For Strands of Key Learning Areas and Level Outcomes See Curriculum.Outcomes
The development of awareness and understanding related to all four key values of Studies of Society and Environment are developed within this unit:
These values are:
ecological and economic sustainability
In particular students will learn from this study how certain values issues have been concerns for people across cultures, space and time and will remain important issues in their own futures. This is reflected throughout the whole course, from the introduction to a history of Information Technology in Module 1 through to the development of a values based vision for a future society in Module 4.Con
The concepts that underpin this learning area are :
Methods of inquiry. For example, concepts related investigation of evidence and the centrality of environments are fundamental to this exploration.
Creating. Particularly, visualisation and lateral thought.
Participating. Includes concepts of negotiation, tolerance, respect - a need for which is generated in the use of group process, and advocacy, reflected in Module 3 and 4 in which students are asked to develop (respectively) a poster and an oral or multimedia report.
Communicating. Especially interpretation and consideration of audience and argument, while reflecting includes concepts of introspection, metacognition and visioning.
Other concepts reflected in this study in this study and associated with the key values of Studies of Society and Environment include:
Concepts related to the value of democratic process including constitutional government and human rights
Concepts related to social justice including equity, and social sustainability.
Ecological and economic sustainability including concepts of interdependence and stewardship.
Peace including concepts such as belonging, hope, optimism, and cooperation.
Contribution to Life Long Learning
The learning outcomes of the modules in this study contains elements common to all key learning areas. The valued attributes that are developed from these modules can be collectively described as:
developing complexity of thought
illustrating the benefits of active investigation
demonstrating the value of communication
associating participation as a construct of an interdependent world
valuing reflection and self-directed learning.
Cross Curriculum Priorities
This study incorporates the cross-curricular priorities of literacy, numeracy, life skills and a futures perspective.
Literacy is promoted through the requirement for an ability to apply language skills in a range reporting tasks. Students develop literacy skills through reading, writing, speaking, viewing and listening. Students are required to critically appraise information, make choices and acquire a degree of independence in learning. Students are encouraged to undertake criticism of written texts, to view texts from a variety of perspectives and to interpret various levels of meaning.
Critical literacy is encouraged via tasks that require analysis of aspects in texts such as stereotyping, cultural bias, authors intention, hidden agendas and an understanding of the possibility of who may have been marginalised by authors. Students construct their own texts with a critical perspective.
Numeracy skills are developed as students learners develop and use numeracy skills to solve problems related to their social, built and natural environments. In particular, students are involved in collecting, organising, analysing, critiquing and synthesising data, and using numerical language and reference systems.
Lifeskills learning takes place in two overlapping dimensions:
personal development skills are encouraged via the requirement of group process and an investigative task of immediate meaning to students.
social skills of relating to other people are similarly encouraged in this process
self-management skills are required in the nature of modules that require students to develop work independently and then to incorporate that work into a group project.
This course encourages students development of lifeskills by applying the processes of investigating, creating, communicating, participating and reflecting.
Futures perspective is assisted through the development of insights and knowledge about the past and present, leading to consideration of the consequences of both personal and collective actions. The promotion of a futures perspective is encouraged via the requirement in Module 4 for students to identify possible, probable and preferred individual and communal futures.
Skills are developed through a learner-centred approach supportive of critical and creative thinking, problem solving, decision making and strategic planning. These processes are formalised through student requirement of group process to create a report regarding a vision of preferred future.
In this study, students investigate past and present interactions between social and environmental systems and consider their own rights and responsibilities to optimistically develop strategies to realise preferred individual and collective futures.
Learners and learning
The following assumptions about learners and learning are made in this study program:
Learners are unique individuals with divergent views about the world.
Learners have a broad range of knowledge and experience shaped by their gender, socio-economic status and geographical location, and by other aspects of their backgrounds, which form part of their learning environment. This prior knowledge and experience then influences the meaning they make of any new learning experience.
Learners learn in different ways, in different settings and at different rates.
Learners grow and develop at different rates.
Learning is a lifelong process.
Learning occurs within particular social and cultural contexts.
Learning is most effective when it involves active partnerships focusing on students, with collaboration and negotiation with parents and carers, peers, teachers, school and community members.
Learning contexts should acknowledge social justice principles by being inclusive and supportive and by celebrating diversity.
Learning requires active construction of meaning and is most effective when it is developed in meaningful contexts and accommodates, acknowledges and builds on prior knowledge.
Investigative and learner-centred strategies are most effective in enabling learners to make informed choices and take actions that support their own, and others, wellbeing.
Learning is enhanced by the use of a range of technologies.
Thinking and performance can be demonstrated in a variety of ways.
This study attempts to support the concepts of learner-centred approaches to learning and teaching by providing opportunities for students to practise critical and creative thinking, problem solving and decision making. These involve the use of skills and processes such as recall, application, analysis, synthesis, prediction and evaluation, all of which contribute to the development and enhancement of conceptual understandings.
This Studies of Society and Environment course promotes a learner-centred approach by using problem-solving and decision-making techniques of various traditions of inquiry as follows:
students need to identify central issues
students frame a focus question
students must identify possible relevant evidence
collect and organise that evidence
analyse and evaluate that evidence;
synthesise and report their conclusions
Evidence will be of a variety of types and will be tested for its reliability and its representativeness.
The inquirer must consciously create interpretations based mainly on the evidence but also on empathy and logical deduction.
Inquiries are not confined by one model since there are various inquiry models that suit different purposes.
Reflective inquiry is encouraged by allowing students to revisit familiar contexts (eg: the application of technology in their own lives) in order to develop more sophisticated understandings.
The issue of equity is a difficult one. This unit is developed din such a way that it 'favours' people with current IT literacy. However this is primarily through the emphasis on Internet research. The course could be structured so as to provide alternative resources and in time I will add to the resources listed here to provide this. At this stage principles of equity are evident in the study in so far as the study:
allows the full range of students equal opportunity to show what they know and can do
encourages students to demonstrate an understanding of human rights in local and global contexts and, to the extent of their ability to do so, participate actively in the enhancement of human rights
enables students, teachers and the broader school community to be critically informed about privilege and injustice and enabled to effect change through participatory and consultative processes
allows educators to promote opportunities for students to take informed and justifiable risks.
Students develop the ability to critically analyse social structures that unjustly disadvantage some individuals or groups.
Key Learning Area Outcomes
Each Module has a unique set of Key Learning Area Outcomes.
For Module 1 they are:
understand past ideas, events and actions to:
explain the causes and effects of changes and continuities
use various sources of evidence
value the contribution of people and the importance of diverse heritages
For Module 2 they are:
understand human experiences in various economic, business, ecological, legal, political and government systems to:
analyse the interactions between ecological and other systems
evaluate the operation of business and economic systems with reference to work, productivity and management
participate in decision-making processes that highlight active and informed citizenship
reflect on issues related to access to power and resources
For Module 3 they are:
understand the ways people form groups and develop material and
non-material aspects of cultures to:
recognise, promote and celebrate cultural diversity
identify cultural perceptions and the processes involved in cultural change
analyse the construction of identities and the sense of belonging to multiple groups
For Module 4 they are:
understand social, natural and built environments to:
evaluate humanenvironment relationships
recognise processes linked to environments and the spatial patterns inherent in environments
value and promote stewardship and the significance of places
Social and Environmental Inquiry mechanisms are taken directly from the SOSE syllabus. This study utilises elements that include all aspects of the identified inquiry mechanisms. They include:
Investigating Investigating requires that students clarify questions and formulate problems, gather and analyse relevant information, and draw relevant conclusions supported by evidence. This involves:
framing important questions in ways that give clear guidance to an inquiry
recognising significant issues and perspectives in an area of investigation
identifying sources of information relevant to questions
gathering and recording information from a range of primary and secondary sources
interpreting the meaning and significance of information and arguments
analysing evidence by selecting, comparing and categorising information
testing data, interpretations, conclusions and arguments for accuracy and validity
drawing conclusions that are supported by the evidence
Creating requires that students are enterprising and can think laterally, visualise, anticipate, transfer knowledge and skills from one situation to another and reorganise information and perceptions into new patterns and representations. This involves:
responding resourcefully, and with initiative, to unexpected problems
valuing diversity and recognising the tentative nature of conclusions
challenging conventional practices
applying curiosity and insight to a range of investigations
developing a product
applying and creating various recording techniques
anticipating and predicting
designing and developing strategies, plans and products
Participating requires that students relate to, and work constructively with, others to solve problems, make decisions, and negotiate and enact plans for action. This involves:
acting on the basis of conclusions drawn in an investigation
using a variety of group work strategies
engaging in democratic decision making
relating to others in peaceful, tolerant and non-discriminatory ways
promoting non-sexist, non-racist and non-violent group relations
contributing to community service, charity and environmental projects in schools and communities
relating to environments in sustainable ways and promoting sustainable practices in families, schools and communities
using structured decision-making processes
developing a sense of belonging to a range of groups
monitoring their own and others contributions
collaboratively developing strategies
consulting a wide variety of groups
sharing informed points of view;
Communicating Communicating requires that students read, listen, interpret, translate and express ideas and information in the course of an inquiry. This involves:
reading, listening and viewing effectively
gathering information from a range of media and styles
distinguishing relevant from irrelevant information
describing, comparing and contrasting evidence, events, features and patterns
suggesting links between elements, describing cause-effect relationships, explaining consequences and expressing predictions
critiquing information sources
expressing points of view and checking conclusions against the perspectives of others
justifying conclusions and producing corroborated arguments
selecting media and styles appropriate to a purpose and audience to present information, arguments and conclusions
communicating through group and interpersonal forms, such as persuading, clarifying, debating, negotiating, establishing consensus and mediating conflict.
Reflecting requires that students demonstrate a willingness to reconsider and recognise that introspection and metacognition are inherent and crucial components of investigative strategies. This involves:
identifying, clarifying and using specific criteria, such as those deriving from the four key values of this key learning area, to critique and evaluate information and their own preconceptions, values and methodologies
reviewing an interpretation from different perspectives
clarifying preferred futures as a guide to present actions
making judgments about the balance to be struck between their own needs and those of others
clarifying their own identities
assessing the extent to which goals have been achieved
recognising that feelings and intuition can sometimes guide investigations.
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