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ED5955 - Learners and Learning in Secondary School Contexts

Credit points: 3
Year: 2021
Student Contribution Band: Band 1
Administered by: College of Arts, Society & Education

The primary goal of this subject is to foster GSTs understanding of learners and the learning process within the secondary school context. GSTs will examine the philosophical antecedents of theoretical models of development and learning and critically apply the most empirically established models explaining human development and behaviour. GSTs will examine current research and basic understanding of intelligence, motivation, special needs, well-being (including mental health issues, bullying, and domestic violence) and recent neuroscience related to learning and development. In order to interpret course concepts critically, GSTs will engage and reflect on constructivist, behaviourist and humanistic approaches to learning. Upon completion of this subject, through the professional knowledge acquired and professional practice experiences provided, GSTs will be able to approach the art and science of teaching with expertise in diverse learning contexts and for diverse learners, with attention to planning, behaviour support, assessment and management and with an awareness of contemporary issues identified as significantly impacting on student well- being. They will have reflected on the dispositions necessary to engage in professional practice in curriculum, and teaching and learning design to enhance the experience of their students. Using expert specialised technical skills elaborated through this subject, the GST will be able to independently and ethically research, apply and critically evaluate new and established theories and their utility to diverse teaching practices and learners. As a result, they will be better equipped to respond appropriately to diverse learners and to enhance their academic and social outcomes. Associated with this subject are 15 days of Professional Experience in a secondary school in which GSTs complete a range of activities introducing them to the elements of the Graduate Teacher APST, grounded especially in the foundations of educational, social and developmental psychology.

Learning Outcomes

  • Demonstrate dispositions necessary to constructively engage in professional practice in curriculum, teaching and learning design based on professional knowledge of learners and communities;
  • Demonstrate the ability to appraise information critically, develop problem-solving skills and adapt knowledge to new situations;
  • Demonstrate the ability to critique and apply developmental and learning theories to classroom practices such as lesson planning, assessment student engagement and behaviour management;
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of legislation and regulatory frameworks, theories and concepts informing teaching and learning for diverse learners, including those with disabilities;
  • Demonstrate the ability to critically use theory to explore and respond to authentic problem-based scenarios.

Subject Assessment

  • Written > Examination (centrally administered) - (40%) - Individual
  • Written > Test/Quiz 1 - (10%) - Individual
  • Written > Research report - (50%) - Individual.

Special Assessment Requirements

The completion of the required total days of 15 (consecutive 5 days + consecutive 10 days) attendance and submission of a Satisfactory grading - Minimum of Developing Adequately in all descriptors for both the Professional Experience Reports, Preliminary and Final, is a requirement to pass this subject. Completion of 7 Integrated Course Work Contextual Days. Attendance at Professional Experience Workshops is an essential component of the integrated Program for Professional Practice.

Introductory subject in educational psychology, so no previous knowledge of the field assumed
Prerequisites: N/A
Corequisites: N/A


Cairns, Study Period 1, Internal
Census Date 25-Mar-2021
Coord/Lect: Assoc. Professor Helen Boon.
Workload expectations:
  • 10 hours online collaboration sessions
  • 10 hours online content
  • 4 hours placement
  • 15 days professional Experience

Townsville, Study Period 1, Internal
Census Date 25-Mar-2021
Coord/Lect: Assoc. Professor Helen Boon.
Workload expectations:
  • 10 hours online collaboration sessions
  • 10 hours online content
  • 4 hours placement
  • 15 days professional Experience

Note: Minor variations might occur due to the continuous Subject quality improvement process, and in case of minor variation(s) in assessment details, the Subject Outline represents the latest official information.