Monday, September 26, 2011

Multi-years in the Australian History Curriculum

It doesn't work! How in God's name can I get these topics to fit in with one another to make teaching multi-years easier? I am scared witless as the idea of having to teach two totally separate topics in the same room. Not only the extra planning, but getting the message through to the kids and doing the topics justice.

If we were given just a broad overview of 8 - the ancient and medieval word, 9 - The expanding world and 10 - the modern world, I could work with that!

Do thematic units - for example, PLAGUE! and teach the Black Death to year 8, The Spanish Flu to year 9 and SARS and Swineflu and the possibilities of another to year 10. That, I could do. The same kind of content, with slightly differing focusses for the research assessment.

But that's not how I interpret it.

The Curriculum outlines an overview curricula and then 'in depth' curricula. And dear God they don't match. Not at all. Not even the same themes!

Note to the writers - we don't all have perfect little classes of 30 students to whom we can write the program once and then not have to wholly re-write again each year. I don't know how may kids are going to be in my class or the year levels until the end of the year before, and I then have to re-write the program in totality! 

Make it easy for people please - I thought that was the whole friggin' point? To tell us the 'what' to teach, but not the 'how'? Yes, you've done that, but you haven't considered people like our tiny little school who need to run a year 8/9 combined SOSE and, maybe, include the year 10s in there.

Oh, and I've got to fill 90% of the year with in-depth studies? So how do I get Geography, Business and Civics into the SOSE curriculum. We don't all have the luxury of having separate teachers - we have four teachers. FOUR! We can't separate it out because we don't really have the staff to cover it all. Or the kids.

That's my rant about the History Curriculum. I will now put it to the back of my mind, because it doesn't go 'live' until 2013, while the English on goes live in 2012.

And I still haven't written my Term 4, 2011 units.

**DISCLAIMER - I think that the curriculum is well thought out and written. I am looking forward to teaching some of the topics and I believe the content that has been chosen is very engaging and relevant. I am talking about my ability to do the topics justice in a multi-years setting.***


  1. My high school history teacher once lets us spend a whole lesson making 'thinking hats' (paper hats we colored in and added sparkles to), trying to teach us about motivation and goal setting and the value of a token.

    In reality, he got drunk over the weekend and didn't have a lesson ready :P

  2. So you're telling me that Edward de Bono's entire theory of 'Thinking Hats' is total bunkum? Oh, I love it!

    I think the teacher probably had been in PD the week before about de Bono's work and was so excited that he made an entire lesson about it and then got disenfranchised by students (and therefore parents) who were making comments that he 'wasn't teaching' and gave up.

  3. Thinking Hats IS total bunkum.

    Your concern about multi years comes back to the same old, S&E teachers having to fight to get our subject taken seriously.

    Let me start with SOSE - Studies Of.... Do we have SOM? Studies of Maths? SOE? Studies of English? Noooooo, but S&E is denigrated by being called Studies of..................

    Multi Years - Does the maths teacher have to have multi year groups? If NOT - then you shouldn't have to either - why is S&E any LESS important? You don't get MESS without S&E, so it shouldn't be multi aged any more than maths or english should be. If the others DO have multi age, then they are the ones you need to speak to - how do they cope with doing measurement in year 9 while the year 10s are on algebra?

    As for the 90% thing - well, it's not that you spend the whole year on history - It's either 40 or 80 hours. Yep, something does end up going by the wayside - but history, geography and civics should take priority, as business/economics can be encompassed in T&E and Careers - with a well integrated, whole school approach. I've shafted all my economics outcomes to those departments, and we work closely to ensure that it's all covered as it would've been - which has freed me up to cover the history, geography and civics the way they need to be.

    You been to any history pd? You a member of HTAA?