Assignment 1 edss223


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Assignment 1 edss223

  2. 2. Question 1. With reference to Tudball’s article outline the strengths and criticisms of HSIE / SOSE shepresents. Comment on these strengths and criticisms in regards to your state’s syllabus. How do thepoints presented in Tudball’s article of SOSE / HSIE differ from other readings, and the prescribedtext?Libby Tudball is very passionate when it comes to teaching Human Society and Its Environment (HSIE)to school children. This paper will discuss the many strengths and few criticisms revealed in LibbyTudball’s article ‘Standing up for SOSE: the future of Social Education’, and show how this articleconnects with the New South Wales (NSW) HSIE K – 6 syllabus. This paper will also demonstrate ideasexpressed in other articles that do not support HSIE in the form it is currently taught within NSWschools.Firstly Tudball, L (2007: 15) demonstrates that HSIE in its current form provides students with historical,geographical, economic, social, ecological, cultural, political and legal information and skills that willassist students to become accomplished and active citizens of the community (Tudball, L. 2007: 15).This strength is highlighted in the introduction section of the NSW HSIE syllabus which states “studentswill develop knowledge and essential understandings about Australia’s history and geography, thepeople who live within its territory and their social, cultural, economic and political lives”. The syllabusgoes on to say that students will develop skills that enable them to acquire information, use an inquiryprocess and participate in social and civic life Board of Studies NSW. 2007: 5).Another strength discussed within Tudball’s reading discloses that subjects should not be treated asthough they are ‘pure’ and isolated. Each discipline makes use of knowledge from other subjects, andthe study of one subject matter is improved by the knowledge of other subject matters. Each individualdiscipline studied under the HSIE umbrella ultimately works together. SOSE in this form also assistsstudents to consider topics from a multi-disciplinary perspective (Tudball, L. 2007: 15). The NSWsyllabus illustrates that no strand of HSIE can be properly investigated without consideration of itsconnection with the other strands. Learning experiences in this key learning area (KLA) should be drawnfrom all four strands. (Board of Studies NSW. 2007: 10).Human Society and Its Environment also develops social science skills by teaching students to askinquiry questions as well as develop the skill of research, which in turn leads to more engaged andmotivated learners. HSIE encourages students to process information by using higher order thinkingskills involving analysing and evaluation of information in enquiries where students can practice skills oflifelong learning, which in turn is much more satisfying for the students (Tudball, L. 2007: 15-16).Within the overview section of the syllabus it reveals that students will learn to study through the useof reference and research skills, including using a range of technologies. Students will learn to inquireusing skills that include initiating, identifying, gathering, analysing, organising, synthesising andEDSS223 - JULIE PAPPS – STUDENT NUMBER: 220076557 Page 2
  3. 3. communicating. These skills will be applied while reflecting on what they have learned (Board of StudiesNSW. 2007: 10).The focus for the future in the eyes of Tudball (2007: 17) should be on the development of informedand active citizens who are able to develop critical judgements about the contemporary world and theirfuture world. This requires the development of multidisciplinary knowledge that includes past, presentand future perspectives. It requires students to develop the skills of inquiry, the ability to thinkcreatively, work effectively in teams and to research using complex and changing forms ofcommunication. Students need to explore varied values and beliefs and develop interculturalcompetencies. They must be able to view the world through multiple perspectives. This isdemonstrated within the Skills section of the syllabus, the syllabus proposes that students will developskills in acquiring information, using an inquiry process, and social and civic participation. Thedevelopment of these interconnected skills is crucial in equipping students for taking active, responsibleand informed roles as citizens in a rapidly changing society (Board of Studies NSW. 2007: 11).The criticism Tudball (2007: 16-17) points out in her article is that in many cases basic concepts andskills are not being taught, especially to primary students. To some extent this is due to teachers havinglittle understanding or background knowledge of the varied aspects of HSIE. Teachers also seem to lackunderstanding of the preferred delivery method of the integrated HSIE approach. This approach is stillevolving and has numerous problems to overcome. The author found that teachers require targetedprofessional development to enhance their current knowledge of HSIE. This will ensure teachersbecome multi-skilled and multi-illiterate in all forms of HSIE. Further, the author found that, in part, thisis due to educational authorities making little effort to make up for teacher deficiencies in backgroundunderstanding. The NSW syllabus tries to combat this by providing a content section which providesguidance for teachers in the selection of learning experiences and teaching strategies without actuallytelling the teacher how to teach the content (Board of Studies NSW. 2007: 41).There are a number of points presented in other articles that disagree with the points presented byTudball. Howard (cited in Marsh, C. 2010: 5) feels that both history and geography should be standalone subjects and not part of HSIE as it is taught now. He believes history has been replaced by “time,continuity and change” and geography replaced by “place, space and environment”. Bishop (cited inMarsh, C. 2010: 5) also agrees that under the current HSIE format students are not guaranteed to havethe opportunity to study Australian history in a systematic, structured way and therefore should be astand-alone subject. Another valid point suggested by the Council for the Australian Federation (cited inMarsh, C. 2010: 7) questions whether HSIE can provide sufficient standards of knowledge andinformation for students in its current capacity and argues for the re-establishment of the traditionaldisciplines of history, geography and economics. Reynolds, R. (2011: 6) and Schug & Cross (1998: 3)illustrate that there are so many skills to be conquered in a HSIE classroom that the many areas of studyEDSS223 - JULIE PAPPS – STUDENT NUMBER: 220076557 Page 3
  4. 4. can be skimmed over and nothing actually be learned properly. This will in turn affect the number ofstudents who will have relevant specialised knowledge required for many jobs such as law, engineering,health care and human resources.In conclusion, the aim of HSIE is to develop values, attitudes, skills and knowledge of students so theirsense of person, community, national and global identity are enhanced and more importantly to enablestudents to effectively participate and improve the quality of their society and environment (Board ofStudies NSW 2006: 8) and it seems that this is what Libby Tudball is trying to achieve by defending theintegrated approach to SOSE.EDSS223 - JULIE PAPPS – STUDENT NUMBER: 220076557 Page 4
  5. 5. Question 2. In the light of your readings, outline your understanding of the purpose of HSIE / SOSEand what is expected of you as a teacher implementing your state’s syllabus in the primary school.When I first started this unit I didn’t have a great understanding of what the unit was about becausewhen I was at school we still had separate curriculum for history, geography, legal studies, economics,business studies and so on. After reading the prescribed text and recommended readings I feel I have amuch better understanding for what Human Society and Its Environment (HSIE) is all about. It comesacross as an interesting and varied subject that would be of great interest to teach.My understanding of the purpose of HSIE is to develop in students the values and attitudes, skills,knowledge and understandings that will enhance each student’s sense of person, community, nationaland global identity. This will also enable them to become upstanding members of their society andenvironment (Board of Studies NSW. 2007: 8).I agree with Tudball (2007: 17) when she suggests the focus for the future should be on thedevelopment of informed and active citizens who are able to develop critical judgements about thecontemporary world and their future world. Due to Australia being such a multicultural nation it isimperative that students be able to view the world through multiple perspectives.I believe my role as a teacher is to provide students with historical, geographical, economic, social,ecological, cultural, political and legal information and skills under the guidance of the NSW HSIEsyllabus that will assist students to become accomplished and active citizens of the community (Tudball,L. 2007: 15).I also believe that more time needs to be assigned to this area of study as it is such a large syllabus toteach. I can understand why this would be a favoured topic to teach with such a varied content toteach. I think it would be a shame if this subject was to be abolished and stand alone subjects broughtin to replace it. It seems to be a wonderful opportunity for students to learn about so many variedtopics all under one umbrella.EDSS223 - JULIE PAPPS – STUDENT NUMBER: 220076557 Page 5
  6. 6. REFERENCE LIST Board of Studies NSW. (2007). Syllabus Human Society and Its Environment K-6. Sydney, Australia. Marsh, C. (2010). ‘Studies of society and environment (SOSE): Does it have a future?’ The social educator. Vol. 28, No. 1. Pp. 4-9. Reynolds, R. (2011). Teaching Studies of Society and Environment in the Primary School. South Melbourne, Victoria. Oxford University Press Australia & New Zealand. Schug, M & Cross, B (1998). The dark side of curriculum integration in social studies. The Social Studies.Heldref Publications. Tudball, L. (2007). Standing up for SOSE: the future of Social Education. Ethos. Vol. 15, No. 4. pp. 14 – 18.EDSS223 - JULIE PAPPS – STUDENT NUMBER: 220076557 Page 6