The State of School History. History Curriculum Overview. Overview of History Teaching. Divergent philosophical beliefs about teaching history (Falmer & Knight, 1995).
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Divergent philosophical beliefs about teaching history (Falmer & Knight, 1995).
Since the early 1800s until the 1970s history in Western societies was presented as a technicolour story, filled with linear events and the lives and deaths of famous white men (Unsted, 1956;Brooks, 1993).
History was taught, not constructed and received by students in a passive fashion (Sylvester,1994).
Oral storytelling was the main teaching strategy supplemented by blackboard notes and teacher dictation (Falmer & Knight, 1995; Sylvester, 1994).
History contained a moral message for young people and taught respect and dutiful citizenship (Brooks, 1993; Falmer & Knight, 1995).
Piagetian paradigms about the formal operational stage suggested students could not deal with complex source material and critically analyse history and therefore were incapable of historical enquiry.
Revolutionary ideas about active learning and subject specific learning by Bloom, Bruner and Plowden were instrumental in over-turning Piagetian developmental theories. (Goodson, 1978; Sylvester, 1994; Falmer & Knight, 1995).
The need to captivate student interest, combined with new learning theories and teaching approaches culminated in the development of Active History (Falmer & Knight, 1995; Slyvester, 1994).
The new history replaced the old version and condemned those who practised what was considered obsolete (Falmer & Knight, 1995).
History teachers were divided in their philosophical beliefs.
Decline of students studying history occurred at a time of increasing public interest in social, local and cultural histories (Macintrye, 1999) and the emergence of post-modernist accounts of history that focus on individuals and use stories, narratives to engage interest .
The Board of Studies suggests that the introduction of new subjects into the curriculum such as Legal Studies (1989), Aboriginal Studies (1991) and Business Studies (1990) account in part for the decline (Board of Studies, 1998, p. 5).
Macintrye (1999, p. 9) identify economic and government policies shifting the emphasis on curriculum away from traditional principles of social and individual development to economic viability and vocational outcomes.
Both explanations for the decline in student interest in history are related.
The proliferation of social science subjects (Legal Studies, Aboriginal Studies) and vocationally oriented courses (Business Studies) can be presumably linked to the economic and vocational paradigm shift in educational policy that Welch (1996) describes and accordingly turn students’ attention to the achievement of employability skills and away from academic courses.
The movement from academic to vocationally relevant courses raised serious concerns both nationally and internationally with educational stakeholders.
In Great Britain, Australia and the United States of America, governments responded to the crisis by elevating the status of history in the compulsory years of schooling and mandating the skills and content to be taught (Board of Studies, 1998).
A strong debate over whether skills should be given precedence in the history curriculum over content, percolated in Great Britain and to a lesser extent in the United States of America and in Australia (Board of Studies, 1998, p. 23).
Internationally, calls for the old history to be revived were made by neo-conservative stakeholders (Board of Studies, 1998).
Significantly, history teachers when afforded the opportunity to construct and own the curriculum, had used philosophical beliefs about how history should be taught to guide their classroom practice. These findings support constructivist theories of curriculum development and practice.
International trends about history curriculum making were reflected in Australia’s attempts to:
locate national history in an international context (Senior History Syllabus in Australian and Asian History, Tasmania)
minimise unnecessary repetition in primary and secondary curricula (New South Wales Stages 4 and 5 History Syllabus)
develop students’ understanding of citizenship (Western Australian Senior History Syllabus).
In the mid 1990s the decline of history within the New South Wales Curriculum was halted with the McGaw recommendations to strengthen the current Year 10 School Certificate curriculum and assessment as a way of increasing the rigour of the senior curriculum that follows.
The result has been the prescription of Australian History for all students in New South Wales until Year 10, and a choice of depth approaches into Ancient and Modern History in Years 11 and 12.
These changes to the New South Wales history curricular have compelled history teachers to change their work practices.
sets core content and achievement standards that are expected of students at each year of schooling;
provides flexibility for jurisdictions, systems and schools to deliver the national curriculum in a way that allows all students to achieve its standards;
establishes the standards as the basis for the national testing and measurement program to be agreed by governments, to measure student progress;
broadens options for students considering different futures, preparing students for further study in all areas of future employment across the trades and technical and professional fields and in new and emerging areas of knowledge; and
ensures that student achievement is reported on the same scale and in a similar way nationally. National curriculum in these four key learning areas will be developed by 2010 and implemented from 2011.
As a second phase of work, national curriculum will be developed in languages and Geography.
The National Curriculum Board also has a role in the National Asian Languages and Studies in School Program that aims to increase the number of high school students who will become familiar with the languages and culture of Australia’s main Asian trading partners — Japan, Indonesia, China and Korea.
COAG has set a target that, by 2020, at least 12 per cent of Year 12 students will exit school with a fluency in
Intrinsic motivation and self regulation only possible in environments that provide choice and control (Zimmerman, 2000).
Students’ opportunities to develop self regulated learning are equally distributed across learners whose parents value personal responsibility. Students are goal directed, manage time well, strong sense of self efficacy (Caplan, Choy & Whitmore, 1992).
Part A: Create an assessment task for your ancient history topic. The assessment task must cater for Stage 6 Ancient History students at Year 11 or 12 level.
Part B: You also need to create an appropriate marking criteria sheet for this assessment task. The marking criteria must address outcomes being assessed.
Part C: Provide a copy of your assessment task and marking criteria sheet by uploading your assessment to myACU History Curriculum & Teaching 2 Student Assessments folder for everyone to access. These will be very useful resources to have for beginning teachers.
Program Due Date: All hard copies of programs are due on Mon13th October by 5pm. Presentations Due Dates: Weeks 11 & 12
TASK: In groups of four,create a teaching program for Ancient History or History Extension Options. Choose your group’s option from the topic list from the Course Outline. Include the following components in your program.
Part A: Overview statement indicating the Option, intended audience (stage, gender, ability levels 300 words).
Part B : Learning outcomes and Principal Focus
Part C: The Original teaching and learning worksheets, sources or activities your program describes which would be given to students learning from your program. Activities should include a range of tasks/skills (eg: source analysis, historical questions, visual tasks, ICT, literacy tasks, sequencing, data tasks, empathy, drama tasks).
Part E: Reference list acknowledging source material used to develop activities.
Due Date: in tutorials in Weeks 11 and 12 (Monday 13th-Friday 24th October)
Each group will present their program and a selected number of activities to the tutorial group. Your presentation will run for approximately 15-20 minutes (you will be stopped at 20 mins). Each of you will teach oneaspect of your program to your peers as though they were your class (include any resources necessary). All group members must be involved in the presentation.