Learning Area Psychology 1

Subject EDUC90471 (2015)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2015.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2015:

February, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 09-Feb-2015 to 29-May-2015
Assessment Period End 26-Jun-2015
Last date to Self-Enrol 03-Mar-2015
Census Date 13-Mar-2015
Last date to Withdraw without fail 08-May-2015

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 36 hours
Total Time Commitment:

170 hours


Teacher Candidates must meet the minimum academic study requirements for teaching in specialist areas, in accordance with the Victorian Institute of Teaching's Specialist Area Guidelines, for entry into this subject.

Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry.

The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison website: http://www.services.unimelb.edu.au/disability


Dr Daniela Acquaro, Miss Carly Sparrow


Contact Us
Call: 13 MELB (13 6352)

Subject Overview:

This subject explores teaching and learning of psychology in secondary schools. It develops teacher candidates’ understanding of the place of this learning area in a range of curricula, within Victoria and Australia and internationally. These include VCE, IB and general science courses. It highlights curriculum issues, contextual influences and implications for teaching and learning of psychology.

The subject encourages teacher candidates to critically reflect on a variety of theoretical frameworks and practices used within psychology; and explore important issues, such as the increasing concerns about ethical issues in the conduct of psychological research. There will be a strong emphasis on connections with school experience and core subjects. By considering the principles and research of learning and teaching that underpin effective classrooms, links between assessment and curriculum and purposeful planning are examined and connected to evidence-based decision making. Teacher candidates work collaboratively to build understanding of the psychology teachers’ role to individualise and optimise student learning in a supportive classroom community.

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this subject teacher candidates will be able to:

  • Understand the nature of psychology and the nature and scope of Psychology as it is taught in secondary schools.
  • Appreciate the place of this learning area in Victorian, Australian and international curriculum at both senior and younger year levels.
  • Plan and organise purposeful lessons that focus on intervention strategies to optimize student learning and therefore cater for diverse range of learners. As such, collect evidence of student learning, a variety of teaching/learning strategies for specific purposes; select and use appropriate resources; and assess and report student learning.
  • Make explicit links between theory and practice to inform their interventionist teaching practice.
  • Foster an interest in and positive attitude toward the understanding of human nature.
  • To design learning which explores the capacity of psychology to address cultural diversity, individual differences and nurture positive and healthy decision making in everyday life.
  • To use a range of strategies to teach literacy in the context of psychology, eg critique of a range of textbooks, consideration of literacy, psychological literacy and psychologically literate citizens, and consideration of a range of strategies to aid reading stems in questions.
  • To use a range of strategies to teach numeracy in the context of psychology, eg use of qualitative and quantitative date, statistical analysis within research investigations and evaluating research.
  • Understand the importance of ethical considerations in teaching and learning psychology and act accordingly.
  • Demonstrate the knowledge, skills and abilities to use ICT to support student learning and professional practice.
  • Reflect critically on their own learning and teaching of psychology and identify implications for their own professional growth.
  • Embrace the opportunity to work as part of a team and work collaboratively with colleagues.

The subject covers a range of the National Professional Standards for Teachers (for Graduate Teachers). In particular, the subject will contribute to students attaining the following standards:

1.2 Understand how students learn
1.5 Differentiate teaching to meet the specific learning needs of students across the full range of abilities
2.1 Content and teaching strategies of the teaching area
2.2 Content selection and organisation
2.3 Curriculum, assessment and reporting
3.1 Establish challenging learning goals
3.2 Plan, structure and sequence learning programs
3.3 Use teaching strategies
3.4 Select and use resources
3.5 Use effective classroom communication
3.6 Evaluate and improve teaching programs
4.1 Support student participation
4.2 Manage classroom activities
4.4 Maintain student safety
4.5 Use ICT safely, responsibly and ethically
5.1 Assess student learning
5.2 Provide feedback to students on their learning
5.3 Make consistent and comparable judgements
5.4 Interpret student data
6.4 Apply professional learning and improve student learning
7.1 Meet professional ethics and responsibilities


There are three assessment tasks:

  • Reflective piece of written work (1000 words) due week 4, 25%
  • Annotated lesson plan (1000 words) due week 9, 25%
  • A unit of work (2000 words) due end of semester, 50%

Hurdle requirement: Students are required to complete four discussion board postings set over the duration of the course. The postings extend on the topics and issues discussed in tutorials and link to the school experience. They require students to personally and critically reflect on the topics in terms of teaching and learning of psychology. The hurdle task encourages a collaborative network as they provide an excellent opportunity for students to build their professional knowledge, share and critically reflect on their perspectives and teaching and learning experiences in a supportive environment. Each post will be approximately 250 words and should be completed within the set time.

Attendance at all classes (tutorial/seminars/practical classes/lectures/labs) is obligatory. Failure to attend 80% of classes will normally result in failure in the subject.

Prescribed Texts:

VCAA, Psychology VCE Study Design. 2012 (available online)

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

On completion of this subject, teacher candidates will have the knowledge, skills and understanding to enable them to:

  • Be highly-skilled teachers who demonstrate the professional capabilities to meet the individual needs of diverse learners using interventionist practice.
  • Understand the significance of developing their practice on the basis of research evidence.
  • Be skilled communicators who can effectively articulate and justify their practices and connect practice to theory.
  • Work in teams with skills in cooperation, communication and negotiation.
  • Have a conscious personal and social values base
Links to further information: www.education.unimelb.edu.au
Related Course(s): Master of Teaching (Secondary)
Master of Teaching (Secondary)

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