ESS440 Teaching and Learning in the Differentiated Classroom (8)

This subject develops the knowledge and skills that enable teachers to build and differentiate quality instruction in the inclusive classroom. The subject is a cornerstone of the program as it provides students with an understanding of the scope, depth and quality of practice required to create a successful inclusive classroom/school/setting. This includes understanding the evidence-based foundations of inclusive practice and the design and delivery of approaches that maximise student achievement in inclusive classrooms. The subject focuses on explicit teaching and cooperative learning as examples of inclusive practice given the predominance of teacher led and group instruction in contemporary classroom practice. Students learn how to build and differentiate these approaches in an inclusive classroom setting. After learning how to build and differentiate instruction, students take up the question and challenge of getting to scale with inclusive practice and begin to explore the kind of effort required to make inclusive practice a sustainable part of a whole school/setting approach to learning and teaching.


Session 1 (30)
Bathurst Campus
Session 3 (90)
Bathurst Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: ESS440. Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



One session


School of Teacher Education

Incompatible Subjects

ESS305, ESS306, ESS419, ESS424, ESS508, ESS509

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to describe the empirical evidence base for direct instruction and cooperative learning as described in the requirement for the Theoretical Reflection Assessment Component;
  • be able to develop a series of five learner outcomes for any unit of study within a curriculum area (i.e. HSIE, science, etc.) or discrete skills such as those found in decoding or maths. The outcomes will include a statement of the condition under which the learning will occur; a clear description of the action required; a clear description of the outcome produced that includes criteria for successful completion or mastery;
  • be able to build two lessons using the evidence-based principles of inclusion (explicit teaching, cooperative learning) and incorporating learning strategies (e.g., task analysis, cognitive strategies, collaborative practice) to lesson design and in doing so situate these pedagogies within their own practice and experience;
  • be able to position a lesson within a curriculum unit and justify its contribution as defined in the lesson justification assessment task;
  • be able to describe the Mulit-Tier Approach (MTA) and evaluate its applicability to the setting in which they work;
  • be able to evaluate the whole-of-organisation implications of evidence-based inclusive practice for a school and apply that evaluation to an educational setting;
  • be able to differentiate their lesson outcomes and designs using exemplars from the three categories of differentiation;
  • be able to develop an applied understanding of the theoretical and research based underpinnings of inclusive teaching strategies and pedagogies as they relate to classroom practice; and,
  • be able to collaborate with peers to receive feedback and develop their lesson designs.


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • Accurately describe the evidence base for direct instruction and cooperative learning
  • Building Learner Outcomes
  • Lesson Development
  • Sequencing Instruction
  • Describe the Multi-Tier Approach (MTA) and its application to a school setting
  • Inclusive Teaching Strategies
  • Differentiation
  • Inclusive Practice at Scale
  • Peer Collaboration

Indicative Assessment

The following table summarises the assessment tasks for the online offering of ESS440 in Session 3 2020. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated and can also differ to suit the mode of study (online or on campus).

Item Number
Value %
Di and cl lesson design
Differentiation planner

The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: May 2021. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.