Studies of Society and Environment Elaborations of core learning outcomes using a geographical perspective and geography learning outcomes

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Culture and Identity

Elaborations of core learning outcomes using a geographical perspective and geography learning outcomes.

The following elaborations are examples only of what students know and can do, and should not be considered prescriptive or exhaustive.
Key concept: Cultural diversity

Key process: Investigating

Level 5

Level 5

Level 6

Level 6

Learning outcome

Core CI 5.1

Students investigate aspects of diverse cultural groups, including Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander groups, and how others perceive these aspects.

Geography GCI 5.1

Students evaluate how material and non-material aspects of one culture may have been derived from other cultural groups.

Core CI 6.1

Students analyse the ways in which various societies inhibit or promote cultural diversity.

Geography GCI 6.1

Students participate in strategies to promote the values of equity, tolerance and cultural diversity in Australian and global contexts.

Students know
Cultural diversity

aspects of diverse cultural groups

including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander groups

geographic (spatial) distribution of different cultural groups e.g. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations; ethnic concentrations within large urban centres/regions

cultural characteristics of groups

socio-economic status

life expectancy

birth/death rates

level of education

energy usage/capita, etc.

geographic isolation and Aboriginal health

patterns and distributions of wealth

geographic/cultural origins of foods

network of significant people within different cultures – religious, political, social

perceptions of cultural aspects

media representations of different cultures and regional variations of this

inter-relationships between diverse cultural groups within society e.g. inclusion/exclusion based on language, religion, dress, etc. changing food tastes

changes over time and factors influencing this e.g. perceptions of Asian people

material aspects of culture




non-material aspects of culture

patterns of behaviour

family structure

education/military/economic/political systems





key ideas

a society changes its cultural practices and traditions and then calls them their own

Australian society has been able to absorb and adjust to change while remaining distinctly Australian

processes causing cultural absorption mass media, telecommunications, globalisation and so on

ways in which various societies promote cultural diversity

legislation e.g. anti-discrimination

education and equal access

community celebrations

international communications e.g. internet

effective group representation e.g. Danish Society, Ethnic Affairs Council, CWA

refugee support

migrant support e.g. language support, housing

ways in which various societies inhibit cultural diversity

multinationals and economic capacity to homogenise e.g. similarities in character of CBDs of major cities

globalisation and weakening of traditional political entities, especially national/state governments

migration and assimilation or domination e.g. Aceh Province in Indonesia

lack of employment in regions resulting in migration e.g. migration of male labour force to cities in South Africa

strategies to promote values of equity, tolerance and cultural diversity

promote awareness of the cultural diversity within Australia

recognise that Australian Government policy is to encourage ethnic groups to maintain former identity and culture while being asked to accept Australian principles associated with such notions as ‘A Fair Go’, freedom, friendship

foster understanding of different cultures through education and recognition of the valuable contribution the cultures have made to Australian heritage

Students can


the demographic characteristics of a particular area e.g. life expectancy, birth/death rates, (including GIS manipulation of data available from Australian Bureau of Statistics) and establish significant cultural groups within this community

carry out local surveys to establish evidence of the diversity of cultural influences on e.g. housing, street signs, businesses, style of dress, food

survey local community/class members/school members regarding e.g. perceptions of a particular cultural group; degree of tolerance of cultural diversity


the cuisine of a range of cultures by mapping the distribution of restaurants, classifying them according to country of origin.

survey the class on diet and determine the cultural origin of foods consumed

investigate the global impact of a multinational fast food or clothing company by:

  • plotting distribution of outlets

  • discussing how it changes the cultural practices within countries

  • determining how the company may try to appropriate elements of the culture of the country in which it is operating

analyse ways

conduct an inquiry which focuses on analysis of phenomena e.g. the way in which different societies respond to cultural diversity e.g. gather and sort information, analyse information and consider evidence, identify hidden and marginalised perspectives

analyse change process, through time, in a local area e.g. the extent to which a society has inhibited or promoted cultural diversity

investigate print or other media to identify ways different societies/groups in society respond to diversity


the cultural diversity within Australia

-by conducting interviews with people of different cultural origins to determine their contribution to Australian heritage

-by visiting the web site of the Australian Government Department of Immigration and Multicultural affairs, New South Wales Department of Aboriginal Affairs, and Multicultural Affairs Queensland to determine policy and practices. This is also a source of data on multicultural Australia

participate in the Australian Government activities on Harmony Day, March 21st

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