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SCIT140 Science in Our World


EDST107, EDST167 Science and Technology for Early Childhood and Primary Teachers 1 , EDST201 Science and Technology Education ,EDST261 Science and Technology Education , EDST204 Science and Technology for Early Childhood and Primary Teachers 2 , EDST264 Science and Technology for Early Childhood and Primary Teachers 2

Unit rationale, description and aim

This unit provides a deep and critical immersion in the teaching and learning of science for primary school, as specified by the Australian Curriculum. It explores the three dimensions of science: Science Inquiry, Science as a Human Endeavour and Science Understanding. The unit has a particular focus on Biological, and Earth and Space Science, drawing on other content relevant to these focus areas. Pre-service teachers’ science content knowledge, and knowledge of science curriculum and pedagogy of these topics will be fostered by drawing on relevant theories of learning. Lectures and tutorials showcase learning and teaching approaches for primary science classrooms informed by research.

The aim of this unit is to provide pre–service teachers with in–depth understanding of the teaching and learning of science for primary school, as specified by the three dimensions of science of the Australian Curriculum; Science Inquiry, Science as a Human Endeavour and Science Understanding, with a particular focus on Biological, and Earth and Space Science.

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 scientific understandings for a range of science concepts and Cross Curriculum Priorities drawn from the Australian Curriculum (GA5, GA6, GA8; APST 2.1, 2.4, 2.5, 3.2)

LO2 - apply scientific skills and processes in investigating questions/problems/issues and provide evidence for making conclusions about these investigations (GA8; APST1.1, 1.2, 2.1)

LO3 - demonstrate knowledge of effective pedagogies for the teaching and learning of science including a focus on resources and ICT strategies that engage students in their learning and the integration of literacy and numeracy skills (GA5, GA6, GA8; APST 2.2, 2.3, 2.5, 3.3, 3.4)

LO4 - articulate their role in educating for and contribution to society’s transition towards a sustainable future (GA2, GA5; APST 3.3)

LO5 - discuss issues/perspectives including: historical, gender-related, indigenous, and environmental, as they relate to planning and implementing science learning experiences (GA2, GA5; APST 1.1, 1.2, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 3.3)

LO6 - apply national and/or state/territory science curriculum documents in planning learning experiences (GA5, GA8; APST 1.1, 1.2, 2.2, 2.3, 3.2, 3.3).

Graduate attributes

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

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

GA6 - solve problems in a variety of settings taking local and international perspectives into account

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.

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.

2.4 Demonstrate broad knowledge of, understanding of, and respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories, cultures and languages.

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

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.


Topics will include:

  • Science inquiry skills and Science as a human endeavour across the educational continuum
  • Theories of child development and learning about science in primary school settings
  • Practical workshops which model activities appropriate to the primary science classroom aligned with the Australian Curriculum: Science - Biological Science and Earth and Space Science which include a range of resources
  • Sequences of learning activities appropriate for primary school settings related to the development of knowledge and understandings in Science Inquiry Skills
  • Human impact on the environment and ways to live sustainably related to the teaching and learning of primary students
  • Examination and use of Australian Science Curriculum; Science and other relevant state/territory science curriculum documents.

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

This unit may be delivered in a combination of tutorials, lectures, online tasks and fieldwork. Learning will be enabled by collaborative group work, student presentations and discussions that require pre-service teachers to reflect on applying theory into practice.

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 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 become private study.

Assessment strategy and rationale

The assessment tasks and their weightings are designed to allow pre-service teachers to progressively demonstrate achievement against the unit learning outcomes and demonstrate attainment of professional standards.

Minimum Achievement Standards

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 achieve a Pass grade overall.

Total assessment is the equivalent of 4,000 words.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment Task 1:

Practical Science Investigation

The Assessment Task requires participants to undertake a scientific investigation in the area of Biological Science or Earth and Space Science for a particular stage of child development.


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5, LO6

GA2, GA5, GA6, GA8

Assessment Task 2: Choice – For the purposes of national moderation all campuses must select the same task and the selected task must address all Learning Outcomes

Essay - a scientific analysis of information related to the work and research of others in the field;


Report - reflects consideration of the environment through the lens of sustainability;


Presentation - that a practical task is presented to the peer group implicitly involving scientific thinking and working;


Exam of short answers and extended responses on the key content of the unit


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5, LO6

GA2, GA5, GA6, GA8

Representative texts and references

Fleer, M., Jane, B., & Hardy, T. (2007). Science for children: Developing a personal approach to teaching (3rd ed.). Frenchs Forest, NSW: Pearson.

Fitzgerald, A. (2012). Science in primary schools: Examining the practices of effective teachers. Rotterdam, The Netherlands: Sense Publishers.

Loughran, J. (2010). What expert teachers do: Enhancing professional knowledge for classroom practice. Crows Nest, NSW: Allen & Unwin.

Loxley, P., Dawes, L., Nicholls, L., & Dore, B. (2014). Teaching primary science: Promoting enjoyment and developing understanding (2nd ed.). Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge; Taylor and Francis.

Skamp, K. (Ed.). (2012). Teaching primary science constructively (4th ed.). South Melbourne, Vic: Cengage Learning Australia.

Venville, G., & Dawson, V. (2007). The art of teaching primary science. Crows Nest, NSW: Allen & Unwin.

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