I. What are the three most outstanding things you have learnt from your exploration of the Australian Curriculum?
National focus – there has been state parochialism in the defence of many areas under state government control and this includes state education systems. By introducing a nationwide approach, this allows for the best practices to be adopted by states and incorporated toward the goal of a world-standard curriculum. The national approach assists in the transferability of students from state-to-state with the advent of a more readily transportable population.
Fits in with community purpose in that it’s not simply for the subject’s sake – one of the overall principles is to not only create an education system to reinforce the importance of single subjects but the importance for the future of Australia students “become successful learners, confident and creative individuals, and active and informed citizens.” (ACARA, 2012.1)
Development of levels (e.g. years) increasing the breadth of understanding – the suitability of the content for each year level is important, meeting both the student’s needs and developing their knowledge and understanding as they progress. The inter-relation of the ‘General Capabilities’ that run through all subject areas is important in a more in-depth understanding and doesn’t pigeon-hole skills and knowledge from one area (i.e. only developing numeracy skills during maths classes, ICT during computer classes etc.)
II. Make note of some of the information available in your subject area on the the ACARA website.
Civics and Citizenship is designed for students to become aware of what it means to be a citizen in contemporary Australia. It looks at the functions of our political and justice systems comparing our history and other models with the current structures.
Interestingly, it includes focus on nurturing the students’ rights and responsibilities under the Australian democratic, equity and judicial systems. That is to say that it’s not only about learning what Civics & Citizenship means but promotes a subscription to these values. The intended outcome from completing this subject is to provide the Australian community active and informed citizens.
Reading through the Draft Australian Curriculum: Civics and Citizenship Consultation Report (ACARA, 2013) where stakeholders provided feedback on the proposed curriculum, there was general consensus and agreement with the majority of the draft curriculum components (Overall agreement based on survey results).
III. What are some of the considerations you need to keep in mind when designing lessons for students in Years 9 – 10? You should comment on general capabilities, cross-curriculum priorities and diversity of learners. You might like to add a glossary for any terminology you are not familiar with.
Years 9 and 10 are classified as the ‘Pathways Stage’ – this is where students are planning their senior and post-secondary study areas in contract with the Foundation stage (Years F–2) and Breadth stage (Years 3–8).
Therefore, in Civics and Citizenship, year 10 Students build on their existing knowledge and can make informed decisions and choices, analyse systems and factors (such as cultural diversity) affecting their own rights and responsibilities but those of Australia in a wider context. The incorporation of differing perspectives and including ambiguities in the subject material for the young adults of year 10 to develop their own attitudes and ideas for the subject.
IV. Make a note, with short explanatory notes, in your learning journal about the types of information that are available to guide you in your teaching.
Not all curriculum areas are structured in exactly the same way, but you should include rationale, aims, structure, concepts, scope and sequence. Include any other information you think is important.
Civics and Citizenship
The reason for ‘Civics and Citizenship’ is to introduce the Australian systems of political and legal systems with increased breadth and understanding for students as they progress through their secondary school education. The idea of Civics and Citizenship is to build knowledge and understanding within students so as adults, they can make informed decisions and participate within our community and its systems. Understanding what and how the systems work enable students to value and contribute to their and our contemporary society.
The aims of Civics and Citizenshipis to understand, appreciate and operate within the values, principles, institutions and practices of Australian democratic government functionality and the roles the various groups and bodies play within that. It aims to acknowledge the historic pathways which have brought about the current structures of government and legal systems to help understand their role within that.
The structure of Civics and Citizenship is about initially providing an strand of knowledge and understanding (what it is, how it works) and one of inquiry and skills (why does it do that, how can I be a participant). By understanding the content of Civics and Citizenship, students are then able to make informed decisions, collaborate, discuss, give their views on selected topics, use problem-solving techniques, planning for action etc. as an Australian citizen.
V. (Study Design and Resources link) Make a note, with short explanatory notes, in your learning journal about the types of information that are available to guide you in your teaching.
From the VCAA website:
Civics and Citizenship: Curriculum-specific advice
Introducing the curriculum
Gives a summary of the content of the curriculum and provides a link to a PowerPoint presentation further outlining the aims, structure and key messages of the subject
Provides information as to how to incorporate Civics and Citizenship into a school’s curriculum planning and has links to the VCAA Curriculum Planning Resource – a complete guide as to how to incorporate the four layers of school, curriculum area, year level and unit/lessons.
This page also provides template for curriculum mapping.
Assessment and reporting
This information hasn’t yet been published but the website indicates that both Progression Point Samples, and Student Work Examples will be posted some time in 2016 (currently these are available for other subject areas).
There are links in this section to government and non-government organisations relevant to Civics and Citizenship such as the Australian Electoral Commission which itself has many education resources aimed at school students.
Frequently asked questions
The FAQ section responds to relevant concerns to the curriculum with the incorporation of Civics and Citizenship into the school’s current and planned curriculum
|Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority, (2012.1) The Shape of the Australian Curriculum Version 3; Retrieved from: http://www.acara.edu.au/verve/_resources/The_Shape_of_the_Australian_Curriculum_V3.pdf|
|Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority, (2012.2) The Shape of the Australian Curriculum: Civics and Citizenship Retrieved from: http://www.acara.edu.au/verve/_resources/Shape_of_the_Australian_Curriculum__Civics_and_Citizenship_251012.pdf|
|Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority, (2013) Draft Australian Curriculum: Civics and Citizenship Consultation Report Retrieved from: http://www.acara.edu.au/verve/_resources/Draft_Australian_Curriculum_Civics_and_Citizenship_Consultation_Report.pdf|
|Hawker Brownlow Education (2013) “What is Understanding by Design? Author Jay McTighe explains.” [Video file]. Retrieved from: https://youtu.be/d8F1SnWaIfE|
|Howard, K. (2014) “Understanding by Design” [Video file]. Retrieved from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8DRnaSR1kZU|
|Science Curriculum (2015) Retrieved from: http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/science/curriculum/f-10?layout=1#level8|
|Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority HOME > Civics and Citizenship: Curriculum-specific advice Retrieved from: http://www.vcaa.vic.edu.au/Pages/foundation10/viccurriculum/civics/civics.aspx|
|Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (2014) Retrieved from: http://curriculumplanning.vcaa.vic.edu.au/docs/default-source/Whole-school-secondary/by-unit-secondary/by-unit-lessons-secondary-school-year-8-semester-2.docx?sfvrsn=6|
|Wiggins, G., McTighe, Jay, Association for Supervision Curriculum Development, & Ebook Library. (2005). Understanding by design (Expanded 2nd ed., Gale Reference). Alexandria: ASCD.|