ECU Web Unit Outline
Full Unit Outline - Enrolment Approved Friday, 15 June 2012
This unit outline may be updated and amended immediately prior to semester. To ensure you have the correct outline, please check it again at the beginning of semester.
UNIT TITLE Teaching in Diverse Australian Schools
MODE OF DELIVERY DETAILS Both on-campus and residency mode of delivery available. Selected Pre-service Teachers may complete some aspects of the unit within the residency schools as part of the residency mode of delivery.
  This version of the unit will be offered from 13/06/2012


The unit examines a range of issues that may influence the effectiveness of teachers and their work in Australian schools, including school climate; school systems and policies; curriculum reforms; how well schools respond to issues of equity, justice, diversity; and, the economic, social, cultural and technological changes that confront schools in society. In taking a broad view of diversity and challenges confronting teachers and schools the unit examines youth culture, ethnicity, social class and gender. Against backdrop of change, the unit also examines some traditional images of teaching and considers their appropriateness to contemporary forms and knowledge of work.   The unit also reviews how teachers, as key contributors to the social institution called ‘schooling,’ are intimately involved, not only in the instruction and care of young people, but in the politics of education – locally and globally.


On completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Explain how schools developed in Australia and assess the nature of change confronting Australian schools in the 21st Century;
  2. Critically consider the notion that “teaching is a collegial act requiring collaboration; a moral act founded on an ethic of care; and, an act of inquiry, reflection and ‘political action”;
  3. Explain how life in Australian schools and classrooms is influenced by structural inequalities, institutionalised discrimination, cultural diversity and ideologies of the wider society that they serve;
  4. Critically analyse policies relating to social justice and equity in education with respect to indigenous and multi-cultural education, social class, ethnicity and gender, and youth transition and identity; and, 
  5. Develop an effective learning environment in classrooms and schools for all students by taking into account class, gender, ethnicity and indigenous Australians.
  1. Teaching involves understanding the historical trends in education that have influenced the way we teach today.
  2. Teaching occurs in a diverse range of schools in Australia; these schools have a unique history in our country, and they are embroiled in change.
  3. Teaching involves meeting the needs of a diverse range of learners, taking account of differences based on attributes such as ethnicity, culture, gender, social class and intellectual and physical capabilities.
  4. Teaching is about understanding and working effectively in an environment of power and authority in a school, especially as we work in diverse communities of culture and ideologies, and requires collaboration and reflection by teachers.
  5. Teachersí effectiveness is increasingly judged according to trends in globalisation and world standards and expectations.

Lectures, tutorials, workshops, direct observations, microteaching.


The following graduate attributes will be developed in this unit:


  • Ability to communicate
  • Ability to work in teams
  • Ability to generate ideas
  • Cross-cultural and international outlook



Grading Schema 1
Students please note: The marks and grades received by students on assessments may be subject to further moderation. All marks and grades are to be considered provisional until endorsed by the relevant Board of Examiners.


On-Campus Assessment




Challenge Scenarios 1



Challenge Scenarios 2


Where appropriate, assessments in the residency pathway may vary from the above, in order to reflect the residency school learning context.

In order to pass this unit students are required to demonstrate satisfactory performance in each of the formal assessment activities and fulfil the attendance requirement. Policy of the School of Education requires that students attend a minimum of 80% of the designated lecture /workshop sessions. Failure to do so may result in exclusion from the unit.
Churchill, R et al (2011) Teaching Making a Difference hard copy or e-book Pearson
Barry, Kevin & Len King. (2000). Beginning teaching and beyond. (3rd ed.). Australia: Social Science Press.
Crowther, Frank (2002). Developing teacher leaders. California: Corwin Press.
Cumming, J., & Carbines, B. (1997). Reforming schools through workplace learning. Ryde, NSW: National Schools Network.
George, Paul S. (2003). The Exemplay middle school. Australia: Thomson.
Irving, T., Maunders, B. & Sherington, G. (1995). Youth in Australia: Policy, administration and politics. Melbourne: Macmillan.
Jackson, A. (Chair). 1999. Planning for middle schooling in Western Australia. Ministerial Committee on Middle Schooling. Perth: Department of Education Services.
Kenway, J. & Willis S. (1997). Answering back: Girls, boys and Feminism in schools. Sydney: Allen and Unwin.
Kroll, Linda R. (2005). Teaching as principled practice: Managing complexity for social justice. London: SAGE Publications.
Rice, F. P. (1996). The adolescent: Development, relationships and culture. (8th ed.). Massachusetts: Allyn and Bacon.
Welch, A. (1996). Australian education: Reform or crisis? Sydney: Allen and Unwin.
Disability Standards for Education (Commonwealth 2005)
For the purposes of considering a request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Commonwealth 2005), inherent requirements for this subject are articulated in the Unit Description, Learning Outcomes, Graduate Attributes and Assessment Requirements of this entry. The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the support for students with disabilities or medical conditions can be found at the Student Equity, Diversity and Disability Service website:

Academic Misconduct

Edith Cowan University has firm rules governing academic misconduct and there are substantial penalties that can be applied to students who are found in breach of these rules. Academic misconduct includes, but is not limited to:

  • plagiarism;
  • unauthorised collaboration;
  • cheating in examinations;
  • theft of other studentsí work.

Additionally, any material submitted for assessment purposes must be work that has not been submitted previously, by any person, for any other unit at ECU or elsewhere.

The ECU rules and policies governing all academic activities, including misconduct, can be accessed through the ECU website.

ECU Web Unit Outline