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EDP2111 The Middle Years

Semester 1, 2013 Online Toowoomba
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Education
School or Department : Education
Version produced : 21 July 2014

Contents on this page


Examiner: Stephen Smith
Moderator: Lindy Abawi


Pre-requisite: EDC1400 or EDU1010

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:


Middle Phase (or early adolescent) learners are unique. This is a period when physical, emotional, intellectual and social changes increasingly influence their behaviour, beliefs, concerns and motivations. Most Middle Phase students crave support and a sense of belonging and identity during this period of developing and redefining power within relationships. Peer influence usually reaches a peak during this phase and for many students this is a period for 'testing the boundaries' and increased risk taking. Early adolescents become more prone to emotional distress potentially manifesting itself in self harming behaviour. Recent studies suggest that this is also the stage when many students lose their enthusiasm for learning and disengage from traditional learning activities, resulting in lowering progression in learning and a widening gap between low and high achievers. Conversely, many middle year learners possess positive qualities of enthusiasm creativity, and skills in IT, valuing justification, substantiation and keenness to bond with adults. Teachers need an appreciation and understanding of the early adolescent and the Middle Phase of schooling in order to provide supportive and challenging learning environments that contribute to the health and success of learners in the middle years of schooling.


This course aims to assist pre-service teachers to develop an appreciation and understanding of the uniqueness of the Middle Phase learner. Pre-service educators will explore the concept of middle schooling and develop an understanding of how adolescent physical and emotional development impacts on student learning and wellbeing. Pre-service educators will develop learner-centred and active teaching methods aimed at enhancing student engagement and quality learning outcomes. Students will explore and develop strategies that enhance Middle years' student engagement, success, resilience, partnerships, tolerance and emotional wellbeing. This understanding will provide a basis for the creation of supportive and challenging learning environments that contribute to the health and success of middle years' learners. A 10-day professional experience placement is attached to this course. Intending students should be aware that they require regular access to electronic resources including email and the Internet. NOTE: Minimum enrolment numbers apply to this offering. Should enrolments not reach the minimum number required for on-campus study, students may be transferred to the ONLINE offering and advised of this change before semester commences.


On completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. identify physical and emotional aspects of early adolescent development (Exam)
  2. identify aspects of adolescent development which impact on Middle Year student wellbeing and engagement (Exam )
  3. demonstrate supportive and engaging classroom pedagogies to assist students to achieve success (Teaching Episode )
  4. develop strategies to assist students to develop resilience and tolerance (Exam & Teaching Episode )
  5. demonstrate effective communication skills (Exam & Teaching Episode)
  6. demonstrate competence in and appropriate use of language and literacy, including spelling, grammar, punctuation and bibliographic referencing (Exam & Teaching Episode).
  7. articulate contemporary justification for the Middle Phase of learning focus (Exam)


Description Weighting(%)
1. What is Middle Schooling? 20.00
2. Student-centred teaching and learning 20.00
3. Early adolescent physical and emotional development and implications for teachers 15.00
4. Developing environments and strategies that promote resilience, success and emotional wellbeing 15.00
5. Pedagogies that motivate and enhance student engagement 20.00
6. Identifying social and academic barriers to success 10.00

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. (

  • Frangenheim, E (2007), Reflections on classroom thinking strategies, 9th edn, Rodin Educational Publishing, Springwood, QLD.
    (If students have previously purchased the earlier edition of this text, they will not be required to purchase the later edition.)

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.
  • Henson, K (2004), Constructivist teaching strategies for diverse middle-level classrooms, Pearson, Boston.
  • Knipe, S (2007), Middle Years Schooling, Pearson, NSW.
  • Lee Manning, M., & Bucher, K (2005), Teaching in the middle school, 2nd edn, Pearson Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ.
  • MYSA (Middle Years Schooling Association),
  • Pendergast, D., & Bahr, N 2010, Teaching Middle Years: Rethinking curriculum, pedagogy and assessment, 2nd edn, Allen & Unwin, NSW.
  • Whether you are on, or off campus, the USQ Library is an excellent source of information

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Directed Study 80.00
Independent Study 80.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE 1 1 26 Feb 2013 (see note 1)
EXAMINATION 50 50 End S1 (see note 2)

  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.
  2. Examination date will be advised via UConnect on release of the official examination timetable (Week 6 of the Semester).

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:
    This is a CLOSED EXAMINATION. Candidates are allowed to bring only writing and drawing instruments into the Closed examination. Students whose first language is not English, may, take an appropriate unmarked non-electronic translation dictionary (but not technical dictionary) into the examination. Dictionaries with any handwritten notes will not be permitted. Translation dictionaries will be subject to perusal and may be removed from the candidate's possession until appropriate disciplinary action is completed if found to contain material that could give the candidate an unfair advantage.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Any Deferred or Supplementary examinations for this course will be held during the examination period at the end of the semester of the next offering of this course.

  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.

  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.