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SPE3005 Challenging Behaviour: A Functional Approach in Primary Context

Semester 1, 2019 External
Short Description: Challenging Behaviour Primary
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts
School or Department : School of Linguistics, Adult and Specialist Educ
Student contribution band : National Priority - Teaching
ASCED code : 070113 - Teacher Education: Special Edu
Grading basis : Graded


Examiner: Karen Glasby


Pre-requisite: EDP2111 and EDC2400 and Students must be enrolled in the following Program: BEDU (Primary + Special Education) or BEDU (Special Education)

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.

Before commencing this course students will be assumed to have read the full details of Professional Experience particulars and familiarised themselves with the requirements. Please see the Education Placement Professional Experience website and the Professional Experience Book for full details.

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 must hold a valid blue card OR exemption card
If undertaking placement outside of Queensland you must ensure that all relevant checks are completed and evidence of this is provided to the Professional Experience office

Provided a blue card renewal application has been submitted at least 30 days before expiry of the current card, the blue card will remain active while the renewal application is processed (details available at

Blue Card Services cannot process a form dated more than 16 weeks prior to lodgement. In addition, a representative of USQ or a Justice of the Peace, must sight the applicant’s identification documents and check the information on the form, before signing and dating the USQ declaration (refer to

Where a student is denied approval for a blue card, enrolment in any initial teacher education program will be withdrawn (refer to
If undertaking Professional Experience outside of Queensland, students are advised to check the Working with Children requirements of the state within which Professional Experience will be undertaken (refer to


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 children with and without disabilities in mainstream primary 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 primary years of schooling. Students will reflect on their own experiences and build new understandings that will be applied in sector specific professional experience contexts.


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 primary 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 primary years who demonstrate challenging behaviour. The course builds on knowledge and competencies gained in EDC2100 - Supportive Learning Environments: Cultivating Effective Classrooms. This course contains a professional experience placement that may be within a special education setting. Opportunity to apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a functional approach to managing challenging behaviour will be provided through an assessment task linked to professional experience.

A 15-day professional experience placement is attached to this course. For full details of the Professional Experience particulars, please refer to the Professional Experience website and the Professional Experience Book.


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. explain the functional behaviour assessment process (APST 4.1)
  3. 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)
  4. identify and describe characteristics and strategies of a team-based approach to behaviour support in school contexts and the importance of relevant appropriate sources of professional learning for teachers (APST 4.1, 5.4, 6.2, 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
Independent Study 85.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
QUIZ 15 15 29 Mar 2019 (see note 1)
ASSIGNMENT 1 (SHORT ANSWER) 35 35 22 Apr 2019
PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE 1 1 10 May 2019 (see note 2)
ASSIGNMENT 2 (ESSAY) 49 49 05 Jun 2019

  1. The quiz opening date will be advised at the commencement of the semester.
  2. Students must successfully complete the Professional Experience to be eligible for a passing grade for this course. 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 Experience should be conducted as per the Professional Experience Calendar unless approval has been granted by the Program Coordinator.

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 complete assessment items satisfactorily, students must obtain at least 50% of the marks available for each item in addition to the successful completion of the Professional Experience component. Failure of the Professional Experience component will result in a Fail grade for this course.

  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 successfully complete the Professional Experience component and must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course. Failure of the Professional Experience component will result in a Fail grade for this 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

  2. Students are required to demonstrate competence in and appropriate use of academic language and literacy, including spelling, grammar, punctuation, and referencing in all assessment responses. Marks allocated to the aforementioned criteria will be specified in the criteria for assessment of all assessment items.

  3. Students are required to submit ALL assignments to evidence meeting or exceeding the mandatory requirements of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (APSTs).

  4. Professional Experience is a compulsory component of this course and integral to completion of the assessment tasks. Dates for each Professional Experience course are selected to support students’ capacity to apply the theory of the coursework in the Professional Experience placement. Students are advised not to select a course that includes Professional Experience in a semester where they are unable to meet the specified requirements of Professional Experience. Any application for a ‘change of dates’ for Professional Experience placement must qualify for consideration under the conditions of the USQ Assessment Extension Policy. An unsupported application will delay program completion.

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. E-mail and Internet access: Students will require access to e-mail and have Internet access to UConnect for this course.

  3. Students planning to undertake EPP3100 Practising as a Professional Teacher 1 next year are required to enrol by the end of Semester 2 of this current year. Please refer carefully to the EPP3100 Course Specification for details. Failure to enrol on time may result in a delay to program completion.