Course Outline

EDU115 Creative Expression and Play through the Arts

Course Coordinator:Alison Black ( School:School of Education and Tertiary Access

2022Semester 2


Online You can do this course without coming onto campus.

Please go to for up to date information on the
teaching sessions and campuses where this course is usually offered.

What is this course about?


This course will develop understanding of the Arts as a language—a way children both access and represent knowledge. You will examine how the Arts support communication, creativity and problem solving. You will consider the importance of the Arts for supporting children’s knowledge construction, play, needs, interests, development and learning. Your role as a curriculum decision-maker who uses skills and approaches responsive to children’s ways of knowing, and knowledge of curriculum documents connected to the Arts will be explored

How will this course be delivered?

Activity Hours Beginning Week Frequency
Learning materials – You are required to engage and interact with asynchronous materials and activities accessed through Canvas modules, course readings and required texts. 2hrs Week 1 10 times
Tutorial/Workshop 1 – Online only. The scheduled tutorials/workshops will involve synchronous technology-enabled learning and teaching experiences via Zoom. A mix of synchronous and asynchronous materials and activities accessed through Canvas will support online tutorials/workshops. Additional modalities may support learning in this course. 2hrs Week 1 10 times
Independent Study/Research – In addition to attending the online scheduled tutorials/workshops, engaging with the learning materials, and completing the assessable tasks, you are required to engage in self-directed learning using the Canvas course modules and current research/reading via USC library databases and the required/recommended textbooks and resources. 2hrs Week 1 10 times
Seminar – Online. To complement your weekly in-class learning, three informal ‘Get to know your cohort/Seminar events’ have been planned and will take place in Week 2, 4, 6 2hrs Week 1 3 times

Course Topics

  • The importance of play, imagination and creativity in learning
  • Teacher as curriculum decision maker
  • Curriculum documents: Early Years learning Framework (EYLF); Queensland Kindergarten Learning Guideline (QKLG); Australian Curriculum: The Arts (F-2) and arts subjects – visual arts, music, dance, drama and media arts
  • Developing children’s knowledge, skills, techniques, processes and dispositions to enable them to:
    • create, present and reflect on the Arts and technologies with confidence, skill, enjoyment and aesthetic awareness
    • express ideas, feelings and experiences through symbols, techniques, technologies and processes appropriate to the early years in each of the five strands of the Arts outlined in the ACARA curriculum documents
  • Communicating with an intended audience through the forms and processes of the Arts
  • Developing personal confidence and competencies through personal engagement with creative and media arts

What level is this course?

100 Level (Introductory)

Engaging with discipline knowledge and skills at foundational level, broad application of knowledge and skills in familiar contexts and with support. Limited or no prerequisites. Normally, associated with the first full-time study year of an undergraduate program.

What is the unit value of this course?

12 units

How does this course contribute to my learning?

Course Learning Outcomes On successful completion of this course, you should be able to... Graduate Qualities Mapping Completing these tasks successfully will contribute to you becoming... Professional Standard Mapping * Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership
1 Demonstrate an understanding of the Arts as a language and expressive medium for communicating ideas, feelings, diverse needs and interests Ethical
1.2, 1.3, 1.5, 2.1, 2.2, 2.6, 3.3, 3.4, 4.2
2 Demonstrate a variety of techniques and methodologies for fostering self-expression, creativity and communication through the Arts Knowledgeable
1.2, 1.3, 1.5, 2.1, 2.2, 2.6, 3.3, 3.4, 4.2
3 Interpret and implement arts learning experiences within a range of curriculum frameworks and settings for young children aged birth to 8 years Creative and critical thinker
1.2, 1.3, 1.5, 2.1, 2.2, 2.6, 3.3, 3.4, 4.2
4 Demonstrate and describe pedagogical approaches for planning, implementing, making judgements and reporting on children's learning in the Arts Empowered
1.2, 1.3, 1.5, 2.1, 2.2, 2.6, 3.3, 3.4, 4.2
5 Demonstrate an ability to use and apply effective communication strategies in a variety of contexts to produce and present quality and professional work. Engaged


* Competencies by Professional Body

Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership
1.2 Understand how students learn: Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of research into how students learn and the implications for teaching.
1.3 Students with diverse linguistic, cultural, religious and socioeconomic backgrounds: 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 Differentiate teaching to meet the specific learning needs of students across the full range of abilities: 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 Content and teaching strategies of the teaching area: Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the concepts, substance and structure of the content and teaching strategies of the teaching area
2.2 Content selection and organisation: Organise content into an effective learning and teaching sequence.
2.6 Information and Communication Technology (ICT): Implement teaching strategies for using ICT to expand curriculum learning opportunities for students.
3.3 Use teaching strategies: Include a range of teaching strategies.
3.4 Select and use resources: Demonstrate knowledge of a range of resources, including ICT, that engage students in their learning.
4.2 Manage classroom activities: Demonstrate the capacity to organise classroom activities and provide clear directions

Am I eligible to enrol in this course?

Refer to the UniSC Glossary of terms for definitions of “pre-requisites, co-requisites and anti-requisites”.


Enrolled in Program ED011 or ED303 or ED101


Not applicable


EDU335 and EDU235

Specific assumed prior knowledge and skills (where applicable)

Not applicable

How am I going to be assessed?

Grading Scale

Standard Grading (GRD)

High Distinction (HD), Distinction (DN), Credit (CR), Pass (PS), Fail (FL).

Details of early feedback on progress

Formative feedback and peer feedback will be provided prior to the final submission date. It is essential therefore that you maintain your folio each week, keeping it up to date, so that you are able to critique the quality and content of your own folio and the folios of your peers.

Assessment tasks

Delivery mode Task No. Assessment Product Individual or Group Weighting % What is the duration / length? When should I submit? Where should I submit it?
All 1 Portfolio Individual 50%
2000 words or equivalent + relevant artefacts
Throughout teaching period (refer to Format) Online Submission
All 2 Artefact - Creative Group 50%
5-minute video + 1 A4 page parent support handout (or equivalent format e.g Sway resource); 
2-minute photo story inclusive of two peer responses (2000-word equivalent)
Week 10 Online Submission
All - Assessment Task 1:Reflective Folio
The goal of this task is to demonstrate your developing knowledge of the Arts and your active engagement in ongoing reflection on the Arts as an expressive medium for communicating ideas, feelings, diverse needs and interests.
Product: Portfolio
Submit: Final submission due Friday 5pm, Week 8, but completed weekly as per below:

Using the recommended template provided in EDU115 you will build an e-portfolio which documents your understanding of the Arts as a language. Your folio requires you to attend to three aspects each week (Weeks 2 – 8):

1.	Each week in your folio you will engage in reflection which demonstrates your developing knowledge about the Arts in young children’s education, and your professional dialogue with the scholarly reading and research informing your developing educator understandings. In your reflections you will discuss the core messages of the course and actively make meaning about authentic arts education using course materials, textbooks, readings, and class workshops/learning material information. You will identify inspirational pedagogical ideas sourced from readings, course information, class workshops and your own research and experience. These will highlight your understandings about promoting creativity, self-expression, communication and aesthetic awareness in the lives of young children. 

2.	You will collect and present a range of inspirational images to show your ability to identify ways to create aesthetic invitations, open-ended challenges, provocations and learning environments that support children’s authentic engagement with the Arts. Your textbooks offer examples to support you as you think about the aesthetic features and design qualities of engaging environments that foster children’s self-expression, play, arts learning and communication. The reflection accompanying the examples you provide will demonstrate your developing knowledge of strategies that enhance aesthetic qualities of materials and spaces both indoors and outdoors. 

3.	You will demonstrate deliberate and committed efforts to engaging with the Arts in your own life. This will involve arts-making – your learning by being an artist – and arts-responding – your learning by being an audience and engaging in reflection and review processes of your own art-making and/or art traditions and artworks of notable artists which are influencing the possibilities of your own art-making adventures. Your folio will present visual evidence of your arts-making exploration and meaning-making and experimentation with materials, ideas, techniques, strategies and methodologies. You can use arts-making and arts-responding experiences you have engaged in during class workshops. Your folio will demonstrate you are developing your visual literacy and information literacy skills and dispositions, and valuing the skills, time and effort needed to produce, represent and communicate knowledge. What you include will document your developing understandings and application of arts knowledge, skills and processes. You will show you are making genuine attempts to respond, review and reflect on your own artwork, and the wider world of art and artists. 

Formative feedback and peer feedback will be provided prior to the final submission date. It is essential therefore that you maintain your folio each week, keeping it up to date, so that you are able to critique the quality and content of your own folio and the folios of peers. You are required to complete your folio weekly each Friday, Weeks 2-8 for formative feedback in tutorials. Final submission is due 5pm Friday Week 8 via the Rich Canvas Editor, Website URL or file upload in Canvas.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
​Identification of pedagogical approaches that value and support authentic arts education, creative expression and play in the early years
1 2 4
Discussion, and evidence of experimentation with a variety of ideas, techniques, methodologies, and aesthetic invitations/materials
1 2 3 4
Written and visual communication skills and academic literacies including English expression, grammar, spelling, punctuation, APA referencing conventions​, visual examples, resources and artefacts
All - Assessment Task 2:Multimedia Artefacts + peer responses
The goal of this task is to create an audio-visual resource that invites and facilitates authentic learning in the Arts; and one that evidences related reflection and review.
Product: Artefact - Creative
Submit final artefacts via Canvas, Friday 5pm, Week 10. Please note that the video resource needs to be ready to share in the tutorial Week 10. 

This assessment involves the creation of two multimedia artefacts – one audio-visual resource collectively created by your group (+ single page parent handout or equivalent), and one photo-story with voice-over created by you as an individual. For the group artefact all group members will receive the same mark out of a total 40%. For the individual artefact, you as an individual will receive an individual mark out of a total 10%.

Creative artefact 1 – audio-visual resource (5 minutes) (group task)

You will work collaboratively with a small group of peers to create an audio-visual resource where group members work together to convey ideas artistically in media forms and offer child-centred invitations for meaningful arts learning.  Your group’s audio-visual resource will facilitate authentic and child-centred arts-making and arts-responding experiences. Your resource will be aimed at children in the early years and focused on providing aesthetic learning invitations and open-ended challenges for children to use the Arts to make meaning about themselves and/or their world. Create a resource that could be used as a ‘learning@home’ resource by parents or early childhood educators in the event of a centre or school closure or a child’s absence from their classroom. 

In the creation of your resource you will apply the philosophies, theories and concepts discussed throughout the course. Your resource will demonstrate your ability to organise meaningful, authentic, child-centred experiences and open-ended challenges. 

The experiences and possibilities you invite will support children’s use of the Arts as an expressive medium for communicating ideas, feelings, diverse needs and interests as well as positioning children’s arts explorations in the context of the world of art – artists, artistic traditions and artworks. You will demonstrate you are aware of engaging teaching strategies that position children as creators, communicators and meaning-makers, have knowledge of a range of resources that engage children in their learning, and understand your role in guiding children through processes of responding, reflection and review. 

You will provide a single A4 page accompanying handout (or equivalent support) for parents. This handout will outline for parents:
- the focus of your resource invitation; 
- a short rationale which foregrounds the value of children's expression and ways of knowing, and communicates key messages about the Arts and the features of authentic arts education that are inherent in your resource invitation; 
- a description of key concepts and/or arts vocabulary your resource uses/emphasises; as well as the types of arts-making/arts-responding opportunities being valued in your resource invitation; 
- a suggested list of arts materials or related resources children can use as they engage with your resource; 
- any helpful strategies or open-ended questions for parents in terms of supporting children's arts-making and arts-responding; 
- connections to any notable artists and/or children's picture books; 
- useful links to artists or professional websites or to other resources that support the focus of your resource invitation; 
- extensions or modifications for younger or older age-groups if relevant.

In the tutorial in Week 10, your group will share your audio-visual resource in class and your peers will engage in the learning your resource invites by being an artist (arts-making) – developing ideas, exploring possibilities and creating artworks, and by being an audience (arts-responding) – reflecting on their own ideas/artwork, the ideas/artwork of their peers, and/or artworks, practices and traditions of art-making in the wider world.  You/a member of your group will also share your resources on Canvas (details will be provided in class) and offer a brief statement identifying the age group your resource is aimed at, the Arts focus or key concepts being explored, a list of any required materials, and the names of your group members. Your peers will engage in reflection and review of your resource and their experience of your resource (see next section).

Creative artefact 2 – photo story evidence and reflection with voice-over (2 minutes) (individual task)

Additionally, you are required to provide a separate individual 2-minute photo story with voice-over to evidence your contribution over time to this group task and your reflection and review of the art-making process. Your photo story will serve as a visual work diary/record which documents your participation in and active contribution to your group’s team meetings, planning, researching, resourcing, development and production of the group audio-visual resource. It will highlight the production and presentation roles you played. It will also communicate your reflection on the skills you developed and the peer to peer learning and teaching you enabled and/or experienced.

In the tutorial in Week 10 you will engage with the audio-visual resources of other groups and the invitations for arts-making and arts-responding. You are asked to choose two groups to whom you will provide expanded reflection and feedback in terms of your perspective of the quality of their resource, your experience of the arts-making/arts-responding experiences they initiated, and images of the artwork you subsequently created. You will provide this feedback and images of your arts-responding via the AT2 discussion forum and include evidence of this feedback and images in your photo story. These can be duplicated.

As outlined above, your group's video resource is due for presentation in tutorials in Week 10 and will be also shared in the course discussion forum.

For your formal online assignment submission, please upload your video files for creative artefacts 1 and 2 to a private YouTube account and embed these clips into the Rich Content Area in Canvas. Add the brief statement you provided in the AT2 discussion forum to your word document. Please also attach the single page handout (or equivalent) for parents that accompanies your resource. Ensure these are submitted via Canvas by 5pm, Friday Week 10. 

•	Implementation of a variety of techniques, pedagogies and methodologies for fostering aesthetic responses, self-expression and communication (embedded in a created audio-visual resource aimed at authentic learning in the Arts)
•	Demonstration of knowledge about the Arts/’media arts’ as a language and an expressive medium for representing and communicating authentic ideas, feelings, ways of knowing and interests
•	Oral, visual and digital communication skills including multimodal storytelling, English expression, pace, genre, narrative structure, sequencing, format, message, aesthetics, codes and conventions, technical and symbolic elements, media forms, images, sound and text, editing and review
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Implementation of a variety of techniques, pedagogies & methodologies for fostering aesthetic responses, self-expression and communication (embedded in a created audio-visual resource aimed at authentic learning in the Arts)
1 2 4
Demonstration of knowledge about the Arts/’media arts’ as a language and an expressive medium for representing and communicating authentic ideas, feelings, ways of knowing and interests
1 2 3 4 5
Oral/visual/digital communication skills incl multimodal storytelling, English expression, pace, genre, narrative structure, sequencing, format, message, aesthetics, codes/conventions, technical/symbolic elements, media forms, images, sound, text...

Directed study hours

A 12-unit course will have total of 150 learning hours which will include directed study hours (including online if required), self-directed learning and completion of assessable tasks. Student workload is calculated at 12.5 learning hours per one unit.


Period and Topic Activities
Module 1
Course Overview and Introduction
•	Explanation of course and assessment
•	The Arts as a Language
•	Expressing thoughts and feelings through the Arts
•	Appreciation and Aesthetics
•	Awakening the senses
•	Play
•	Learning to see
•	Creativity and creative expression
Module 2
Exploring the idea of ‘Art as Language’
•	Exploring the Arts in our everyday lives
•	Values and Visions for ECEC and EYLF
•	The influence of Reggio and ‘100 languages’
•	The language of art
•	Arts-making and arts-responding
•	Valuing self-expression
•	The Arts and culture (introducing children to the work of acclaimed artists and the artworks, practices and traditions of art-making in different cultures and the wider world)
Module 3
Invitations to play and respond
•	Remembering playmaking
•	Joy in education
•	Invitations, open-ended challenges and provocations
•	Engaging the senses
•	Creating wonder 
•	Child-centred invitations not teacher-directed tasks
•	Arts pedagogies
•	Authentic art experiences NOT bunny-bum/cookie-cutter craft
Module 4
The Arts, culture, society and ways of knowing
•	Ancient knowledge and understandings
•	Indigenous ways of knowing
•	Art and spirituality
•	Cultural awareness and learning through art and storytelling
•	Learning history, ethics, morals and values through the Arts
•	The Arts as a healing modality
•	Connecting with the home
Module 5
The visual arts
•	Learning to see
•	Exploring lines and marks
•	Expressing ideas and storytelling through drawing
•	Appreciating artists, art-making practices and artists’ work & using as provocations
Module 6
Role play, dramatic play and drama
•	Pretend play
•	Imagination
•	Distilling everyday life
•	Stories and story lines
•	Symbolic meaning
•	Props
•	Drama conventions
•	Books/literature as stimulus
Module 7
Creative movement and dance
•	Remembering childhood
•	Creativity, imagination and self-awareness
•	Communicating and expressing feelings
•	Invitations for movement
•	Children creating dances
Module 8
Media Arts, Technology, Games
•	Media arts
•	Codes and conventions
•	Technology and young children
•	Research
•	ICTs and creativity
•	Teaching strategies for using ICT to expand learning opportunities
•	Representing ways of knowing 
•	Problem solving
•	New technologies
Module 9
Music in early childhood
•	Music in our lives
•	Why music
•	Music and the brain
•	Music and learning
•	Music and joy
•	Elements of music
•	Listening and exploring sound
Module 10
The educator’s role
•	Inspirations from Reggio
•	Offering rich invitations and authentic environments
•	Your role 
•	Facilitating awareness and expression
•	Curriculum decision-making
•	Integrating the Arts
•	Theory/practice connections
•	Your values and vision for the Arts
•	Synthesising personal learning 
•	Reflection on course learning; course feedback

What resources do I need to undertake this course?

Please note: Course information, including specific information of recommended readings, learning activities, resources, weekly readings, etc. are available on the course Canvas site– Please log in as soon as possible.

Prescribed text(s) or course reader

Please note that you need to have regular access to the resource(s) listed below. Resources may be required or recommended.

Required? Author Year Title Edition Publisher
Required Deb Curtis, Margie Carter 2014 Designs for Living and Learning, Second Edition Revised/Second Redleaf Press
Required Judith Dinham, Beryl Chalk 2018 It's Arts Play n/a Oxford University Press

Specific requirements

Students are responsible for suitable and protective clothing for tutorials as required. To support personal arts-making and assessment: personal art materials and supplies such as a visual art diary, 2B or graphite pencils, black markers with different tip sizes, coloured pencils or textas, paints and paint brushes, glue and scissors, as well as a device that can record video, audio and take still images.

How are risks managed in this course?

Health and safety risks for this course have been assessed as low. It is your responsibility to review course material, search online, discuss with lecturers and peers and understand the health and safety risks associated with your specific course of study and to familiarise yourself with the University’s general health and safety principles by reviewing the online induction training for students, and following the instructions of the University staff.

What administrative information is relevant to this course?

Assessment: Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is the ethical standard of university participation.  It ensures that students graduate as a result of proving they are competent in their discipline.  This is integral in maintaining the value of academic qualifications. Each industry has expectations and standards of the skills and knowledge within that discipline and these are reflected in assessment.

Academic integrity means that you do not engage in any activity that is considered to be academic fraud; including plagiarism, collusion or outsourcing any part of any assessment item to any other person.  You are expected to be honest and ethical by completing all work yourself and indicating in your work which ideas and information were developed by you and which were taken from others. You cannot provide your assessment work to others. You are also expected to provide evidence of wide and critical reading, usually by using appropriate academic references.

In order to minimise incidents of academic fraud, this course may require that some of its assessment tasks, when submitted to Canvas, are electronically checked through Turnitin.  This software allows for text comparisons to be made between your submitted assessment item and all other work to which Turnitin has access.

Assessment: Additional Requirements

Eligibility for Supplementary Assessment

Your eligibility for supplementary assessment in a course is dependent of the following conditions applying:

The final mark is in the percentage range 47% to 49.4%
The course is graded using the Standard Grading scale
You have not failed an assessment task in the course due to academic misconduct

Assessment: Submission penalties

All assessment extension requests must be made prior to the assessment submission deadline using the online EDU115  Extension Request Form. 

Evidence must be provided and be in one of the recognized forms as per clause 7.9.2 of the USC Assessment Policies and Procedures document.

Late submission of assessment tasks may be penalised at the following maximum rate: 
- 5% (of the assessment task's identified value) per day for the first two days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
- 10% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the third day - 20% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the fourth day and subsequent days up to and including seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
- A result of zero is awarded for an assessment task submitted after seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. Weekdays and weekends are included in the calculation of days late. 

To request an extension you must contact your course coordinator to negotiate an outcome.


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The SafeUSC Specialist Service is a Student Wellbeing service that provides free and confidential support to students who may have experienced or observed behaviour that could cause fear, offence or trauma. To contact the service call 07 5430 1226 or email

Study help

For help with course-specific advice, for example what information to include in your assessment, you should first contact your tutor, then your course coordinator, if needed.

If you require additional assistance, the Learning Advisers are trained professionals who are ready to help you develop a wide range of academic skills. Visit the Learning Advisers web page for more information, or contact Student Central for further assistance: +61 7 5430 2890 or

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To book a confidential appointment go to Student Hub, email or call 07 5430 2890.

Links to relevant University policy and procedures

For more information on Academic Learning & Teaching categories including:

  • Assessment: Courses and Coursework Programs
  • Review of Assessment and Final Grades
  • Supplementary Assessment
  • Administration of Central Examinations
  • Deferred Examinations
  • Student Academic Misconduct
  • Students with a Disability

For more information, visit

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