Civics and Citizenship
There has never been a teacher professional association in Queensland that specifically supports civics and citizenship, and we see this as a necessary outcome of this discipline–focused national curriculum. However, it is worth remembering the notion expressed in the Shape of the Australian Curriculum document (p.11) that “disciplines are interconnected, dynamic and growing, and a discipline-based curriculum allows for interdisciplinary learning that broadens and enriches each student’s learning”.
Schools seem to be taking different approaches to implementing the new ACARA curriculum, and in most secondary schools it is very likely that our learning area will be taught as separate subjects.
The History, Geography and Business/Economics curricula will be well supported by their relevant teacher associations. We therefore intend to focus our work especially on:
•· the Civics and Citizenship curriculum
•· the three cross-curriculum priorities, which were perspectives of the SOSE curriculum, and
•· the four general capabilities of critical and creative thinking; personal and social learning; ethical behaviour; and intercultural understanding.
Largely as a result of requests from primary and middle-school teachers interested in integration, in 2014 ACARA launched its 'landing page', where there has been an attempt to show interconnections through Key Ideas (https://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/f-10-curriculum/humanities-and-social-sciences/key-ideas/?searchTerm=KEY+IDEAS#dimension-content ). Through studying humanities and social sciences, students will develop the ability to question, think critically, solve problems, communicate effectively, make decisions and adapt to change. Thinking about and responding to issues requires an understanding of the key historical, geographical, political, economic and societal factors involved, and how these different factors interrelate.
It is a requirement of the Achievement Standards in Civics and Citizenship that students use inquiry to look at issues. We hope that Civics and Citizenship can in future become the focus for bringing together discipline perspectives on contemporary issues through interdisciplinary approaches.