Australian Professional Standards for Teachers

Energy transfers and transformations

About this Illustration of Practice

At Greenwood Senior High School, Hannah, a graduate teacher, sets her students the task of measuring the dependent variable in a science experiment. The experiment measures the motion and energy of an object in a virtual environment, where the user modifies the independent variable (ie the nature of the object, or the environment). The teacher instructs students to work in pairs on the task and to record their findings. She then discusses the variables identified by pairs with the class as a whole.

Standard 3
Plan for and implement effective teaching and learning
Focus area 3.1
Establish challenging learning goals
Career stage
Set learning goals that provide achievable challenges for students of varying abilities and characteristics.
Other descriptors
Standard 2
Know the content and how to teach it
Focus area 2.6
Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
Career stage
Implement teaching strategies for using ICT to expand curriculum learning opportunities for students.
  1. Why is it important to set challenging, but achievable learning goals for students?
  2. How do you balance 'challenge' with 'achievable' learning outcomes?
Learning area
Year level
Year 10
Australian Curriculum content descriptions
Greenwood Senior High School
Western Australia
Year level
Year 10
Related subject
Stage of schooling
School type
School location
View full map

The class taught by the graduate teacher is an extension group of science students at the year 10 level. At the beginning of the lesson, the teacher locates the activity within the students' broader study of kinetic and potential energy. She reinforces Science Inquiry Skills by allowing students to use simulations to identify the dependent and independent variables, and formulate hypotheses to explain these. When drawing together the findings made by pairs, the teacher exhibits the required knowledge of content, and the ability to link this knowledge to what is special in the variables that students have identified.

Copyright holder
Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations

© Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL), 2012 (except where indicated under acknowledgements). You may use, reproduce and adapt this material for educational purposes until 30 June 2019, provided you retain this notice and all acknowledgements associated with the material.