Transcript of Modern history - scoping the course

Modern history

Speaker: Alex Glasgow

OK, guys, we'll get started. As you can see from the slide at the moment the previous two Adobe Connects are there and available for you to download and have a look at. The plan is to get full...Adobe Connects fully transcribed for you guys as well, and they will be put up properly on the site. But that's kind of a cheat's way of getting to it. As we move into the presentation, I'll take the camera off me so I can concentrate on what I have to say. And there'll be no chat box, so if you have any questions, please leave them till the end. And on the last screen, the chat box comes back.

OK, so we're here to look at the new Modern History course. It will start with Year 11 next year and Year 12 the following year. As always, 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 also like to extend my respect to all who are taking part today, sharing our common homeland.

OK, ladies and gentlemen, the rationale for the new Modern History course sets out quite clearly what the aim of the course is and why students should take it. Modern History looks to build students' understanding of the forces, the personalities, the events that have combined over time to shape the world that they live in and, in many ways, continue to shape and change the world. These forces don't stop, they continue. They continually change. We can look at the events of the last eight months and see how a change of American president has changed the world. What happens when North Korea gets a new leader? So these forces are constantly there. We need to ensure our students have the skills to be able to identify these forces and appreciate them. Students learn, improve and/or define their skills by looking at various sources.

The previous Modern History syllabus, the one we're about to finish up, it didn't actually mention that specific historiography was to be used at the marking. And as teaching it, we always told students how to use it, but certainly again, as we said with the Ancient History syllabus last week, 11-7 and 12-7 clearly relate to historiography and students having to use sources. And use those sources is what we've always intended - to look at a wide variety of sources, of different opinions, and allow students to reach their own conclusions.

Modern History is about giving students the tools to make sense of the world they live in, the world that they will inherit, and the world that they're going to lead one day. So how does it look? We have The Nature of Modern History. There is a series of options there. We have case studies, and the students have to study at least two case studies. The documents that NESA have put out relating to planning for these, some will show case studies integrated across other areas of study and others have them as a stand-alone. That's up for teachers to really have a look at and look at these students and see what's best for them. The work that we are producing has both the nature of Modern History and has case studies sort of attached to it, and other times they stand alone. So when you're planning for this section you can have your case studies, you can, as it says on the screen there, embed them. or you can have them as a stand-alone option.

Case studies from List A come from Australia, Europe and North America. Case studies from List B - Asia, the Pacific, Africa, the Middle East, Central and South America. And you have to do one from List A and one from List B. OK, with Historical Investigation and with The Shaping of the Modern World. And the Historical Investigation is for 20 hours and in your assessment somewhere between 20% and 30% of your assessment... value of your assessment. And then The Shaping of the Modern World is for 40 hours.

OK, so our content focus. In the first part, The Nature of Modern History, we're looking at either The Investigation of Historic Sources, Contestability of the Past, Construction of Modern Histories, History and Memory, Representation and Commemoration of the Past. OK, so how do we really get our students to understand? We want our students to understand how history is told, how history is communicated, and how do we know history is real, what makes one person or one historian or one source more valuable than the others. And that is the challenge for our staff as we head into this new syllabus. So, you select the studies. I

suggest you look look at one, OK? But your studies have to meet the outcomes. I would only do one of these, OK? And you can develop your own case study that fits in with this. So one of our mEsh writers is looking at...in this area is looking at incorporating JFK. So you are allowed to come up with your own case studies as long as it meets the requirements. So, what can this look like in our case studies? So if we look at the rise of environmental movement, OK, we can look at the Sydney green bans or the Franklin River campaign.

OK, we know that, and we'll look at that in a bit, a couple of minutes, but we know that the Anglo-Irish from Year 12 has been dropped into Year 11. And we can look at the Easter rising of 1916 and look at the contestability of it. Decline and fall of the Romanovs. We can actually then look at focusing on a personality - Rasputin or Nicholas. The construction of modern histories, focusing on Australians involved in the Boxer Rebellion. And the representation and commemoration of the past focusing on man's legacy in Tibet.

So we have the option of combining topics, and that was done and that gets done when we look at our students, look at their need, look at their interest, what's best for our students. So this new syllabus in Year 11 gives us the options to do that. Our case studies. So, List A, you have to pick one from there, or at least one from there, and one from B. So you can develop your own case studies that meets the outcomes, but students must study one case study from Australia, Europe, North America and one from Asia and the Pacific, Africa and the Middle East. Now, you can see on the A column we've got a new topic in Day of Mourning to Mabo, so a new Australian topic looking at Indigenous history. And we've learned, if you didn't already know, from last week, there's one in ancient Australia for Ancient History. A modified and changed Women's Movements. And you can see there, A3, The Changing Nature of Anglo-Irish Relations. It was previously a Year 12 topic. It wasn't done by too many students. And it's been taken from Year 12 and put back into Year 11.

OK. One of the things that we'd be suggesting is when you...or there are two ways of looking at this, pick case studies that give your students background information to what you're going to study in 12. So if you look at B6 and B7 especially, there are Year 12 topics that flow on from there. So if you pick The Making of Modern South Africa in Year 11, or if they could pick it for Year 12, Apartheid in South Africa, then you'd look... "Well, I'll give my students background information. that's going to assist them." And the same for the Arab/Israeli conflict topics. Or you look at your option and you just give your students a broad brush of history. There are no right or wrong answers, but, again, student need becomes the main driver there, and student interest.

If you do choose to develop your own case studies, OK, it's really important that you work with them, this context. What's also important for this issue is the cut-off for historiography is the year 2000. That does pose a slight issue going forward later on, but NESA have said the cut-off for historiography is 2000. A couple of Year 12 topics go through to 2011, but we'll work that out as we go. OK, and again, the very large caveat is that your case studies cannot duplicate significantly any topic attempted in Year 12 Modern History or the extension course, so no overlapping or duplicating significantly.

And the question will be what does the word 'significantly' actually mean? What does that entail? And as from last week, NESA haven't given us any firm written instructions on what that looks like. And as soon as we get that information we'll certainly pass it on to you guys. The Shaping of the Modern World gives us six topics to choose from that form a core. Modern History World War I has been put into here. Enlightenment, The French Revolution, The Age of Imperialism, The Industrial Age, World War I and The End of Empire. It does have a strong...or I believe a strong connection to the various Year 9 topics you can look at. Certainly information there... If your students really enjoy it, you might choose to build on, or if they really didn't like The Industrial Revolution, you might stay away from the Industrial Age when you get them in Year 11. OK, so, yes, there's an overlay from Investigation and The Shaping of the Modern World. That can't really be avoided.

OK, now, case studies don't have to be taught first. NESA's not indicated this, that it needs to be the case. So you can construct your Year 11 program of study and organise it any way you choose. That'd be up to individual teachers, again with the interests and needs of their students front and foremost. You don't have to get locked into any particular way, although I'd suggest most people will be working through the way the syllabus is set out. OK, for Year 12. Interesting here, we've got a brand-new core - Power and Authority in the Modern World. That is basically reworked National Studies, Germany.

We know from marking statistics that some 6,000 kids out of the 10,000 that took Modern History studied Germany. So, with the committee who shaped this syllabus, the real notion was to try and get our students away from this notion of doing World War I Germany or Russia into a German And Russian personality and then Conflict in Europe. We know from the statistics, through marking year on in, that pathway was done by roughly 85%, if not more, of the candidature. That's the pathway they took. Certainly the most common pathway of a German personality, Germany, Conflict in Europe, World War I, was done by 6,500 kids. So there's been a real push to stop that. So our core is now the old National Studies, Germany, 1919-1946. National Studies - and a couple have been omitted due to lack of people taking them up and, of course, Germany going - Peace and Conflict and Change in the Modern World.

So some topics previously have gone. That's to comply with our national curriculum. And also some went because there was no viability in running them. The viability had gone. The Personalities section is completely gone. And the numbers doing Personalities went from the thousands down to two or three doing Ian Paisley each year. So Personalities section is gone. We do have a situation now where for the Year 12 HSC exam there will be two sections that will be assessed for the very first time. that is a new core and a Change in the Modern World.

OK, you have to pick a non-Western, non-European topic, and here are the lists available. And this is something you'll have to figure in when you're planning the topics you're going to teach. So within National Studies, Peace and Conflict and Change in the Modern World, NESA have identified a series of topics that will fit in with studying a non-Western or a non-European topic. The interesting one, though, is the Pro-democracy Movement in Burma. That one really doesn't have a topic in Year 11 you can anchor it to. Most others have at least one topic in Year 11 you can use for background information. But the Pro-democracy Movement in Burma is probably just stands out on its own.

OK, the Survey and Focus make up the two sections that are part of our Year 12 topics. If you didn't tune in last week to the Ancient History 'Unpacking the Syllabus', there is no word yet from NESA in writing as to whether the Survey will be assessed for the HSC or not. All that information will come out in Term 3 with the exam specs. So your Survey is for three hours - that's a maximum - and your Focus of Study is for 27 hours, to get your 30 hours. Of course you have to meet your outcomes, meet your key features for each of the National Studies, Peace and Conflict, Change in the Modern World. You make sure that historical concepts and skills are integrated appropriately. "Historiography has a particular emphasis in the core.

The expectation is that teachers will integrate pertinent historiography with each section of the course where appropriate. Outcomes..." [INAUDIBLE] For Modern History's MH 11-7 and MH 12-7 requires students to discuss interpretations and representations of the past." They have to look at different arguments for the same situation. We're really trying to expand their minds. There's also no word yet, we'll have to wait for the exam specs as to how much source is going to play a part in the HSC exam. We know with the current one we have, it's basically Section 1 where sources are provided, but apart from that we have no idea with this current HSC exam whether it will be sources for all sections, for one section, for two sections.

So really you're going to have to keep your eyes open for Term 3, keep looking at the NESA news bulletins that come out each Monday and every second Thursday for that information. And that'll be really vital to how we organise our teaching. Like I said a couple of times already today, and certainly last week with Ancient, it's coming out some time in Term 3. Hopefully it's week 1. It could be week 10. And we are absolutely aware of the stresses and how that is going to hold up the planning we have. We do know that NESA, in speaking to their curriculum officer and their inspector, the response, the HSC exam feedback, has been overwhelming and they're now going through that. And they met with the committee across...looking at all sections - the Independent Schools, the department, the various union bodies, TAFE, and got their feedback on exam specs. So it is a big issue... Or not issue. But it's a big...a whole lot of information they've got to trawl through to come up with exam specs.

OK. Power and Authority. Through a focus on the nature of power and authority 1919-1946, and a broader transnational perspective, students investigate the rise of fascist, totalitarian and militaristic movements after World War I, what drew people to these movements, the regimes that emerged, and the ongoing international efforts to achieve collective security. Through a study of Germany as a key example, students develop an understanding of how a democracy can collapse, the impact of a dictatorship on a society, the elimination of individual freedoms, and the threats that dictatorships can pose to peace and security. This provides students with the insights that contribute to a critical perspective on power and authority in the contemporary world. In investigating this topic, students develop and apply their knowledge and skills to understand different types of sources and relevant historiographical issues." So this topic is looking at... while it's anchored in Germany, it's a transnational study and it's looking at its social and cultural history. It's fairly complex to get through in 30 hours.

OK, so this is a suggestion. It is by no means mandated. But you've got a survey of 30 hours... Sorry, you've got 30 hours, so your Survey is 3, and the next 27 are broken up this way. This is how you could choose to do it, OK? But what's important is that all the dot points are covered in your programming, and that each of the dashes under the dot points are covered as well. And the dashes should inform the dot points. OK, National Studies. Now, please check your dates. There has been a revision on a lot of the dates. So Australia is that middle between the wars, 1918-1949. If you remember the old Year 9 course, some of the times the kids really struggled with that. India is from '42 to '84 and the assassination of Indira Gandhi is where it finishes. Indonesia up to 2005. OK, Japan hasn't changed too much. Neither has Russia and the Soviet Union. The USA - 1919 to '41. And our brand-new topic of Iran - '45 to '89. '89 the death of the Ayatollah Khomeini. And a new topic there to get a contemporary feel to our students.

NESA are producing, or have produced a program for that unit. And certainly with the world that our students now live in, the rise of Iran and what that means in the Middle East with both Saudi Arabia and Israel and then America, it's certainly a contemporary topic that has a bearing on their lives. Peace and Conflict. OK, Indochina, of course stays. Conflict in the Pacific, Conflict in Europe stay. The Cold War stays. And we've now got Conflict in the Gulf, again, a new topic. And you'll notice the date - finishes at 2011. Previously NESA have said the historiography ends at 2000. So a slight problem there that hopefully when we get an answer to, we'll be able to let people know. But we're aware of the inconsistency.

And finally, the Arab-Israeli Conflict. OK, our new topic of Change in the Modern World. The Pro-democracy in Burma, and we can see that really when you look at the Year 11 topics, there's not much that anchors that one there. The Cultural Revolution...Tiananmen Square... Oh, sorry, The Cultural Revolution to Tiananmen Square. Civil Rights in the USA - that's been brought up from Year 11. It does have a much shorter title, though, which is good. Two new topics - The Changing World Order, '45 to 2011, and The Nuclear Age, again, '45 to 2011. And Apartheid in South Africa through to '94. OK, so, if you look at the screen you'll see there's a lot of files there that you can download. They're available on the NESA website. I've just put them in one place for you. And we'll look at some information for that in a moment.

OK, so we do have the 'Assessment and Reporting in Modern History Stage 6' document being released. As you start now programming for your courses and your assessment, this needs to be your bible. It's really important that you understand what NESA are looking for and what they're beliefs are. I mean, straightaway we have a reduction of assessment tasks, so only three in Year 11, one of which will be the independent research task. That leaves you two more. And the independent research task, somewhere between 20% to 30%. So if you hold it at 30%, then your next two are either 30% and 40%, or 35% and 35%. OK, there's your components. And I do apologise - a little bit stretched and blurry. OK? But your assessment...40% of your assessment needs to cover knowledge and understanding, historical skills, 20, inquiry, 20, communication is 20. And there are the various rules. And, again, one formal assessment examination. One formal written examination. So for schools who ran half-yearly and yearly exams, one of those will have to go. Both can go, I should point out.

NESA have produced some assessment outlines for Year 11 and Year 12, and half of those are produced. There are no formal exams. So, once again, something that you will have to have a think about, get a faculty position and how's that fit in with your school. Is your school happy to get rid of exams completely or will they stick with one? OK, in Year 12, a maximum of four tasks. Minimum weighting is 10, and a maximum of 40%. And you can assess in three tasks. So theoretically you could go 40%, 40% and 20%. OK. One task may be a formal examination with a maximum weighting of 30%." So you could go 30, 30, 40. OK? Task with an Historical Analysis with a weighting of 20%-30%. OK, a basic pattern of studies. It's just something I've put together. Did it for Ancient History as well, but just somewhere where you can start planning out what you're going to do. There is...it should be available there to download. And again, mEsh will be creating the following resources. You can see there, The Contestability of the Past, The Investigation of Historic Sites and Sources, The Cuban Revolution, The Age of Imperialism for Year 11. For Year 12, the two new changing... or two Change in the Modern World topics - The Changing World Order and The Nuclear Age. NESA has already programmed, and these programs are up.

I would caution you, though - please don't use them holus-bolus. I've raised some issues with NESA regarding them. The first thing is they're put down as just duration is in weeks and not hours. So, and there are some... I think, some... They're not as good as they could be, so feel free to download them, have a read through, but I think we can come up with something probably slightly better than what NESA have put out. You can see there how they've got The Construction of Modern Histories. They've put Pemulwuy in The Age of Imperialism and created a topic there. The same thing with The Investigation of Historical Sites and Sources in World War I. OK, that takes me to the end of the presentation.

I'll just move this screen now. And you can see there that the documents to be downloaded are there. Chat Pod's there, so if you have any questions, feel free to ask. And our previous two Adobe Connects are available to be downloaded. This one will be recorded and will be put up probably on Monday or Tuesday.

So if you go back into mEsh Monday or Tuesday, the third one will be there. And eventually they'll be put up by the techies and made to look all nice. And we're hoping for full transcripts. So that ends the formal part of the presentation. If you have any questions, comments, please type them in. I'll be here for 10 minutes more or so. And look, have a great afternoon. I do appreciate you staying back after school. I know it's the middle of report time and we're all busy, so I do appreciate your time. And if there is anything you need, my email address is there. And so is Jenny Curtis's, who's our HSIE adviser 7-12. We're both just an email away. Thank you very much for your time.

End of transcript

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