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The development of deep understanding of theoretical knowledge is an essential element of successful tertiary-programs that prepare individuals to enter professions. This study investigates the extent to which an emphasis on the application of knowledge within curriculum design, teaching strategies and assessment methods developed deep knowledge about language within the first year of a tertiary-based teacher education program in Australia. Concepts of application from literature on tertiary-based learning informed the design of curriculum, teaching strategies and assessment within a unit on linguistics for pre-service teachers. Questionnaires, provided to students at the end of the unit, and analysis of a final assessment task, provided insight into the extent to which the strategies designed to develop deep understanding were successful. The results indicate that an emphasis on the application of knowledge, within a discipline context, can support the development of understanding in units that do not have immediate links with professional practice.

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Open Access Journal Article

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