Transcript of Extension history

Extension history

Presenter: Alex Glasgow

Good afternoon, everyone. This is our final Adobe Connect session and today we will be looking at the Extension History course. As you can see on the screen currently, the three previous Adobe Connects are available. The Tech...Tech Department are looking to put it online, but at the moment, you'd just be as well to copy and paste those links and put them into your browser. We were hoping to get, as I said earlier, Adobe Connects' full transcripts placed on the website as well. That's taken a little bit longer and Tech are having some issues with some of the Adobe Connects and the volume coming through. We know that people during the Adobe Connects can hear us, so we'll have to work out that problem.

Before we start, can I just remind you to keep an eye in SchoolBiz in Term 3. There will be mEsh roadshows coming to a centre near you. Looking at probably doing more than 10 throughout the State, plus we have our rural and remote mEsh officers in the Wagga and Tamworth directorates and they'll be able, in those directorates, to assist schools and run professional learning as well. For History in Tamworth, it's David Partridge at Duval High School, and in the Wagga directorate, it's Deb Steel who is at Figtree High School. So keep an eye out in Term 3 for the professional learning that the State office is running, but certainly, David and Deb will be running additional TPL and be able to assist schools in those two directorates. For all things, you have my email address there and Jenny Curtis's email address, so please feel free to drop us an email and we certainly endeavour to respond to emails with answers as quickly as we can.

As I start the Adobe Connect, I'll turn off my camera so you can concentrate on what it's saying and the chat pod will be removed. OK, the Extension History course. Let's get into it. First of all, I'd like to acknowledge country. I'd like to acknowledge the various grounds of the First Nations people that we sit on today as we have this Adobe Connect - a wide area throughout the State and many of the First Nations... and on their lands. The land that we sit on and have this meeting is and always will be Aboriginal land and I'd like to pay my respect to elders past, present and future. They hold the memories, the aspirations of Indigenous Australians. I want to pay my respects to any Indigenous Australians taking part in today's Adobe Connect and certainly my respect to all other history teachers who are out there working hard for Indigenous students and all students.

OK, so, we have the new Extension syllabus out. There have been some changes to it and it's become probably more descriptive and more prescriptive for what Extension teachers and Extension students have to complete, and the reason behind that was that there was a strong belief, as with the previous course - the one we're just about to finish - that it had morphed out of a 1-unit course and, really, it was now looking at almost the equivalency of a 2-unit course, so the BCC had to work out ways of having a course that better reflected 1 units - sorry, 1 unit and a 60-hour course - but still keep together its academic integrity.

OK, this is an extension course. It is for our top students, so it's a balancing act between getting those two things. So, as you see on the screen at the moment, some similarities - historiographical ideas and processes are developed and studied through key questions, investigate a case study to analyse historical debates, and undertake the History Project focusing on an area of changing historical interpretation. What's changed? Well, there's now key questions in the syllabus and that's organised under the Constructing History. We have some new case studies in Ancient History in Australia. Some of our case studies have disappeared and we've had some case studies added.

A reduction in content, as I said earlier, to reflect a 1-unit subject. The areas of debate have been reduced from five down to three, and that's one of the ways that we've tried to ensure that we have a subject that's worth 1 unit and 60 hours. Indicative hours have been adjusted. The three components are of equal value. There's no annotated bibliography, only annotated surveys, and the Source Book of Readings has been replaced with historiographical references.

OK, so, three components for 60 hours. The key questions, there's 20 indicative hours, your case studies is 20 indicative hours, and your History Project again is 20 indicative hours. NESA have put on their website for Extension History, they've put out some scope and sequences for Extension and how it could look, and I'd certainly advise all of you people listening and watching now to go and have a look at those documents and certainly use them as the starting point for your planning. What Is History? has been replaced.

We've got key questions now and the key questions have changed and there's a clear expansion of what each question means and, again, that's about the syllabus becoming more prescriptive and descriptive, and you can see on the screen, that's on page 24 of your syllabus. OK, this will be a problem for teachers who are simply reproducing previous programs. Certainly with Modern History, retrofitting is probably not the way to go. If you're teaching Extension History, you're going to have to really have a real good look at the program, what the program... Oh, sorry. The syllabus is... What the syllabus is asking students to do. It's certainly not going and just re-teaching what you've always taught.

OK, so, Constructing History. There's now four key questions, and this provides a framework for the investigation of the construction of history and a clear focus on historiography or historiogr...historiography. Sorry. Students engage in a complex, intellectually demanding study of History Extension by applying significant historiographical ideas and methologies... Methodologies, sorry, which have evolved over time. So the four questions we're looking at are 'Who are historians?', 'What are the purposes of history?', 'How has history been constructed, recorded and presented over time?', and 'Why have approaches to history changed over time?'

OK. Here are our case studies. One case study with three identified areas of debate and the key questions. We've gone more historical than theological, and the topics - more inclusion of women and there's an India thread now. So if you look at Ancient History, we've got Cleopatra, so she's come in from the Ancient History course. Athenian Democracy is new. Rome's Impact on the Provinces stays, and that's the only topic in Ancient History that stays. The Origins of Early Christianity has been modified from the previous topic you can see there, and The Collapse of the Western Roman Empire is new.

In Medieval and Early Modern, The Crusades stay. We have the Witch Hunts and Witch Trials, which is new. Elizabeth I and the Elizabethan Age, and Spain and the Aztecs... Sorry, Spain and the Aztec Empire stays the same. In Modern History, we have some change in content, so we've got Napoleon, Western Imperialism in the 19th Century, A British Prime Minister - Churchill or Thatcher, Appeasement, and JFK. Now we've added Asian topics, so that's Genghis Khan, The Opium Wars, and The Partition of India. All three of those are new. The Partition of India is taken from the previous national study, so that's why it doesn't appear in the national studies in Modern History.

For Australia, The Frontier in Australia, Women Convicts in New South Wales, and we've added Menzies or Gough Whitlam as a prime minister study and that is taken from the old... It's not taken from the old national studies, but with the change in Australia as a national study in the new syllabus, the changing dates, Menzies and Whitlam were taken out, so they've been added here to Extension History. And Representations of ANZAC is now added as well. So certainly a lot of scope for students, whether they love Ancient or love Modern or are really interested in Medieval History, there's certainly enough there for each student to really get in and study and show what they're capable of. OK, so Constructing History - Historical Debates.

We're looking at students needing three, down from the previous five. Methodology of the historian - historian, sorry - emphasises as they create, construct, write history, and the following debates are to be integrated - historical interpretations and perspectives, popular interpretations and perspectives, changing approaches to the construction of history, the shaping of interpretations, the role of context, methodo...methology - sorry, methodology - purpose, sources and form of communication. So out of those four options, students choose three. Previously, where the old syllabus - we'll call it the old syllabus - talked about debates, and that was plural, there was no expectation that students had to do five, but somehow it morphed into students doing five, so we're now very clear that students need to do three. My apologies. Went too far.

OK, specific requirements for the project. Now, the syllabus gives very clear information here. First of all, it must be focused on the histography...historiogrophy... historiography. I will...I will get that right eventually. May be developed from a case study, but must cover substantially different ground from the debates outlined in the syllabus. Must not overlap significantly with examinable content in any Stage 6 History course. Conducting the investigation and associated content. Documenting the project, monitoring of the process log at regular intervals and sign/initial and date with any comments - and that's for staff, obviously. OK, it's really important that that process log is looked at often, comments written down and dated and signed. That way, teachers can keep a clear track on what's happening and if the students are starting to go off on tangents, can be rectified fairly quickly.

OK, now the components. A proposal - you should include a focus question. The synopsis is no longer required. The essay is 2,500 words maximum and it must not exceed that, and that's reported twice in the syllabus - page 12 and 22 - and that was one of the areas that students were really going over the top in, if I can use that colloquial term, and some of the projects that were being sent in or being presented were just excessive, so a clear maximum word limit of 2,500 words. It needs to have a bibliography, annotated sources and an evaluation of three sources - and, again, not exceeding 600 words. Previously, some of the evaluations, were lengthy, and documents and extras that kids were putting in, just took it to an extreme level, so it's a clear effort from NESA and the BCC to scale it back, to make sure it is a 1-unit subject and is 60 hours. And you need a process log.

Now, timelines for the project process will be published with HSC exams next in Term 3, and as I've said previously, we are certainly hoping that that's at the start of Term 3, but it could well be the very end of Term 3. As soon as we know, I guess we'll - well, not "I guess" - we will communicate to schools that this information is out, but if you're not subscribed to the NESA News, please do. It doesn't take long to sign up. NESA News comes out every Monday and then every second Thursday, and that is a source of immense information for Stage 6 teachers.

When it comes to assessment and weightings, as you can see on the screen, about weightings, there's only two areas - knowledge and understanding for 40% and the skills component is 60%. NESA have uploaded to their website four sample assessment schedules and certainly worth looking at as a starting point for how you create yours. I don't think it's advisable simply just to copy NESA's and put a different school badge on. OK, these ones are a starting point for you to work out an assessment schedule that best suits your students.

So, assessment. There are three assessment tasks - one formal written examination worth 30%. Now, in the exam, Question 1 has zero changes, and Question 2, students must have covered at least two debates. The History Project - Historical Processes - the proposal, the process log, annotated sources, etc. - is worth 30%, and that's an increased weighting, and the actual project is worth 40%. And, again, exam specs will be coming out in Term 3. Well, that brings us to the end of this Adobe Connect. Again, if you have any questions, please feel free to email Jen and myself. And on behalf of Jenny Curtis and myself, I'd really like to thank all the teachers who've joined us during the last four weeks.

We realise it's a really busy time with reports and marking, but we hope this has been of some value to you and so has the General Overview and the Adobe Connects for Ancient and Modern History. Again, if there's anything we...any support or help you need, please feel free to email us, and just all that's left to say, happy teaching and as we head into the winter school break, enjoy your holidays. Hopefully you come back in Term 3 refreshed and relaxed, and for those teachers with Year 12 who'll be running study days during the holidays, thank you very much for doing that. I'm sure your students appreciate it. I certainly am sure your parents will as well. Thank you very much for your time. Again, anything you need, Jenny and I are an email away. We look forward to working with you guys in the very near future, and please keep an eye out for the professional learning that we run throughout the State in Term 3. Thank you very much.

End of transcript.

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