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EPF3100 Teaching in Alternative Contexts

Semester 2, 2021 On-campus Toowoomba
Short Description: Teach in Alternative Contexts
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts
School or Department : School of Education
Student contribution band : Band 1
ASCED code : 070199 - Teacher Education not elsewher
Grading basis : Graded
Version produced : 21 July 2021


Examiner: Lisa Jacka


Pre-requisite: Students must be enrolled in one of the following Programs: BEDU (Primary) or BPED
Enrolment is not permitted in EPF3100 if EDC2300 has been previously completed

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.


There are many and varied contexts beyond the traditional classroom. Approximately half of Queensland’s State Schools are classified as rural or remote, many of which are identified Indigenous Communities. In addition, schools of distance education service learners living in isolated locations throughout Australia and the world. Further alternative school contexts include, but are not limited to, flexi-schools supporting disengaged or disadvantaged adolescents who are unable to attend mainstream schools, as well as schools in hospitals and the juvenile justice system. Pre-service teachers must develop an understanding of what skills and knowledges are required to teach in these contexts. Therefore, this course provides pre-service teachers with an introduction to these settings and presents them with an opportunity to explore the characteristics of teaching in these environments, thus broadening their understanding of the complex nature of alternative educational contexts. Pre-service teachers will draw upon their pre-existing knowledge of the diverse nature of learner needs and will have an opportunity to apply knowledge gained in professional experience placements in their final year.


Teaching in Alternative Contexts utilises a case-based approach to immerse pre-service teachers in a number of relevant alternative educational contexts. The types of contexts explored will include rural and remote or isolated schools, alternative or flexi-schools, and schools of distance education, among others. Pre-service teachers will develop knowledge and skills needed to work successfully within the complex nature of these locations, with a particular focus on structure, situated pedagogy, stakeholder relationships, personal attributes for success, and most importantly, learners. The case-based nature of the course requires pre-service teachers to draw upon their previous learning and professional experience from within their program to effectively identify key contextual features within each setting, and develop appropriate strategies in response. Pre-service teachers will collaborate to investigate one of these particular alternative contexts in-depth, culminating in a peer-to-peer professional learning opportunity. The course will use a social justice lens to explore the influence of diverse cultural and linguistic learner backgrounds; poverty; and systemic access to support mechanisms on a range of school communities.


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. investigate and analyse the structural features of alternative educational contexts with regard to access to resources, including ICTs, and support mechanisms (APST 2.6, 3.4, 4.3, 5.4, 7.4);
  2. examine the pedagogical considerations inherent within various alternative educational contexts, exploring their relation to linguistic, cultural, religious and socioeconomic factors and their impact on learner participation and engagement (APST 1.3, 1.4, 3.3, 3.6, 4.1);
  3. identify appropriate strategies for working ethically, sensitively, and confidentially with stakeholders, with an emphasis on involving parents/carers in the educative process in a range of alternative educational contexts (APST 3.7, 7.3);
  4. identify and articulate the personal and professional attributes required of teachers in a range of alternative educational contexts (APST 7.1, 7.3, 7.4).


Description Weighting(%)
1. Introduction to Alternative Contexts 10.00
2. Structural features of alternative contexts 15.00
3. Learners from alternative contexts 15.00
4. Pedagogical features of alternative contexts 15.00
5. Working with stakeholders in alternative contexts 15.00
6. Personal attributes required of teachers in alternative contexts 15.00
7. Successful professional collaboration 15.00

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 are no texts or materials required 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.

Student workload expectations

Activity Hours
Directed Study 80.00
Private Study 85.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
ASSIGNMENT 1 60 60 13 Sep 2021
ASSIGNMENT 2 40 40 22 Oct 2021

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:
    Deferred and Supplementary examinations will be held in accordance with the Assessment Procedure

  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).

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.

Date printed 21 July 2021