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EDET590 Effective Teaching 1: Professional Practices

Unit rationale, description and aim

Includes: 20 days professional experience placement in a secondary school setting

Effective classroom environments are established when the teacher places the learner at the centre of their planning and teaching. Teachers must understand the characteristics and contexts of their learners and use this knowledge to engage these learners through the application of appropriate teaching and learning strategies that create and maintain learner motivation, engagement and support. This unit is the second of three units that form an Effective Teaching sequence.

This unit builds on the key theories and contemporary research related to adolescent learners that were introduced in the Educational Foundations units and explores the contemporary research, theories and practices related to maximizing student motivation, engagement and learning in classroom contexts, including the use of ICTs to facilitate and enhance learning.

This unit also builds on the foundational communication, management and organisational skills that were established in the Effective Teaching 1 unit and examines philosophies and strategies for engaging learners who display challenging behaviour.

Pre-service teachers will have opportunities to practise and apply their developing skills in engaging student learners through undertaking a 20-day Professional Experience Placement.

The aim of this unit is to enable pre-service teachers to further develop the knowledge, understanding and skills to effectively plan and implement classroom learning activities that promote positive and meaningful engagement in learning.

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.

Learning Outcome NumberLearning Outcome DescriptionRelevant Graduate Capabilities
LO1Apply key theories and pedagogical approaches/strategies that support the creation of effective and engaging learning environments that positively influence students’ motivation and engagementGC1, GC2, GC7, GC8
LO2Synthesise key theories, relevant policies and practical strategies that support the positive management of challenging learner behaviourGC1, GC2, GC4, GC7, GC8
LO3Implement safe, responsible and ethical usage of ICTs and digital learning resources and their role in facilitating and enhancing learningGC1, GC2, GC7, GC8, GC10
LO4Achieve a successful professional experience in a classroom setting, engage in critical reflection and respond to feedback from colleagues and supervisors to improve teaching practiceGC1, GC2, GC3, GC4, GC7, GC8, GC10, GC11, GC12

Australian Professional Standards for Teachers - Graduate Level

On successful completion of this unit, pre-service teachers should have developed the following industry specific knowledge based on the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers - Graduate Level standards:

Industry StandardRelating toRelevant Learning Outcome
APST(GA)1.1Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of physical, social and intellectual development and characteristics of students and how these may affect learning.LO1, LO2, LO4
APST(GA)1.2Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of research into how students learn and the implications for teaching.LO1, LO2
APST(GA)2.1Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the concepts, substance and structure of the content and teaching strategies of the teaching area.LO4
APST(GA)2.2Organise content into an effective learning and teaching sequence.LO4
APST(GA)2.3Use curriculum, assessment and reporting knowledge to design learning sequences and lesson plans.LO4
APST(GA)2.5Know and understand literacy and numeracy teaching strategies and their application in teaching areas.LO4
APST(GA)3.1Set learning goals that provide achievable challenges for students of varying abilities and characteristics.LO1, LO4
APST(GA)3.2Plan lesson sequences using knowledge of student learning, content and effective teaching strategies.LO4
APST(GA)3.3Include a range of teaching strategies.LO4
APST(GA)3.4Demonstrate knowledge of a range of resources, including ICT, that engage students in their learning.LO3, LO4
APST(GA)3.5Demonstrate a range of verbal and non-verbal communication strategies to support student engagement.LO4
APST(GA)3.7Describe a broad range of strategies for involving parents/carers in the educative process.LO2
APST(GA)4.1Identify strategies to support inclusive student participation and engagement in classroom activities.LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4
APST(GA)4.2Demonstrate the capacity to organise classroom activities and provide clear directions.LO1, LO4
APST(GA)4.3Demonstrate knowledge of practical approaches to manage challenging behaviour.LO2, LO4
APST(GA)4.4Describe strategies that support students’ wellbeing and safety working within school and/or system, curriculum and legislative requirements.LO2, LO4
APST(GA)4.5Demonstrate an understanding of the relevant issues and the strategies available to support the safe, responsible and ethical use of ICT in learning and teaching.LO3, LO4
APST(GA)5.1Demonstrate understanding of assessment strategies, including informal and formal, diagnostic, formative and summative approaches to assess student learning.LO4
APST(GA)5.2Demonstrate an understanding of the purpose of providing timely and appropriate feedback to students about their learning.LO4
APST(GA)6.1Demonstrate an understanding of the role of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers in identifying professional learning needs.LO4
APST(GA)6.2Understand the relevant and appropriate sources of professional learning for teachers.LO4
APST(GA)6.3Seek and apply constructive feedback from supervisors and teachers to improve teaching practices.LO4
APST(GA)7.1Understand and apply the key principles described in codes of ethics and conduct for the teaching profession.LO2, LO4
APST(GA)7.2Understand the relevant legislative, administrative and organisational policies and processes required for teachers according to school stage.LO2, LO4
APST(GA)7.3Understand strategies for working effectively, sensitively and confidentially with parents/carers.LO2, LO4


Topics will include:

  • An introduction to a range of teaching/learning strategies that support inclusive student participation, engagement and the finding of relevance in what they learn. Such strategies may include:
  • Discovery learning
  • Problem-based learning
  • Dynamic discussions
  • Autonomous learning
  • Collaborative learning
  • Guided experimentation
  • Simulation
  • Role-playing
  • Negotiating autonomy and accountability
  • Self-assessment
  • Advanced approaches to classroom communication and organization
  • The use of ICTs to facilitate and enhance learning
  • Classroom management – philosophies and strategies for working with difficult classes and with individuals that demonstrate more challenging behaviour
  • Evaluative processes to enhance teaching and learning in order to build reflective practice based on a range of sources of evidence

The Professional Experience:

  • Teacher self-care: physical and mental wellbeing and building resilience
  • Planning, teaching and classroom management skills
  • Observation, reflection and applying constructive feedback as strategies that guide professional learning and growth

Learning and teaching 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 teaching period. This includes reading and preparation of assessments, and a professional experience placement.

This unit applies a social constructivist approach to develop pre-service teachers’ understanding of the complexities of the teacher’s role through engagement in a range of learning activities such as reading, reflection, discussion, and engagement with webinars, podcasts and video resources. Knowledge of curriculum and teaching strategies and planning skills are introduced and developed through designing learning experiences and lesson plans appropriate for the educational context. The placement enables pre-service teachers to observe and engage with experienced practitioners and to make links between theory and its application to the learning environment. The learning and teaching strategies may include:

  • Formal online weekly input by the teaching team
  • Input from guests (e.g., early career teachers, experienced teachers, school leaders)
  • Online activities.

The unit is hosted on a Learning Management System (LMS) site with resources and online links, announcements, and a discussion board to post questions and reflections that promote connection between content and educational experiences.


Mode of delivery: This unit may be offered in different modes to cater to the learning needs and preferences of a range of participants.


Learning activities are delivered through a planned mix of online and in-person classes, which may include full-day sessions and/or placements, to enable interaction. Activities that require attendance will appear in a student’s timetable.

Online unscheduled

Learning activities are accessible anytime, anywhere. These units are normally delivered fully online and will not appear in a student’s timetable. 

Online scheduled

All learning activities are held online, at scheduled times, and will require some attendance to enable online interaction. Activities will appear in a student’s timetable.

ACU Online 

In ACU Online mode, this unit is delivered asynchronously, fully online using an active, guided learning approach. Pre-service teachers are encouraged to contribute to asynchronous weekly discussions and receive regular and timely feedback on their learning. 


Within this Effective Teaching unit pre-service teachers will undertake, in pairs where possible, a Professional Experience Placement comprising 20 days in a secondary school setting (with at least 15 days of continuous engagement ie., ‘a block’).

Pre-service teachers will develop the habit of critically reflective practice through guided reflection upon their observations of their class and the educational setting. In collaboration with their supervising teachers and other professional colleagues, they will develop basic teaching skills through assisting in the delivery of high-quality teaching episodes and teaching small groups and whole classes. They will critically reflect upon their teaching, and self-audit their progression and attainment of key teaching skills and standards.

Required Teaching Experience

The following engagements are recommended across the 20-day placement for pre-service teachers undertaking professional experience placement in a primary or secondary school.

School settings: DAYS 1–5 Single days (e.g., once per week) OR incorporated into the block of 15 days

  • Day 1-3 Proposed Teaching Expectations
  • Assisted immersion in school and class contexts to begin to experience aspects of the secondary school teacher’s role and responsibilities
  • Structured observation and small group/team teaching
  • Assisting the supervising teacher in the teaching and learning process
  • Self-auditing and evaluation
  • Days 3-5
  • Structured observation and small group/team teaching
  • One – two lessons/learning experiences per day, leading to whole class teaching
  • Self-auditing and evaluation

School settings: DAYS 6–20 Block practicum

  • Days 6-10 Proposed Teaching Expectations
  • Planning for teaching; Observation and small group/team teaching
  • Two whole class lessons/learning experiences per day plus managing class routines
  • Self-auditing and evaluation

  • Days 11-20 Planning for teaching
  • Initially half days of teaching, plus managing class routines, increasing to approaching 0.8 of fulltime teaching load by the end of the placement
  • Management of class routines
  • Extra-curricular activities
  • Self-auditing and evaluation


Assessment strategy and rationale

The assessment load and weighting of the assessments in this unit have been designed to incorporate the professional experience. The written assessment load in this unit has been adjusted accordingly.

A range of assessment procedures are used to help the pre-service teacher to progressively demonstrate achievement of the unit learning outcomes and develop graduate attributes and academic standards consistent with University assessment requirements. The Effective Teaching units in this course focus on developing understanding of, and skills across the domains of professional knowledge, practice and engagement needed to meet expectations of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (APST): Graduate level.

The assessments in this unit focus on understanding the profession of teaching and the facilitation of pre-service teachers’ development of their communication and teaching skills.

Minimum Achievement Standards

To achieve a passing standard in this unit, students must 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. Pre-service teachers are required to demonstrate achievement of learning outcomes by submitting all assessment tasks.

Assessments in this unit include a Critical Task: Assessment Task 2 – Behaviour Management

This task is core to the demonstration of a number of Australian Professional Teacher Standards.  Pre-service teachers must demonstrate mastery of every summative Graduate Teacher Standard identified and attain a score of at least 50% in Task 2 and obtain a combined score of at least 50%. In addition, pre-service teachers must attain a Pass in the two hurdle tasks. The first hurdle comprises a collection of preparatory tasks that must be completed to a high standard prior to commencement of the placement. The second hurdle task is the Professional Experience Placement – which is assessed on a pass/fail basis.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate CapabilitiesStandards

Assessment Task 1: Learner Engagement

Critically examine three challenging issues related to the engagement of learners in the secondary school years. Note: One issue MUST focus on an aspect of ICTs in learning.

 The chosen issues must:

  • Demonstrate a critical understanding of student characteristics and learning needs
  • Be focused on adolescence and the secondary school years
  • Draw on, and synthesize, key theories and appropriate pedagogical approaches/strategies
  • Extend beyond the assigned readings and content presented in this unit (i.e., submission is not to be just a summary of the readings).
  • <


LO1, LO3GC1, GC2, GC7, GC8, GC10APST(GA)1.1, APST(GA)1.2, APST(GA)3.1, APST(GA)3.4, APST(GA)4.1, APST(GA)4.2, APST(GA)4.5

Assessment Task 2: Behaviour Management

Critical Task

Pre-service teachers will be provided with a scenario that will describe a ‘critical incident’ incorporating challenging behaviour. Develop a rationale and research-informed plan for inclusive strategies for supporting students’ wellbeing and safety, fostering positive learner engagement and managing challenging behaviour in this setting. Within the rationale include relevant legislative, administrative and organisational policies and processes. In formulating your plan, consider the physical, social and intellectual development and characteristics of the learners within the scenario, as well as their linguistic, cultural, religious and socio-economic backgrounds.


LO1, LO2, LO3GC1, GC2, GC4, GC7, GC8, GC10APST(GA)1.1, APST(GA)1.2, APST(GA)3.1, APST(GA)3.4, APST(GA)3.7, APST(GA)4.1, APST(GA)4.2, APST(GA)4.3, APST(GA)4.4, APST(GA)4.5, APST(GA)7.1, APST(GA)7.2, APST(GA)7.3

Hurdle Requirement 1: Preparation for the Professional Experience Placement

Prior to commencing the Professional Experience placement, pre-service teachers must ensure that they have completed the series of compulsory online preparation modules in the current calendar year, and their ‘Working with Children check’ is current. 


LO1, LO2GC1, GC2, GC4, GC7, GC8APST(GA)1.1, APST(GA)1.2, APST(GA)3.1, APST(GA)3.7, APST(GA)4.1, APST(GA)4.2, APST(GA)4.3, APST(GA)4.4, APST(GA)7.1, APST(GA)7.2, APST(GA)7.3

Hurdle Requirement 2: Professional Experience Assessment & Evidence Folder

Pre-service teachers must demonstrate attainment of the relevant Australian Professional Standards for Teachers: Graduate within a secondary school setting. Refer to Professional Experience Handbook and Report.


A pass grade for this task will be awarded following:

  • the successful completion of 20 professional experience days and,
  • submission of a satisfactory Professional Experience Assessment Report



  • Multiple attempts at this hurdle task are not permitted.
  • Professional Experience is a mandated part of Initial Teacher Education courses. Failing this task will result in a fail grade for the unit overall and pre-service teachers will be required to enrol in a future offering of the unit. 


LO4GC1, GC2, GC3, GC4, GC7, GC8, GC10, GC11, GC12APST(GA)1.1, APST(GA)2.1, APST(GA)2.2, APST(GA)2.3, APST(GA)2.5, APST(GA)3.1, APST(GA)3.2, APST(GA)3.3, APST(GA)3.4, APST(GA)3.5, APST(GA)4.1, APST(GA)4.2, APST(GA)4.3, APST(GA)4.4, APST(GA)4.5, APST(GA)5.1, APST(GA)5.2, APST(GA)6.1, APST(GA)6.2, APST(GA)6.3, APST(GA)7.1, APST(GA)7.2, APST(GA)7.3

Representative texts and references

Required text(s)

Australian Curriculum

Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA)

Relevant State and Territory curriculum documents. 

Recommended references

Allison, S., & Tharby, A. (2020). Making every lesson count: Six principles to support great teaching and learning. Crown House Publishing.

Churchill, R., Keddie, A., Apps, T., Batt, J., Beckman, K., Grainger, P., et al. (2021). Teaching: Making a difference (5th ed.). John Wiley & Sons.

Ewing, R., Glass, C., Kervin, L., Gobby, B., & Le Cornu, R. (2020). Teaching: Dilemmas, challenges and opportunities (6th ed.). Cengage Learning Australia.

Gutierrez, A., Fox, J., & Alexander, C. (2019). Professionalism and teacher education: Voices from policy and practice. Springer Singapore.

Kauchak D., & Eggen, P. (2017). Introduction to teaching: Becoming a professional (6th ed.). Pearson.

Lemov. D. (2021). Teach like a champion 2.0: 62 Techniques that put students on the path to college. Jossey-Bass.

Mayer, D., (Ed.). (2021). Teacher education policy and research: Global perspectives. Springer.

Mentz, E., De Beer, J., Petersen, N., Van Vuuren, H., Botha, C., Botha, L., et al. (2020). Becoming a teacher: Research on the work-integrated learning of student teachers. AOSIS.  

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