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

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Modern History

Senior Syllabus 2004
Partnership and innovation

To be used in approved schools with Year 11 students only in 2005.

Modern History Senior Syllabus

© The State of Queensland (Queensland Studies Authority) 2004

Copyright protects this work. Please read the Copyright notice at the end of this work.

© 2004, Queensland Studies Authority

Floor 7, 295 Ann St Brisbane Queensland

PO Box 307 Spring Hill Qld 4004

Phone: (07) 3864 0299

Fax: (07) 3221 2553



Job no. 1560


Contents 6

1. Rationale 8

1.1 Learning through studying the social sciences 8

What is history? 9

Learning through studying Modern History 9


3. General Objectives 14

Planning and using an historical research process 14

Forming historical knowledge through critical inquiry 14

Communicating historical knowledge 15

Attitudes and values 15

4. Language education, and quantitative concepts and skills 16

4.1 Language education 16

4.2 Quantitative concepts and skills 16

5. Course organisation 18

5.1 Course organisation 18

5.3 Composite classes 19

5.4 Sample course organisations 20

5.5 Work program requirements 25

6. Learning experiences 26

6.1 Structuring student inquiry 26

6.3 Developing student abilities in historical understandings and processes 28

6.3 Learning experiences and the key competencies 32

7. themes and Inquiry topics 33

8. Assessment 51

8.1 Underlying principles of assessment 51

8.2 Special consideration 53

8.4 Exit criteria and the key competencies 54

8.5 Categories of assessment techniques 55

8.7 Requirements for verification folio 61

8.9 Determining exit levels of achievement 62

9. Educational equity 70

10. Resources 71

Location 71

Materials 71

Glossary 73

Copyright notice 75


1. Rationale

1.1 Learning through studying the social sciences

Education should increase the ability and willingness of society’s citizens to participate constructively and ethically in their public and private lives. Open and reasoned debate with the wide and effective participation of the members of the society enhances democratic processes, and individual and social wellbeing.

Cooperative and competitive processes shape societies, and understanding these processes is central to explaining social behaviour and to evaluating the performance of a social system. The social sciences equip people with tools and strategies to devise ways to improve social processes and their outcomes at the collective and individual levels.

Social science subjects should be designed and conducted so that students develop personally and socially useful ways to analyse the world around them by:

studying human societies and their achievements

using the analytical and problem-solving techniques of the social science disciplines

gaining a critical understanding of the values underpinning both the study of social behaviour and the actions of those within society.

In particular, issues of equity will be important in choosing the topics for study and the methods used for learning. Equity issues include access to and ownership of resources, and their distribution among nations, social groups and classes.

Inquiry is central to all disciplines within the social sciences. Each discipline has its own analytical and problem-solving techniques to help students understand complex social and environmental matters. The goal is to improve the ability of a society and its members to anticipate, initiate and respond to profound social changes. Social systems from the local to the global scale all merit study. They are interdependent and they evolve together. Students can widen their horizons by exposure to different societies and by examining why some solutions can succeed and others fail.

Students may imagine possible and preferred futures. They may appreciate what societies can achieve, what they struggle to achieve, and how barriers to beneficial changes can be overcome. They can understand what social outcomes can be anticipated and sometimes predicted, what phenomena can be understood after they happen, and what changes take us by surprise and are difficult to explain with existing understanding.

Students can become:

more knowledgeable, effective, constructive and committed participants in personal, professional and civic life

more aware of the importance of values and beliefs, and how differences can be identified, understood, negotiated and, perhaps, resolved

more reflective, responsible and sensitive citizens, parents, workers, managers, entrepreneurs, consumers and investors

more aware of the connections among the social sciences and with other subject areas

more sensitive to the interdependencies between the social, cultural, political, economic, environmental and ethical aspects of experience

more able to grasp the sort of tensions that can arise when a social system operates in a way that may seem at odds with its sustainability and the natural environment.

These subjects can lead some students directly towards future careers as economists, geographers, historians and social scientists. While most students will proceed to other careers, their study of these subjects will give them important lifeskills (including the key competencies1).

In designing learning activities for their students, teachers should include the list of key competencies to suggest specific inquiries or inspire projects. In addition to this, teachers should refer to the principles outlined above that deepen or go beyond the key competencies to develop professional, discipline-specific expertise. Each subject has its own terminology, interpretative framework, mode of reasoning and conventions of presentation.

Critical analysis contains implicit social value judgments about which issues are worth studying, and social values and the values of individual students should be explored and evaluated in a constructive and critical way. Whether students are working collaboratively or developing individual skills in communicating ideas clearly, fairly and persuasively, opportunities will arise for both information and values to be in focus. Making effective decisions requires an understanding of any far-reaching ramifications of actions occurring in a particular social and historical context.

Underlying these studies and the values involved in them should be a commitment to open-minded debate, human rights and responsibilities, improvements in the quality of life, social justice and ecological sustainability.

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