The state of school history
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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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Overview of history teaching
Overview of History Teaching

  • 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).

Changing tapestries
Changing tapestries

  • In the 1940s, Marjorie Reeves in Great Britain used a patch or depth study approach to focus on a particular issue.

  • In 1968, Mary Price defended history from student disinterest and the absorption of the subject into the discipline of Social Science.

  • Studies by Booth (1969) suggested that students would be more engaged if involved in active learning.

  • Some history teachers were advocating that school history needed to be more active and modelled on the real work of historians to engage student interest (Sylvester, 1994).

Changing tapestries cont
Changing Tapestries cont

  • 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.

Active history
Active History

  • Active History is student focused, conceptually based and modelled on the work of historians (Falmer & Knight, 1995; Goodson, 1978; Slyvester, 1994).

Australian stories
Australian stories

  • 1970s were times of school-based curriculum change, active history pedagogy and exposure to learning theories by Bloom.

  • In 1973 the Australian Historical Association was established to publish professional historical research.

  • Yet in 1980s, the percentage of students undertaking history in senior years of schooling had declined (Macintrye, 1999).

  • The contraction of students studying history continued in the 1990s


  • 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.

Australia s response
Australia’s Response

  • 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.

Some concerns about modern course
Some Concerns about Modern course

  • Lack of comparability across options

  • The inappropriateness of the external examination to assess the full range of student achievement

  • The need to replace the core World War One Study

  • The study of two individuals too demanding

  • Modern World Studies more difficult in scope, content and complexity than other options.

  • Difficulties of resourcing the course.

  • The eurocentric nature of the course. (Modern History Consultation Report,

  • 1999, pp. 3-4)

Concerns about ancient
Concerns about Ancient

  • Too many complex outcomes to teach.

  • Lack of definition about content areas.

  • Parity of options across the course.

  • The inappropriateness of the external examination to assess the full range of student achievement

  • Concern about the ability of the course to meet the needs of the full range of students.

2007 hsc enrolment statistics
2007 HSC Enrolment Statistics

  • Course Name Units FemaleMaleTotal

  • HSC Courses

  • Aboriginal Studies 2 233 90 323

  • Ancient History 2 6839 4656 11495

  • Business Studies 2 7887 8106 15993

  • Economics 2 2247 3515 5762

  • Geography 2 2179 2382 4561

  • History Extension 1 1359 919 2278

  • Legal Studies 2 5420 3379 8799

  • Modern History 2 5302 4467 9769

  • Society and Culture 3110 621 3731

The ups and downs
The Ups and Downs

  • Growth in Business Studies

  • Moderate Decline in Modern History

  • Increase in Ancient History

  • Declines in Modern coincide with mandatory Australian History in Stage 5 Introduction.

  • More girls choose History

New directions
New Directions

  • National Curriculum

  • ICT Technologies

  • Changing nature of work in C21ST

  • Relevance of History for students

Rudd s pick to seek national curriculum
Rudd's pick to seek national curriculum

  • January 31, 2008

  • The Prime Minister has named Barry McGaw as head of the new National Curriculum Board, to be established by January 1 next year with a mission of forging a single national curriculum.

  • The Labor Government's national curriculum, which will be implemented in 2011, will initially cover English, Mathematics, Science and History from kindergarten through to the end of high school.

National curriculum
National Curriculum

  • 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

Research findings
Research Findings

  • Motivation to learn is involves personal assessment of meaningfulness of activity;

  • And a process of self initiation (Mills, Pransby and Sedgeman, 1994)

  • Students in schools indicate that it is linked to strong school support, fair discipline, student voice, high expectations, joint responsibility (Damico and Roth, 1994)


  • 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).


  • As students are given more responsbility for their own learning, student self-regulation occurs and teachers’ roles shift to making scaffolds for thinking and learning (Meece, 1991)

  • Teachers need to have autonomy orientation rather than control orientation (Deci and Ryan, 1985)


  • Autonomy orientation is seen as constructivism (Comeaux, 1993)

  • Teachers need to be supported to promote autonomy, competence and relatedness to others (Deci & Ryan, 1991; Ryan & Powelson, 1991)


  • Psychological dimensions of self regulation comprise 4 areas:

  • Why

  • How

  • What

  • Where

  • Zimmerman (2000)

Overview of the course http www youtube com watch v 4yz sfluqj4
Overview of the Course


  • Identification and understanding of the philosophy and content of the upper secondary Ancient and Extension History syllabuses

  • Different historical perspectives evident in sources

  • Forms of historical communication ­written, oral, visual, multimedia, etc.

  • Types of History, e.g.: political, military, popular, local, biographical ,etc

  • Programming and teaching upper-secondary History: the elements of programming history

  • Using appropriate motivational classroom resources with senior pupils

  • Present world issues/historical links:­ classroom teaching strategies

  • Recent interpretations regarding the teaching of syllabus content

  • Assessing senior school History: internal and external assessment models.


  • Professional Knowledge and Practice

  • Planning, Assessment and Reporting

  • Knowledge of Pedagogy

  • Knowledge of Information and Communication Technologies

  • Knowledge of NSW curriculum requirements

Assessment 1 constructing historical assessment task
Assessment 1: Constructing Historical Assessment Task

  • Weighting: 30%

  • Due Date: Tues 26th August 2008 by 5pm

  • 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.

Assessment task 2 historical personality study
Assessment Task 2: Historical Personality Study

  • Due Date: Tues 9th September 2008 by 5pm

  • Weighting: 40%

  • Task: Research a historical personality from the Modern or Ancient HSC History courses.

  • Prepare three original student teacher made activities (eg: sources, timelines, tables, empathy, visual, ICT or literacy based) that teach year 12 students about the personality.

  • Family and personal background of the personality

  • Historical context of the personality

  • Key achievements of the personality

  • Key obstacles faced by the personality

  • An assessment of the personality’s legacy.

  • Reference list of any materials adapted.

Assessment task 3 senior ancient or extension history program and presentation
Assessment Task 3 –Senior Ancient or ExtensionHistory Program and Presentation

  • Weighting: 30%

  • 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.