the recognition of a teacher’s responsibility to the common good, the environment and society. STEM education is understood as cross-disciplinary teaching approaches between science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and approaches which bring STEM into other disciplines such as English, The Arts, Humanities and the Social Sciences. The capabilities that pre-service teachers will develop in this Unit are to think critically and creatively about interdisciplinary opportunities across the Australian Curriculum F- 6, and to bring together your skills in scientific investigations, digital technologies and design, numeracy and your understanding of technology as a context, stimulus and tool for learning. Pre-service teachers will develop an understanding of the critical role of school-industry partnerships in STEM education.

The aim of the unit is to allow pre-service teachers to demonstrate the values, knowledge, skills and attitudes of a competent and confident teacher of STEM, a priority of the Australian Government aligned to the Alice Springs (Mparntwe) Education Declaration.

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 - Survey and report on local STEM initiatives and/or STEM education through school-industry partnerships; approaches in professional organisations and practices in schools (GA5, GA7, GA8; APST 2.1, 3.4, 3.6, 6.2, 7.2, 7.4)

LO2 - Evaluate STEM initiatives and their alignment to Australian government policy and the priority of STEM in developing 21st century skills (GA2; APST 1.2, 2.1)

LO3 - Construct explicit STEM linkages across multiple Learning Areas of the Australian Curriculum F-6 (GA4, GA5; APST 2.1, 2.3, 2.5)

LO4 - Design and develop a learning module appropriate to a STEM approach (GA4, GA5, GA8; APST 1.2, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.5, 2.6, 3.4, 3.5, 4.5)

Graduate attributes

GA2 - recognise their responsibility to the common good, the environment and society 

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

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:

1.2 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of research into how students learn and the implications for teaching.

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.

3.4 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.

4.5 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.

6.2 Understand the relevant and appropriate sources of professional learning for teachers.

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 federal and state/territory responses to the priority of STEM
  • The variety of STEM definitions and approaches – locally, nationally and globally
  • School-industry partnerships – requirements; practicalities; problems; evidence of success; opportunities
  • The Australian curriculum approach to STEM
  • Local approaches to general interdisciplinary studies eg in middle schools; inquiry-based teaching approaches; Primary Years Program of the International Baccalaureate
  • Local examples of STEM schools
  • An overview of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics in the Australian Curriculum F-6
  • Detailed contexts of the Australian curriculum to highlight connections that can be made across discipline areas
  • Teaching and learning activities that are appropriate to STEM education in a primary school context

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

In line with social constructivist principles, this unit is premised on the understanding that teaching and learning activities should build on prior knowledge, connect with the learner’s needs and interests, and encourage active participation.

Teaching and learning activities will build on prior disciplinary knowledge undergirding STEM – science, mathematics and technologies – and will build on that knowledge to provide pre-service teachers the opportunity to gain an overview of the discipline areas in the AC and their possible interactions. Much of this knowledge acquisition will occur via tutorials/ workshops which will emphasise a hands-on approach, requiring active participation from pre-service teachers, to apply their developing content knowledge base. In line with STEM principles, teaching expertise may well be drawn from a number of disciplines within the University and industry.

The needs and interests of pre-service teachers have been taken as competence and confidence in classroom practice and, in this unit, those needs and interests are focused on the momentum building around STEM education. Teaching and learning activities will emphasise active, collaborative and experiential activities, many of which will be real-world activities such as visiting industry sites; visiting local classrooms with specialist STEM teachers; meeting local professional teaching associations etc.

These first-hand experiences of a variety of approaches, resources and knowledge development in STEM teaching and learning will ensure that pre-service teachers are able to transfer their knowledge and skills effectively to primary classroom contexts.

Assessment 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.

In line with the principles of constructive alignment assessment tasks progressively allow students to show that they have achieved the Learning Outcomes. These assessment tasks have been designed to align with the LO so that, in achieving the minimal standard of these tasks, pre-service teachers will have met the required learning outcomes of the unit.

In line with andragogical principles , assessment tasks should be authentic, real world tasks. All tasks showcase authenticity as they require pre-service teachers to be part of a number of contexts to listen to a variety of perspectives of STEM education in the real world. The collaborative and individual work in Tasks 2 and 3 mirrors the real-world tasks undertaken by many teachers in their design and development of learning and teaching modules for cohorts of students.

Minimum Achievement Standards

The assessment tasks for this unit are designed to demonstrate achievement of each learning outcome. In order to pass this unit, you are required to demonstrate achievement of all Learning Outcomes by submitting all assessment tasks, obtaining a pass in both Assessment Tasks 1 and 3, and obtaining an overall combined score of at least 50%, Learning Outcome 4 (Design and develop a learning module appropriate to a STEM approach) is only assessed in Assessment Task 3. A pass in this component of the assessment is an additional requirement for passing the unit overall.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes


GROUP WORK: A report from a survey of local groups to determine the current actions, perspectives and initiatives in three domains:

  • School-industry partnerships
  • STEM approaches in a professional teacher organisation
  • STEM practices in schools.

Evaluate one domain, in terms of how it addresses the priority of STEM as seen by current priorities from the Australian Federal government


LO1, LO2

GA2, GA5, GA7, GA8

ASSESSMENT 2: Interdisciplinary STEM Topics

Using at least one Learning Area from the Australian Curriculum F-6 in addition to the Learning Areas of Science, Technologies and Mathematics, create a matrix of possible interdisciplinary STEM topics for F through to 6.



GA4, GA5


Using the matrix from Assessment 2, construct a STEM module for a particular year group F-6 integrating at least 4 Learning Areas.


LO3, LO4

GA4, GA5, GA8

Representative texts and references

Required text(s)

Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) 

Australian Curriculum resources - STEM:

Recommended references

ACARA. (2016). ACARA STEM Connections Project Report. Australian Curriculum:

Council of Australian Governments Education Council. (2019). Alice Springs (Mparntwe) Education Declaration. Commonwealth of Australia

Henderson, M., & Romeo, G. (Eds.). (2015). Teaching and digital technologies: Big issues and critical questions. Cambridge University Press.

Howell, J. (2012).Teaching with ICT: Digital pedagogies for collaboration & creativity. Oxford University Press.

Martinez, S. & Stager, G. (2013). Invent to learn: Making, tinkering and engineering in the classroom. Constructing Modern Knowledge Press.

Reagan, M. (2016). STEM – infusing the elementary classroom. Corwin.

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