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EDS4401 Beginning Professional Practice

Semester 1, 2012 Online Toowoomba
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Education
School or Department : Education

Contents on this page


Examiner: Petrea Redmond
Moderator: Agli Zavros


Pre-requisite: EDC3100

Other requisites

Students must have successfully completed the entire previous year's professional experience courses in order to enrol in this course.

Students must be available for a prescribed period of time to undertake a placement in a school or other approved site as required in this course.

State law in Queensland (Australia) requires that all adults working/undertaking professional experience/researching with children under the age of 18, in the state of Queensland are required to possess a current suitability card (Blue Card). (See "Other Requirements" for further information.) Also see: //


Rapid changes in educational institutions and the growing diversity of contexts place intense demands on the role of educators. The pre-service teacher will have further opportunity to bring together both theory and practical components of the course. The integration of theory with the active daily tasks associated with a teaching career is an essential step in the transition from tertiary institution to the professional work place. Further, it is vital that pre-service teachers continue to development their professional knowledge basis in preparation for beginning teaching. Professional standards will be analysed and the requirements of the role of the professional educator will be discussed.


The professional experience to date has enabled pre-service teachers to be involved in the normal day to day running of an educational institution and in the teaching of several curriculum areas over an extended period of time. This course offers the pre-service teacher a further extensive period in the field in a new context. The block professional experience will require involvement in the planning, implementation, assessment and reflection of units of work along with the daily administrative and professional requirements of an educator. The experience will require pre-service teachers to play an active role in the construction of their own practical theories. Their workplace experience will enable them to question, criticise and reformulate their assumptions about the nature of educators' work. Students undertaking this course are required to complete a 25 day professional experience placement in an approved educational setting. Professional development and professional standards underpinning graduate entry will be a central focus of this course.


The course objectives define the student learning outcomes for a course. The assessment item(s) that may be used to assess student achievement of an objective are shown in parenthesis. On completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. become aware of developments and trends affecting both the teaching profession, and their own specialist teaching areas (all assessment)
  2. understand the necessity of a broader view of education and teaching various professional courses can offer (Assignment 1 and 2)
  3. understand the importance of maintaining and upgrading professional knowledge and practices throughout their teaching career (Assignment1 and 2 )
  4. gain knowledge of various professional requirements and organisations associated with a) their induction into teaching and b) their specialist teaching areas (Assignment 1 and 2)
  5. gain further expertise in the planning, teaching, assessment and reflection required of a professional educator over an extended period of time in schools (Professional Experience)
  6. demonstrate competence in and appropriate use of language and literacy, including spelling, grammar, punctuation and bibliographic referencing (All assessment items).


Description Weighting(%)
1. Preparing to become a professional educator, professional standards for teachers 25.00
2. Various workshops to enhance professional competencies and knowledge base within the profession appropriate to a competent graduating teacher. 50.00
3. Professional experience: a guide to reflective practice 25.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

  • There is no set text for this course.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
  • Ewing, R 2010, Curriculum and Assessment. A narrative approach, Oxford University Press, Australia.
  • Ewing, R., Lowrie, T., & Higgs, J 2010, Teaching and Communicating - Rethinking Professional Experiences, Oxford University Press, Australia.
  • Fetherston, T 2006, Becoming an effective teacher, Thomson, Australia.
  • Groundwater-Smith, S., Ewing, R., & Le Cornu, R 2007, Teaching: Challenges & Dilemmas, 3rd edn, Thomson, Australia.
  • Marsh, C 2010, Becoming a Teacher: knowledge, skills and issues, 5th edn, Pearson, Australia.
  • Whether you are on, or off campus, the USQ Library is an excellent source of information //

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Directed Study 70.00
Independent Study 70.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE 1 1 28 Feb 2012 (see note 1)
ASSIGNMENT 1 50 49 23 Apr 2012
ASSIGNMENT 2 50 50 06 Jun 2012

  1. A mark of one (1) indicates you have passed the Professional Experience component. A mark of zero (0) indicates you have not passed the Professional Experience component. Professional Placement should be conducted as per the Professional Experience Calendar unless approval has been granted by the Course Examiner.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    There are no attendance requirements for this course. However, it is the students' responsibility to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    If students submit assignments after the due date without (prior) approval of the examiner then a penalty of 5% of the total marks gained by the student for the assignment may apply for each working day late up to ten working days at which time a mark of zero may be recorded. No assignments will be accepted after model answers have been posted.

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course and must satisfactorily complete the sector-based professional experience.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    There is no examination in this course.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    As there are no examinations in this course, there will be no deferred or supplementary examinations.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. APA style is the referencing system required in this course. Students should use APA style in their assignments to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The APA style to be used is defined by the USQ Library's referencing guide. //

Other requirements

  1. Students will require access to e-mail and have Internet access to USQConnect for this course.

  2. IMPORTANT NOTE: Working with Children: State law in Queensland requires that all adults (including university students, pre-service educators, trainers, vocational teachers, industry educators) working with children under the age of 18, in the State of Queensland*, obtain approval before commencing such work. Many education courses include a practical component (professional experience, project work, research, assessment etc.) that may require engagement with children under the age of 18. It is your responsibility to ensure that you possess a current suitability card (Blue Card) before commencing any practical components of this course. DO NOT PARTICIPATE IN ANY PRACTICAL EXPERIENCE WITH CHILDREN UNDER 18 UNLESS YOU POSSESS A CURRENT ?BLUE CARD?. For further information: // and
    *If you are undertaking practical experience outside the State of Queensland, Australia you should check local requirements.