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SPE3006 Developmental Differences in Learning in Primary Context

Semester 2, 2021 External
Short Description: Developmental Differences Prim
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 : 070113 - Teacher Education: Special Edu
Grading basis : Graded
Version produced : 18 April 2021


Examiner: Tracey Chamlin


Pre-requisite: EDP2111 and (SPE3001 or SPE3005) and Students must be enrolled in one of the following Programs: BEDU (Primary + Special Education) or BEDU (Special Education) or BPED

Other requisites

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

Students need to lodge their blue card application or renewal online . Students will need to register with blue card services and validate their identification online. If successful, the student will be provided an online account number to send to the Professional Experience Team to ensure there are no delays with their placement. Students will not be able to commence their placement without a current blue card. USQ recommends students lodge their renewal at least 28 days prior to the expiry of their current card.

Where a student is denied approval for a blue card, enrolment in any initial teacher education program will be withdrawn (refer to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


The primary role of an educator is to facilitate opportunities for learners to access and participate in curriculum to their fullest potential. The Australian Curriculum has been envisioned on a continuum of learning development. How this curriculum can be delivered in inclusive learning environments that embrace a range of diverse learners is a necessary understanding and skill for all educators. Catering for learner diversity requires primary educators to firstly be able to recognise these needs, secondly, understand how these needs affect learning, and lastly, provide appropriate teaching strategies to support curriculum access and participation. Pre-service teachers will reflect on their own experiences and build new understandings that will be applied within primary schooling professional experience contexts.


This course will explore a range of learner developmental differences (atypical development) that may or may not be associated with a diagnosed disability but do impact upon the primary school learner's access to and participation in, the curriculum. Areas including but not limited to attention, motor skills, communication, sensory processing, and executive functioning, will be defined and their impact on learning illustrated through examples found within a primary school environment. Evidence-based teaching strategies specific to a primary school environment and relevant to these developmental differences will be explored as well as data collection methods to identify these diverse needs, and inform appropriate educational practices. Additionally, the role of motivation and self-regulation in learning will be considered.

This course contains a 15-day professional experience placement that will be within a special education setting (i.e. special school or special education program). For full details of the professional experience particulars, 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. identify and explain a range of developmental differences (atypical development) that are likely to be present within a learning environment, and how these differences may impact student learning (APST 1.1, 1.2, 1.5, 1.6);
  2. describe appropriate data collection methods to identify student need in regard to identified developmental difference (APST 5.1, 5.4);
  3. identify and justify appropriate evidence-based practice for teaching learners with
    specific developmental differences in an inclusive learning environment using a range of teaching strategies including an understanding of legislation regarding student wellbeing and ICT safety (APST 1.5, 1.6, 2.6, 3.3, 4.1, 4.4, 4.5);
  4. seek and apply constructive feedback from supervisors and teachers to improve teaching practices (APST 6.3).


Description Weighting(%)
1. Overview of developmental differences 10.00
2. Motor skills:
  • Characteristics and impact on student learning
  • Appropriate data collection methods
  • Evidence-based support practices
3. Receptive, expressive and pragmatic communication:
  • Characteristics and impact on student learning
  • Appropriate data collection methods
  • Evidence-based support practices
4. Executive functioning, metacognition and memory, and attentional difficulties:
  • Characteristics and impact on student learning
  • Appropriate data collection methods
  • Evidence-based support practices
5. Sensory processing:
  • Characteristics and impact on student learning
  • Appropriate data collection methods
  • Evidence-based support practices
6. Motivation and self-regulation:
  • Characteristics and impact on student learning
  • Appropriate data collection methods
  • Evidence-based support practices
7. Planning, assessment and moderation to meet student need:
  • Safe practices and legislation

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. (

Nagel, M & Scholes, L 2016, Understanding development and learning: implications for teaching, Oxford University Press, South Melbourne, Victoria.

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
PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE 1 1 13 Jul 2021 (see note 1)
ASSIGNMENT 1 50 50 15 Sep 2021
ASSIGNMENT 2 49 49 20 Oct 2021

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

Date printed 18 April 2021