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Historical Understandings Australian Curriculum: History

This presentation will examine the use of historical understandings in the curriculum
by

Gerry Martin

on 2 June 2012

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Transcript of Historical Understandings Australian Curriculum: History

What historical understanding is happening in these classrooms?
Australian Curriculum: History

Historical Understandings

Gerry Martin
gmartin@stmichaels.vic.edu.au This presentation will examine the use of historical understandings in the curriculum and the challenges for teacher implementation,
provide a pedagogical model for implementing and teaching the curriculum that engages students in historical reasoning, using practical examples. 2012 Oxford Education Conference

Implementing the Australian Curriculum and developing digital learning Friday 11 May 2012 Each strand descriptor has an elaboration. There purpose is to only

“illustrate and exemplify content and to assist teachers in developing a common understanding of the content description...not intended to be comprehensive content points that all students need to be taught” (ACARA, 2010a:3). Cause and Effect Significance Empathy Disciplined Based Pedagogy Wineburg (2000)
Historical Thinking

-Sourcing
-Contextualisation
-Close Reading
-Corroborating Seixas (2006)
Benchmarks of Historical Thinking

-Establish historical significance
-Use primary source evidence
-Identify continuity and change
-Analyse cause and consequence
-Take historical perspective
-Understand moral dimensions Lévesque (2008)
Historical Thinking

-Historical significance
-Continuity and change
-Progress and decline
-Evidence
-Historical empathy Van Drie and Van Boxtel (2008) Components of Historical Reasoning

-Asks historical questions
-Uses sources
-Contextualizes
-Argumentation
-Makes use of substantive
-Makes use of meta-concepts of history Substantive Concepts First Order concepts
What history is about (substantive)- Knowledge content

Unique- Julius Caesar Battle of Hastings, D-Day, Immigration Restriction Act 1901

Colligatory / Organisational – Roman Empire, Renaissance, Industrial Revolution, 20th Century

Inclusive/Thematic- Democracy, Revolution, War
Lee 1983 Procedural Concepts Second order concepts

-“how history works?”
-“Doing”
-historical construction
-Method of historical inquiry
-Analytical and evaluative Lee (1983) “History's own Methods and Procedures” (ACARA) 1. What are Historical Understandings?
2. How do we teach historical
Understandings? Contestability Perspectives Continuity and Change Evidence F- Year 2 Year
3-6 Year
7-10 evidence, continuity and change,
cause and effect, significance, perspectives,
empathy and contestability evidence, continuity and change,
cause and effect, significance,
perspectives evidence, continuity and change,
cause and effect, significance\ Sequence of Historical Understandings The missing Link-Pedagogical Model These understandings have to be made explicit to students evidence is the information obtained from sources that is valuable for a particular inquiry (for example the relative size of historical figures in an ancient painting may provide clues for an inquiry into the social structure of the society). Evidence can be used to help construct a historical narrative, to support a hypothesis or to prove or disprove a conclusion. aspects of the past that remained the same over certain periods of time are referred to as continuities. Continuity and change are evident in any given period of time and concepts such as progress and decline may be used to evaluate continuity and change. used by historians to identify chains of events and developments over time, short term and long term the importance that is assigned to particular aspects of the past, eg events, developments, movements and historical sites. Significance includes an examination of the principles behind the selection of what should be investigated and remembered and involves consideration of questions such as: How did people in the past view the significance of an event? How important were the consequences of an event? What was the duration of the event? How relevant is it to the contemporary world? occurs when particular interpretations about the past are open to debate, for example, as a result of a lack of evidence or different perspectives empathy is an understanding of the past from the point of view of a particular individual or group, including an appreciation of the circumstances they faced, and the motivations, values and attitudes behind their actions Content Knowledge Pedagogical
Knowledge Technological
Knowledge What? How? historical inquiry is the process of investigation undertaken in order to understand the past. Steps in the inquiry process include posing questions, locating and analysing sources and using evidence from sources to develop an informed explanation about the past Yr 7-8 Yr 9-10 Analyse and Use Sources • Identify the origin and purpose of primary and secondary sources
• Locate, select and use information from a range of sources as evidence
• Draw conclusions about the usefulness of sources Use Sources as Evidence

Students should learn to
frame questions when
analysing sources 1. Title Blood Vote- Voting yes in the 1917 Referendum was vote for the death and blood of ANZACS 2. Anxious lady who is pondering on the consequences of her YES vote 3. Conscription Ballot Box reflects the democratic right of all Australians. 4.Dracula/Vampire- ready to suck the blood and kill the ANZACS. Who could this be? Also may reflect the willingness of capitalists to prey on the working class. 5. The pencil for ticking Yes is dripping blood 6. Poem As Prime minister what do you do? Leaflet and Poem Establishing new questions
to create new learning What type of Document is it?
Origin-When was the source created? By Who?
Content-Identify the features of the source.
Context- What was happening at the time it was created?
Purpose- Why was the document created?
Reliable- Does the document provide a reliable view of the debate?
Corroboration- Can this source be corroborated with others?

refer to PP. Use some of the sources provided. The referendum of 28 October 1916 asked Australians:

Are you in favour of the Government having, in this grave emergency, the same compulsory powers over citizens in regard to requiring their military service, for the term of this War, outside the Commonwealth, as it now has in regard to military service within the Commonwealth?
The referendum was defeated with 1,087,557 in favour and 1,160,033 against

Volunteer recruitment continued to lag and on 20 December 1917 Prime Minister Hughes put a second referendum to the Australian people. The referendum asked:
Are you in favour of the proposal of the Commonwealth Government for reinforcing the Commonwealth Forces overseas?‘

Hughes’ proposal was that voluntary enlistment should continue, but that any shortfall would be met by compulsory reinforcements of single men, widowers, and divorcees without dependents between 20 and 44 years, who would be called up by ballot. The referendum was defeated with 1,015,159 in favour and 1,181,747 against.
The conscription referenda were divisive politically, socially and within religious circles. Newspapers and magazines of the time demonstrate the concerns, arguments, and the passion of Australians in debating this issue. The decisive defeat of the second referendum closed the issue of conscription for the remainder of the war.
Other sources see http://www.naa.gov.au/about-us/publications/fact-sheets/fs161.aspx •Identify the origin, purpose and context of primary and secondary sources
•Process and synthesize information from a range of sources for use as
evidence in an historical argument
•Evaluate the reliability and usefulness of primary and secondary sources Contestability, Perspectives and Empathy Historiography Evidence
Continuity and Change
Cause and effect
Significance
Contestability
Perspectives
Empathy “know history and practice it” (National Curriculum Board, 2008, p. 7) Challenges:

Removing the verb
“Identify continuity and change” (Seixas 2006) becomes “continuity and change” (ACARA)
"Establish Significance" (Seixas 2006) becomes significance
“Taking Perspectives” (Seixas 2006) becomes “perspectives”

Loss of agency- student active construction of meaning- loss of meaningful understanding

“An overview of the causes of World War 1 and the reasons why men enlisted to fight in the war” (Year 9)
“An overview of the causes and course of World War II” (Year 10).

Creates incoherency between the concept and the knowledge Challenges

Year 7 depth study on ancient Greece

‘Roles of key groups in Athenian and/or Spartan society (such as citizens, women, slaves), including the influence of law and religion”

the elaboration states “examining evidence of the social structure of Athenian or Spartan society (for example the roles of citizens, women, slaves in Athenian society and the roles of Spartiates, Perioikoi and Helots in Spartan society)”.

It could read:
“students examine the roles of key groups of the social structure of Athenian and Spartan societies using sources as evidence to explain their influence on law and religion”. Challenge- Curricular Alignment

If a Year 8 teacher chooses the following depth study elective sequence,
Renaissance Italy (c.1400-1600),
Shogunate Japan (c.794-1867) or The Polynesian expansion across the Pacific (C.700-1756)
Mongol Expansion (c.1206-c.1368) or The Black Death in Asia, Europe and Africa (14th Century Plague).

These strand descriptors do not use the concept Change

Yr 8 Achievement Standards expects students to “explain patterns of change and continuity over time”. Challenge- Inconsistent use of terms

Eg Year 4

What was the nature and consequence of contact between Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Peoples and early traders, explorers and settlers?;
The journey(s) of AT LEAST ONE world navigator, explorer or trader up to the late eighteenth century, including their contacts with other societies and any impacts”;
“The nature of contact between Aboriginal people and/or Torres Strait Islanders and others, for example, the Macassans and the Europeans, and the effects of these interactions on, for example families and the environment”;
“The impact of a significant development or event on a colony”. Challenge- The understanding does not elicit the analytical component of the concept causation

“An overview of the causes of World War 1 and the reasons why men enlisted to fight in the war” (Year 9)
“An overview of the causes and course of World War II” (Year 10). Challenge-Curriculum fails to acknowledge that the concept is evaluative and requires criteria to assess it.

What contribution have significant individuals and groups made to the development of Australian society? (Year 6)
Year 7 Ancient Rome states, “The role of a significant individual in ancient Rome’s history such as Julius Caesar or Augustus”

Sets the criteria of who is significant in Ancient Rome, i.e. Emperors.
Students must discuss the concept before applying it!

Three questions I engage students every time I use the concept of significance-

Think Pair Share

1.What makes an event historically significant?

2. How do you decide?

3. Decide what criteria you would use to judge significance? To determine significance, historians look at aspects of the past (such as an event) in terms of Evaluative Criteria

Oxford Big Ideas-how many people were affected, the types of people that were affected, how long it lasted, how it changed lives, its importance and relevance today

Resulting in Change and Revealing (Seixas 2006)
importance, profundity, quantity, durability and relevance (Lévesque, 2008; National Curriculum Board, 2009; Partington, 1980);
or remarkable, remembered, resonant, resulting in change and revealing (Counsell, 2004).
contemporary, causal, patterns of change, symbolic, revelatory and present (Cercadillo, 2006). The only reference to contestability can be found in the skill elaboration for Year 9 Chronology, terms and concepts which requires the discussion of:

“contestability of particular historical terms such as 'settlement', 'invasion' and 'colonisation' in the context of Australia’s history”. References

ACARA. (2010). "The Australian Curriculum: Draft History Paper." Retrieved March, 2010, from http://www.acara.edu.au/default.asp.
Board, N. C. (2009). Shape of the Australian Curriculum: History. Canberra, National Curriculum Board. 
Boxtel, C. v. and J. v. Drie (2008). "Historical reasoning: Towards a Framework for Analyzing Students’ Reasoning about the Past." Educational Psychology Review 20: 87-110.
Bruner, J. (1960). The Process of Education. Massachusetts, Harvard University Press.
Dewey, J. (1916). Democracy and Education. Illnois, Southern Illinois University Press.
Lèvesque, S. (2008). Thinking Historically. Toronto, University of Toronto Press. 
MCEETYA (2008). Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians. Melbourne, Australian State and Federal Ministeries of Education.
Seixas, P. (2006) "Benchmarks of Historical Thinking: A Framework For Assessment in Canada." 1-12. www.histori.ca/benchmarks
Stearns, P. N. (1993). Meaning over Memory: Recasting the Teaching of Culture and History. NC, Capital Hill.
van Boxtel, C. and J. van Drie (2008). "Historical reasoning: Towards a Framework for Analyzing Students’ Reasoning about the Past." Educational Psychology Review 20: 87-110.
Wineburg, S. (2001). Historical Thiniking and Other Unnatural Act. Philadephia, Temple University Press. Year 9 Learning Activity: Causes of the Industrial Revolution Eg. Yr 9 Overview Learning Activity
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