Australian Curriculum: History and Society
You are required conduct an historical inquiry into the influence that a social or political issue has had on the development of the Australian Curriculum: History and answer the question:
The Australian History Curriculum: How did we get here?
The process of inquiry:
1.) Asking historical questions
What issues have shaped the curriculum? The preamble of the Melbourne Declaration (MCEETYA, 2008, pp. 4-5) contains a number of broad and specific social and political issues that have been influential in the development of the educational goals contained in the rest of that document. Read the preamble and choose one of these issues, or a related issue, to be the focus of your essay.
2.) Locating and critically analysing sources What do people have to say about this issue and its contribution to the development of the Australian Curriculum? Conduct a search for literature about your chosen issue and its relationship to the Australian Curriculum: History. Collect a variety of perspectives about your chosen issue ? for example, some authors who think it is having a positive influence on the development of the curriculum, and some who disagree. This literature can include news articles, academic journal articles, TV news stories, etc.
What can I find out by comparing and contrasting people?s perspectives? Critically analyse the articles you find by identifying the authors? main arguments, similarities and differences between articles, inconsistencies in another author?s argument, and finding out about the broader social context in which the authors were writing. Make sure you familiarise yourself with the document the author is responding to. If, for example, the author is speaking about the Shape of the Australian Curriculum: History (ACARA, 2009), be sure to read V.2, not V.3 (2001).
3)Constructing an historical interpretation Where can I see the influence of this issue in the curriculum? Study the Australian Curriculum: History and identify aspects of the curriculum that relate to your chosen topic. Analyse those aspects of the curriculum and identify which perspective is reflected. Be sure to study the curriculum critically by asking questions such as ?Is the influence of my chosen topic obvious, completely absent or hidden??, ?Has my chosen topic resulted in compulsory content or only suggested topics??, ?Is only one perspective present or is there a balance of multiple perspectives??.
Suggested format :
? Introduction to the essay describing what topics are discussed
? Introduction to your chosen issue
o Explanation of its significance and some contextual information ? why was it included in the Melbourne Declaration?
? Synthesis of the results of your critical analysis of relevant literature
o Identification of the major arguments, debates, areas of agreement
o Discussion of the contextual factors that are likely to have influenced the authors
? Results of your analysis of the Australian Curriculum: History.
o Presence or absence of your issue?s influence
o Discussion of the range of perspectives apparent in the curriculum
o Discussion of the implications of implicit/explicit influence
o Discussion of the implications of compulsory/optional content
? Conclusion of the whole essay
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