To be used in approved schools with Year 11 students only in 2005. Modern History Senior Syllabus



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6.3 Learning experiences and the key competencies


In developing learning experiences, teachers have ample opportunities to incorporate the key competencies, many of which occur naturally in classroom interactions, and in the process of historical inquiry, especially:

collecting, analysing and organising activities

communicating ideas and information

planning and organising activities

working with others and in teams

solving problems

using technology.

In the course of their studies, students will collect, analyse, organise and evaluate the quality and validity of information. They will plan and organise research projects. Both individually and in groups, they will attempt to solve problems associated with their own research tasks, and will propose tentative resolutions to contestable historical issues. They will be involved in the communication of ideas, information, opinions, arguments and conclusions, in a variety of formats and for a variety of audiences. As part of their learning and classroom experiences, students will have opportunities to employ certain technologies, particularly those relating to the use of computers and the internet.


7. themes and Inquiry topics


In this syllabus, the term “theme” is used to describe broad areas of study. An inquiry topic is an in-depth study of a specific historical period, phenomenon or event that exemplifies the theme. Over the two-year course of study, a minimum of three themes and four inquiry topics must be selected. Each inquiry topic must be studied for a minimum of 18 hours each. Any inquiry topic will include the five aspects of historical inquiry that are included in Figure 2.

Figure 2: Aspects of inquiry
Table 1 provides sample focus questions that arise from each aspect and that can be applied within inquiry topics. The sample focus questions give guidance about the potential scale and scope of each aspect within an inquiry topic.

Table 1: Focus questions for inquiry topics

Aspects of historical inquiry

Sample focus questions

Definitions

How is this phenomenon defined?

Are there arguments about the definitions?

What are the temporal and spatial parameters of this study?

What is the key question that will guide this inquiry?



Sources

Who are the major historians and other theorists associated with the study of this phenomenon?

What primary and secondary sources might be valuable in this study?

Are there any problems related to the availability or sufficiency of sources?


Backgrounds, changes and continuities: motives and causes

What is the historical background to this phenomenon?

What were the causal factors related to this development?

What were the major developments, changes and continuities associated with this phenomenon?

What roles did individuals and groups play?



Effects, interests and arguments

At the time, what were the major effects of this phenomenon on human wellbeing, social, political and economic structures, and environments?

Who benefited from this historical phenomenon, in both the short and the long term?

Who was disadvantaged?

To what extent did the phenomenon produce deep-seated changes to ideas and beliefs (such as the ways people thought about the meaning of human existence, or about preferred forms of social, economic and political organisation, or about preferred forms of relationship between people, and between people and environments)?

What are the possible and probable effects in the future?


Reflections and responses

What are you learning about this phenomenon and its historical significance?

Do you think that this phenomenon was a progressive one historically?

How could you take this study further, or in a fresh direction?

What connections can you see between this study and other studies that you have already done or might do?

How has this study helped your understanding of history as a discipline?

Could you have gone in a different direction during your research?

What problems did you encounter in the research, and how did you respond to them?

Is this study helping you to decide how to live more purposefully, ethically or effectively?



The aspects of inquiry should be related to the inquiry process in section 6.1, Figure 1, as a means by which students can structure their studies of inquiry topics. The inquiry process provides a locus for the aspects and their associated focus questions.

The aspects of the inquiry, and the sample focus questions in the table do not specify the order in which these aspects may be undertaken in the inquiry. For example, issues of definition or of reflections and responses may reappear several times during an inquiry (see figure 2). However, it is possible that the above order could provide a logical sequence for an inquiry.

While some attention should be given to all five aspects in any inquiry, particular emphasis will depend on the inquiry topic under investigation. For example, one inquiry topic may require more emphasis on backgrounds, changes and continuities: motives and causes, while another may benefit from an emphasis on effects, interests and arguments, or reflections and responses.

Theme 1: Studies of conflict

Purpose

Through historical studies in this theme students will understand that important conflicts of the 20th century have occurred on local, national and international stages and that they can have military, political, social and cultural causes, effects and repercussions.



Possible Inquiry topics




Armed conflicts

World War 1

World War 2

The Vietnam wars

The Arab–Israeli conflict

Cold War conflicts

Post–Cold War conflicts

National Liberation movements

East Timor conflicts

British–Irish conflicts



The frontier in Australia

Communist–Nationalist conflict in China

1968 social/intellectual conflicts

Social and cultural conflicts and debates

Treatment of immigrants

Industrial conditions

Moral issues

The dismissal of the Whitlam government

The frontier in Australia

A topic of your choice



Sample focus questions

An inquiry topic developed to exemplify this theme must include questions related to each of the aspects listed below. The questions suggested here are provided as a guide, and will be particularised according to the inquiry topic negotiated with students and the key question that is developed.



Definitions

What is conflict?

What sorts of conflicts occur in communities, or amongst peoples or nations?

What is the nature of this conflict?

What is the key question that will guide this inquiry?

Sources

Who are the major historians who have interpreted this conflict?

How has this topic been interpreted by historians?

What primary and secondary sources are available and valuable in this study?

Are there any problems related to the availability or sufficiency of sources?

Backgrounds, changes and continuities: motives and causes

In what ways did long-standing factors contribute to the outbreak of this conflict?

What roles did individuals and groups play in the conflict?

Did the nature of the conflict change over time? If so, how and why?



Effects, interests and arguments

What were the major effects of this conflict, e.g. social, political, economic or environmental?

To what extent do the repercussions of the conflict still exist today?

In what ways have people’s values or experiences influenced their perception of the conflict, now and in the past?

To what extent did this conflict produce deep-seated changes to ideas and beliefs?

Reflections and responses

How is this study helping your understanding of history as a discipline?

What have you learnt about conflict and change?

What connections can you see between this study and other studies you have already done or might do?

What problems did you encounter in the research, and how did you respond to them?

What have these historians concluded about this conflict?



Theme 2: Studies of hope

Purpose

Through historical studies in this theme, students will understand that through progressive movements and other agencies of social, cultural and political change, people have been inspired by hope for change to respond to challenges in ways that promote human and/or ecological wellbeing, with varying degrees of success.



Possible inquiry topics:

Movements in the areas of

Political rights

Human meaning and spirituality

Social justice and community welfare

Anti-discrimination

Race relations

Child labour

Anti-slavery movements

The environment

Human rights

Animal welfare

Peace

Economic development

Technological development

Education

Trade unionism

Health and medicine

Reconciliation in Australia

Gender relations/sexual relations

The end of the Cold War

The end of apartheid in South Africa

Disarmament movements and agreements

A topic of your choice




Sample focus questions

An inquiry topic developed to exemplify this theme must include questions related to each of the aspects listed below. The questions suggested here are provided as a guide, and will be particularised according to the inquiry topic negotiated with students and the key question that is developed.



Definitions

What is a progressive movement or change?

What makes an historical event or movement a source of hope?

What event, movement or development is the focus of this inquiry?

What is the key question that will guide this inquiry?

Sources

Who are the major historians who have interpreted this topic?

How has this topic been interpreted by historians?

What primary and secondary sources are available and valuable in this study?

Are there any problems related to the availability and sufficiency of sources?

Backgrounds, changes and continuities: motives and causes

Where and when did the origins of this movement or event emerge?

What hopes were held for this movement, and by whom?

How has this movement or event affected historical developments in the 20th century?

What principles, ideologies, motives or expectations influenced this movement or event?

What role did individuals and groups play in the development and spread of the movement or event?



Effects, interests and arguments

At the time, what were the major effects of the movement or event?

Whose interests were served by the movement, and whose were not?

What resistances or obstacles were there to the movement or event?

How complete was its success in achieving change?

Reflections and responses

What have you learnt about this movement and its historical influence?

Over time, were the hopes raised by this event or movement realised for most people?

Were there unintended or unexpected outcomes of this movement?

What problems did you encounter in the research, and how did you respond to them?

What connections can you see between this study and others that you have done or might do?

How is this study helping your understanding of history as a discipline?


Theme 3: The history of ideas and beliefs

Purpose

Through historical studies in this theme students will understand how ideas and beliefs have had an influence on history, in local, national and global contexts.



Inquiry topics: Students must have the opportunity to develop a broad understanding of the selected inquiry topic, The study of the topic could also include a particular focus, such as “Imperialism”, and “the British in India”.

Possible inquiry topics:







Democracy

Liberalism

Multiculturalism

Christianity

Islam (or other eastern/western religions)

Feminism


Marxism

Nationalism

Industrialism


Capitalism

Individualism

Consumerism

Freedom


Imperialism

Communism

Socialism

Fascism


Progress

Social justice

Humanism


Scientism

environmentalism

Racialism

Globalism

Anti-Semitism

Pacifism


A topic of your choice

Sample focus questions

An inquiry topic developed to exemplify this theme must include questions related to each of the aspects listed below. The questions suggested here are provided as a guide, and will be particularised according to the inquiry topic negotiated with students and the key question that is developed.



Definitions

What is an “idea” or a “belief”?

What idea or belief is the focus of this study?

What is this idea or belief about?

What is the key question that will guide this inquiry?

Sources

Who are the major historians and other theorists associated with this study?

What primary and secondary sources might be available and valuable for this study?

What problems or particular issues might be identified generally about sources for this study?

Are there any problems related to the availability or sufficiency of sources for the selected topic?

Backgrounds, changes and continuities: motives and causes

Where and when did this idea or belief first emerge?

What roles did individuals and groups play in the development and dissemination of the idea?

How has the idea or belief changed over time?

How has this idea affected historical developments in the 20th century?

What is likely to be the continuing significance of this idea or belief in the 21st century?



Effects, interests and arguments

Whose interests were served by this idea or belief?

Whose interests were challenged?

Whose interests were neglected or not served?

What resistance or challenges to this idea emerged over time?

Reflections and responses

What have you learnt about this idea or belief and its historical influence?

Do you think that this idea was a progressive one historically?

What connections can you see between this study and other studies you have already undertaken?

What problems did you encounter in the research, and how did you respond to them?

How is this study helping your understanding of history as a discipline?

Has the study of this idea helped you to decide how to live more purposefully, ethically or effectively?


Theme 4: Studies of cooperation

Purpose

Through historical studies in this theme students will understand the attempts that have been made to achieve cooperative human activity on a local, national or global level. In undertaking a study of cooperative effort, students will analyse and evaluate the motives, principles, values, methods and procedures, approaches, degrees of success and outcomes employed to achieve the cooperative effort.



Possible inquiry topics

The League of Nations

The United Nations

The Olympic movement

The Satyagraha movement

The history of armaments control and nuclear non-proliferation treaties

Multinational and transnational companies

Non-government organisations (NGOs)

The European Union

Federation in Australia


The Commonwealth of Nations

The end of apartheid

The application of international sanctions

Case studies of cooperative efforts to achieve land rights settlements in Australia

Trade unions

Mechanics institutes, workers’ cooperatives

Women’s movements and feminism

Pressure groups and community groups

A topic of your choice




Sample focus questions

An inquiry topic developed to exemplify this theme must include questions related to each of the aspects listed below. The questions suggested here are provided as a guide, and will be particularised according to the inquiry topic negotiated with students and the key question that is developed.



Definitions

In the context of historical studies, how is cooperation defined? How might examples of cooperation be categorised?

What are some of the key examples of cooperation, at a variety of scales, in the 20th century?

What are the dimensions (time, scale, protagonists) of the particular case being focused on?

What is the key question that will guide this inquiry?

Sources

Who are the major historians and other theorists associated with the example of cooperation you have chosen?

What primary and secondary sources are valuable for this study?

Are there any problems related to the availability or sufficiency of sources for this topic?



Backgrounds, changes and continuities: motives and causes

What led to this particular example of cooperative activity?

What principles, ideologies, motives or expectations influenced this cooperation?

What role did individuals or groups play in the development of this cooperation?



Effects, interests and arguments

At the time, what were the major effects of this effort at cooperation? How enduring were these effects?

Who (people, groups, nations) benefited most from this cooperation?

Whose interests (people, groups, nations) were not served by the example in question?

Were there resistances or obstacles to this cooperative effort?

Reflections and responses

What have you learnt about this cooperation and its historical influence?

Do you think that this cooperative example was a progressive one historically?

What connections can you see between this study and other studies you have already undertaken?

What problems did you encounter in the research, and how did you respond to them?

How is this study helping your understanding of history as a discipline?

Has this study helped you to decide how to live more purposefully, ethically or effectively?


Theme 5: The history of everyday life

Purpose

Through historical studies in this inquiry students will understand the way people, in different societies and over time, have experienced their daily lives. They will see why some people developed particular lifestyles and the changes that have occurred.



Possible inquiry topics:

Being born

Growing up

Going to school

Eating and drinking

Dressing (and adorning the body)

Living in a dwelling

Being healthy

Talking and communicating

Playing and being entertained


Forming groups

Forming relationships

Believing

Working

Shopping


Being rich or poor

Growing older

Dying

A topic of your choice



Sample focus questions

An inquiry topic developed to exemplify this theme must include questions related to each of the aspects listed below. The questions suggested here are provided as a guide, and will be particularised according to the inquiry topic negotiated with students and the key question that is developed.



Definitions

What is “everyday history”?

Is it valid and valuable to study everyday life?

What is the connection between “an ordinary person’s life” and history?

What topic is the focus of this inquiry?

What is the key question that will guide this inquiry?



Sources

Who are the major historians and other theorists associated with this study?

How have historians debated the importance of understanding people’s daily lives?

What primary and secondary sources might be available and valuable for this study?

Are there any problems related to the availability or sufficiency of sources?

Backgrounds, changes and continuities: motives and causes

What kinds of political, social, cultural or economic changes affect people’s daily lives?

What aspects of people’s daily lives have been most affected by these political, social, cultural or economic changes?

What features of people’s daily lives are more subject to change? What external pressures for change can people more effectively resist? How do people accommodate change?



Effects, interests and arguments

How have people reacted to and handled the major phases of their life?

How effectively have people organised their daily lives?

In what ways were people’s daily lives affected by ideas and beliefs prevalent at the time?

What advantages did particular groups within a society have in developing more comfortable daily lives?

Reflections and responses

What have you learnt about the historical significance of the daily lives of different peoples?

What are you learning about your own life from this study?

Did this study help you clarify your standpoint about the way people cope with the challenges of daily existence?

Does a study of this inquiry topic indicate that there has been progress over time in the way people have lived their ordinary lives?

What problems did you encounter in the research, and how did you respond to them?

How is this study helping your understanding of history as a discipline?


Theme 6: Studies of power

Purpose

Through historical studies in this theme students will understand that power has played an important part in historical change, that the loci of power may change over time, and that over time individuals, groups and societies have attempted to control and legitimise the use of power by some individuals, groups or institutions over others.



Possible inquiry topics

Comparative studies of societies which have differed in their control and use of power

What makes a powerful person powerful? — Gandhi, Stalin, Mandela, Hitler, Aung San Suu Kyi, Martin Luther King, Saddam Hussein, Mao Zedong

Resistance to power: collective movements, liberation movements

The emergence of people power: movements such as the anti-Vietnam war demonstrators or the Women’s Liberation Movement or the Million Men Movement

The decline of world communism

Military power and coup d’état

A comparative study of dictatorship in ancient and modern times

International military power

Power relationships among nations or within regions

Legitimising institutional power — constitutions, governments, the rule of law

The power of agencies within and across societies — media, advertising

Economic power at the national and international level — multinationals, trading blocs

A topic of your choice



Sample focus questions

An inquiry topic developed to exemplify this theme must include questions related to each of the aspects listed below. The questions suggested here are provided as a guide, and will be particularised according to the inquiry topic negotiated with students and the key question that is developed.



Definitions

What is power?

What types of power have historians and theorists identified?

What is the key question that will guide this inquiry topic?



Sources

Who are the major historians who have interpreted this inquiry topic?

What primary and secondary sources might be both available and valuable for the inquiry topic?

Are there any problems related to the availability or sufficiency of sources?



Backgrounds, changes and continuities: motives and causes

What historical factors allowed this exercise of power?

What were the philosophical and ideological contexts for the emergence of the form of power in the selected inquiry topic?

What roles did individuals or groups play in this case of power?

Were there challenges to the growth of power in this topic?

Effects, interests and arguments

At the time, what were the major effects of this exercise of power on human wellbeing, on social, political and economic structures, and on environments?

Who benefited from this exercise of power, and who did not or was disadvantaged?

How has this example of the use of power influenced historical developments in the 20th and 21st centuries?



Reflections and responses

What have you learnt about power and its uses?

What have historians concluded about this case?

What connections can you see between this study and other studies you have already done or might do?

Do you think that this use of power is or was a progressive one historically?

What problems did you encounter in the research, and how did you respond to them?

How is this study helping your understanding of history as a discipline?

Has this study helped you to decide how to live more purposefully, ethically or effectively?



Theme 7: Studies of diversity

Purpose

Through historical studies in this theme students will understand the historical origins of the diversity of political, racial, ethnic, social or religious groups in a society, nation or region, and the ongoing historical significance of the relationships among groups.



Possible inquiry topics

Aboriginal heritage and role of Indigenous peoples past and present

Immigration and multiculturalism: Australia, Israel and the USA

Refugees and multiculturalism

Australian policy and attitudes towards displaced peoples

Youth cultures and subcultures — origins and relationship to mainstream culture

Political movements in Australia

Case studies of tolerance and intolerance, political and religious diversity, sexuality, racial and ethnic diversity, and their impacts within a society

Diversity as a stimulus to social change — legal, social, political

A topic of your choice



Sample focus questions

An inquiry topic developed to exemplify this theme must include questions related to each of the aspects listed below. The questions suggested here are provided as a guide, and will be particularised according to the inquiry topic negotiated with students and the key question that is developed.



Definitions

What is meant by diversity?

What is meant by society?

Which society, groups and their relationships are the focus of this inquiry?

What is the key question that will guide this inquiry?

Sources

Who are the major historians who have interpreted this topic?

What primary and secondary sources are both available and valuable in this study?

Are there any problems associated with the availability or sufficiency of sources?



Backgrounds, changes and continuities: motives and causes

What historical events brought these groups together or raised awareness of diversity?

What were the dominant and other beliefs about society before these diversities evolved?

What are the dominant and other beliefs associated with this example of diversity?

What role did individuals and groups play?

Effects, interests and arguments

What were the major effects of relationships among the groups in this topic — social, cultural, political, economic and religious?

Did these diversities produce, directly or indirectly, significant debates or changes in ideas and beliefs with societies?

What have been the long-term social, political, racial or religious effects of these diversities?

Are these effects continuing, and what might be the future effects?

Reflections and responses

What have you learnt about the historical significance of this study of diversity?

Do you think this form of diversity has made a positive or negative contribution to society?

What problems did you encounter in the research, and how did you respond to them?

How is this study helping your understanding of history as a discipline?

Has this study helped you make decisions about your own life — especially how to live more purposefully, ethically and effectively?



Theme 8: People and environments in history

Purpose

Through historical studies in this theme students will understand that changes and continuities in human values, attitudes, knowledge and practices can affect natural and built environments over time, and that human values, attitudes, knowledge and practices can be shaped by human experiences of environments.



Possible inquiry topics

The history of land use in Australia and its environmental impact

Agricultural and/or industrial revolutions in Britain, USA or Australia

Urbanisation in the 20th century

A history of ecological communal movements in recent times

An historical study of an environmental issue

A history of an environmental campaign

Modern consumer society and its environmental impacts



Global and international responses to environmental issues

Governments, laws and environments

A history of human use of forest environments

Sustainable development in developing countries

The environmental impacts of the automobile in the past century

The emergence of eco-tourism

A topic of your choice


Sample focus questions

An inquiry topic developed to exemplify this theme must include questions related to each of the aspects listed below. The questions suggested here are provided as a guide, and will be particularised according to the inquiry topic negotiated with students and the key question that is developed.



Definitions

What is meant by “the environment” in this inquiry topic?

What specific aspect of change in “the environment” is the focus of this inquiry?

In what places, and over what period, did those changes occur?

What is the key question that will guide this inquiry?

Sources

Who are the major historians and other theorists who have interpreted this historical study of environmental change?

What primary and secondary sources might be valuable in this study?

Are there any problems related to the availability or sufficiency of sources?



Backgrounds, changes and continuities: motives and causes

What were the significant features of the natural and built environments before these changes occurred? What factors had produced those features?

What were the dominant and other beliefs about, and attitudes to, natural and built environments before these changes occurred? How and why had those beliefs and attitudes been formed?

What changes to natural and built environments were produced by human practices during the period under study?

What factors caused the changes to occur in the environment?

What motivated the people who instigated and supported those changes?



Effects, interests and arguments

At the time, how did these changes impact on individuals, groups, nations and global society?

At the time, how did these changes impact on the wellbeing of environments and ecosystems?

Whose interests were served by these changes, and whose interests were not served?

Are these effects continuing, and what might be the future effects?

Did these changes produce, directly or indirectly, significant debates or changes in ideas and beliefs about human attitudes to, and use of, environments?

How have historians debated these human impacts on environments?

Reflections and responses

What have you learnt about the historical significance of this study of environmental change?

Overall, did this study depict the emergence of more peaceful, socially just and ecologically sustainable relationships between humans and their environments?

What connections can you see between this study and other studies you have already undertaken or might undertake?

What problems did you encounter in the research, and how did you respond to them?

How has this study helped your understanding of history as a discipline?

Did this study help you clarify your standpoint about relationships between humans and environments?

How might this study help you make decisions about your own life?



Theme 9: History and the global perspective

Purpose

Through historical studies in this theme students will understand that the terms “global”, “globalism” and “globalisation” carry a range of meanings ranging from references to events, people, organisations, ideas and movements that affect or have affected a number of regions, areas or nation-states, to the currently-emerging concepts of trans-national economic systems. They will understand the historical origins and development of global developments, and of the current debates that surround concepts and practices of globalism and globalisation.



Possible inquiry topics




The history of internationalism

Global impacts of regional trends

Globalism and the nation-state

The growth of global institutions

Pacts, alignments, alliances

The development, roles and influences of international trade and regulatory organisations (e.g.GATT, NAFTA, WTO)

Imperialism and globalism


Economic globalisation and its impacts

Global impacts of ideas, movements and ideologies such as democracy, communism, environmentalism, human rights, feminism

Technology and globalisation

Marketing and globalisation

Popular culture and globalisation

A topic of your choice



Sample focus questions

An inquiry topic developed to exemplify this theme must include questions related to each of the aspects listed below. The questions suggested here are provided as a guide, and will be particularised according to the inquiry topic negotiated with students and the key question that is developed.



Definitions

What constitutes a “global” issue?

What are the dimensions and manifestations of globalisation?

What is the specific aspect of global developments that is the focus of this inquiry?

What is the key question that will guide this inquiry?

Sources

Who are the major historians and theorists working in the field of global studies?

What primary and secondary sources will be valuable in this study?

Are there problems with the availability and sufficiency of sources?



Backgrounds, changes and continuities: motives and causes

What events of the 19th and 20th centuries contributed to the development of global institutions and practices?

What were the dominant beliefs about world organisation and societies prior to the development of the particular focus of this study?

What changes will or did the global issue that you have chosen bring to human society, locally, nationally or internationally?

What roles do individuals, groups, organisations and ideologies play?

Effects, interests and arguments

What is the range of debate about the benefits or otherwise of this example of global development?

Who benefits from the current manifestation of the development?

Whose interests are not served by the development?

What alternative or resistant ideas, movements or arguments have developed in response to the inquiry topic?



Reflections and responses

How have or are historians treating this study?

What standpoints are evident in the historical accounts of this inquiry, and in other source materials and arguments?

What are your personal views about the inquiry and related points of view that you have encountered in this study?

What problems did you encounter in the research, and how did you respond to them?

Has this inquiry helped your understanding of other, related studies?

Has this inquiry helped you to decide how to live more purposefully, ethically or effectively?


Theme 10: Local history

Purpose

Through this theme students will understand that history is all around them and that geographically broader social, economic and political issues are reflected in and affected by local events. Topics explore changes and continuities over time.



Possible inquiry topics




Streetscapes and landmarks

Perceptions of the local area, and the origins of these perceptions

Economic development of a local industry

Ceremonies and celebrations

Local heroes and identities

Influences of local environments on personalities

Changing land use

The impact of an event, such as Federation, the 1930s depression, World War 2, on an area



The impact of patterns and trends over time, such as population change, economic change or environmental change

School history

Power and influence in local politics

Wisdom of our elders

Cultural links with other local areas

Recreation: then and now

The evolution of an idea in the local area, e.g. recycling, transport

A topic of your choice



Sample focus questions

An inquiry topic developed to exemplify this theme must include questions related to each of the aspects listed below. The questions suggested here are provided as a guide, and will be particularised according to the inquiry topic negotiated with students and the key question that is developed.



Definitions

What does the “local area” mean?

What do we already know about the history of the local area?

What may be worth knowing for our own benefit and the benefit of future local residents?

What is the key question that will guide this inquiry?

Sources

Who are some historians who have interpreted the history of the local area?

What qualifies them as historians?

What primary sources may be valuable to this inquiry?

Are there any problems with the availability or sufficiency of sources?

Backgrounds, changes and continuities: motives and causes

What relevant developments were occurring before the time period of this inquiry?

How were some of the changes or continuities perceived in the local community at the time?

How are these changes or continuities perceived today?

What seem to have been the main causes of these changes and continuities over time?

Effects, interests and arguments

What were the effects of the changes and/or continuities identified in this inquiry — social, economic, political and environmental?

Who was advantaged by the changes and/or continuities and who was disadvantaged, then and over time?

Are these effects likely to continue into the future?



Reflections and responses

What did you learn about yourself and about groups in society as a result of studying this inquiry topic?

Do the changes and/or continuities generally contribute to progress in the local area?

What problems did you encounter in the research, and how did you respond to them?

How has this study helped your understanding of history as a discipline?

What actions might we take to promote a better future for people in the local area?



Theme 11: The individual in history

Purpose

Through this theme students will understand that individual people can be essential, active historical agents, sometimes helping to induce and affect change, oftentimes reacting to influences and pressures.



Possible inquiry topics




The concept of the Great Person in history

Biography and autobiography as history

Family history (especially sources and methods)

Oral history

Your own history


Your family’s history

A local identity

A study drawn from a collection of individuals who have altered the course of history

A topic of your choice



Sample focus questions

An inquiry topic developed to exemplify this theme must include questions related to each of the aspects listed below. The questions suggested here are provided as a guide, and will be particularised according to the inquiry topic negotiated with students and the key question that is developed.



Definitions

Who is covered by the term “people”?

What is meant by “biography”, “autobiography”, “family history”, “genealogy”, “prosopography”, “psycho-history”, “oral history”?

What is the key question that will guide this inquiry?



Sources

Who are the major historians who have interpreted the history of this individual (or these individuals)?

What primary and secondary sources might be valuable in this study?

What problems exist in relation to the use of psycho-history and oral history?

Are there any problems related to the availability or sufficiency of sources?

Backgrounds, changes and continuities: motives and causes

What is the historical context in which the person being studied lived/lives?

What are the events and beliefs that influenced the early childhood of the person being studied?

What significant changes have affected the person being studied during his/her lifetime, and what were the causal factors relating to these changes?

What are the enduring continuities that have influenced that person’s life?

What roles did other individuals and groups play?



Effects, interests and arguments

At the time, what have been the effects or influences of the person being studied on other individuals, groups, nations or global society?

Who has benefited from this person’s life, in both the short and long term?

Who has suffered or been disadvantaged?

What have been the wider effects of this person — in place, society, politics, the economy?

Are these effects continuing, and what might be future effects?



Reflections and responses

How have historians treated this person’s life?

What have you learnt about this person and his/her historical significance?

Do you think this person has made a positive contribution historically?

Would you like to take this study further, or in fresh direction?

What problems did you encounter in the research, and how did you respond to them?

How is this study helping your understanding of history as a discipline?

Has this study helped you make decisions about your own life — especially how to live more purposefully, ethically, effectively?



Theme 12: National history

Purpose

Through this theme students will understand the development of the nation-state, the ongoing operation of its political processes at the national and international level, and emerging challenges to the concept and realisation of the nation-state.



Possible inquiry topics




Possible inquiry topics might include the emergence of the nation-state of:

Australia

United Kingdom

The United States

Germany

Indonesia



Japan

China


Papua New Guinea

Fiji


The emergence and disintegration of the USSR

The emergence and disintegration of Yugoslavia



Australia — the process of federation (to the present)

Australia — the establishment of a foreign policy

Australia — the development of economic policy

Australia — the development of cultural identity

Australia and its defence

Australians at war

Contemporary nationalist struggles

Oppositions within nation-states

Challenges to the nation-state

A topic of your choice


Sample focus questions

An inquiry topic developed to exemplify this theme must include questions related to each of the aspects listed below. The questions suggested here are provided as a guide, and will be particularised according to the inquiry topic negotiated with students and the key question that is developed.



Definitions

What is meant by “nationalism” and the “nation-state”?

What specific aspect of change in nationalism is the focus of this inquiry topic?

What is the key question that will guide this inquiry?



Sources

Who are the major historians who have interpreted this study of national history?

What primary and secondary sources are valuable in this study?

Are there any problems related to the availability or sufficiency of sources?



Backgrounds, changes and continuities: motives and causes

What were the significant features of political expression and organisation before the rise of national structures?

What are the dominant and other beliefs associated with nationalism? How and why have those beliefs and attitudes been formed?

What factors produced the rise of the nation-state that is the focus of this inquiry topic?

What roles did individuals and groups play in the rise of this nation-state?

Effects, interests and arguments

To what extent has nationalism produced deep-seated changes to ideas and beliefs of people about preferred forms of political, social and economic organisation and about preferred forms of relationship between people?

At the time of the creation of this nation-state, what were the major effects on individuals, groups, nation and global society?

Whose interests have been served by these changes, in the short and long term?

Whose interests have not been served by these changes?

Are these effects continuing, and what might be the future effects?



Reflections and responses

What have you learnt about the historical significance of this study?

What connections can you see between this study and other studies you have already undertaken or might undertake?

What problems did you encounter in the research, and how did you respond to them?

How is this study helping your understanding of history as a discipline?

Did this study help you clarify your standpoint about political relationships between humans?



Theme 13: Studies of change

Purpose

Through historical studies in this theme students will understand that continuity and change are fundamental concepts of historical studies. They will understand the historical origins and continuing influence of some of the major changes of the 20th century, and the ways in which these major changes have shaped the lives of ordinary people, at local and global levels.



Possible inquiry topics

Heritage and change: establishing, maintaining, challenging and changing heritage

Cultural change: case studies of how significant cultural beliefs and practices developed, continued, changed, disappeared

Technological change: information technology, space and beyond, and micro-technology

Industrial technology and change

Social change: status of men and women, education, mobility, class, sexuality and gender revolutions

Religious, spiritual, ethical and moral change and continuity in the 20th century

First peoples: cultural challenges, changes and continuities

Revolutionary change in the 20th century

A topic of your choice



Sample focus questions

An inquiry topic developed to exemplify this theme must include questions related to each of the aspects listed below. The questions suggested here are provided as a guide, and will be particularised according to the inquiry topic negotiated with students and the key question that is developed.



Definitions

What is the nature of change in this inquiry topic?

What are the dimensions of change in this study?

How has this large-scale change evidenced itself in everyday life?

What is the key question that will guide this inquiry?

Sources

Who are the major historians and other theorists associated with this inquiry topic?

What primary and secondary sources are valuable in this study?

Are there any problems related to the availability or sufficiency of the sources?



Backgrounds, changes and continuities: motives and causes

Where and when did the origins of this change occur?

What have been the major developments, changes and continuities associated with this inquiry topic?

What roles did individuals or groups play in these changes?



Effects, interests and arguments

At the time, what were the major effects of this change on people, institutions and environments?

Who benefited from this change, and who did not or was disadvantaged?

What challenges arose to the change, and how warranted and effective were they?

How has daily life been affected by this change?

What have been the long-term effects of this change socially, culturally, politically, economically, environmentally?



Reflections and responses

What are you learning about this change and its historical significance?

What connection can you see between this study and other studies that you have already done or might do?

What problems did you encounter in the research, and how did you respond to them?

How has this study helped your understanding of history as a discipline?

Has this study helped you to understand your own life and the forces that affect it?



Theme 14: History and futures

Purpose

Through this theme students will understand that in the emerging field of futures study, the historical concepts of continuity and change are an important part of the “futures tools”. The historical tools of critical and reflective thinking and decision-making processes are also important in studies of the future. Students will become aware of trends over time yet understand that trends are not inevitable and the future is not predetermined. The future can be influenced, at a range of levels.



Possible inquiry topics




Employment patterns, locally, regionally, globally — historical origins and future trends

The future of national sovereignty

Australian consumption expenditure patterns

Public transport

Technological changes — biotechnology, nano-technology, genetic modification

Environmental change

Global power

Lifestyle changes



Ethical dilemmas — moral, legal, medical, scientific

Trade — national, regional and global

Health and wealth distribution — nationally and globally

Economic trends — nationally and globally

History and the “posts” — postmodernism, post-industrialism, post-colonialism, post-culturalism

Gender relations

A topic of your choice


Sample focus questions

An inquiry topic developed to exemplify this theme must include questions related to each of the aspects listed below. The questions suggested here are provided as a guide, and will be particularised according to the inquiry topic negotiated with students and the key question that is developed.



Definitions

What do we already know about the history of the future? What may be worth knowing?

What justifications are there for focusing on this inquiry topic?

What time boundaries seem to apply to this inquiry?

What is the key question that will guide this inquiry?

Sources

How have historians treated the future, and the future dimensions of this inquiry topic?

What sorts of sources may be useful in an historical study of future trends in this inquiry topic?

What primary and secondary sources may be relevant and reliable for this inquiry?

Are there special problems related to the availability and reliability of sources for an historical study of the future?

Backgrounds, changes and continuities: motives and causes

What are the current trends in relation to the inquiry topic?

How have such trends been perceived in the past?

What are some likely causes of these changes or continuities?

What changes or continuities could occur in this area in the future?

What changes or continuities should occur in this area in the future?



Effects, interests and arguments

Who may have motives for causing this change or continuity and what historical evidence do we have for these assumptions?

What were the effects on individuals and groups of the changes and/or continuities identified in this inquiry?

When it began, who was advantaged by this change and/or continuity and who was disadvantaged?

From a futures perspective, to what extent may the long-term advantages of this change and/or continuity outweigh the disadvantages?

Reflections and responses

What are you learning about this issue, its history and its possible and probable future?

What connection can you see between this study, and others that you have done or might do?

What problems did you encounter in the research, and how did you respond to them?

How is this study helping your understanding of history as a discipline, and of the history of the future?


Theme 15: History and historians: theories and standpoints

Purpose

Through this theme students will understand the role of theory or ideology in the interpretation of historical events, periods and developments. They will encounter the work of some leading historical theorists, and will develop their understanding of the contestable and tentative nature of historical explanations.



Possible inquiry topics

Historians in their contexts: Manning Clark, Geoffrey Blainey, Henry Reynolds, Inga Clendinnin, Marilyn Lake, Verity Burgmann and Jenny Lee, Keith Windschuttle, Francis Fukuyama

Standpoints and ideologies in history: Marxist, neo-liberal, feminist, postmodernist*

Revisions of history: the Holocaust, frontier history

Gaps and silences in history: histories, interpretations and choices

Ownership and historical evidence: recovering, recording and interpreting evidence, e.g. Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history

Major theorists and their influence on approaches to history: Marx, Carr, Schumpeter, Hobsbawm, Foucault, Gramsci

A topic of your choice



Sample focus questions

An inquiry topic developed to exemplify this theme must include questions related to each of the aspects listed below. The questions suggested here are provided as a guide, and will be particularised according to the inquiry topic negotiated with students and the key question that is developed.



Definitions

How is history defined by the theorist/theory that is the topic of this inquiry?

In essence, what is this theory about?

What is the key question that will guide this inquiry?



Sources

Who are the major historians and theorists associated with this inquiry?

What primary and secondary sources are available and valuable for this study?

What problems or particular issues might be identified about sources for this study?

Are there any problems related to the availability or sufficiency of sources for this study?

Backgrounds, changes and continuities: motives and causes

Where and when did the work of this historian, or this historical theory, first emerge?

How did this theory relate to other theories in other fields of learning or thought?

Has the theory changed over time?

How has this theory, or the work of this historian, changed the ways in which history is interpreted in the 20th century?

What is likely to be the continuing significance of this theory in the 21st century?



Effects, interests and arguments

What or whose ideas, interests or perspectives, were given a voice in this theory?

What or whose ideas, interests or perspectives, were challenged in this theory?

Why did this theory gain support?

What resistance or challenges to this theory emerged over time?

Reflections and responses

What are you learning about the discipline of history, through this study?

Has this study caused you to re-evaluate your interpretations of previous studies?

What problems did you encounter in the research, and how did you respond to them?

Has this study caused you to re-think your personal interpretations of historical events and developments?


Theme 16: School-based theme

Purpose

A school-based theme must be an area of study, from which at least one inquiry topic and its associated key question can be developed. The school-based theme may have as its rationale local issues, specific interests of students and teachers, or availability of specialised or unusual resources within the school or local community. It may combine inquiry topics from different themes, combine aspects of different themes, or revisit themes using topics different from those previously selected.



Inquiry topics

An inquiry topic is an in-depth study of a specific historical period, phenomenon or event that exemplifies a theme. Inquiry topics should be developed so that a process of historical inquiry is clearly evident (see section 6.1). The inquiry topic must contribute to student development of the understandings and processes described in the general objectives.

Section 5.2.1 provides additional advice about the school-based theme.


Sample focus questions

An inquiry topic developed to exemplify this theme must include questions related to each of the aspects listed below. The questions suggested in other themes may be used as a guide, and should be particularised according to the inquiry topic negotiated with students and the key question that is developed.

Definitions

Sources


Backgrounds, changes and continuities: motives and causes

Effects, interests and arguments

Reflections and responses.

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