Course Outline

EDU214 Teaching Arts in the Early Years

Course Coordinator:Cynthia Hicban ( School:School of Education and Tertiary Access

2024Semester 1

UniSC Sunshine Coast

UniSC Moreton Bay

UniSC Fraser Coast

Blended learning Most of your course is on campus but you may be able to do some components of this course online.

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?


In this course you will investigate the five distinct yet related subjects of the Australian Curriculum: Arts (Music, Drama, Dance, Visual Arts and Media) and the contribution of arts education to learning and teaching in the early years of primary school. You will consider the design and implementation of engaging learning experiences for young learners in the Arts and the role of the Arts to engage and support diverse learners. You will investigate and apply authentic learning and teaching in this discipline and identify and collate resources to assist you in your future teaching.

How will this course be delivered?

Activity Hours Beginning Week Frequency
Blended learning
Learning materials – Learning materials offer options/opportunities for learner choice. You will engage and interact with an array of asynchronous materials and activities accessed through Canvas modules, course readings and required texts. 2hrs Week 1 9 times
Tutorial/Workshop 1 – A blended learning approach is used to deliver this course, including a mix of interactive tutorials/workshops, and synchronous and asynchronous materials and activities accessed through Canvas. This course will be supported by technology-enabled learning and teaching including Zoom. Additional modalities may support learning in this course. 2hrs Week 1 10 times

Course Topics

  • Research and theories on the importance of arts education
  • The features of authentic arts education
  • Being an effective teacher in the Arts
  • Children’s capabilities and creativity in the early years and beyond
  • Australian Curriculum: The Arts
  • Arts-making and Arts-Responding
  • Learning through being an artist and an audience
  • Cultural diversity and community connections in the arts classroom
  • Involving parents and carers in the educative process
  • Age-appropriate pedagogies and resources (Foundation to Year 2)
  • Designing authentic arts experiences to support meaning-making, arts-making and arts-responding
  • Australian Curriculum: The Arts - subjects, practices, terminology and unique ways of looking at the world
  • Integrated curricular, cross-curricular and wider educational priorities
  • The Arts and Sustainability

What level is this course?

200 Level (Developing)

Building on and expanding the scope of introductory knowledge and skills, developing breadth or depth and applying knowledge and skills in a new context. May require pre-requisites where discipline specific introductory knowledge or skills is necessary. Normally, undertaken in the second or third full-time year of an undergraduate programs.

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 Articulate knowledge and understanding of the concepts, substance, and structure of the Australian Curriculum: Arts and related teaching strategies for early years learners Knowledgeable
Creative and critical thinker
1.2, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 2.5, 2.6, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.7, 4.1, 4.2, 4.4, 4.5, 5.1, 7.1
2 Develop discipline-specific knowledge and skills in each Arts subject to effectively facilitate authentic Arts learning experiences Empowered
2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 2.5, 2.6, 3.1, 3.3, 3.4, 4.1, 4.2, 4.4, 4.5, 5.1
3 Explain, justify and reflect on strategies to support the participation and engagement of diverse students of varying abilities and characteristics, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander learners, in classroom Arts activities Empowered
1.2, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 2.5, 2.6, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.7, 4.1, 4.2, 4.4, 4.5, 5.1, 7.1
4 Select and evaluate appropriate resources for learning experiences that draw upon pedagogical, curriculum and assessment knowledge and skills within the Arts curriculum Knowledgeable
Creative and critical thinker
1.2, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 2.5, 2.6, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.7, 4.1, 4.2, 4.4, 4.5, 5.1, 7.1
5 Consider parental involvement in educational activities and strategies for working effectively, sensitively and confidentially with parents/carers Engaged
1.2, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.7, 4.1, 4.2, 4.4, 7.1
6 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.
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.
2.3 Curriculum, assessment and reporting: Use curriculum, assessment and reporting knowledge to design learning sequences and lesson plans.
2.4 Understand and respect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to promote reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians: Demonstrate broad knowledge of, understanding of and respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories, cultures and languages.
2.5 Literacy and numeracy strategies: Know and understand literacy and numeracy teaching strategies and their application in teaching areas.
2.6 Information and Communication Technology (ICT): Implement teaching strategies for using ICT to expand curriculum learning opportunities for students.
3.1 Establish challenging learning goals: Set learning goals that provide achievable challenges for students of varying abilities and characteristics.
3.2 Plan, structure and sequence learning programs: Plan lesson sequences using knowledge of student learning, content and effective teaching strategies.
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.
3.7 Engage parents/carers in the educative process: Describe a broad range of strategies for involving parents/carers in the educative process.
4.1 Support student participation: Identify strategies to support inclusive student participation and engagement in classroom activities.
4.2 Manage classroom activities: Demonstrate the capacity to organise classroom activities and provide clear directions
4.4 Maintain student safety: Describe strategies that support students’ wellbeing and safety working within school and/or system, curriculum and legislative requirements.
4.5 Use ICT safely, responsibly and ethically: Demonstrate an understanding of the relevant issues and the strategies available to support the safe, responsible and ethical use of ICT in learning and teaching.
5.1 Assess student learning: Demonstrate understanding of assessment strategies, including informal and formal, diagnostic, formative and summative approaches to assess student learning.
7.1 Meet professional ethics and responsibilities: Understand and apply the key principles described in codes of ethics and conduct for the teaching profession.

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 ED304 or ED303.


Not applicable



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

Time and support will be given in tutorials and via Canvas to assist you in undertaking your assessment tasks and to support your success. Early feedback mechanisms embedded in weekly activities and discussions provide opportunities for you to share your learning and reflections with peers and to discuss your assessment planning, folio building and arts-making. 

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 45%
2500 words or equivalent + relevant artefacts
Week 10 Online Submission
All 2 Quiz/zes Individual 15%
15 minutes
Week 4 Online Test (Quiz)
All 3 Artefact - Creative, and Written Piece Group 40%
Creative artefacts including: a 10-minute audio-visual resource + 1 A4 page parent handout (or equivalent such as a Sway) + unit of inquiry outline + individual work diary form
Week 7 Online Submission
All - Assessment Task 1:Reflective and Expressive Folio
The goal of this task is to demonstrate over time, through your personal learning and arts-making/responding experiences, your developing knowledge, skills and strategies within the Arts curriculum
Product: Portfolio
* Please refer to the Canvas site for this course for more detail.

This task invites you to create a living folio of arts-making/responding, developed in an ongoing way across the semester. Through your folio you are sharing and showcasing your engagement with the Arts in your own life through an "Identity" themed art inquiry.

To support your imaginative development of ideas you are encouraged to research/reflect/respond to the artworks of notable artists and the wider world of art or art traditions who/which also explore concepts of "Identity".

To conclude your folio, you are invited to consider and name what you have learned through 'doing' and 'making' and through 'working through creative processes' in your own inquiry project. You are invited to reflect and describe how you might apply this knowledge and learning when you are teaching the arts to young children (F-2), (e.g. you mght focus on discoveries about exploring and connecting; developing skills, practice and ideas; creating; and/or sharing and communicating). 

Use your folio to showcase your experiential and applied understandings about the value of creativity, self-expression, communication and aesthetic awareness for yourself and for children.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Reflection on personal learning experiences, making connections with Arts curriculum and pedagogy
1 3
Engagement in arts learning, skill development, and the creation of unique and creative responses
1 2
Discipline-specific knowledge and skills relevant to teaching the Arts in the early years
Written communication skills and academic literacies including English expression, grammar, spelling, punctuation and APA referencing
All - Assessment Task 2:Online Quiz
The goal of this task is to demonstrate your developing knowledge linked to the Australian Curriculum: The Arts, and with your textbook
Product: Quiz/zes
* Please refer to the Canvas site for this course for more detail.

You will participate in a scheduled 15-minute Online Quiz. You will need to have access to the internet to complete this assessment task.

Your answers will demonstrate engagement with the Australian Curriculum: The Arts, and with your textbook.

This quiz will ask you to provide evidence of your engagement with topics focused on:

•	The Australian Curriculum: The Arts 
•	The rationale and context for arts education
•	The features of authentic arts education
•	Being an effective teacher in the arts
•	Children at the centre of arts education
•	Planning, pedagogy and assessment for authentic arts learning
•	Key elements and concepts of the five arts subjects of dance, drama, media arts, music and visual arts.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Knowledge and understanding of relevant curriculum, theory and pedagogy.
1 2
All - Assessment Task 3:Multimedia Artefact + handout + unit of inquiry outline + work diary form
The goal of this task is to communicate your understanding of authentic arts education and the role of the Arts in early years learning
Product: Artefact - Creative, and Written Piece
* Please refer to the Canvas site for this course for more detail.

Working collaboratively with 2-3 peers (ie. forming a group of 3 or 4), this task asks your group to engage as educators and colleagues working together in an early years classroom in a school setting. 

Together you will discuss the role parents play in supporting children's learning, and create an audio-visual resource and accompanying one page handout (or equivalent, e.g. Sway) for a parent audience. The message you are focusing on communicating is the nature of authentic arts education and the value of the Arts for developing young children's creative and critical thinking, self-expression, identity formation and self-confidence, and cultural awareness and connection.

Then, informed by your messaging and resources created for parents, your group will also work together to brainstorm, plan and develop an 'outline' for a child-centred unit of inquiry using Dinham's 6-pointed star template to map key elements of authentic arts learning. As part of this inquiry outline, you are asked to identtify some specific resources that could facilitate this inquiry in the Arts. 

Additionally, individually, you will each complete a work diary form which shows your input, your contribution to team meetings, planning, researching, resource creation, and 6-pointed star planning.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Knowledge of research, theories and approaches to Arts education and the Australian Curriculum: The Arts, including inquiry and resource selection
1 2 4
Justification of the importance of Arts education in the early years, involvement and appropriateness for an audience of parents/carers
3 4 5
Oral, visual and digital communication skills, including multimodal storytelling, aesthetics, codes and conventions, editing and review
Documentation of the individual’s contribution to working with colleagues to progress the group task

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

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 Judith Dinham 2022 Delivering Authentic Arts Education (5th edition) Cengage AU

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

Late submission of assessment tasks will be penalised at the following maximum rate (the rates are cumulative):

- 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 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 and supply the required documentation to negotiate an outcome.

Refer to the Assessment: Courses and Coursework Programs – Procedures 


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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
  • Central Examinations
  • Deferred Examinations
  • Student Conduct
  • Students with a Disability

For more information, visit

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