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ESI3002 Challenging Behaviour: A Functional Approach in Secondary Context

Semester 2, 2019 On-campus Springfield
Short Description: Challenging Behav: Secondary
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts
School or Department : School of Education
Student contribution band : National Priority - Teaching
ASCED code : 070105 - Teacher Education: Secondary
Grading basis : Graded
Version produced : 21 May 2019


Examiner: Kay Ayre

Other requisites

Students enrolling in courses which do not follow the recommended enrolment pattern cannot be assured of a developmental learning experience or program completion within their preferred timeframe.


Behaviour management is widely acknowledged as a major concern of educators, and is ranked by practitioners, novice and experienced, along with catering for learner diversity, as their most significant professional challenge. Under the policy of inclusion, learner diversity in Australian schools is increasing. It is imperative that educators are equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills to effectively manage challenging learner behaviour exhibited by students with and without disabilities in mainstream secondary school settings. In the preparation of pre-service teachers, the ability to establish and sustain a safe and disciplined learning environment is regarded as a core skill essential to effective practice and positive learner outcomes. The crucial importance of this ability is further highlighted with classroom management being listed as a national priority area for initial teacher education programs. This course focuses on developing an understanding of challenging learner behaviour and the knowledge and skills educators need to facilitate a positive teaching and learning environment in the secondary years of schooling.


This course will focus upon evidenced-based practices to increase the preparedness of pre-service teachers to manage challenging learner behaviour within the context of the secondary years of schooling. From the theoretical underpinnings of applied behaviour analysis, pre-service teachers will be introduced to a set of advanced strategies and procedures for the management of learners with and without disabilities who exhibit significant behavioural, emotional, and social adjustment problems. This course will help pre-service teachers to develop their knowledge and skills of the functional behaviour assessment (FBA) process, and effective individualised behaviour intervention plans for students in the secondary years who demonstrate challenging behaviour. The course builds on knowledge and competencies gained in ESB2100 Positive Behaviour for Learning: Taking Responsibility.


The course objectives define the student learning outcomes for a course in accordance with the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership’s (AITSL) Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (APST). On successful completion of this course pre-service teachers should be able to:

  1. explain and justify a function-based approach to managing challenging behaviour including theoretical underpinnings and assumptions, and goals about behaviour (APST 1.1, 1.2, 4.4)
  2. describe characteristics of a multi-tiered framework of behaviour support (APST 3.3, 4.3)
  3. explain the functional behaviour assessment process (APST 4.1)
  4. create and justify an individualised behaviour intervention plan that includes strategies to prevent, teach, and reinforce desired behaviour including alignment with relevant state legislation and Education Queensland policy regarding student behaviour (APST 4.3, 4.4, 5.4)
  5. identify and describe characteristics and strategies of a team-based approach to behaviour support in school contexts (APST 4.1, 5.4, 7.3).


Description Weighting(%)
1. Understanding behaviour 10.00
2. Supporting positive behaviour 20.00
3. Functional behavioural assessment 30.00
4. Individualised behaviour intervention plans 30.00
5. Collaborative teamwork. 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. (

Chandler, LK & Dahlquist, CM 2015, Functional assessment: strategies to prevent and remediate challenging behaviour in school settings, 4th edn, Pearson Australia, Frenchs Forest, New South Wales.

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.

Student workload expectations

Activity Hours
Directed Study 80.00
Private Study 85.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
QUIZ 15 15 23 Aug 2019
ASSIGNMENT 1 35 35 26 Aug 2019
ASSIGNMENT 2 50 50 21 Oct 2019

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    It is the students' responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities 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 for that item.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  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 items for the course.

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

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    There is no examination 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. Referencing in assignments must comply with the APA referencing system. This system should be used by students 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. This guide can be found at

Evaluation and benchmarking

In meeting the University’s aims to establish quality learning and teaching for all programs, this course monitors and ensures quality assurance and improvements in at least two ways. This course:
1. conforms to the USQ Policy on Evaluation of Teaching, Courses and Programs to ensure ongoing monitoring and systematic improvement
2. forms part of the Bachelor of Education and is benchmarked against the:

  1. internal USQ accreditation/reaccreditation processes which include (i) stringent standards in the independent accreditation of its academic programs, (ii) close integration between business and academic planning, and (iii) regular and rigorous review
  2. Queensland College of Teachers
  3. Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (APST) of the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL).

Other requirements

  1. Participation: Students can expect it will be necessary to participate in and contribute to a range of learning opportunities in this course including online study activities, lectures, tutorials, seminar presentations, group discussions and self-directed study activities in order to apply the coursework that will enable quality assessment tasks to be submitted as evidence of professional development.

  2. Low enrolment numbers: Should enrolments not reach the minimum number required for on-campus study, students may be transferred to the ONLINE/EXTERNAL offering and advised of this change before semester commences.