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EDU8705 Personal Pedagogy in Context

Semester 1, 2012 Online Toowoomba
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Education
School or Department : Education
Version produced : 30 December 2013

Contents on this page


Examiner: Michele McGill
Moderator: Peter McIlveen

Other requisites

Normally this course would best suit educators with at least three years experience in a teaching role.


It is now widely recognised that the ways in which educators carry out their professional tasks are shaped by notions about how to teach which are, by and large, the products of contextualised on-the-job learning. These notions about how to teach are referred to as personal pedagogical theories. They provide the basis for action in both planning and practice and allow educators to interpret and predict classroom events and to explain why they teach the way they do. The personal pedagogical theories of educators are individualistic, context-specific and often largely implicit. They are highly significant because they guide what teachers do and determine teachers' levels of teaching effectiveness. Moreover, the introduction of any reforms in teaching or improvements to effectiveness levels depends on teachers reflecting on, and internalising, the proposed reforms and then, where they are prepared to adopt or adapt them, actively adjusting or reconstructing their personal pedagogical theories to reflect their new conceptions of practice.


This course has been designed to familiarise teachers with the nature of personal pedagogical theories in general and to provide opportunities for educators to make explicit their own personal pedagogical theories. The course will begin with an exploration of the origins and characteristics of teachers' personal pedagogical theories. The challenges of making personal pedagogical theories explicit will be discussed along with techniques for their articulation. There will also be a major focus on the elements and structure of personal pedagogical theories, that is, on the various ways in which teachers represent their practical knowledge and theories and on the links among such elements.


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. understand the directions and causes of changes in society & individual educational contexts and identify consequences of such changes for teaching and education (Assignment 1)
  2. explain the meaning, origins, development and characteristics of personal pedagogical theories of teaching (Assignment 1)
  3. explain the significance of personal pedagogical theories in relation to quality teaching and educational reform (Assignment 1)
  4. outline and comment critically on the different ways teachers have of representing the substance and structure of their personal pedagogical theories (Assignment 1)
  5. outline and comment critically on ways of articulating personal pedagogical theories (Assignment 2)
  6. articulate key elements of their own personal pedagogical theories and provide justification for them (Assignment 2)
  7. synthesise these elements into a coherent framework representing their own personal pedagogical theories of teaching (Assignment 2)
  8. subject their own practical knowledge and theories to critical assessment. (Assignment 2)
  9. demonstrate competence in and appropriate use of language and literacy, including spelling, grammar, punctuation and bibliographic referencing. (All assessments)


Description Weighting(%)
1. Change in society and education - directions, causes and implications 5.00
2. Personal pedagogical theories - definition, epistemological bases and characteristics 10.00
3. Origins, development and significance of personal pedagogical theories 15.00
4. Elements of personal pedagogical theories - beliefs, metaphors, images, strategies, teacher attributes etc. 30.00
5. The structure of personal pedagogical theories within context 10.00
6. Articulation of personal pedagogical theories - challenges and techniques 10.00
7. Review of personal pedagogical theories 20.00

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. (

  • Palmer, P. J 2007, The courage to teach. Exploring the inner landscape of a teacher's life, Jossey-Bass, San Francisco.

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.
  • Clandinin, D. J., Connelly, F. M., with Craig, C (1995), Teachers professional knowledge landscapes, Teachers College Press, New York.
  • Hill, A (2006), Making sense of methods in the classroom. A pedagogical presence, Rowman & Littlefield Education, Toronto.
  • Loughran, J (2006), Developing a pedagogy of teacher education Understanding teaching and learning about teaching, Routledge, London.
  • Marland, P (2007), Learning To Teach, Pearson Education Australia, French's Forest, NSW.
  • Pratt, D. D., & Associates (1998), Five perspectives on teaching in adult and higher education, Krieger Publishing Company, Malabar, Florida.
  • Schon, D (1995), The reflective practitioner: how professionals think in action, 2nd edn, Arena Basic Books, New York.
  • Whether you are on, or off campus, the USQ Library is an excellent source of information

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Directed Study 82.00
Independent Study 83.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
ASSIGNMENT 1 40 40 11 Apr 2012
ASSIGNMENT 2 60 60 06 Jun 2012

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    WEB There are no attendance requirements for this course. However, it is the students' responsibility to participate appropriately in all activities including discussion fora scheduled for them, and 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.

  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 UConnect for this course