The main idea I am familiar with under this new History syllabus is the historical concept of “Continuity and Change” as this was an outcome under the HISE syllabus (Change and Continuity). The content idea “Australia as a nation” is similar to the Australian Democracy and Australian Identity units in the previous HSIE syllabus document. Australia as a Nation has a focus upon multiculturalism in Australia and how migrants have contributed to our society. This content idea also looks at Australian Democracy and its influences over time (ie. British and USA). I am familiar with this content as I have taught a similar sequence of learning in stage 3 HSIE.
There is a strong emphasis in this new syllabus document that students are to be given learning opportunities which highlight the fact that history has been constructed through the accounts of many different contexts, perspectives, interpretations and persuasions. It is important for students to be able to use their problem solving skills in order to critically analyse sources of evidence and information. When they do this, students may be able to draw their own conclusions about people and/ or an event in time.
The new history syllabus places the historical concepts and skills at the forefront of learning in this discipline. For primary teachers, such as myself, these are Continuity and Change, Cause and Effect, Perspectives, Empathetic Understanding and Significance. Students must be able to develop and enhance these skills to be able to fully comprehend and analyse the content. As suggested before there also a strong emphasis upon history as something which has been constructed through different perspectives.
There is not much in the document I feel I could argue against. I really like the idea of history being separated from the HSIE syllabus and given the importance it deserves. After all, it is a discipline found in higher education settings such as university and Year 11/12. One challenge this syllabus provides is that teachers must have a strong understanding of content. This understanding goes beyond knowing facts and figures but involves ideas such as knowing the motives behind a person/s decisions, understanding the reasons behind a group’s actions. Teachers must be able to access and gather quality pieces of evidence/ resources and present it to their students for use in the classroom.
I agree that there are quite a few connections between the previous HSIE strands and the new History syllabus, and it will be good to have that continuity when we start programming from the new syllabus. I am looking forward to delving deeper into the different perspectives of the students in a class, and where these discussions will lead the unit of work. Accessing quality resources to look at a deeper understanding of some concepts will also be a challenge, but I look forward to seeing collaboration amongst staff within the school, and indeed across the diocese.
Some challenges that teachers may face is the need to have a deep understanding and knowledge of the units of work. However, as mentioned above many of the Primary units have links to past HSIE topics which will provide a good launching pad. At first I thought that resources may be a challenge, however, again many schools have an incredible amount of resources that often are forgotten about and left collecting dust in the resource room. I am looking forward to working with our librarian and perhaps sorting the existing resources into the various units and making up collections ready to go.
Children ( and adults for that matter) are naturally drawn to their past and history. I think that students will respond to these units of work as they are directly relevant to them.
I agree Julie that the thought I finding new resources can be daunting, but the library is an excellent place to start - and many of these resources definitely should not be left to collect dust on shelves!There are also lots of digital resources available online, so don't forget to speak to your colleagues about creating a collection of these resources as well,
I agree with Julie! We have already commenced topic boxes, gathering resources new and old. Well worth it for busy teachers.
It's good to hear that you have started gathering resources to assist in your teaching of the History Syllabus outcomes. It is important to work with your peers to ensure all resources are appropriate for the children in your class.
I like how this new syllabus requires students to have an empathetic understanding. I feel that this change will require students to change there attitude and be much more open minded.
I do feel that most of the new content is very similar to the old HSIE units, however I really like the new dimensions that the new history syllabus requires us to consider and look at.
This syllabus does focus on empathetic understanding .... History is a process of inquiry into the past that helps to explain how people, events and forces from the past have shaped our world. It allows students to locate and understand themselves and others in the scale of human experience up to the present. History provides opportunities for students to explore human actions and achievements in a range of historical settings. Students become aware that history is all around us and that historical information may be drawn from the physical remains of the past as well as written, visual and oral sources of evidence.
The concepts I find most interesting and important in the new syllabus all revolve around the way in which students can use history to locate themselves both in the present and within the context of the past. Empathetic understanding is extremely useful to connect students to the past, and put themselves in the shoes of people they may not initially understand. Similarly, examining motivations allows students to dig more deeply into history, below the surface of facts and events. I also really like the concept of contestability; it's so important we teach students to question and challenge ideas and see the many sides to a single story.
I agree with your statements, Emma. When investigating the new syllabus, it can be found that the K-10 History Syllabus states the Values and Attitudes as ...
Students will value and appreciate:
* history as a study of human experience
* the opportunity to develop a lifelong interest in and enthusiasm for history
* the nature of history as reflecting differing perspectives and viewpoints
* the opportunity to contribute to a democratic and socially just society through informed citizenship
the contribution of past and present peoples to our shared heritage.
We need to be focusing on developing these values and appreciations in all of our students, as part of our focus on the content of the new syllabus.
Many of the topics in the new syllabus are similar to previous HSIE content and our school is well resourced to teach the unit on Australian Colonies for Stage 3.
I think students need opportunities to identify and discuss factors that influenced settlement in Australia, particularly in relation to the way Australia was discovered by significant explorers. I feel that the changes to this syllabus will assist students develop views from historical perspectives rather than narrative perspectives. While they are familiar with stories from the past, many lack the skills of historical inquiry and have difficulty in appreciating the significant contributions of individuals and groups of people in making Australia the place it is today.
The NSW K-10 History Syllabus has a very clear continuum of skills that challenges the students in our classes to analyse, interpret, understand, research, explain and communicate. This should start from Early Stage 1 and continue through to Year 10 (and beyond). I believe that this would encompass your suggestion that students need to develop the skills of historical inquiry. I am looking forward to further investigating online tools that may be of assistance with this K-10 History Syllabus.
Much of the content for K-6 is similar to the old syllabus content namely the personal and family histories, local and community history, British colonisation, Aboriginal perspectives and the Australian democracy. The differences seem to focus on the importance of developing historical concepts and skills. I found the continuum of learning for concepts and skills helpful.
I am glad that you have mentioned the continuum of learning and the continuum of skills that are part of this syllabus. Many teachers seem to miss this part of the syllabus. I believe these give a good overview of the expected knowledge and skills for our students. It is also important to remember that although part of the syllabus document, teachers should be looking at the outcomes and content first, and referring to the two continuums as part of their planning, not as the only way to plan the activities for their unit of work.
The skills and historical concepts appear to be quite prominent in the new syllabus. Students require these skills in order to understand, examine and even question the content.
I can see connections between the new and old syllabus which I hope will make for a somewhat smooth transition when I program using the new curriculum. I think access to resources will be difficult at school and I think more PD in this area would be really useful for me.
This new syllabus is so much more than just looking at the past. The skills and concepts will be important as we move forward into the teaching of this new syllabus. The NSW K-10 History Syllabus states ... "History as a discipline has its own methods and procedures. It is much more than the simple presentation of facts and dates from the past. History provides the skills for students to answer the question 'How do we know?' An investigation of an historical issue through a range of sources can stimulate curiosity and develop problem-solving, research and critical thinking skills. It develops language specific to the discipline of History and provides opportunities to further develop literacy skills. Students learn to critically analyse and interpret sources of evidence in order to construct reasoned explanations and a rational and informed argument based on evidence, drawn from the remains of the past. Students engage in research involving traditional methods and ICT, including evaluating web-based sources and using a range of technologies for historical research and communication."
The new history K-6 Syllabus focuses on the process of inquiry into the past that helps to explain how people, events and forces from the past have shaped our world. I have just recently programmed and taught the Stage 1 unit- "Present and Past Family life" and found it to be easy to implement.
I agree Tina that the new History Syllabus has a focus on inquiry. A statement from the rationale in the new syllabus states ..."History is a disciplined process of inquiry into the past that helps to explain how people, events and forces from the past have shaped our world. It allows students to locate and understand themselves and others in the continuum of human experience up to the present. History provides opportunities for students to explore human actions and achievements in a range of historical contexts. Students become aware that history is all around us and that historical information may be drawn from the physical remains of the past as well as written, visual and oral sources of evidence." I look forward to hearing more about the inquiry into history that is taking place in our schools.
As Teacher Librarian I have been teaching some aspects of Stage 2 and Stage 3 units and have found the concepts and key questions to be very helpful when designing research questions for the classes. At one of my schools we have been purchasing resources for the units and making resource boxes.
I can see how some of our HSIE Units correlate well with this new History syllabus. I like how it has a focus on inquiry learning, and how the emphasis in this new syllabus document is that students are to be given learning opportunities which highlight the fact that history has been constructed through the accounts of many different contexts, perspectives, interpretations and persuasions. The inclusion of Empathetic Understanding and Perspectives is a change in thinking and attitude that has been given more emphasis in this new syllabus. I don't feel that I am familiar enough with this syllabus yet to challenge or argue it's ideas.
I believe the rationale in the NSW K-10 History Syllabus states this perfectly ... "The study of History from Kindergarten to Year 10 investigates the actions, motives and lifestyles of people over time, from individuals and family members, to local communities, expanding to national and world history contexts. It introduces the idea that History contains many stories and that there is never only one uncontested version. There are many differing perspectives within a nation's history, and historians may interpret events differently depending on their point of view and the sources they have used. The study of History strengthens an appreciation for and an understanding of civics and citizenship. It also provides broader insights into the historical experiences of different cultural groups within our society and how various groups have struggled for civil rights, for example Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, migrants and women. History encourages students to develop an understanding of significant historical concepts such as cause and effect, change and continuity, significance, empathy and contestability."
I like how some of the new History Syllabus content relates to the HSIE Syllabus. For example Change and Continuity is a familiar strand. This link should make for an easier transition to the new Syllabus.
The new Syllabus has a definite focus on inquiry in regard to skills and historical concepts and the inclusion of Empathetic Understanding will really allow the children to fully engage with content. I think this will also be a challenge for some students and teachers in discovering a new way of thinking and learning.
BOSTES has provided the following information in their 'Guide to the NSW History and Geography Syllabuses' ...
"WHAT WILL STUDENTS CONTINUE TO LEARN IN HSIE?
Key concepts and content from the current HSIE learning area will continue to be taught in the new syllabuses.
The History K–10 Syllabus provides opportunities in K–6 to learn about 'Change and Continuity'. Students continue to investigate their connections with the past through personal, family and local
community history. They examine significant events and people that shaped Australian colonies and the nation.
'Cultures' is represented in both the History K–10 Syllabus and the Geography K–10 Syllabus. In History and Geography K–6, students continue to learn about the diverse cultures of Australia, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures. Students learn about the importance of intercultural understanding through examining the
perspectives, beliefs and values of people, past and present.
'Environments' is predominantly represented in Geography K–6, where students explore the natural and human features of a range of places, across local and global scales. Students continue to learn about how and why places and environments change and how they can be cared for and managed in a sustainable way.
Learning opportunities for 'Social Systems and Structures' continue to be provided through the content of the History and Geography syllabuses and through learning across the curriculum content. Students will continue to learn about the roles, rights and responsibilities people have within society and the development of Australian democracy. In History K–6, students examine the contribution of individuals and groups to Australian society in areas such as the economy, education and the arts.
Looking at the stage 1 unit "Past and Present Family Life," I find it to be very similar to the current Stage 1 unit of work "The Way we Were." This should be reassuring to stage 1 teachers as this unit provided students with valuable insight to life prior to technology!The second unit for stage 1, " The Past in the Present," seems to offer some different learning opportunities to the current units where local history is studied.
Navigating the Syllabus online was straightforward.
"The Australian colonies" unit in stage 3 looks to have some very important and worthwhile content in it, although the sheer amount of content looks as though it could be split into two units.
I am looking forward to using the History syllabus next year and seeing how it is complimented by the Geography syllabus the following year.
I also like how "Empathetic Understanding" is listed as an Historical Concept to be taught throughout the stages because developing an understanding of another persons views is an essential life skill.
Something else I am curious about is whether or not more units are coming. Currently there are two 10week units for Stage 1. This would mean children were being exposed to the same material for two years in a row unless two more units are introduced. Also, I am disappointed at the lack of focus on our Indigenous culture in stage 1. It is barely mentioned in stage 1 and such an important part of our history. I think an entire unit should be dedicated to the indigenous culture for each stage to fully develop students' understanding of the history of our country. To not specifically teach and address our Indigenous culture is ignoring the History of Australia pre British colonisation.
I really like the diagram in the NSW K-10 History Syllabus that shows the organisation of content. It provides an excellent summary of the knowledge, understanding and skills for the new K-10 History Syllabus. (The diagram can be accessed here ....
Having trialled a unit this year in Stage 3 a challenge was providing content that sustained interest for the length of the unit over 2 terms (the suggested 20weeks) . Australian Colonies is a huge unit of work with a diverse range of possibilities to cover. I linked an English Unit on "My Place" to this unit to help sustain student interest and engagement. This provided a strong lead in to the historical concepts cause and effect, perspectives,empathetic understanding, and significance. Having characters to reference from the time period of the story the students could more easily form opinions and develop empathy for the people being studied at that time in the History unit. The Australian History Timeline was also a valuable resource. The areas being studied are very much the same in many ways to the old HSIE units, I feel they are being further developed and studied at Stage 3 at greater depth. This connection is appreciated as a busy teacher with knowledge of the content and some resources already in the school. The links over stages seem stronger and skills are developed through the continuum which is an excellent addition to the syllabus. I find the statement that it "introduces the idea that History contains many stories and that there is never only one uncontested version." a significant addition to past documents.
The NSW K-10 History Syllabus provides the following outline for the Stage 3 content:
The Australian colonies
This topic provides a study of colonial Australia in the 1800s. Students look at the founding of British colonies and the development of a colony. They learn about what life was like for different groups in the colonial period. They examine significant events and people, political and economic developments, social structures and settlement patterns.
Australia as a nation
This topic moves from colonial Australia to the development of Australia as a nation, particularly after 1901. Students explore the factors that led to Federation and experiences of democracy and citizenship over time. Students understand the significance of Australia's British heritage, the Westminster system and other models that influenced the development of Australia's system of government. Students learn about the way of life of people who migrated to Australia and their contributions to Australia's economic and social development.
"History is a disciplined process of inquiry into the past that helps to explain how people, events and forces from the past have shaped our world. It allows students to locate and understand themselves and others in the continuum of human experience up to the present. History provides opportunities for students to explore human actions and achievements in a range of historical contexts. Students become aware that history is all around us and that historical information may be drawn from the physical remains of the past as well as written, visual and oral sources of evidence."
I think the first paragraph in the rationale is an excellent summary of the new syllabus and I can see the links with past HSIE units. I particularly like the focus on the inquiry process and the importance of answering the question "how do we know?" I think it will be interesting to explore different perspectives with ES1 children and I am looking forward to seeing if this helps them become more open and accepting of difference. Gathering appropriate resources may be challenging as well as integrating ICT into this KLA. Looking at the sample units there are a lot of similarities between ES1 and stage 1. The sample unit is for only one term-would there be more for another term?? It doesn't seem enough for half the year.
The NSW K-10 History Syllabus gives the following summary of Early Stage 1 content:
Personal and family histories
Personal and Family Histories provides students with the opportunity to learn about their own history and that of their family; this may include stories from a range of cultures and other parts of the world. As participants in their own history, students build on their knowledge and understanding of how the past is different from the present.
You also mentioned different perspectives in your comment. There are other concepts that should be taught throughout the year. The syllabus also states that the following historical concepts should be taught throughout ES1:
Continuity and change: some things change over time and others remain the same, eg changes and continuities in students' own lifetimes and that of their families.
Cause and effect: events, decisions or developments in the past that produce later actions, results or effects, eg simple cause and effect in stories.
Perspectives: people from the past will have different views and experiences, eg exploration of a point of view and understanding that stories may vary depending on who is the narrator.
Empathetic understanding: developing an understanding of another's views, life and decisions made, eg development of an understanding of differences and similarities between families.
Significance: importance of an event, development or individual/group, eg the personal importance of a treasured object; significant events in students' lives and the importance and meaning of special days and holidays.
I agree with you that the new History Syllabus is refocussing and reshifting our teaching pedagogy to allow students to delve deeper into inquiry based learning. The key inquiry questions linked to each content area are vital to providing a platform for students to think 'historically' and ask questions about how, why and who. Potentially this may be challenging for teachers as they will have to do their own research into their own historical understandings and ensure that learning across the curriculum occurs.
I feel the concept of Empathy is very important for the students to be able to realise what people had to face in the past. We need to teach them to challenge and question ideas.There are similiarities with History syllabus and HSIE syllabus which should make implementation easier.
The Continuum of History Skills in the new syllabus provides a great explanation of the skills students will be required to use from Kindergarten all the way through to Year 10. It is important that teachers look at the 'big picture' of this continuum and know what is required all the way to Year 10. Below is an outline of the 'Empathetic Understanding" continuum, but all skills are outlined in the Syllabus, and can be found here - http://syllabus.bos.nsw.edu.au/hsie/history-k10/continuum-of-skills/
Early Stage 1:
recognise differences and similarities between individuals and families in the past and present
recognise that people in the local community may have lived differently in the past
explain how and why people in the past may have lived and behaved differently from today
explain why the behaviour and attitudes of people from the past may differ from today
interpret history through the actions, attitudes and motives of people in the context of the past
interpret history through the actions, values, attitudes and motives of people in the context of the past
The new syllabus places emphasis on teaching and learning the following key historical concepts: continuity and change, cause and effect, perspectives, empathy, significance and contestability. I currently teach Year 3/4 and find that the key concept of empathy is particularly significant as students often struggle to try and see and understand events from the perspective of someone living in another time and place, as they find it difficult to think beyond their own life and present time. For students to be able to do so they must have a sound knowledge of the historical context and make a conscious effort to appreciate the intentions and reasons of the humans of that time. This can be difficult for a teacher and can require extensive preparation and thought as the activities need to be based on real historical figures, embedded with historical evidence and require students to explore and examine the viewpoint and motivation of humans from a specific time in history. In doing so students are exposed to decision-making, problem-solving and persuasive discussion within the classroom.
I really like the definition of EMPATHETIC UNDERSTANDING that is included in the glossary of the NSW K-10 History Syllabus. It very much relates to your comments....
"The capacity to enter into the world of the past from the point of view of a particular individual or group from that time, including an appreciation of the circumstances they faced, and the motivations, values and attitudes behind their actions."
There are clear connections from the HSIE syllabus to the History syllabus – Change and Continuity being the most obvious. Though, with the key enquiry questions in the History syllabus, there is a clear direction in which student learning is headed and how deep their understanding will need to be to obtain the full benefits of the subject. The full scope of the History syllabus content from Early Stage 1 to Stage 5 is a continuing journey, which allows teachers to see the end point students are heading towards. It is obvious how the content builds as the student move through the stages, and will continue to develop an understanding, and hopefully empathy of how history has shaped the society in which we live today. History is based on the use of sources and evidence, and it feels as though this syllabus has a heavier emphasis in this. This means that students are using the tools within the discipline of history – students being historians themselves. I believe that this gives them a framework to work within, so they come to have understanding of historical events. These sources and evidence expose them to the different perspective of history and how it continues to affect us today.
I agree that there are clear links between the new History syllabus and the the current HSIE syllabus (in the Change and Continuity strand). I believe the new History syllabus is very clear in what teachers are required to teach.
In relation to your comment about key inquiry questions, I believe that teachers will need to ask additional questions to the key inquiry questions listed in the History syllabus. The additional questions that teachers will need to ask will be historical questions (often beginning with What; Why; When; Where and How…..) that meet the learning needs of their students as an integral component of engaging in historical inquiry. These questions will be informal and often ad hoc to support students’ growing knowledge and understanding using historical skills as they analyse sources and evidence. The teacher organises the questions to reference the content of the syllabus to develop historical narrative.
The flow of the content for the new history syllabus is very important and well thought out. When you look at the concepts from Early Stage 1 to Stage 4 you can see how we start our journey with the students by looking first at our personal and family history and expands to the community and then to a national level and finally to a global level. Students in the younger grades are given the opportunity to identify continuities and change, while the student in the higher grades explore why things have stayed the same or changed, the nature and pace of change and the impact of change.
Perspective is a key element of this syllabus. It is important to recognise that history has more than one side. We are part of an incredibly diverse global community, it is impossible to teach history without reflecting on how it affects each one of us. The students need to recognise that they play a part in creating history. History should never be seen as just the past- we are creating it every day.
Each historian writes about the past from a particular point of view. New research and varying perspectives ensure that history is never static or unchanging. History is an ongoing intellectual debate between historians, and students need to be aware of a range of
viewpoints or perspectives. Historians could be influenced by their gender, age, family and cultural background, education, religion, values and political beliefs, their life experiences and the time in which they live. Histories written from a range of perspectives help to provide a more complete picture of Australia’s past.
There are connections between the new HSIE syllabus and former HSIE strands . As a result we have been able to use topic boxes from our resource room that match up with the new history units. We have also invested in some new resources but further collaboration and investigation will be needed.
It was positive to note that there are excellent suggestions for ways of assisting special needs students and extending Gifted and Talented students.
For those interested, this is the link to the information from BOSTES re. supporting students in history with special education needs - http://syllabus.bos.nsw.edu.au/hsie/history-k10/supporting-special-education-students/
There are clear links to past HSIE syllabus and content though I feel that the separation of History and Geography is a step in the right direction for Primary Schools. The existence of a separate syllabus demands that History and its related knowledge and skills are given appropriate emphasis. Accurate knowledge and understanding of Historical events is a crucial part of education and makes an increasingly important contribution to the future of our country and the world. Students need a relevant and accurate "world view" to be informed global citizens and to be able to understand current world events.
The continued recognition that history changes when viewed from different perspectives is also important. As someone who was only ever educated from a "white British" point of view the emphasis on a variety of perspectives is important for the future cultural well being of our country.
As with the other new syllabus documents the provision of relevant scope and sequence documents and sample units is welcome, beneficial and practical.
It is important that syllabus content allow for changes in Australian culture and demographic. There are now Australians whose histories extend into Africa and South America - hopefully the syllabus allows flexibility for exploration into all these areas and others.
I think your comment teases out some of the ideas in the Values and Attitudes from the K-10 History Syllabus ...
Students will value and appreciate:
* history as a study of human experience
* the opportunity to develop a lifelong interest in and enthusiasm for history
* the nature of history as reflecting differing perspectives and viewpoints
* the opportunity to contribute to a democratic and socially just society through informed citizenship
* the contribution of past and present peoples to our shared heritage.
There are clear connections between the History Syllabus content and the replaced HSIE strand Change & Continuity. This means that some of our HSIE resources can be used for the History content eg HSIE’s British Colonisation relates to History’s First Contacts. This should help make the transition easier. Some of the History content and outcomes also incorporate Cultures outcomes from the HSIE syllabus. The Historical Concept of Perspectives, which is taught throughout the unit, places importance on students examining history from different points of view. This is an important reminder that there is always more than one side to a story! In teaching History, there is more emphasis on the historical skills and concepts. I found the Key Inquiry Questions made planning a unit of work easier. The Continuum of Learning, Concepts and Skills are useful reminders that we teach on a continuum and not in isolation of other grades or stages.
In addition to the key inquiry questions for each topic, I believe that teachers will need to ask further historical questions (often
beginning with What; Why; When; Where and How…..) that meet the learning needs of their students as an integral component of engaging in historical inquiry. These questions will be informal and will support students’ growing knowledge and understanding using historical skills as they analyse sources and evidence.
I found this syllabus can be integrated with other KLA'S more easily which helps to understand this subject is not taught in isolation. Also it is great how it has been built into the new syllabus the different perspectives that need to be viewed when examining past events to do with history.
I agree that the content from this new syllabus is quite easily integrated with other key learning areas. It is important to remember the filter function of the online syllabus documents (which can be located here .... http://syllabus.bos.nsw.edu.au/filter/), as it allows a teacher to filter the syllabus content according to the Learning Across the Curriculum areas.
The History content can be easily integrated to other KLA's, e.g English concept of different perspectives can be linked to Stage 2 unit 'First Contacts.'
I find the Historical concept of "Empathetic Understanding" a very important concept that can easily integrated into programs/KLAs like Kidsmatter and RE.
Empathetic understanding is an important concept and skill in this syllabus. The NSW K-10 History syllabus states, "Empathetic understanding is the capacity to enter into the world of the past from the point of view of a particular individual or group from that time, including an appreciation of the circumstances they faced, and the motivations, values and attitudes behind their actions."
The content in the new history syllabus is very familiar. I particularly liked that in the rationale there is reference to the fact that history is contestable and this is reflected in the concepts continuum. The concepts allow for cross curriculum integration
For those of you looking for the concepts and skills continuum, they can be found here .. http://syllabus.bos.nsw.edu.au/assets/global/files/history_continuum.pdf
there is a really large focus on the past & present. this is a great continuum for children to follow through the stages as they begin by reflecting on their own family & continue through to these changes throughout history.
The table on this page of the syllabus (http://syllabus.bos.nsw.edu.au/hsie/history-k10/content-for-stages-and-site-studies/) is a really good summary of the progression of learning from ES1 to Stage 3.
The main link with the new syllabus is with Change and Continuity. Each stage looks at the change and continuity starting from within their family in Early Stage 1 to the change in Australian history. I feel that the content is more significant to their own lives and allows students to identify how change has affected their family past and the past within their own nation.
I think you have summarised well the rationale from the K-10 History Syllabus. It states, "History is a disciplined process of inquiry into the past that helps to explain how people, events and forces from the past have shaped our world. It allows students to locate and understand themselves and others in the continuum of human experience up to the present. History provides opportunities for students to explore human actions and achievements in a range of historical contexts. Students become aware that history is all around us and that historical information may be drawn from the physical remains of the past as well as written, visual and oral sources of evidence."
The new history syllabus content for ES1 is closely linked to the previous HSIE syllabus. The Key Inquiry Questions provide clear insight into what students are to know. The Geography syllabus also appears to marry well with history and both enable integration across other KLA's.
BOSTES released the following information in their handout "Guide to the NSW History and Geography Syllabus. It is available on the syllabus website if you would like to read the full information.
Key concepts and content from the current HSIE learning area will continue to be taught in the new syllabuses.
The History K–10 Syllabus provides opportunities in K–6 to learn about Change and Continuity.
Students continue to investigate their connections with the past through personal, family and local community history. They examine significant events and people that shaped Australian colonies and the nation.
Cultures is represented in both the History K–10 Syllabus and the Geography K–10 Syllabus. In History and Geography K–6, students continue to learn about the diverse cultures of Australia, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures. Students learn about the importance of intercultural understanding through examining the
perspectives, beliefs and values of people, past and present.
Environments is predominantly represented in Geography K–6, where students explore the natural and human features of a range of places, across local and global scales. Students continue to learn about how and why places and environments change and how they can be cared for and managed in a sustainable way.
Learning opportunities for Social Systems and Structures continue to be provided through the content of the History and Geography syllabuses and through learning across the curriculum content. Students will continue to learn about the roles, rights and responsibilities people have within society and the development of Australian democracy. In History K–6, students examine the
contribution of individuals and groups to Australian society in areas such as the economy, education and the arts.
The main connections that I can see between the new and the old syllabus is that there are strong connections between the Stage 2 unit 'First Contacts' and the British Colonisation. Being a part of a new school it is exciting that we are able to purchase high quality resources and texts that will appropriately connect with the units of work. I like that the content is familiar however we are provided with opportunities to delve even further into the research and inquiry side. The Key Inquiry Questions will be fantastic starting points for discussions with the students.
It is important to document all of these new resources as part of your unit of work so that you can access these same great resources next time you are planning for that content. It would be great for you to share these resources with others at every opportunity, as I am sure there are other schools who may be looking to purchase new resources for this new syllabus.
Changes and Challenges
I have monitored the changes made to the History syllabus over some time and have followed the evolution of its content since the draft curriculum was published. The greater importance given to History now that it is more clearly set aside from its neighbour of Geography is a positive change however I don't think all teachers of History have had adequate exposure to the new syllabus.
The greater conceptual focus of the new syllabus is also a positive change and I think that the structuring of content allows teachers to make connections between different subjects more readily. For instance, I can more readily make links between student learning of classic texts in English and the time period texts have been composed in due to the more clearly defined time periods we now study in History.
As far as challenges go, the new syllabus is content-heavy and I have often felt pressured to teach everything in a timely fashion. My Year 8 students were recently very interested in the Aztecs however due to time constraints, we quickly had to move on to other content.
This is the link for the concepts continuum for the K-10 History Syllabus... http://syllabus.bos.nsw.edu.au/hsie/history-k10/continuum-of-concepts/ . It is good to see the continual building of these concepts from Early Stage 1 to Stage 5.
Being from a Catholic school I really like the links that the Empathic Understandings concept has with Religious Education and my current unit regarding Catholic Social Teachings. This syllabus also allows for links with RE with the perspectives and significance concepts. Research is also a vital part of this syllabus and is an important skills for 21st century learners to master but can seem a lost art for students in a modern society.
I am glad that you can see that the concepts and skills in the K-10 History Syllabus have links with other key learning areas. In relation to the research, I believe that this new Syllabus provides lots of opportunities for students to research relevant historical content ... posing questions and planning historical inquiries.
The history concepts continuum will provide a great pathway to guide our teaching practice. The addition of empathetic understanding is a great development and such an important area to develop with the students. The key inquiry questions will focus our planning and inform our practice.
I agree with you that the key inquiry questions will help us to focus on the content and key teaching points for the unit of work. Each Stage from Early Stage 1 to Stage 5 includes key inquiry questions that provide a framework for developing students’ historical knowledge, understandings and skills. The questions highlight the central importance of investigation in the study of history and provide an opportunity to focus on key concepts such as continuity and change, significance and perspectives.
I think the Key inquiry questions will be especially helpful for all teachers but especially first year out teachers and student teachers. The questions are very specific and would be of great help during planning through to assessment.
Your mention of planning through to assessment reminded me of the section in this History Syllabus that explains "Planning for effective learning and assessment". It can be found here - http://syllabus.bos.nsw.edu.au/support-materials/planning-programming/
This support page in the syllabus outlines the five steps for planning, and suggests that teachers should consider the assessment opportunities before planning learning activities. It states:
Step 1 - What evidence of learning is required?
Step 2 - How will this evidence be gathered?
Step 3 - What content, learning experiences and instruction will allow students to demonstrate these outcomes?
Step 4 - How will feedback be provided?
Step 5 - Is there sufficient evidence that students have made progress as a result of these experiences?
The key inquiry questions found in the syllabus are content specific and explicit - what a great resource for program mapping!
I also found the scope and sequence to be clear and succinct.
I agree that a scope and sequence should be clear and succinct. BOSTES agrees, and the support page for advice on Scope and Sequences (which can be found here - http://syllabus.bos.nsw.edu.au/support-materials/scope-and-sequence-plans/ ) states the following:
"A scope and sequence is an important step in the design of effective teaching and learning programs for a course. It summarises what is to be taught and the sequence in which it will be taught.
A scope and sequence shows the order of the units within a year or stage, and the syllabus outcomes that each unit addresses"
History is all around us, so it is a subject that students and teachers can readily connect with. I feel that students will be challenged by the key inquiry questions and that the skills continuum will provide students with opportunities to respond in a 21st century learning environment.
I agree that history is all around us, and today's students have access to so much more information than students of the past. Having said, this, even though they have easy access to this information, it doesn't mean that all of that information is accurate. As teachers, we need to be teaching the students the skills to discern the accurate information from the information that is simply added to the internet without checking the facts.we still need to teach our students to think critically. They still need to know how to find relevant and reliable sources and to use digital tools and resources efficiently. They still need to know how to differentiate between primary and secondary sources and how to assess the validity and reliability of these sources. And they still need to know how to analyze and interpret information, how to evaluate conflicting sources, and how to use historical thinking in order to make an argument or a thesis.
After researching the new History K-6 Syllabus I noticed that there is a greater emphasis on specific historical skills such as sequencing time, source analysis and historical perspectives.
The full list of skills that should be taught with this K-10 History Syllabus are listed below and should be treated within the content and units of work.
* Comprehension: chronology, terms and concepts
* Analysis and use of sources
* Perspectives and interpretations
* Empathetic understanding
* Explanation and communication
I feel the idea of historic inquiry and the question 'How do we know?' is particularly important in today's society. It emphasizes the idea of personal discovery and growth, and the students are therefore more inclined to 'own' their learning when taught this way.
I also believe that the introduction of the topic migration in Stage 3 is particularly relevant today.
i like the new syllabus. it challenges us to help students think out of the box. students learn how to present their discoveries through art, using different computer programs and digital technology.
Thanks for sharing your ideas. It's a good suggestion to present their discoveries through art, especially digitally. I would also say that there are many ways to present a student's knowledge and understanding. Digitally, students can contribute to discussion boards, blogs and wikis.They could just as easily present on a piece of cardboard with a texta.
The new History Syllabus is readily navigated. I like the focus on the appropriate Concepts and Skills for each Stage, rather than just learning information. The Content provides plenty of scope for teachers to develop interesting and challenging teaching / learning activities, and to seek out or have students locate relevant resources. The Content focus for each Stage reflects the level of development, awareness, experiences and interests of children at that particular age. There is also plenty of scope for integration with other KLAs.
Content for ES1 here - http://syllabus.bos.nsw.edu.au/hsie/history-k10/content/1085/
Content for S1 here - http://syllabus.bos.nsw.edu.au/hsie/history-k10/content/1084/
Content for Stage 2 here - http://syllabus.bos.nsw.edu.au/hsie/history-k10/content/1086/
Content for Stage 3 here - http://syllabus.bos.nsw.edu.au/hsie/history-k10/content/1087/
Content for Stage 4 here - http://syllabus.bos.nsw.edu.au/hsie/history-k10/content/1088/
Content for Stage 5 here - http://syllabus.bos.nsw.edu.au/hsie/history-k10/content/1089/
I like how easily the new syllabus can be integrated with other KLAs, particularly English.
I also like how "Empathetic Understanding" is now being taught across all stages as it is an essential life skill.
There are lots of websites that will provide you with a list of relevant literature linked to the K-10 history content. Like everything on the internet ... you just need to find time to look through it all and decide what is best for your students, and improving their learning outcomes and experiences.
The Key Inquiry Questions are a great starting point to guide programs with what content needs to be covered and what the teacher would like the students to achieve. The content allows flexibility for teachers to choose their own way of achieving the set goals. This has allowed me to create my own unit for Stage 2 where students are able to explore different aspects of the relevant events in history and analyse the sources they have used to support their findings.
The new syllabus still covers the important areas of both students' personal history and the history of the greater world around them, so students can comprehensively explore where they have come from. It now also requires students to connect more meaningfully with people and events from the past, and challenges student's to more critically reflect on information and texts for validity and bias when researching history. The main outcome is to acknowledge the importance of influential people and events from history, so that their achievements and outcomes can be celebrated and so that the mistakes made can be learnt from and not repeated. Students also explore their own backgrounds, and with this combined wealth of knowledge, they are able to become more informed and active citizens.