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Glenn Matthews. Melbourne Grammar School. The Exam Section B. Part 1 : Area Of Study 1 Extended response to a document, image or commentary Q. 4 a, b, c, d, , [2 + 2 + 6 + 10 = 20 ] Part 2: Area of Study 2 Essay question

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glenn matthews

Glenn Matthews

Melbourne Grammar School

the exam section b
The Exam Section B
  • Part 1 : Area Of Study 1
  • Extended response to a document, image or commentary
  • Q. 4 a, b, c, d, ,
  • [2 + 2 + 6 + 10 = 20]
  • Part 2: Area of Study 2
  • Essay question
  • Do the essay on Russia or you will be sent to the Gulag. There is no choice. Nyet.
  • (69 lines or less) [20]
areas of study one and two
Areas of Study One and Two
  • AOS 1
  • Ideas Leaders Movements and EventsBloody Sunday1905 to Bolshevik Revolution October 1917
  • AOS 2
  • Creating a New Society
  • Russian Revolution November 1917 to 1924 (Initial Decrees to the death of Lenin)
area of study one
Area of Study One
  • Revolutionary Ideas, Leaders, Movement and Events.
  • When
  • The period for this area of study is
  • Russian Revolution 1905 to October 1917 (Bloody Sunday to the Bolshevik Revolution)
slide5
Why?
  • Historians have put forward different theories about the causes of revolution; for example,
  • inadequate response to structural change,
  • political divisions,
  • the failure of rising expectations
  • the loss of authority
  • the erosion of confidence in the old order.
more why
More Why
  • Why did social tensions and ideological conflicts increase in the pre-revolutionary period?
  • Why could social tensions and ideological conflicts not be contained within the traditional order?
  • What events or circumstances eroded confidence in the government or weakened capacity of the ruling class to meet challenges to its authority?
  • How important were ideas, leaders or movements in explaining why the revolution happened? Think about Marxism and Leninism versus Liberalism in the Russian Rev.
  • How important was Lenin in bringing about the success of the revolution?
  • Why do some historians focus more on circumstances and longer term developments as the main contributors to revolution and determinants of the course it would take?
key knowledge
Key Knowledge
  • The chronology of key events and factors which contributed to the revolution.
  • The causes of tensions and conflicts generated in the old regime that many historians see as contributing to the revolution: for example
    • rising and unfulfilled class expectations
    • fluctuations in economic activity
    • failed attempts at economic, social or political reform
    • perceived social or economic inequality or lack of political voice
    • the impact of war or economic crisis that contributed to revolution
    • the social and economic impact of WWI on Tsarist Russia
  • The ideas and ideologies utilised in revolutionary struggle; Marxist ideas in the Russian Revolution
  • The role of revolutionary individuals and groups in bringing about change, for example in Russia Kerensky, Trotsky, Lenin and the Socialist Revolutionaries, Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks.
the course
The Course
  • What
  • A new political order and a new society was not created easily. Revolutions take many years to achieve their initial promise of social political change.
  • Endangered and radicalised by political dissent, civil war, economic breakdown and wars of foreign intervention, resistance to revolution assumed different forms impeding the transformation which the revolutionaries had envisioned.
  • In times of crisis, revolutionary governments often became more authoritarian, instituting more severe policies of social control.
what did it mean
What did it mean?
  • Historians debate the success of the revolutionary ideas, leaders, groups and governments in achieving their ideals by evaluating the nature of the new society as the revolution consolidated. Questions are raised such as:
  • Has a completely new order been established with a significantly changed ruling group and ideology, with new methods of governing and new social institutions?
  • Have the subjects of the new state acquired greater freedom and an improved standard of living?
  • Has the revolution been successful in establishing a different set of values that fulfilled the ideas of the revolutionaries?
key knowledge10
Key Knowledge
  • The contribution of individuals and groups to the creation of the new society: in Russia Trotsky and Lenin
  • The cause of difficulties or crises faced by the revolutionary groups or governments as a new state was consolidated; for example the Civil War and Foreign Intervention in Russia
  • The Response of key revolutionary individuals, groups, governments or parties to the difficulties that they encountered as the new state was consolidated; the Red Guard in Russia, Civil War and War Communism in Russia
  • The compromise of revolutionary ideals; for example the NEP in Russia and the Red Guard.
  • The radicalisation of policies, for example during the authoritarian rule of the Civil War in Russia
  • The changes and continuities that the revolution brought about in the structure of government, the organisation of society and its values and the distribution of wealth and conditions of everyday life.
mnemonic device pesciev
Mnemonic Device - PESCIEV
  • Political
  • Economic
  • Social
  • Cultural
  • Institutional
  • Everyday
  • Values
key skills
Key Skills
  • Gather evidence of the difficulties faced by revolutionary individuals, groups, governments or parties in the creation of a new society.
  • Analyse evidence of the response of the key revolutionary individuals, groups, governments or parties to the difficulties that they encountered as the new state was consolidated;
  • Evaluate the degree to which the revolution brought about change from the old regime
  • Consider a range of historian’s interpretations.
for success you need
For success you need
  • Good knowledge of both areas of study of both revolutions
  • Understanding of what the examiners are looking for (examination criteria)
  • Clear, succinct writing style –including accurate spelling (especially of specific terms and terminology of study guide) and punctuation
  • Legible writing
  • Lots of practice at analysis of graphics and texts and writing of short essays
  • Lots of practice at doing sample papers and questions in time limit
the criteria
The Criteria
  • The examination paper will address all the criteria. All students will be examined against each criterion.
  • Understanding and appropriate use of historical terms, concepts, commentaries and interpretations
  • Application of evidence to support arguments and conclusions
  • Knowledge of the commencement, ongoing development and/or consolidation of the revolution
  • Knowledge of key events, factors, individuals and/or groups influencing the revolution and its consolidation
  • Analysis of the revolutionary struggle and the creation of a new society
  • Evaluation of change in the revolution
historical terms
Historical terms
  • political, social, economic, institution, ideology, every day values, cultural, traditional order, new order, rising expectations tension, crises, conflict, consensus, stability, radicalisation, foreign intervention, consolidation of revolution,…
concepts
Concepts
  • Class, equality, freedom, poverty, change, continuity, autocracy, democracy, socialism, communism, anarcho-syndicalism, dictatorship of the proletariat, Dialectical Materialism totalitarianism, Marxist Leninism, Leadership, psychopath, violence, criminality, Revolution!
commentaries
Commentaries
  • memoirs (memories of the events recorded at a later time), observations about events made at the time by people who did not see everything that they wrote about e.g.
  • John Reed Ten Days that Shook the World
  • Emma Goldman’s writings.
historian s interpretations
Historian’s interpretations.
  • There is a large range of these.
  • Keep it simple and concentrate on Soviet view versus other views.
  • In this Stalinist view the Bolsheviks led the masses to glorious revolution, and everything they did was right.
  • It takes the Bolshevik view to the next level of propaganda and does some serious editing of the historical record.
  • Anti – Soviet views cover the whole spectrum from Trotsky to Pipes.
  • Don’t get too worried about the differences – just hammer the soviet view.
leon trotsky bolshevik view
Leon Trotsky, “Bolshevik View”
  • Young Trotsky
  • “A four of a kind son of a bitch, but the greatest Jew since Jesus Christ”
e h carr
E. H. Carr
  • Pro Bolshevik View
the exam
The Exam
  • Examiner’s report and exams from 2005 onwards are available in full on the VCAA website.
  • Just Alta Vista Victorian Curriculum Assessment Authority Revolutions
do s and don ts
Do’s and Don’ts
  • Look at the new exam paper so that you are familiar with it, its layout, the requirements. Find it at the VCAA website
  • Know what you have to do in Part A and Part B (what do you have to do?)
  • How many marks do you get if you do the same rev twice?
  • What happens when you do two revs per section?
  • Do write in black pen – don’t write in pencil - this can be difficult for assessors to read.
do s and don ts24
Do’s and Don’ts
  • Strategy. I would start with the documents/graphics/commmentaries and then go on to the essay
  • Reading comprehension, gets the intellectual juices flowing, gives you something concrete to get underway with,
  • Think about what you are going to write and jot some points down
  • Problem is not filling the page but not filling it too quickly with words that lack concision and sentences that simply don’t say enough.
  • You have plenty to say – you really need to plan a response so that you answer the question properly
the exam25
The Exam
  • The discriminating part of the paper was the response to the document and visual representation questions. You must use the extract or visual representation by making direct reference to it and also use both your own knowledge and knowledge of historians’ views.
the exam26
The Exam
  • Section B Part 1
examiner s report
Examiner’s Report

GENERAL COMMENTS

  • In 2008 assessors found a significant reduction in students’ factual knowledge and skill in working with documents and visual representations as evidence of the period.
  • Poor handwriting and control of expression was prevalent; it would be useful for students to practise writing neatly in defined spaces and to learn to spell terms accurately.
  • Teachers should also remind students that pencil is not to be used in examinations.
  • There were still a number of answers in dot point format; students cannot obtain full marks when answers are presented in this way.
2008 examiner s report
2008 Examiner’s report
  • Quite a number of students still made errors in their selection of options and wrote on the same revolution in both parts of the paper. This mistake meant students lost marks for one of the sections.
  • As in the past the discriminating part of the paper was the response to the document and visual representation questions.
  • Some students seemed unaware that they needed to use the extract or visual representation by direct reference to it and also use both their own knowledge and knowledge of historians’ views.
analysing graphics documents
Analysing Graphics/Documents
  • In this section there are easy questions, medium difficulty and difficult questions
  • The two mark questions are designed to be easy. You can simply lift the words out of the document and put them down as your answer.
  • Don’t get too clever – this is really just reading comprehension and anyone who can read English should be able to answer them without the ravages of studying this course.
  • You must understand the content of what you are looking at, the context in which things happened and the function or purpose of the document.
  • Reading comprehension or what is in a graphic is content.
context
Context
  • Question c is context – you use the document and you use your knowledge of what was going on at the time. You explain the link between the document and events of the time.
  • If you are interested in doing well then you mix up your grasp of facts with the ideas shown in the document and thus produce a response that lets us know what caused the document to be produced in the first place.
  • If you are not interested in doing well then just tell me what is in the document, don’t connect it to anything and make sure that you don’t show any knowledge of the course that you have studied for a year.
  • If you are really interested in doing badly – write poetry or religious diatribes or select the next Australian cricket team
function
Function
  • Question d., on historiography is the tough one.
  • The key to this question is the word views.
  • Historians have different views on what happened in the past and you have to demonstrate that you have an awareness of this basic reality.
  • Historians have contesting views. The document will express a view. You have to run up the differing views against each other for a part of your response.
function32
Function
  • So for the historians you usually run up some version of a social view against a more liberal view, run up deep structural causes against individuals making decisions.
  • The document itself has a view – it was produced by someone
  • Who produces a document affects the views expressed in the document. Last year the Chief Examiner was disappointed that students could not accurately identify this sort of basic information
  • There are prompts given to you ie strengths and limitations in the question. You would be wise to use those prompts.
  • Many students left out the comparison to ‘other views’, which formed an essential part of the question.
function33
Function
  • Weak answers tried to link ‘strengths and limitations’ to what they believed were factual accuracies or inaccuracies of the document and others either seemed to accept the view presented as factual, or were critical about everything it stated.
  • It is always good to be critical – but you must target your criticism well not just roll out unthinking critiques.
  • To score highly students need to address the strengths and limitations of using the document to accurately illuminate the period, as well as compare different viewpoints and link them to the question.
2008 exam
2008 Exam
  • The following graphic is entitled
  • “The Czar of all the Russias” It is a cartoon in Punch (an English magazine) from 1905.
  • The word written on the document held by the person lying down says: ‘Petition’.
examiner s view
Examiner’s view
  • Generally student responses to this task showed some familiar weaknesses.
  • Students were able to identify features from the graphic and read it symbolically but were not able to make links to their own knowledge and respond to historiography.
gettin it rong
Gettin it Rong
  • Question d. was poorly done. Students seemed to either repeat knowledge already presented or compare historians.
  • They did not tackle the reliability of the graphic as evidence. There was a lot of ‘dumping’ of learned quotes that lacked relevance to the context of the graphic and question. A typical weak statement was, for example, ‘this is written by a historian and not someone who experienced the event first hand and therefore it is bias’.
  • Students should also learn how to use the terms ‘bias’ and ‘biased’ correctly.
getting it right
Getting it Right
  • High-scoring responses used outside factual knowledge to illuminate ideas presented in the graphic. Medium and weak responses either did not move beyond information contained in the graphic and simply expressed their own knowledge.
  • Most students made a generalised attempt to analyse the view contained in the graphic, but they must identify specific elements in the graphic that provide clues to the position held by the artist. The best approach is one where a historian’s viewpoint is explained and the response shows how it differs from, or confirms, the ideas expressed in the graphic.
the questions
The Questions
  • a. Identify two symbols of the Russian monarchy shown in the representation.
  • b. Identify two features (not listed in part a. above) of the representation that suggest disapproval of Tsarist actions.
  • c. Using your own knowledge and the representation, explain the events which influenced this view ofTsar Nicholas II in February 1905.
  • d. Explain to what extent this representation presents a reliable view of the causes of the 1905 Revolution. In your response, refer to different views of the period.
the good and the not so good
The good and the not so good
  • The graphic was generally well handled and students showed familiarity with this image.
  • Students extracted information for the short questions very well and were able to relate the image to Bloody Sunday.
  • However, the question asked about events that influenced this view of the Tsar and students mainly wrote about Bloody Sunday rather than a series of events culminating with Bloody Sunday. All students covering the Russian Revolution should have known about the contents of the petition pictured, which were long-term grievances of the lower classes.
  • Unfortunately some good answers did not achieve the highest marks because they did not refer specifically to the graphic in Question 4c. Question 4d. was not as well done as expected. Information was repeated from Question 4c. Students should use a wide range of information in testing reliability of an image.
a high level response d
A High Level Response – “d”
  • The representation presents Nicholas11 as naive to events around him and impervious to reform. The Soviet official orthodoxy would highly praise the message of the cartoon, as they state the 1905 revolution was only not successful as a Marxist revolution is due to the fact that they lacked a centralised cause and a courageous leader such as Lenin. However, the Western liberal view of the Russian revolution, exemplified by historian Richard Pipes, would argue the Tsar not only ignored pressure from below,manifested in the worker in the cartoon; he often avoided the advice of his ministers, such as Sergei Witte who ardently argued for some sort of liberal concessions. However, he would agree with Nicholas 11’s depiction as a skeleton, as he suggests liberal reform could have occurred if the Tsar was not so outdated in political views, citing the national zemtvo meetings held in late 1904. Similarly Revisionists such as Figes and Fitzpatrick would agree with the cartoon’s message, Figes stating ‘the Tsar was truly out of touch with his people’, and by pointing out the Tsars avoidance of the political necessity of reform after Bloody Sunday, January 4th1905. Overall historians are unanimous in their condemnation of Tsarist government prior to February 1905. Therefore this cartoon is reliable.
medium level response d
Medium level response “d”
  • The graphic is reliable in that it presents a view of both Tsarist weakness and a failure by the workers to coordinate their efforts. Liberal historian Richard Pipes contends that Bloody Sunday was an ‘overwhelming display of Tsarist incompetence’, depicted in the cartoon by the dead Tsar, suggesting obsolete leadership and reflective of Father Gapon’s cry ‘There is no Tsar!’ Orlando Figes, however, emphasises the masses ‘inability to coordinate and collaborate their movements’, shown in the graphic by a seemingly weak man, contrasted to Soviet cartoons which generally depict a strong man or woman of fortitude.
strategy of analysis
Strategy of Analysis
  • Content
  • Context
  • Function
content
Content
  • We need to be able to understand what is going on in a graphic, which is an artefact of history and part of the way we make sense of the world, so it is important to carefully analyse a graphic in a structured way.
content46
Content
  • The first step is to note what the content is. Most students focus on the middle of the picture and miss significant details which are around the edges. So, we start at the edges and work our way in, simply describing as accurately and as simply as possible what it is we can see.
context47
Context
  • The context of a picture is all the things going on around the time the picture was created. You should note when the picture was created as your starting point and note how long after the actual events depicted it was finished. There are a small range of contexts rather than just one.
  • The first is the immediate context, which is where you should discuss what was going on at the moment that is depicted in the graphic.
  • The second is the broader context that should consider the wider range of events that have led to what is happening.
  • The third context is the overall one, that might include anything from history that might be relevant to understanding what is going on.
function48
Function
  • The final element to graphic analysis is the question of function. What was the artist trying to convey in the picture? What was the message? Who was the audience? How do you think it would have been received by various groups? There are two important elements here. One is the intended function, but the other is the actual function. The graphic may have had a completely different effect than the one intended. You have to think very carefully to try and speculate about function.
pipes and bush
Pipes and Bush
  • Pipes is a right-wing liberal historian.
  • Bush is history.
orlando figes
Orlando Figes
  • Orlando Figes – liberal, revisionist … but don’t worry about that stuff too much. It is what he says rather than the label that matters.
sheila fitzpatrick
Sheila Fitzpatrick
  • Sheila Fitzpatrick – Social Historian, but don’t worry too much about that. Concentrate on what she says rather than concerning yourself too much with the finer points of historiographical perspective.
another sheila f
Another Sheila F.
  • Do not trust the views of this particular Sheila Fitzpatrick.
historiography one more time
Historiography – one more time
  • It is much better to know what a historian said about an event, incident, person, period of history and the evidence they use to support your view.
  • Therefore students need to practise measuring views expressed in graphics, documents and commentaries against historian’s or contemporaries’ views of particular events.
2008 topics
2008 Topics
  • Question 5
  • Choose one of the following and write an extended response in the space provided. Write on the same Revolution you used to answer Question 4.
  • a. Discuss the extent to which the new society was able to resolve the grievances of the people.
  • OR
  • b. Discuss the extent to which the new society was successful in fulfilling the ideals of the Revolution.
  • OR
  • c. Discuss the extent to which the nature of political authority was changed by the Revolution.
  • 20 marks
examiner s response
Examiner’s response
  • There were still too many students who explored aspects of the regime before the revolution. Students should be taught to focus their response on the new society rather than construct a comparison between the old regime and the new society.
  • The best responses referred closely to the terms in the question and used a range of evidence to support their interpretation. Too often historians’ views were used in place of evidence rather than an opinion to support their evidence. It is preferred that students supply their own factual evidence and confirm it with a viewpoint rather than only use the viewpoint.
slide60
The highest scoring essays used specific factual evidence such as statistics, quotes, dates, names, policies or events to support all of their points and maintained question focus throughout. The best essays clearly and accurately named different groups of people rather than using the generalised labels of ‘the people’, ‘the rich’, ‘the poor’, or classifying all those who were not nobility as peasants. Weak responses tended to narrate, describing anything about the revolution, often without clear relevance. Most students used the three pages of the exam booklet efficiently and some made use of the extra space at the end of the script booklet. Successful answers were confined to this space.
the world has changed
The World Has Changed
  • The question on the sample exam was like this”
  • Russia [November 1917–1924 death of Lenin]
  • A Soviet view of the Revolution would argue that it successfully transferred power from the privileged classes to the oppressed proletariat.
  • Do you agree with this view? Use evidence to support your answer.
  • 20 marks
opportunities and traps
Opportunities and traps
  • A Soviet view of the Revolution would argue that it successfully transferred power from the privileged classes to the oppressed proletariat. Do you agree with this view? Use evidence to support your answer.
  • This quote allows you to agree with the proposition – power was transferred. So that is the opportunity. You can talk about the revolution from a political point of view and argue that the Bolsheviks did take power – though you would be remembering that February saw the downfall of the Tsar and that it was the Provisional Government that was overthrown.
the trap
The Trap
  • Where was power transferred to? Most students will probably simply agree with the quote and argue that the workers came to be in charge as suggested by the quote… thus falling into the trap.
  • The Bolshevik transferred power to themselves and the former proletariat members who became privileged members of the new regime, but in no way was this the promised time of the “Dictatorship of the Proletariat” nor was it a time of “All Power to the Soviets” – rather more accurately power was directed from above through the soviets
slide64
You could usefully use a range of evidence to show the parlous state of the proletariat by 1921 to demonstrate that power had not flowed towards them.
  • The workers’ strikes prior to Kronstadt are also good discussion points about where power lay.
  • The smashing of opposition everywhere by the Bolsheviks, against a backdrop of concessions, shows that this is a complex topic and you should draw out that complexity.
slide65
Strictly speaking you don’t have to run a Soviet versus other historians argument and you could just tackle the proposition with knowledge, facts and evidence. However the best students will no doubt assail a notion like this with a range of contrasting views across the spectrum from Pipes to Fitzpatrick to Volkogonov and beyond.
remembrance of things past
Remembrance of things past
  • The new topics are more like the old topics from 2004:
          • Question 4
          • ‘Isolation from their people could seriously weaken the authority and effectiveness of old regime rulers, a lesson that the new revolutionary regimes did not always learn.’
          • Discuss this view, providing evidence to support your answer.
          • OR
          • Question 5
          • ‘Revolutionaries have optimistic expectations; however, a new society is not created easily.’
          • Discuss this view, providing evidence to support your answer.
          • OR
          • Question 6
          • ‘The new government often had difficulty consolidating its power because it failed to deal effectively with the crises that had confronted the old regime.’ Discuss this view, providing evidence to support your answer.
examiner s report67
Examiner’s Report
  • Part of a response to Question 5 that was assessed as representative of a 16 follows. The response missed ‘easily’ in the question and fell short because it seemed to lapse into a change and continuity style essay in parts. A redeeming feature is the student’s strong knowledge and use of historians.
the intro the most imp para
The intro – the most imp. para.
  • In 1917 Russia underwent two revolutions, the first in March where 303 years of Romonov Tsarism was ended with the abdication of the Tsar, and a Provisional Government and the Petrograd Soviet took over governing Russia as Dual power; and the second when Lenin and his Bolshevik party overthrew the Provisional government in November to begin a one party dictatorship. The aim of these revolutions had been to create a utopian Marxist society, where ‘each [worked] to their ability and each to their needs’, in a classless, industrially advanced state. Although communism was seen as failed by 1991, Soviet historians would maintain that it had been worth pursuing the utopian dream. Other historians like American Richard Pipes, will say that the revolution had failed to create any sort of a new society. However, historians like Adcock say that some of the expectations of the revolution had been achieved, if not politically, then socially and economically.
  • [The student misses ‘easily’ in the question.]
slide69
Have a look at the earlier exams and reports– but remember they are not identical to what we are doing now.
  • We don’t write about the old regime unless it is in the context of a point about the New Society.
  • We don’t go into the Stalinist era.
tips from 2004 for 2009
Tips from 2004 – For 2009
  • Don’t produce pre-planned essays
  • Use of evidence remains a defining skill between the mid-range and high scoring essays. Many students simply use knowledge as evidence, while the best answers use detailed facts and/or historians’ viewpoints.
  • Some descriptions of student work to bear in mind that help define levels of achievement in essays are:
  • • Ten: may be narrative in style, little real evidence is given
  • • Twelve: not all of the question is addressed
  • • Fourteen: provides a clear and relevant argument
  • • Sixteen: confident, but falls short; the subtleties of the question are not fully addressed
  • • Eighteen - Twenty: sophisticated with subtle inferences.
stop and think
Stop and Think
  • Give careful consideration to the words in the essay topic. They are chosen very carefully so make use of the opportunity that they provide, detect the trap and then make that into an even greater opportunity.
slide72
Finally – be excited, interested and engaged when you write the exam. You really have to strut your stuff, show us your depth of knowledge and understanding and be confident that when you give us a chance to reward you – then we will take the opportunity.
  • Good luck.
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