Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit



Unit rationale, description and aim

This unit is designed to develop pre-service teachers’ understanding of teaching science and technology in the primary school and early childhood settings. Content will include further development of the pre-service teacher’s own knowledge and skills in science and technology, as well as the skills needed to plan, implement learning experiences for children and draw on student data to access and report on learning outcomes for students.

This unit aims to provide pre-service teachers with an in-depth understanding of diverse theories of teaching and learning science in the primary school and early childhood settings, critically analysing diverse national and international policies, curriculum and teaching methodologies.

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 advanced understanding of principles of how children learn in science and technology and the ability to apply these principles to teaching and learning situations (GA5, GA8; APST 1.2, 2.1; ACECQA B3)

LO2 - Critically examine and apply relevant national/state/territory science and technology curriculum/syllabus documents to their teaching practices, (GA4, GA5; APST 2.1; ACECQA B1, B2, B3, B9)

LO3 - Demonstrate their ability to use and implement appropriate planning, teaching and assessment strategies and resources in their teaching of science and technology in primary schools and early childhood settings that draw on student data and are responsive to a diverse range of abilities (GA5, GA8; APST 1.3, 1.5, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 4.2, 5.1, 5.4; ACECQA B3, B9)

LO4 - Exercise critical thinking and judgment in integrating diverse science teaching approaches to plan science lessons that address contemporary issues, including the general capabilities and cross curriculum priorities. (GA5, GA8; APST 2.1, 4.1, 4.2; ACECQA B3)

Graduate attributes

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

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

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.

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.

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.

4.2 Demonstrate the capacity to organise classroom activities and provide clear directions.

5.1 Demonstrate understanding of assessment strategies, including informal and formal, diagnostic, formative and summative approaches to assess student learning.

5.4 Demonstrate the capacity to interpret student assessment data to evaluate student learning and modify teaching practice.


On successful completion of this unit, pre-service teachers should have developed the following specific knowledge:

B.     Education and curriculum studies 

B1. Early Years Learning Framework

B2. The Australian curriculum

B3. Numeracy, science and technology

B9. Curriculum planning, programming and evaluation


Topics will include:

  • How children learn in and through science and technology
  • Rationale for teaching science and technology in the primary school and early childhood settings
  • A range of teaching strategies to help children make sense of their world
  • Practical workshops which model activities appropriate to the science and technology classroom
  • Examination and use of national/state/territory science and technology curriculum documents
  • Planning and programming in science and technology
  • Resources for science and technology teaching, including those provided by information technology
  • Relevant issues, such as ethnicity, equity, literacy and access, as well as social and environmental implications
  • Further concepts and skills needed for teaching science and technology
  • Relevant national, state and territory curriculum documents and assessment.

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

Pre-service teachers will be involved in a variety of teaching-learning strategies to progress and demonstrate their understandings in this unit. Participants will be involved in a variety of teaching-learning strategies to support learning, including: lectures, tutorials, project and fieldwork. Learning will be enabled by collaborative group work, student presentations; in particular those that require students to reflect on their learning, engagement in community project/field work in local sites.

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, you are required to complete two major assessable tasks.

Total assessment is the equivalent of 5,000 words.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment Task 1:

Design a teaching-learning unit and lesson sequence for a Science curriculum area incorporating the curriculum area of Technology.

Part A - UNIT PLAN (Group)

a) Overall plan for a Unit of Work which typically comprises 6+ lessons over a period of 5-10 weeks (half a term - 1 term), including strategies for using student data to inform planning and details for assessment processes.

Part B - either b) OR c)

b)  LESSON PLAN (Completed individually): Develop a detailed plan for the activities contained within 45-60 minute lesson. To be completed sequentially with other group members from Part A. Each student from the Part A group individually develops and critiques one lesson plan in extended and detailed format - which is related to the submitted Unit Plan.

c)  LEARNING/LESSON SEQUENCE A Learning Sequence (Individual) = a series of lessons related to a target concepts that relate to either relevant strands of the National Curriculum documents or local state/territory syllabus documents.

Equivalent to 2,500 words

50% (A 30%, B or C 20%)

LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4

GA4, GA5, GA8

Assessment Task 2:

In the form of an

  1. Essay;
  2. Report;
  3. Folio; or
  4. Examination (short answer and essay questions;

Students reflect on and critically analyse their understanding of key concepts of this unit and demonstrate a capacity to exercise critical thinking and judgment in relation to effective curriculum decision making in the early years and primary school science and technology key learning areas. Concepts to be addressed will include:

  • How children learn in and through science and technology
  • diverse science teaching approaches and pedagogies to engage students in learning about contemporary issues in science and technology
  • ways to address issues of ethnicity, equity, literacy, access, numeracy, sustainability, use of ICT in implementing learning experiences
  • collection and analysis of students’ data and use of evidence to assess student learning and make teaching decisions.

Equivalent to 2,500 words


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4

GA4, GA5, GA8

Representative texts and references

Relevant national, state and territory curriculum documents and study designs for primary school students.

Basu, S.J., Barton, A.C., & Tan, E. (2011). Democratic science teaching: Building the expertise to empower low-income minority youth in science. Rotterdam, The Netherlands: Sense publishers.

Fitzgerald, A. (Ed.). (2013). Learning and teaching primary science. Port Melbourne, Vic: Cambridge University Press.

Fleer, M., & Jane, B. (2011). Design and technology for children (3rd ed.). Frenchs Forest, NSW: Pearson Australia.

Jesson, J., & Peacock, G. (2012). The really useful ICT book: A practical guide to using technology across that curriculum. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge

Harlan, J., & Rivkin, M. (2012). Science experiences for the early childhood years: An integrated affective approach. Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Pearson Education Inc.

Pedretti, E., & Nazir, J. (2011). Currents in STSE education: Mapping a complex field, 40 years on. Science Education, 95(4), 601-626.

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

Meadows, J. (2012). Science and ICT in the primary school: A creative approach to big ideas. Hoboken: Taylor and Francis.

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

Smith, K., Loughran, J., Berry, A., & Dimitrakopoulos, C. (2012). Developing scientific literacy in a primary school. International Journal of Science Education, 34(1), 127-152.

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