Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit



Unit rationale, description and aim

This unit is designed to establish a knowledge base for pre-service teachers in the areas of curriculum, pedagogy and assessment in Science Education for secondary students in the junior and middle years of schooling (Years 7-10). An understanding of the national curricula which is specific to Catholic, State and Independent schools will provide the focus of this unit. The unit is also designed to develop pre-service teachers’ understanding of contemporary theory, concepts and skills in Science Education studies as applied in the junior secondary classroom context. A range of curriculum perspectives will be explored, including literacy, numeracy, ICT, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education, students with special needs and effective teaching. There is a focus on effective teaching and classroom management, including student engagement, participation and inclusion. 

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 mastery of the concepts, substance and structure of the content and best practice teaching strategies of Science, and their theoretical underpinnings (GA5)

LO2 - plan, implement and evaluate a range of Science learning and teaching activities for junior students (Years 7-10) which involve a variety of pedagogical approaches and resources appropriate to these year levels and curriculum content (GA4, GA5, GA9, GA10)

LO3 - explain, develop and evaluate a variety of classroom strategies which cater for individual differences in student learning (e.g. cognitive, physical, social, cultural) and integrate general capabilities and cross curriculum priorities (including literacy, numeracy and ICT) in Science Education (GA4, GA5, GA9)

LO4 - examine the relationships between student learning and expertise, and higher order thinking, learning task design, assessment, feedback and reporting in Science Education (GA4, GA5, GA9)

LO5 - analyse and apply a variety of laboratory skills and techniques including aspects of general and mandatory safety requirements in the laboratory and thus demonstrate expertise in the field of Science Education to meet relevant professional requirements (GA5).

Graduate attributes

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

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

GA9 - demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media 

GA10 - utilise information and communication and other relevant technologies effectively.


The topics will include:

  • factors in the educational context (international, national, state, territory and local levels) including curriculum policies and perspectives that shape the identity of Science Education in Years 7-10
  • the concepts, substance and structure of curriculum content in Science Education
  • specific professional practices and key pedagogical approaches related to teaching and learning in Science contexts, and their theoretical underpinnings
  • an understanding of how effective teaching, including curriculum rigour, engagement, participation and inclusion, is a key factor in effective classroom management
  • strategies to promote problem solving, critical thinking and scientific literacy in Science; (eg. Inquiry Learning, Science in Schools Strategy (SiS); Constructivism, Motivation, Metacognition, Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy and Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences)
  • strategies and tools for active, student-centred learning in Science such as exposition, questioning, inquiry, discovery and constructivist approaches such as role-play, POE, concept mapping, translation tasks, creative writing, group and laboratory based learning, student designed investigation
  • general capabilities and cross curriculum priorities including the integration of literacy, numeracy and ICT and local, state, territory and national perspectives in Science Education
  • planning, implementing and evaluating sequences of learning activities in Science Education relative to specific school context and identified factors impacting teaching and learning
  • the relationship between reflexive learning and effective concept formation to build higher order thinking in Science Education
  • catering for a diverse range of learners in Science Education
  • discipline specific teaching strategies and issues related to Indigenous students in Science Education
  • effective use of resources for teaching, including ICT’s and technologies specific to Science Education to engage learners
  • a range of approaches and strategies for assessment, feedback, and reporting in Science Education
  • strategies to develop students’ literacy and numeracy skills in the context of Science Education
  • ways to assess student learning, provide effective feedback, make consistent and comparable judgments, interpret student data and report on student achievement in Science Education
  • theory and practice of safe laboratory teaching, laboratory management and safety procedures such as use of Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) and Chemical and Experiment Risk Assessment.

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

This unit applies a social constructivist approach to develop the pre-service teacher’s understanding of effective pedagogies through active engagement and collaborative learning. The pre-service teacher will build an understanding of teaching strategies through critical reading, lecturer modelling, discussion, and practice in tutorials. The pre-service teacher’s skills of professional communication and ability to work collaboratively will be practised through group work. The pre-service teacher’s teaching skills of planning and assessing, and his/her ability to locate and synthesise information, will be developed through designing curriculum appropriate for a Science Education context. The pre-service teacher will continue to gather and reflect upon evidence of attainment of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers: Graduate.

Teaching and learning strategy described above will use an appropriate selection of approach, including, for example:

  •         Weekly face-to-face lectures and / or online lectures (synchronous and asynchronous)
  •         Hands-on tutorials and discussions that promote peer learning
  •         Microteaching opportunities
  •         Self-directed reading and research
  •         Collaborative learning opportunities

Assessment strategy and rationale

The assessment tasks and their weightings are designed so that the pre-service teacher can progressively achieve the course learning outcomes and the professional standards. The Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment units in this course focus on pre-service teachers acquiring content knowledge and developing the skills to assimilate conceptual knowledge in order for that knowledge to inform skills that will be applied in practice.

The two assessment tasks are sequenced to allow feedback and progressive development. By completing Task 1 the pre-service teacher will apply knowledge of assessment strategies. In Task 2 pre-service teachers develop a program of work for senior students over a period of time.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment Task 1:

Lesson planning demonstrating an understanding of sequencing, a variety of appropriate pedagogical approaches, behaviour management, safety considerations and resources in response to particular student learning needs in a nominated educational setting, including the identification and application of laboratory skills and techniques and their associated mandatory safety requirements and procedures. This lesson plan must address general capabilities and cross curriculum priorities. The lesson must include examples of ICT resources to engage students in their learning and also highlight evidence of literacy and numeracy teaching strategies that have been applied to the Science Education lesson.


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5

GA4, GA5, GA9, GA10

Assessment Task 2:

Implementation and evaluation of a sequence of learning and teaching activities within which provision is made for assessment of student learning and feedback.


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4

GA5, GA9

Representative texts and references

Relevant Australian, state and territory curriculum documents and study designs for secondary school students.

Bybee, R., Carlson Powell, J., & Trowbridge, L. (2008). Teaching secondary school science: strategies for developing scientific literacy (9th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Merrill Prentice Hall

Corrigan, D., Dillon, J., & Gunstone, R. (2011). The professional knowledge base of quality science teaching. Dordrecht,NLD: Springer.

Davies, D. (2011). Teaching science creatively. New York: Routledge.

Frost, J. (2010). Learning to teach science in the secondary school: A companion to school experience (3rd ed.) Abingdon, UK: Routledge.

Gregson, R. (2012) Connecting with science education. South Melbourne, Vic: Oxford University Press.

Hoffer, W. (2009). Science as thinking: The constants and variables of inquiry teaching grades 5-10. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Lawson, A. (2010). Teaching inquiry science in middle and secondary schools. Los Angeles: Sage.

Liu, X. (2010). Essentials of science classroom assessment. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage Publications.

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

Tytler, R. (2002). School Innovation in Science (SIS) Focusing on Teaching. Investigating. 18(3): 8-12.

Venville, G., & Dawson, V. (2012). The art of teaching science: for middle and secondary schooling. Sydney: Allen and Unwin.

Wellington, J., & Osborne J. (2009). Language and literacy in science education. UK: Open University Press.

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