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ESP707 - Psychology in Education


2020 unit information

Important Update:

Classes and seminars in Trimester 2/Semester 2, 2020 will be online. Physical distancing for coronavirus (COVID-19) will affect delivery of other learning experiences in this unit. Please check your unit sites for announcements and updates one week prior to the start of your trimester or semester.

Last updated: 2 June 2020

Enrolment modes:

Trimester 2 2020 is the final offering of this unit

Credit point(s):1
EFTSL value:0.125
Unit Chair:Trimester 2: Tim Corcoran




Incompatible with:


Typical study commitment:

Students will on average spend 150 hours over the teaching period undertaking the teaching, learning and assessment activities for this unit.

Scheduled learning activities - cloud:

Online independent and collaborative learning activities including weekly engagement with materials and responses in discussion forums


This unit is for professionals working in schools, or with young people in a variety of educational contexts, seeking to develop their understanding of the challenges facing teachers and learners in the 21st century, with a particular focus on psychological theory.

The course will encourage consideration of the contribution of psychology to education policy and practice in changing national and international contexts. This unit is designed to advance student understanding of historical and contemporary practices that have contributed to the development of psychological knowledge applied in education.

In this unit students will critically analyse the acceptance and use of diagnostic categories (e.g. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) and concepts (e.g. intelligence) applied to learners and learning. The unit aims to provoke students reflection on the limitations as well as potential benefits of various forms of psychological theory ranging from dominant cognitive-behavioural and constructivist theory to theories informing critical educational psychology e.g. social constructionism.

The unit situates students as practitioners within the worldviews created by psychological theory to question the ethical foundations of professional discourse.


These are the Learning Outcomes (ULO) for this unit

At the completion of this unit, successful students can:

Deakin Graduate Learning Outcomes


Reflect critically on the historical, policy and practice contexts that contribute to current use of psychology in education

GLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities

GLO4: Critical thinking


Synthesise advanced knowledge to think critically about ethical professional practice

GLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities

GLO4: Critical thinking

GLO8: Global citizenship


Represent your professional positioning and its implications for your practice philosophy using diverse and relevant resources

GLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities

GLO2: Communication

GLO4: Critical thinking

GLO8: Global citizenship

These Unit Learning Outcomes are applicable for all teaching periods throughout the year


Trimester 2:
Assessment Description Student output Grading and weighting
(% total mark for unit)
Indicative due week
Assessment 1 (Individual) - Online group discussion 500 words 10% Week 5
Assessment 2 (Individual) - Literature Review 1500 words 30% Week 5
Assessment 3 (Individual) - Research essay 4000 words 60% Week 12

The assessment due weeks provided may change. The Unit Chair will clarify the exact assessment requirements, including the due date, at the start of the teaching period.

Learning Resource

The texts and reading list for the unit can be found on the University Library via the link below: ESP707 Note: Select the relevant trimester reading list. Please note that a future teaching period's reading list may not be available until a month prior to the start of that teaching period so you may wish to use the relevant trimester's prior year reading list as a guide only.

Unit Fee Information

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