2.2 Content selection and organisation

(Last Updated On: September 23, 2023)

What does this descriptor look like at different levels?

Content selection and organisation is the second descriptor of the second standard of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers.

This descriptor covers how you organise your teaching programs. This means everything from your scope and sequence to the order that you cover topics within a particular lesson.

Knowing how to structure and sequence a learning program is an important skill for a teacher and can greatly impact the accessibility and efficacy of their teaching.


What does it look like?

At the Graduate level, teachers are expected to organise content into an effective learning and teaching sequence.

All teachers need to reach the Graduate level of the APST before they graduate with a teaching degree. This means that you need to be able to reach this level of the standard before you actually teach by yourself in the classroom.

This level of the focus area requires you to take information from whatever curriculum you are using and turn it into a learning program. It does not ask for pedagogy or specific lesson plans, but you’ll need to be able to order the content and fit it into a scope and sequence and unit plan.

What evidence can I collect?

Your scope and sequence, as well as your unit plan, will be the key pieces of evidence for this descriptor. Make sure that you annotate them to show why you’ve decided to order your program in this particular way to show that you’ve met this standard.


What does it look like?

At the Proficient level, teachers are expected to organise content into coherent, well-sequenced learning and teaching programs.

This descriptor is a little different to that at the Graduate career stage, but here is is more specific about having a teaching and learning program.

What evidence can I collect?

While you will get away with a scope and sequence or a unit plan when aiming for the Graduate level, to demonstrate that you are a Proficient teacher you will need to show evidence of a whole program. This will include a scope and sequence as well as a unit plan but may also require more detail.

You also want to make sure that your program is well-sequenced. You’ll be able to explain this in your annotations. Linking to research or evidence-based strategies in your annotations will really emphasise the thought that has gone into it.

Highly Accomplished

What does it look like?

At the Highly Accomplished level, teachers are expected to exhibit innovative practice in the selection and organisation of content and delivery of learning and teaching programs.

Unlike the earlier career stages, a Highly Accomplished teacher must innovate. It is very hard to say what exactly this means as it will depend on your context, but you will certainly need to do some professional learning.

This descriptor is a little different to most of the Highly Accomplished Teacher descriptors in that it doesn’t require you to work with colleagues. While working with other teachers is always a fantastic way to get new ideas and develop a strong program, this focus area doesn’t explicitly require it.

See more: How to Present a Great Professional Learning Workshop

What evidence can I collect?

As said above, you’ll need to show evidence of innovation. To do this, the easiest thing to do is to tell a story.

Write about what your school pedagogy and learning programs used to be like, detail what you decided to do to improve them, and how you went about doing this. Notes from professional learning, draft programs with annotations, meeting minutes and emails between you and your colleagues are all fantastic ways to back up what you are saying in this story.


What does it look like?

At the Lead level, teachers are expected to lead initiatives that utilise comprehensive content knowledge to improve the selection and sequencing of content into coherently organised learning and teaching programs.

You will be expected to influence your colleagues directly at the Lead level. At this career level, teachers are expected to initiate broad changes to how their school orders and sequences learning programs across a particular subject area or multiple areas.

What evidence can I collect?

To provide evidence that you are working at the Lead level, you must show that you are leading an initiative. A project brief approved by your site leader or principal is a good start, as it outlines what you plan on doing and how. To show that you are impacting other teachers at your site, you can collect meeting agendas and minutes demonstrating how you gather information, consult on, and implement your changes.

Learn more about the other focus areas and descriptors for Standard 2:

2.1 Content and Teaching Strategies of the Teaching Area

2.3 Curriculum, assessment and reporting

2.4 Understand and respect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People to Promote Reconciliation

2.5 Literacy and Numeracy Strategies

2.6 Information and Communication Technology

Elise is an enthusiastic and passionate Australian teacher who is on a mission to inspire and support fellow educators. With over a decade of experience in the classroom, Elise leverages her expertise and creativity to provide valuable insights and resources through her blog. Whether you're looking for innovative lesson ideas, effective teaching strategies, or just a dose of inspiration, Elise has got you covered.

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