Australian Professional Standards for Teachers

Science and Agriculture in Special Education

About this Illustration of Practice

This teacher has initiated a program that takes students with special needs out of the classroom and into a farm environment where their maths and science learning can be put into a real-world context. In addition to developing maths and science skills, the students’ interaction with the animals supports the development of their personal and social skills. Another key outcome of this project is the mentoring amongst peers and collaborative learning with each other. The classroom activity, where the teacher uses experiments and interactive demonstrations to communicate complex scientific principles to the students provides another example of using a real world context.

Standard 1
Know students and how they learn
Focus area 1.6
Strategies to support full participation of students with disability
Career stage
Initiate and lead the review of school policies to support the engagement and full participation of students with disability and ensure compliance with legislative and/or system policies.
Other descriptors
Standard 2
Know the content and how to teach it
Focus area 2.5
Literacy and numeracy strategies
Career stage
Monitor and evaluate the implementation of teaching strategies within the school to improve students’ achievement in literacy and numeracy using research-based knowledge and student data.
  1. How can you translate your science or maths lessons to a real-world, physical learning environment?
  2. What strategies can you use to engage special needs students in science and maths?
  3. How can you introduce personal and social capabilities to your science and maths lessons?
Salisbury High School
South Australia
Year level
Year 8
Related subject
Stage of schooling
School type
School location
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The teacher is an award-winning educator, having won the School Science Educator of the Year in 2009, and the National Australian Museum Eureka Award for Science and Mathematics Teaching in 2011. The science and agriculture course she has designed is taught to students with special needs in years 8 through 13.

© 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.