Programming

The NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) History K-10 syllabus page contains useful information to assist with programming Years 7-10 history, including a guide to the syllabus, sample scope and sequences and sample units.

Historical inquiry continuum 7 to 10

Stage 4

Term Definition
Question Students are provided with research question/s OR may identify and develop their own questions to frame historical inquiry. Suitable instructional words may include: how, what, why, account for, compare, contrast, describe, discuss, explain, identify, outline and recount.
Research Students identify and locate a range of primary and secondary sources, using teacher guidance as required. Teacher will provide some recommended source material.
Analyse Students synthesise the collated historical information and align the sources to the key content in the question/s. Students identify meaning and context to determine the usefulness of the sources to the inquiry, taking into account the sources? origins, motivations, perspectives and interpretations, values and historical detail. Teachers need to provide guidance in how to determine which sources to include or exclude, as students construct an informed argument or opinion.
Evaluate Students examine the reliability of the source material, considering authorship, to answer the question/s.
Communicate Students present a text, organising and presenting their findings about the past, identifying and describing different perspectives relevant to the historical inquiry. Students use historical terms and concepts, identify evidence from sources and acknowledge the sources used.

Stage 5

Term Definition
Question Students identify and develop their own questions OR may be provided with research question/s to frame historical inquiry. Suitable instructional words may include: how, what, why, account for, compare, contrast, explain, discuss, analyse, evaluate and justify.
Research Students identify and locate a range of primary and secondary sources, using teacher guidance as required. Teachers may provide some recommended source material.
Analyse Students synthesise the collated historical information and align the sources to the key content in the question/s. Students analyse sources to identify the relevance of the historical content to the question/s. Students determine the usefulness of the sources to the inquiry, taking into account the sources? origins, purposes, motivations, perspectives, values and historical detail. Teachers may need to provide guidance in how to determine which sources to include or exclude, as students construct an informed argument or opinion.
Evaluate Students justify the reliability of the source material, considering authorship, to answer the question/s
Communicate Students present a text, organising and presenting findings about the past, incorporating their own justifications and interpretations relevant to the historical inquiry. Students use historical terms and concepts, identify evidence from sources and acknowledge the sources used.

Definitions

Analyse: This step seems simple to teachers but is often a challenge for students. Source analysis in Step 3 requires students to ask these questions of a source:

  • What is the 'core' content' that needs to be addressed to respond to the inquiry question/s?
  • Does the source's content relate substantially to the 'core content' of the question/s?
  • Is this source USEFUL to the historical inquiry?
    A source may be determined as useful because it:
    • provides an interesting perspective on the past
    • shows us the values and motivations of people in a particular era
    • contains historical detail such as dates
    • helps us to empathise with people's experiences in the past OR
    • due to the quantity of relevant, historical information.
  • Does the source confirm historical arguments or opinions that you previously held? Does the source challenge you to reformulate your arguments or opinions?

It is at this step that students begin to use source material to develop an informed argument or opinion that addresses the historical inquiry question/s.

Evaluate: students determine the reliability of each of the sources to be used in answering the question/s. For each source students need to ask, "Is this source to be believed"

Students must take into account the origin, values, purpose and context of the source in order to answer the question/s.

Primary sources and secondary sources can both be considered reliable sources of information. A primary source may be reliable because it is produced by a credible witness to an historical event. A secondary source may be reliable because it is produced by an expert historian, or a trustworthy organisation, who has used quality primary materials to produce the source.

However, sources used will often have issues of reliability, such as bias within accounts of a witness or author. Such sources can still be utilised as long as students include reflections on the sources' bias, noting the way in which bias places limitations on the use of the sources as evidence.

Historical inquiry process

Process of historical inquiry using the history K-10 syllabus

The nature of historical inquiry in schools (PPT 2.7MB)

Stage 4 sample learning sequences

Investigating the ancient past (DOCX 61KB) is a teaching and learning sequence for depth study 1. This depth study looks at further developing historical concepts and skills that students engaged with in Stage 3. It allows students to explore the ancient world and make connections to today's world through examining the 'Out of Africa' theory and migration patterns.

Ancient India is an interactive site which provides a number of activities for students to cover depth study 3, the Asian world, including a suggested site study of Mohenjodaro.

Rights and freedoms (DOCX 67KB) is a sample teaching and learning sequence for depth study 4. It can be used as a guide to the teaching of Aboriginal history using a local resources model.

Angkor/Khmer Empire (DOCX 398 KB) is a teaching and learning sequence for depth study 5. It includes teacher notes and worksheets for students.

Stage 5 sample learning sequences

The cyberspace revolution (DOCX 60KB) is a teaching and learning sequence to help students understand the key developments in the history of the internet, and the evolving technological landscape.

United Nations peacekeeping (DOCX 713KB) provides an insight in the formation and working of the United Nations and Australia's role within that organisation in the post-war period. It provides a strong foundation for Stage 6 modern history.

Mystery at Rookwood is an interactive website in which students examine primary sources to determine the identity of the Chinese migrant as part of depth study 2a, making a nation.

Chinese question is a collaborative resource utilising Google Apps in which groups of students investigate Chinese migrants in early 20th century Australia as part of depth study 2a, making a nation.

Off to war and A soldier's war: Gallipoli are useful interactive World War I teaching resources that can be used to teach aspects of the mandatory depth study 3, Australians at war.

History program evaluation

Tool for evaluating a teaching and learning program for history K-10 (DOCX 43KB)

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