Transcript of Ancient history - scoping the course

Ancient History

Presenter: Alex Glasgow

Alright, let's get started, shall we? In the bottom you can see, the bottom right corner, if you look at it, you can see there's some files that you download. It's nothing spectacular, it's just from the NESA website, but it might save you guys a bit of time and effort. And on the left side of the screen as you look at it, you will see the various syllabuses and some other information for you.

Before we start, I'd like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the many lands where we sit and meet today. I'd like to pay my respects to the elders past, present and those of the future for they hold the memories, traditions, the culture and the hopes of Aboriginal people. I'd like to extend my respect to all who are taking part today, sharing our common...sorry, sharing our common homeland.

OK, today we're looking at the Ancient History syllabus. Now, taken straight from the rationale, the study of Ancient History engages students in an investigation of life in early societies based on the analysis and interpretation of physical and written remains. It equips students with the skills to analyse and challenge accepted theories and interpretations about the ancient world, especially in light of new evidence or technologies. It encourages students to appreciate our responsibility for conserving and preserving the world's cultural heritage as students develop increasingly sophisticated historiographical skills and historical understanding from the close study of features of societies. The rationale sets up the contemporary field for our students. We're wanting them to engage in critical thinking and engage in a subject where the historical inquiry is the focus. Ancient History should not be a chalk-and-talk subject. We're moving to a stage where teachers are the facilitators of learning. We point the students in the right direction, we give them access to information but allow them to form their own conclusions. Similarities between the current syllabus and the one to start next year.

OK, similarities - investigate a range of archaeological sites, societies, personalities, historical contexts and periods. We want students to develop historical skills for depth of study. We want students to examine historical methods and issues. We want them to delve into those issues, engage in those rich debates. Undertake an historical investigation, to develop investigative, research and presentation skills. And study familiar content such as... Sorry, to study familiar content such as Vesuvius, with Pompeii and Herculaneum. Some changes. Historical concepts and skills are integrated throughout.

As with Modern History, which we look at next week, there's increased opportunity to study Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures through a case study on Ancient Australia. Increased opportunity to study Asian-related topics. We're taking Ancient History away from Greece, Egypt and Rome. In Year 11, a case study is to be selected from the Near East, Asia and the Americas or Australia. That's the B list of subjects. So in Year 11, you have to do a B list subject and that takes us out of that traditional role. So what does the course look like? First section of 60 indicative hours, the Nature of Ancient History, plus our case studies. Then we look into Features of Ancient Societies and we need to look at two - two features, that is. And Historical Investigation to finish it off, giving you 120 indicative hours. Investigating Ancient History, 60 indicative hours. One of the following - so this is from page 24 of the new syllabus - investigation of ancient sites and sources; historical authentication and reliability; representation of the ancient past; preservation, conservation and/or reconstruction of ancient sites; cultural heritage and the role of museums; and the treatment and display of human remains. So you need to cover one of those areas. Or at least one.

So how does that possibly look? So within the investigation of ancient... Now, the list you're about to see comes from the syllabus, it's not an authoritative list. There are other options, of course, you can choose. Let's just start with the basic ones we have, so we're looking at investigating... Sorry, the investigation of ancient sites and sources. There are a number of options the syllabus gives you to look at. You may think, in your faculty, that one of those suits your students or you may look and say, "No, I've got a different idea." That's fine. Historical authentication and reliability - again, we can see the possible options to look at there. Representation of the past...of the ancient past, sorry. Preservation, conservation and/or reconstruction of ancient sites. Cultural heritage and the role of museums. And the treatment and display of human remains. How did we treat Ötzi? How has he been treated? And that's something that our students can dive into.

The case studies. So, at least two have to be studied, one from list A and one from list B. You'll see in list A, Old Kingdom Egypt now appears here - it's been taken out from Year 12. Tutankhamun's Tomb, Deir el-Medina, Alexandria, Thera remain largely unchanged. Troy's been reconfigured and so has the Roman Games, then rounding out with Roman Britain, the Celts and Boudicca. List B where our Australia topic is, our Asian topics, the Near East and the Americas. We see Ancient Australia and the Shang Dynasty being new topics. Ashoka, Nineveh, Persepolis, Masada. The new one on Palmyra and the Silk Road. B8 - Teotihuacan. And the Emergence of Early Societies. What, also, you'll notice is that Ancient China is out, that's now been placed into Year 11... Sorry, into Year 12. So if you taught that in Year 11, you may be able to use parts of that topic now in the Year 12 list. Mycenae, or MycaNEA, no longer appears in Year 12. This has been put down into Year 11.

You'll also notice throughout the syllabus, in both Ancient and Modern, case studies must not overlap with or duplicate significantly any topic to be attempted in Year 12 Ancient History or the Extension course. The quirk at the moment is no-one from NESA can actually give us a definition of 'overlap' or 'duplicate significantly'. At the moment, that'd be left to the professionalism of teachers to make sure that doesn't happen. But as we're in a sort of... a rapidly moving and developing spot at present with Stage 6 syllabuses, NESA may produce information on that when they release the exam specifications.

Teachers are, of course, allowed to develop their own case studies. And this has always been the case. And you can see on the slide now how that may or may not look. It might be that at your school, there are a series of students, or a group of students, and you can just tailor a case study to suit their individual contexts or their individual likes. So that's what it might look like for you if you're going to choose to come up with your own case study. How could it look? Look, there are a number of options for how this stage could look. The obvious one is you could do it purely as standalone topics. The second option to consider is to teach one option through the case study and then repeat another option and another case study. Option three - teach one option through two case studies and do it as a comparison. And, of course, the fourth option, teach a number of options through two or more case studies. Now, case studies, again one must be from Egypt, Greece, Rome or Celtic Britain and one must be from the Near East, Asia, the Americas or Australia. And we're wanting our students to engage in inquiry-based learning oriented towards the problems and issues of investigating the past.

And again, that clear disclaimer about overlapping or duplicating. It can't happen. OK, features in ancient societies. It needs to be 40 indicative hours. At least two societies, either a different key feature for each society or one key feature across the societies that are selected. An appropriate historical period should be identified. We're not looking for hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of years. The key feature should be appropriate for the ancient societies that are selected. Now, key features are women, slavery, art and architecture, weapons and warfare, death and funerary customs, power and image, trade and cultural contact. So we have those key features and we can see the societies that we can choose from.

Mycenae has been dropped into this area and we've got Phoenicia and India added as well. How could this look? So, on the slide now, you can see information of how these could look. So, simply just looking... Not simply just looking, but looking at women across Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome, what was their role? How were they perceived? What power did they have? Or it could just be slavery in the Roman world. So your teachers, or you, get the chance to come up with your own units for this section. Please select appropriate ones. If weapons and warfare doesn't fit into your option, then please don't pick it.

Then we've got historical investigation. Hasn't changed too much. How it's presented - it doesn't have to be an essay. OK, there are multiple ways of presenting this. And again, the caveat about not overlapping or duplicating with Year 12 or Extension work. Alright, Year 12. Year 12 has four sections to it. The core study remains the same, so there's Vesuvius, Pompeii and Herculaneum. Ancient society, personality and historical periods, and 30 indicative hours for each section.

What are the requirements? Well, the geographic one to start with. It can't all be Rome, it cannot be one area. Your studies must come from two areas. Pompeii and Herculaneum is considered a Roman study. So you must have two of the following geographical areas - Egypt, the Near East, China, Greece or Rome. Topics contain a survey which is a maximum of three hours in your focus study, which is a minimum of 27 hours. As yet, there is no written information from NESA as to whether the survey will be examined in the HSC or not. We'll have to keep waiting throughout Term 3 for the HSC examination specs to come out. Until we actually have any written information from NESA, there's really no point speculating.

So, core study - Cities of Vesuvius, mandated three-hour maximum survey and your 27 hours which is mandated for the focus. Looking and investigating and interpreting the sources for Pompeii and Herculaneum, reconstructing and conserving the past. Value and impact of tourism, problems and solutions will need more time. Our ancient societies. There has been some... Again, one's for 30 indicative hours. You'll see they are fairly similar but they have been re-arranged, there have been slight changes. Some dates have changed, some previous dot points have been taken out or information's been taken out, some's been added. So teachers would really need to go through their syllabus, look at what's in there and really avoid retrofitting old topics. Now, we can see Society in China's been added. Again, it gives the option to study an Asian topic. Personalities. Two from Egypt, two from Near East, one from China, two from Greece and three from Rome.

So we have a fair scope when planning our personality, how we can work with other information, other topics and allow students to emerge... immerse themselves, sorry. And again, our historical periods, the old Israel topic is now the Ancient Levant, First Temple Period. And we've seen Imperial China has been included. And that's new from Year 11. So some familiar names from familiar times. Again, just be very careful about retrofitting previous topics. Assessment. So we know the specifications for assessment, it's been released. And that document is available on the NESA site and it's available in the files to download. What does it look like? We know in Year 11, three assessment tasks. In fact, NESA put some sample assessment outlines up for Year 11. There's four - two of them have an exam and two don't have an exam. So the components - knowledge and understanding is 40%; historical skills, analysis and evaluation is 20; historical inquiry and research is 20; and communication is 20 - you get a total of 100. The minimum weighting you can have is 20 and the maximum you can have is 40. One formal exam. And the historical investigation has to sit somewhere between 20 and 30. So for three assessment tasks, historical investigation is mandatory.

Really, for Year 11, there's not much scope especially if you want an exam. Year 12, the components are the same. The difference is it's a maximum of four assessment tasks with a minimum of 10 and a maximum of 40. You can get away with only having three assessment tasks in Year 12. One formal exam and one task must be an historical analysis with a weighting of 20 to 30. The document you can see there is just a very base pattern of study. It's available for download but, again, just make sure that you cover all the requirements in Year 11 and Year 12. OK, the mEsh program at the moment, we have topics being resourced, written.

Now, at the moment, this is how it looks, but there could be changes depending on the availability of writers and the such. We'll certainly be looking at preservation, conservation and/or reconstruction of ancient sites, cultural heritage and the role of museums. We're looking at putting something together - investigation, Ancient History and the nature of Australia, and incorporating that with case study B1 - Ancient Australia. The Roman Games and Teotihuacan is there. And weapons and warfare, comparing Mycenae and Carthage. So, hopefully by the end of Term 3 we'll have these up and ready to go. Just quickly, on the Modern History topics, these will be available tomorrow, but that's what we're looking at for Modern History. A couple of Year 12 topics on Modern History but certainly a lot in Year 11.

Extension, we've got...looking at what is history and a program for a case study that's to be advised at the moment. So that's resources that the mEsh program will be able to provide you with. NESA have already got their resources up on their website, so if you go to the Ancient History section of their website, their resources are there and ready to be downloaded. I actually downloaded some of them this afternoon before we started. And I guess that'll give you a starting point for the work you do in your schools. And that's your Modern History topics that NESA are putting together.

OK, just before we go, NESA at the moment aren't doing anything for Extension History, so the work that the mEsh program's doing will be really important for you guys there. Again, any information you need re mEsh, you can contact myself or Jenny Curtis. OK, so there's our email addresses. You've got the link for last week's Adobe Connect. And you'll now see at the bottom, there's a chat session available. So what I'll do is stop talking, if you have any questions, I'll be here for about another 10 minutes or so, feel free to type in and I'll answer them certainly as best as I can, and the ones I can't answer I'll endeavour to email you back. I'd like to thank you for your time this afternoon. Certainly after a long day of teaching, listening to someone talking a lot of times at you isn't the best thing, but I really appreciate your time. And again, if Jenny or I can be of assistance, our email addresses are there.

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