Week 5 – Integrating the Curriculum

 Curriculum 2 

Humanities and Social Sciences education taught within a primary school context provides scope and opportunities for the integration of individual or multiple learning areas with elements of the General Capabilities and Cross-curriculum Priorities outlined in the Australian Curriculum documents (Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority [ACARA], 2014).  Reynolds (2012) asserts that nature of Humanities and Social Sciences education involving the study of people, society, the environment and the overlap of relevant concepts and dimensions associated with the General Capabilities and Cross-curriculum priorities necessitates an integrated approach to teaching and learning. For example, an interrelationship is evident when considering the key learning area of Geography.  Students have the opportunity to develop the skills and knowledge relevant to ethical understanding (General capability) and sustainability (Cross-curriculum priority) through engaging in geographical concepts such as place, environment and sustainability (ACARA, 2014).  An overlap of inquiry skills reflects the interconnection of skills such as collection, analysing, interpreting and communicating that relate to the disciplines within Humanities and Social Sciences education (Gordon, 2014). It is through these shared skills that students are able to develop understandings and knowledge of the past and present that encourage them to evoke change action.

Curriculum 1

The integration of relevant General Capabilities dimensions and embedding of Cross-curriculum priorities within key learning areas of Humanities and Social Sciences facilitates the development of globally educated students. Dyer (2005) asserts that global education is a transformative process that endeavours to prepare students to be active participants in an increasingly globalised world.  Students acquire positive value systems and develop the capacity to critically evaluate these values through learning to understand the world through multiple perspectives, for example; socially, historically, culturally and environmentally (Dyer, 2005).  Gordon (2014) asserts that integratingthe curriculum provides opportunities for students to learn within authentic, real-world contexts and enables teachers and students to efficiently gather, analysis and process information.  Furthermore, teachers are able to manage time more effectively and produce demonstrable learning outcomes within the context of an overcrowded curriculum timetable (Reynolds, 2013). However, the responsibility of designing and implementing of an integrated curriculum remains with the teacher and can be a time consuming process (Gordon, 2014).

When considering Humanities and Social Sciences education within a primary school context, I believe that a transdisciplinary or democratic approach to curriculum integration would be effective.  A democratic approach to curriculum integration enables students to negotiate or initiate the focus of the inquiry, therefore ensuring that students are able to engage with a unit of learning that is authentic, meaningful and relevant (Gordon, 2014).  It is following this negotiation process that appropriate learning outcomes within the relevant curriculum documents may be identified that take into consideration the learning disciplines, general capabilities and cross-curricular priorities.  Boyd and Hipkins (2012) assert that applying a democratic approach to curriculum integration provides for a student-centred, inquiry-based learning environment whereby students learn to be active citizens through investigating issues or concerns relevant to their local community.  Students develop an understanding of the democratic process as they negotiate and explore real-world issues.  It is through the skills, knowledge and understandings acquired through collaborative and authentic learning experiences that enable students to make sense of their environment and become real-life problems solvers within their communities (Boyd & Hipkins, 2012).

References

Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority [ACARA] (2014a). Australian curriculum: F-10 overview.  Retrieved from http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/Curriculum/Overview

Boyd, S. & Hipkins, R. (2012). Student inquiry and curriculum integration: Shared origins and points of difference (Part A). Research Information for Teachers, 3, 15-23.

Curriculum Integration. [Image 1]. (2010). Retrieved from http://www.jcjc.edu/programs/socialscience/

Curriculum Integration. [Image 2]. (2011). Retrieved from http://bonfirehealth.com/week-13-insights-spark-integration/

Dyer, J. (2005). Opportunities and challenges for global education in social education curriculum. In Paper presented at Australian Association for Research in Education Annual Conference. University of Western Sydney, Parramatta.

Gordon, K. (2014). Integrating the curriculum. In R. Gilbert & B. Hoepper (Eds.). Teaching humanities and social sciences: history, geography, economics & citizenship in the Australian curriculum (5th Ed.) (pp. 322-343). South Melbourne, Vic: Cengage Learning Australia.

Reynolds, R. (2012). Teaching history, geography & SOSE in the primary school (2nd ed.). South Melbourne, VIC: Oxford University Press

Week 4 – Geography

 

Geography.1

The disciplines of Geography and Civics and Citizenship are interconnected in assisting students to develop an understanding of stewardship in contributing to an environmentally sustainable and socially just society in the future (Australian Curriculum, Assessment & Reporting Authority [ACARA], 2014a).  Students develop the knowledge and understanding required to be active and ethically responsible citizens by connecting with the local environment through the effective use of geographical concepts, inquiry methods and skills (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2005).

The Australian Curriculum: Geography (ACARA, 2014b) outlines that students in Year 1 develop an understanding of the geographical concepts of place and space.  Students develop a concept of place by identifying and describing the features of a location.  The concept of space is explored through considering the purpose and layout of a designated local environment. Year 1 students learn about the geographical concepts of space and place through an inquiry process whereby they formulate questions for investigation.  They are eGeography 3ncouraged to investigate questions such as What are the different features of places?, How can spaces within a place be rearranged to suit different purposes? and How can we care for places?  Reynolds (2009) asserts that students effectively develop an understanding of geographic concepts when their learning is linked with their own personal local environment.

Schools provide suitable locations, for example; the wetlands area or playground, for undertaking fieldwork study and introducing mapping skills in developing a sense of spatial awareness (Reynolds, 2009).  Matthews and Cranby (2014b) outline that undertaking fieldwork in and around school grounds is appropriate when considering the attention span, curriculum topic and fieldwork skills relevant to Year 1 level students.  Fieldwork enables students to safely explore and make connections with their local environment.  Students will be able to develop an understanding of place and space by identifying the features of the school wetlands or playground.  Undertaking real-life research contributes to the development of observational, personal and analytic skills while forming respect for the Geography 2environment (Matthews & Cranby, 2014a).

Teaching mapping skills enables students to learn about where features are in relation to each other, understand how communities depend upon and influence the environment and to orientate themselves (Reynolds, 2012).  Additionally, students may record features of the nominated location through annotated diagrams, an information table or photographs.  These representations and maps may then be collated, analysed and presented to the class leading to discussion about how the school may care for these areas in terms of their future sustainability.

Students’ participation and action in civics and citizenship learning within the context of this experience may be assessed through the presentation of a proposal on how the wetlands area or playground may be maintained and best utilised in the future (Tudball & Gordon, 2014).  Members of the school leadership invited to attend and provide feedback.  The presentation and assessment of proposals provide the opportunity for students to demonstrate the skills of research, analysis, synthesis, collaborative problem solving and communication (Australian Curriculum, Assessment & Reporting Authority [ACARA], 2012).  Furthermore, students may be assessed on their understanding that they have a responsibility to be actively involved in the care and maintenance of the school ground environment.

References

Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority [ACARA] (2012). The Shape of the Australian Curriculum: Civics and Citizenship. Retrieved from  http://www.acara.edu.au/verve/_resources/Shape_of_the_Australian_Curriculum__Civics_and_Citizenship_251012.pdf

Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority [ACARA] (2014a). The Australian Curriculum: Geography: Aims. Retrieved from http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/humanitiesandsocialsciences/geography/Aims

Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority [ACARA] (2014b). The Australian Curriculum: Geography: Foundation to year 10. Retrieved from http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/humanitiesandsocialsciences/geography/Curriculum/F-10#level1

Department of the Environment and Heritage. (2005). National Environmental Education Statement for Australian Schools: Educating for a Sustainable Future. Carlton South, Vic: Curriculum Corporation

Geography [Image 1]. (2014).Retrieved from http://mchsoates.weebly.com/ap-human-geography.html

Geography. [Image 2] (2014). Retrieved from http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-image-nautical-compass-wheel-image6321071

Geography. [Image 3] (2014). Retrieved from http://ceveritt.com/the-mark-of-an-environmentally-friendly-business/

Matthews, S. & Cranby, S. (2014a). Geography in the Australian Curriculum. In R. Gilbert & B. Hoepper (Eds.). Teaching humanities and social sciences: history, geography, economics & citizenship in the Australian curriculum (5th Ed.) (pp. 223-247). South Melbourne, Vic: Cengage Learning Australia.

Matthews, S. & Cranby, S. (2014b). Teaching Geographical Thinking. In R. Gilbert & B. Hoepper (Eds.). Teaching humanities and social sciences: history, geography, economics & citizenship in the Australian curriculum (5th Ed.) (pp. 248-277). South Melbourne, Vic: Cengage Learning Australia.

Reynolds, R. (2009). Teaching studies of society and environment in the primary school.  South Melbourne, Victoria: OxfordUniversity Press.

Reynolds, R. (2012). Teaching history, geography & SOSE in the primary school (2nd ed.). South Melbourne, VIC: Oxford University Press

Tudball, L. & Gordon, K. (2014). Teaching for active and informed citizenship. In R. Gilbert & B. Hoepper (Eds.). Teaching humanities and social sciences: history, geography, economics & citizenship in the Australian curriculum (5th Ed.) (pp. 297-320). South Melbourne, Vic: Cengage Learning Australia.

Week 3 – History

WW2.1

To effectively teach a curriculum unit within a primary school context, teachers require the skill and understanding to successfully integrate and apply subject content knowledge, curriculum knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge. The Australian Curriculum: History provides the framework by which teachers develop students’ historical knowledge, understanding and skills.  It is through History education that students learn to understand and use historical concepts to appreciate the influence of past events on society through the process of historical inquiry (Australian Curriculum, Assessment & Reporting Authority [ACARA], 2014).

WW1 Soldier 2

Historical learning in Year 3 focuses on the content of community and remembrance, whereby  students have the opportunity to identify and explore past events that are commemorated  each year in Australia (ACARA, 2014b).  Exploring the historical topic of ANZAC Day provides  students with the opportunity to develop knowledge and understanding regarding the concepts  of significance ad continuity and change.  Phillips (2002) asserts that the concept of  significance can be characterised by the importance of the event to the people at the time and  the affect the event has had on people’s live.  Students are able to develop an understanding of  continuity and change through the study of regular commemorative events such as ANZAC Day (Hoepper, 2014).  The  Australian Curriculum Humanities and Social Sciences-History: Scope and sequence (ACARA, 2012) document supports opportunities for students to develop an understanding of these concepts through exploring the question How and why do people choose to remember significant events of the past?

Teachers that possess a thorough knowledge of historical subject matter regarding the topic of ANZAC Day are able to confidently design authentic learning experiences, utilise appropriate resources, respond to student questioning and actively participate in classroom discourse (MacNamara, 1991). Developing a learning sequence that focuses on the commemoration of ANZAC Day requires an understanding of the reasons for the commemoration, knowledge of Australia’s involvement in World War 1

Anzac Day.2, the topic of Gallipoli and features of the annual commemorative ceremony (Australian War Memorial, 2014).  Reitano and Green (2013) support the notion that history teachers need to have sufficient subject knowledge in order to teach history effectively and support student learning.  An understanding of appropriate pedagogical content knowledge applicable to History education enables the teacher to employ a range of strategies that facilitate inquiry-based learning.  Schulman (1986) asserts that pedagogical content knowledge involves understanding that students bring diverse conceptions and experiences into the classroom. Therefore, the teacher must employ a range of strategies and representations in order support the development of historical conceptual understanding of significance and continuity and change when considered within the context of ANZAC Day.

Reynolds (2012) asserts that students acquire historical skills, knowledge and understanding when learning is linked to meaningful and relevant interests within the local community.  For example, visiting the local war memorial or interviewing a local returned serviceman provides a local perspective on the significance of ANZAC Day.  The use of artefacts and photographs, for example memorial Boxes from the Australian War Memorial, visits to museums, role-play activities and storytelling provide context to student learning and cater for diverse learning needs (Reynolds, 2012).  Investigating significant commemorative events such as ANZAC Day from a local perspective enables students to consider change and continuity through connecting the past with the present.

References

Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority [ACARA] (2012). The Australian Curriculum Humanities and Social Sciences-History: Scope and sequence. Retrieved from file:///C:/Users/Darren%20Kirby/Downloads/Australian%20Curriculum%20(7).pdf

Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority [ACARA] (2014a). The Australian Curriculum: History: Aims. Retrieved from http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/humanitiesandsocialsciences/history/Aims

Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority [ACARA] (2014b). The Australian Curriculum: History. Retrieved from http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/humanitiesandsocialsciences/history/Curriculum/F-10#level3.

Australian War Memorial (2014). The ANZAC Day tradition.  Retrieved from https://www.awm.gov.au/commemoration/anzac/anzac-tradition/

Hoepper, B. (2014). History in the Australian Curriculum. In R. Gilbert & B. Hoepper (Eds.). Teaching humanities and social sciences: history, geography, economics & citizenship in the Australian curriculum (5th Ed.) (pp. 175-195). South Melbourne, Vic: Cengage Learning Australia.

MacNamara, D. (1991). Subject knowledge and its application: problems and possibilities for teacher educators. Journal of Education for Teaching, 17(2). 113-128.

Phillips, R. (2002). Historical significance – the forgotten key element. Teaching History, 106. 14-19.

Reitano, P. & Green, N. (2013). Beginning teachers’ conceptual understandings of effective history teaching: examining the change from “subject knowers” to “subject teachers”. Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education, 41(2), 197-217.

Reynolds, R. (2012). Teaching history, geography & SOSE in the primary school (2nd ed.). South Melbourne, VIC: Oxford University Press

Shulman, L. (1986). Those who understand: knowledge growth in teaching. Educational Researcher, 15(2). 4-14.

World War 1 Soldiers. [Image 1]. (2011). Retrieved from http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/red-tape-over-australian-wwi-soldiers-uncovered-in-france/story-e6frea6u-1226042442621

World War 1 Soldiers. [Image 2]. (2013). Retrieved from http://1914centenary.com/2013/11/11/former-australian-pm-says-world-war-i-devoid-of-virtue/comment-page-1/

World War 1 Poster. [Image 3]. (2014). Retrieved from http://www.anzacday.org.au/education/afor/afor-e.html

Week 2 – Civics and Citizenship

Civics Image

The effective implementation of the new Australian Curriculum: Civics and Citizenship in schools and classrooms requires a whole-school approach whereby students are given the opportunity to become actively and democratically involved at a classroom, school and community level within meaningful and relevant contexts.  Tudball (2010) asserts that development of the skills, knowledge and understandings associated with Civics and Citizenship Education (CCE) is most effective when embedded within a school’s ethos, culture, environment, program and policies.  For example, students have the opportunity to have a genuine voice in the defining a school’s vision, beliefs and values through participation in student representative groups such as junior school council (Tudball, 2010).

Pedagogical strategies and classroom practices are important in developing the skills of communication, collaboration, flexibility, creativity and reflective thinking (Reynolds, 2012).  A classroom environment that promotes human rights as a basis for all classroom interactions facilitates trust among teachers and students, therefore providing foundation upon which students can develop and clarify their own values (Tudball & Gordon, 2014).  Marsh and Hart (2011) assert that teaching and learning of Civics and Citizenship Education occurs best within a classroom environment that promotes a collaborative and cooperative approach.  Knowledge and values are personally constructed through an inquiry-based process where students work and learn with their peers to resolve authentic issues relevant to the school or local community, for example; management of school wetlands area (Reynolds, 2012).  The opportunity to participate in simulations of the democratic process, for example, debates, class and school elections enables students to understand, appreciate and tolerate differences (Reynolds, 2012).

The Shape of the Australian Curriculum: Civics and Citizenship (Australian Curriculum, Assessment & Reporting Authority [ACARA], 2012) document emphasises the value of students participating in experiences external to the school, for example Clean Up Australia Day, in connecting their learning to relevant societal issues.  Establishing collaborative partnerships with other schools, community groups or local businesses enable students to learn citizenship and connect with local issues through authentic and purposeful experiences (Tudball & Gordon, 2014).  Allowing Civics and Citizenship Education to assume a pivotal role in the school curriculum will therefore underpin a school culture and environment that promotes inclusiveness, diversity and tolerance (Marsh & Hart, 2011).  The formal release of the Australian Curriculum: Civics and Citizenship document will establish explicit goals and expectations for teaching and learning.  However, Civics and Citizenship Education may be taught explicitly as a stand-alone subject or integrated through other learning areas, particularly with history, geography, business and economics (Tudball & Gordon, 2014).  For example, students develop a sense of stewardship and work towards becoming active and informed citizens through participating in Education for Sustainability programs (Cutter-Mackenzie & Hoepper, 2014).

In conclusion, the effective implementation of the new Australian Curriculum: Civics and Citizenship in schools and classrooms may be achieved through providing students with authentic learning experiences within an inquiry-based, collaborative, respectful and inclusive learning environment.  The use of pedagogical strategies relevant to Civics and Citizenship Education enable students to actively construct their own learning through social discourse.  Participation in activities such as role plays and simulations promote the values of democracy, personal values, social justice and independence.  Finally, establishing student learning that connect with experiences beyond the classroom will contribute toward the development of active and informed citizens (ACARA, 2012).

References

Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority [ACARA] (2012). The Shape of the Australian Curriculum: Civics and Citizenship. Retrieved from  http://www.acara.edu.au/verve/_resources/Shape_of_the_Australian_Curriculum__Civics_and_Citizenship_251012.pdf

Civics & Citizenship [Image 1]. (2013) Retrieved from http://tta.edu.au/occurrences?learningAreaId=28

Civics & Citizenship [Image 2]. (2011) Retrieved from http://nirmukta.com/2011/11/17/superstitions-and-human-rights-a-talk-in-mangalore/

Cutter-Mackenzie, A. & Hoepper, B. (2014). Teaching for active and informed citizenship. In R. Gilbert & B. Hoepper (Eds.). Teaching humanities and social sciences: history, geography, economics & citizenship in the Australian curriculum (5th Ed.) (pp. 390-418). South Melbourne, Vic: Cengage Learning Australia.

Marsh, C. & Hart, C. (2011). Civics and  citizenship. In K. Kennedy (Ed.) Teaching the social sciences and humanities in an Australian curriculum. (pp. 333-355). Frenchs Forest, NSW: Pearson Australia.

Reynolds, R. (2012). Teaching history, geography & SOSE in the primary school (2nd ed.). South Melbourne, VIC: Oxford University Press

Tudball, L. (2010). Putting civics and citizenship education back on the education agenda: responding to global imperatives and learning from international research. Social Educator, 28(3), 17-24.

Tudball, L. & Gordon, K. (2014). Teaching for active and informed citizenship. In R. Gilbert & B. Hoepper (Eds.). Teaching humanities and social sciences: history, geography, economics & citizenship in the Australian curriculum (5th Ed.) (pp. 297-320). South Melbourne, Vic: Cengage Learning Australia.