Credit points


Campus offering

Find out more about study modes.

Unit offerings may be subject to minimum enrolment numbers.

Please select your preferred campus.

  • Term Mode
  • Semester 2Online Scheduled




EDIE443 Children and Young People at Risk

Unit rationale, description and aim

Special Education is one of the more challenging, dynamic, growing areas of education and is reflected in early childhood, primary and secondary learning contexts with many students with disability and diverse needs requiring high-quality differentiated teaching and personalised learning approaches. Evidenced-based, research-informed scholarly practice is promoted in careful planning, delivering and evaluating universally designed programs to engage all students in achieving their goals, particularly those often marginalised. In this specialisation, pre-service teachers are encouraged to work collaboratively with students, their families and other professionals to build whole-of-community networking, designed to improve each student’s cross-curricula lifelong learning outcomes and wellbeing.

This unit will focus on the identification and provision of services for those children and young people considered to be at risk of harm. It extends pre-service teachers’ preparation as mandatory reporters of child abuse. It is intended that participants in this unit will have an understanding of the wide range of child protection issues including sexual abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse, neglect, domestic violence and bullying. Participants will also explore the context of prevention for a range of risk situations and the implementation of personal safety programs. Legislative and policy reform in the area of child protection and wellbeing is also addressed within the context of prevention.

The aim of this unit is to extend pre-service teachers’ knowledge and skills in providing supportive and challenging learning environments for vulnerable children and young people.

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
LO1Demonstrate understanding of the context of prevention and the implementation of teaching and management practices to reduce risk and enhance protective factors within classrooms and school communities (APST 1.3, 2.1, 2.2, 2.6, 4.1; AECECQA A2, A3, A4, A5, A6, A7, A8, B1, B2)GC1, GC2, GC3, GC5, GC6, GC7, GC8, GC9, GC10, GC11, GC12
LO2Understand the individual and collective ethical and legal responsibilities of teachers with regard to sexual abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse, neglect and domestic violence (APST 7.1, 7.4; ACECQA C1, C3, C4, C5, C7)GC1, GC5, GC6, GC9, GC10, GC11
LO3Demonstrate understanding of the need to be reflective about and sensitive to the dignity, diversity, strengths and particular needs of vulnerable children and young people with disability, challenging behaviours and learning difficulties, their families and carers (APST 1.3, 4.3, 5.2, 7.3; ACECQA D4, D5)GC1, GC2, GC3, GC4, GC5, GC6, GC7, GC9, GC10, GC11
LO4Critically examine definitions of risk, vulnerability and resilience in relevant legislation and practice guidelines and research in ethical, informed decision-making (APST 4.4, 7.1; ACECQA E2, E3)GC1, GC2, GC3, GC4, GC5, GC6, GC7, GC8, GC9, GC10, GC11
LO5Identify and critically appraise community and student-based prevention and intervention strategies and available assistance for addressing high needs and creating supportive learning environments for differing groups of vulnerable children and young people with disability, challenging behaviours and learning difficulties (APST 1.3, 1.5, 4.1, 6.2, 7.4; ACECQA F4)GC1, GC2, GC3, GC4, GC5, GC6, GC7, GC8, GC9, GC10, GC11, GC12


On successful completion of this unit, pre-service teachers should be able to:

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.

2.6 Implement teaching strategies for using ICT to expand curriculum learning opportunities for students.

4.1 Identify strategies to support inclusive student participation and engagement in classroom activities.

4.3 Demonstrate knowledge of practical approaches to manage challenging behaviour.

4.4 Describe strategies that support students’ well-being and safety working within school and/or system, curriculum and legislative requirements.

5.2 Demonstrate an understanding of the purpose of providing timely and appropriate feedback to students about their learning.

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

7.1 Understand and apply the key principles described in codes of ethics and conduct for the teaching profession.

7.3 Understand strategies for working effectively, sensitively and confidentially with parents/carers.

7.4 Understand the role of external professionals and community representatives in broadening teachers’ professional knowledge and practice.


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

A. Child development and care

A2. Language development

A3. Social and emotional development

A4. Child health, wellbeing and safety

A5. Early intervention

A6. Diversity, difference and inclusivity

A7. Learners with special/additional needs

A8. Transitions and continuity of learning (including transition to school)

B. Education and curriculum studies

B1. Early Years Learning Framework

B2. The Australian curriculum

C. Teaching pedagogies

C1. Alternative pedagogies and curriculum approaches

C3. Guiding behaviour/engaging young learners

C4. Teaching methods and strategies

C5. Children with diverse needs and backgrounds

C7. Contemporary society and pedagogy

D. Families and community contexts

D4. Socially inclusive practice

D5. Culture, diversity and inclusion

E. History and philosophy of early childhood

E2. Contemporary theories and practice

E3. Ethics and professional practice

F. Early childhood professional practice

F4. Advocacy


Content will be designed to ensure that students can achieve the learning outcomes for the unit. Topics may include: 

  • Philosophy underpinning inclusive and supportive practice 
  • Identification of children with disability, challenging behaviours and learning difficulties (protective and risk factors)
  • Classification of needs including mental health diagnoses such as ASD, ADHD, CD, ODD
  • Relevant national, state and education system legislation, practice guidelines and services
  • Legal and ethical responsibilities of teachers including Disability Standards, anti-discrimination legislation, mandatory reporting procedures and working effectively with parents/carers
  • The context for prevention programs and strategies, including wellbeing and resilience
  • Incidence and indicators of different forms of abuse and risk including sexual abuse, physical abuse, neglect and emotional abuse
  • Bullying and sexual harassment – Anti-bullying school wide approaches
  • Mental health, trauma-informed and strength-based strategies
  • Support in and beyond schools
  • Educational support for children and young people living in out of home care
  • Situational risk prevention strategies and critical incident management plans
  • Teaching and learning principles and practices in inclusive and specialised settings including identifying functional needs and planning adjustments including assistive and digital technologies,
  • Building supportive, competency and strength-based environments for children and young people with disability, challenging behaviours and learning difficulties.

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

This unit may be offered on-campus, online or in a multi-mode.

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 comprising of directed tasks and self-study. An emphasis is placed on pre-service teachers as adult learners with responsibility for their own learning and problem solving. The learning in this unit Is inquiry-based, learner-focused and student centred.

Assessment strategy and rationale

A range of assessment procedures will be used to meet the unit learning outcomes and develop graduate attributes consistent with University assessment requirements and the development of Australian Professional Standards for Teachers. Such procedures may include, but are not limited to, essays, reports, examinations, online activities, visits to agencies and services, student presentations and case studies.

Minimum Achievement Standard

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 gain an overall pass result.

Electronic Submission, Marking and Return

Electronic submission and marking of assignments through Turnitin will be used.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning Outcomes

Assessment Task 1

Explore and report on a topic related to a particular category of children and young people with high wellbeing and learning needs relating to disability, challenging behaviours and learning difficulties, including the nature of the issues faced by these children and their families/carers, the relevant risk and protective factors, available support and implications for teachers working with vulnerable children and young people and their families/carers in child safe ways.


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5

Assessment Task 2

Detailed report on school, classroom and individual strategies to support children and young people with high wellbeing and learning needs relating to disability, challenging behaviours and learning difficulties, reflecting on effective ways to:

  • Support students with particular medical diagnosis
  • Support student wellbeing and resilience
  • Address bullying, discrimination

Use ICT and other resources to support and expand learning opportunities for learners through adjustment to of learning materials.


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO5

Representative texts and references

Required text(s)

Australian Curriculum

Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA)

Recommended references

Ashman, A. F. (Ed.). (2019). Education for inclusion and diversity (6th ed.). Melbourne, Vic: Pearson Australia.

Australian Government Department of Education and Training. (2018). The Australian student wellbeing framework. Author.

Australian Human Rights Commission. (2018). National statement of principles for child safe organisations.

Australian Institute of Family Studies. (2018). What is child abuse and neglect? Child Family Community Australia (CFCA). Author.

Berger, E. (2019). Multi-tiered approaches to trauma-informed care in schools: A systematic review. School Mental Health. 11 (4) pp650-664.

Victorian Department of Education and Training. Resilience, rights and respectful relationships. Author.

Walsh, K., Zwi, K., Woolfenden, S., & Shlonsky, A. (2016). Assessing the effectiveness of school-based sexual abuse prevention programs, Family Matters, pp.5–15.

Have a question?

We're available 9am–5pm AEDT,
Monday to Friday

If you’ve got a question, our AskACU team has you covered. You can search FAQs, text us, email, live chat, call – whatever works for you.

Live chat with us now

Chat to our team for real-time
answers to your questions.

Launch live chat

Visit our FAQs page

Find answers to some commonly
asked questions.

See our FAQs