The importance of History, Geography, Civics and Citizenship in the Australian Curriculum

The importance of History, Geography, Civics and Citizenship in the Australian Curriculum

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The importance of History, Geography, Civics and Citizenship in the Australian Curriculum F–10 cannot be underestimated. They encourage, foster and shape key skills and practices in students; by examining their link to Australian identity it is possible to observe their importance. Currently, the three subjects of History, Geography, and Civics and Citizenship are grouped under Human Society and its Environment (HSIE), and to varying degrees seek to link knowledge and understanding, values and attitudes, and practical skills. However, although they work cohesively as a group, each discipline has a unique nature and scope, which can be utilised and provide insight.

Each discipline has an inimitable nature at their core. History assists with a contextual understanding of culture. It allows for student investigation into personal, family, national, communal and global history. The process of inquiry and analysis of the bias of history (Board of Studies NSW, 2012) helps develop understanding of the world, and when linked with incumbent themes, civics and citizenship it fosters understanding of diversity and cultural difference (Board of Studies NSW, 2012) . On the other hand, Geography involves inquiry-based learning, often using active learning to achieve a sense of place and belonging, a value for environment, and the various interconnections and interdependencies in environments (McInerney, Berg, Hutchinson, Sorensen, & Maude, 2009). It has the potential to realise students as sustainable citizens. Furthermore, Civic citizenship seeks to clarify the processes involved in student transformation from citizen to an informed, participating citizen of society. It is described in a drafted curriculum (ACARA, 2012) as doing so in orde...

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...arents' guide to the NSW K-10 Syllabuses. Retrieved from Board of Studies NSW:
Board of Studies NSW. (2012, October 09). Parent's Guide to the NSW K-10 Syllabuses. Retrieved from
Elder, C. (2007). Being Australian: Narratives of National Identity. Allen & Unwin.
Gittins, R. (2009, February 18). The punters love a goood distaster. Sydney Morning Herald.
Maude, A. (2009). Re-centering Geography: a school-based perspective on the nature of the discipline. Geographical Research, 47(4), 368-79.
McInerney, M., Berg, K., Hutchinson, N., Sorensen, L., & Maude, A. (2009). Towards a National Geography Curriculum for Australia. Queensland: Retrieved from

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