ESH360 Advanced Humanities and Social Sciences

Rhiannon Bomford


April 2016

Geography – Final


This integrated learning experience between Geography and Citizenship education involves students investigating their local communities amenities and whether or not they meet the needs of all people within the community and its surrounds (Gilbert & Hoepper, 2014). Year five students will be required to explore who makes decisions in the community, the different views people have and how these can be heard (ACHGK029) (Australian Curriculum and Reporting Authority [ACARA], 2015d).

Citizens have the potential to influence their environment and the amenities that are included in it for their and others enjoyment. a diverse range of people affect how these choices are made and managed (Reynolds, 2014). Through learning in Geography students explore and study places, both near and far. Studies of place affect our thoughts on contemporary issues, inclusive environments within the community fit within this (Cresswell, 2008). While focusing on Geography, this learning experience incorporates multiple learning areas from the Australian Curriculum as outlined in Table one below.

Curriculum links Content descriptors
Civics and Citizenship Work in groups to identify issues and develop possible solutions and a plan for action using decision making processes (ACHCS032)

Why people work in groups to achieve their aims, and how they can express their shared beliefs and values and exercise their influence (ACHCK027)
(ACARA, 2015a)

Design and Technologies Investigate characteristics and properties of a range of materials, systems, components, tools and equipment and evaluate the impact of their use (ACTDEK023)

Critique needs or opportunities for designing, and investigate materials, components, tools, equipment and processes to achieve intended design solutions (ACTDEP025)

Develop project plans that include consideration of resources when making designed solutions individually and collaboratively (ACTDEP028)
(ACARA, 2015b)

Mathematics Choose appropriate units of measurement for length, area, volume, capacity and mass (ACMMG108)
(ACARA, 2015e)
English Understand that patterns of language interaction vary across social contexts and types of texts and that they help to signal social roles and relationships (ACELA1501)

Understand how to move beyond making bare assertions and take account of differing perspectives and points of view (ACELA1502)
(ACARA, 2015c)

Sustainability Designing action for sustainability required an evaluation of past practices, the assessment of scientific and technological developments, and balanced judgements based on projected future economic, social and environmental impacts. (OI. 8)
(ACARA, 2015f)

To optimise learning, students will be asked and will discuss what they think inclusion is and what they think it could look like in a classroom or playground environment. Students will be posed the questions: The playgrounds in Burnie, can every person play on them? Do they allow the opportunity for everyone to be included? Students’ thoughts will be recorded.

Show students this news report

Images of different playgrounds situated around the North West coast, mainland Australia and from over seas will be shown to students (printed and on the interactive whiteboard (IW)).
– Discuss what they see including: what’s different, what’s the same, what do they notice about people in them?

Explain that some pictures show ‘inclusive playgrounds’ (IP) and some playgrounds that are less inclusive. Along the NW Coast there are IP’s at Ulverstone and Devonport. Students will be asked about their experiences with IPs.

Students will sort which playgrounds they think are more inclusive and which ones are less, then compare, discuss and share two points with the class.

The teacher will read out and display on the IW one question at a time (below), groups will be given time to deliberate, then a group will be called on to provide their answer. Some possible questions will include:
– Should we have an IP?
– Is it important to have an IP in every town? Why/why not?
– Does not having one in our local area meet the needs of people within our local and wider community?
– What advantages/disadvantages to people, children and their families does having an inclusive playground pose?
– Should it have sensory variation including the incorporation of a garden?

Groups will research IP designs; then divide. Half will design a playground incorporating elements they found from research and ideas they had. Students are encouraged to be imaginative and creative in their choices. The other half will draft a letter to the council expressing the need for an IP to be implemented in Burnie – the letter could include advantages to both the individual and the community, information about the playground they have designed and outline at least two special features. Students will brainstorm the contents of the letter as to include everyone’s differing opinions, this allows for students who disagree to voice their thoughts, they may decide to create their own letter.

As a final assessment task for this learning activity, students are required to write a reflective piece in their journal stating their perception of what inclusion is, how this new or expanded knowledge might alter how they act when playing or meeting someone new.

Word count – 594 words


Australian Curriculum and Reporting Authority [ACARA]. (2015a). Civics and citizenship content descriptors. Retrieved from:

Australian Curriculum and Reporting Authority [ACARA]. (2015b). Design and technologies content descriptors. Retrieved from:

Australian Curriculum and Reporting Authority [ACARA]. (2015c). English content descriptors. Retrieved from:

Australian Curriculum and Reporting Authority [ACARA]. (2015d). Geography content descriptors. Retrieved from:

Australian Curriculum and Reporting Authority [ACARA]. (2015e). Mathematics content descriptors. Retrieved from:

Australian Curriculum and Reporting Authority [ACARA]. (2015f). Sustainability – organising ideas. Retrieved from:

Beames, S., Higgins, P., Nicol, R. (2012). Learning outside the classroom: theory and guidelines for practice. New York, NY: Routledge.

Cresswell, T. (2008). Place: encountering geography as philosophy. Geography, 93(3), 132-9.

Gilbert, R., Hoepper, B. (Eds.). (2014). Teaching humanities and social sciences: history, geography, economics and citizenship (5th ed.). South Melbourne, VIC: Cengage Learning Australia.

Reynolds, R. (2014). Teaching humanities and social sciences in the primary school (3rd ed.). South Melbourne, VIC: Oxford University Press.

New inclusive playground opens for kids of all abilities (video) (2014). Retrieved from:]


History and Civics & Citizenship – Final


This integrated learning experience will engage students in research, discussion and drama activities surrounding the topic of continuity and changes within communities and how with this knowledge become active citizens. Year five students will engage in learning about colonial presence in the town of Burnie, how the environment has changed and development that has occurred (ACHHK094) (ACARA, 2015).

Students will be shown images of old buildings and houses in Burnie, some which are still standing, they will be asked if they recognise any or know where they are. They will be asked a series of questions including ‘Why are buildings not made like this anymore?’

The class will participate in a walking tour of Burnie’s CBD and relevant surrounding streets and asked to note any noticeable changes that they see, things they think are older and have been there for a long time. Open-ended questioning will be used to prompt students to think deeper about what they are seeing. Students will visit the Pioneer Village Museum and engage in the ‘Street Scape’ exhibition, they will complete an art activity comparing old artefacts and its modern day equivalent.

Upon return, students will be split into groups for a drama activity; the activity will explore a specific scenario to do with the town, its history and the different perspectives of certain people involved.

The scenario: The historical buildings in the Burnie CBD are old and in the way, they should be knocked down.

The class will be split into groups, each group will represent different people including: town councillors, builders for the removal of the buildings, builders against the removal, senior citizens, community members, building owners and youth council representatives. The students will be given access to different items of clothing/ accessories that will help develop their ‘character’. The teacher will take on the role as mayor. The students are then required to come up with debate topics, based on their character that suits the scenario and to persuade the ‘mayor’ as to why/why not the buildings be pulled down. Claire (2005) states that learning through history, students are able to view progressive measures within society, and whether or not it has had positive outcomes. Coming out of role, students will vote, and a class discussion will follow to consolidate students’ ideas given in the debate, the answers devised and to answer any questions.

Incorporating drama into historical learning allows for engagement in issues from the past, that they might otherwise have found difficult to, through other means of teaching and learning (Hoodless, 2008). Using drama allows for students to internalise their thinking about issues and provides another portal in which to communicate thoughts. This leads to ideas, discussions and debates, which integrates with Civics and Citizenship education (Hoodless, 2003). Through placed-based activities, students’ learn through the local landscapes and allows a connection with the ‘place’ to be made (Beames, Higgins, Nicol, 2012). Higgins (2009) states that developing connection with place allows for students to build relationships with the community, develop an understanding of the consequences of ones actions and the ‘ethics of citizenship’ (p. 48.).

Word count: 515


Australian Curriculum and Reporting Authority [ACARA]. (2015). Content descriptors. Retrieved from:

Beames, S., Higgins, P., Nicol, R. (2012). Learning outside the classroom. New York, NY: Routledge.

Claire, H. (2005). ‘Learning and teaching about citizenship through history in the primary years’ in Leading Primary History. London: The Historical Association.

Higgins, P. (2009). Into the big wide world: Sustainable experiential education for the 21st century. Journal of Experiential Education, 32(1), 44-60.

Hoodless, P. (2008). Teaching history in primary schools. Exeter: Learning Matters.

Hoodless, P. (Ed.) (2003). Teaching humanities in primary schools. Exeter: Learning Matters.

Civics and Citizenship – Final


After the devastating effects had on the Tasmanian devil population from the Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD) the Save the Tasmanian devil Program (STDP) has made significant progress in the protection of devils in isolation and with reintroduction of devils to unaffected areas of Tasmania. Over the past three years over 70 disease free devils have been released into the wild at the Forestier Peninsula, Narawantapu National Park and on Maria Island (Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment [DPIPWE], 2015). Butin (2010) explains that citizenship education should be seen as both a philosophy and a pedagogy that links classrooms and communities together. There are many lessons that could be developed from this local contemporary issue to help within the community and other areas in Tasmania. Shaw (2012) states that from research it has been found that engaging students into civics and citizenship learning is a challenge but activities regarding social issues are more preferable for students than government and political lessons. Smith and Sobel (2010) describe active citizenship as students ‘identifying and acting on issues and concerns that affect their own community’ (p. 54). This leads to community involvement, community-based education, and the chance for ‘real world’ problem solving experiences (Beames, Higgins & Nicol, 2012).

To begin learning, year four students will participate in a whole group discussion. They will be asked questions including: do students have any favourite places to go camping or spend time in nature? Is there any native wildlife there? If so, what kind? Are Tasmanian Devils known to live in the area? Or have they been recently introduced? They will also be asked if/what they know about the DFTD and the reintroduction of devils back into the wild. Students will then work in small groups to discuss questions including the implications of TD being introduced into different areas around Tasmania and what are the potential impacts of reintroduction?

Students in small groups will develop questions to present to a Parks and Wildlife ranger who will visit their class in the coming week. Groups will then share the questions they developed with the rest of the class before interviewing the Parks ranger. This activity aligns with the Australian Curriculum content descriptor ACHASSI073 (Australian Curriculum and Reporting Authority [ACARA], 2015). Students will then in pairs be assigned the task of creating information posters using a variety of mediums. These posters will be designed to educate the public about the introduction of devils into the area and what they can do to help, minimise their impacts while camping or visiting these areas which aligns with the content descriptor ‘ACHASSI082’ from the Australian Curriculum (ACARA, 2015). To assist with this task, students will be provided with the ‘Leave No Trace’ principles outlined by the Parks and Wildlife Service (DPIPWE, 2014).

As well as promoting active citizenship education, this activity incorporates learning in the areas of Geography and Sustainability. This is achieved through direct learning within their local areas and how the reintroduction of TD will help with the sustainment of the species.

Word count: 505


Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority [ACARA]. (2015). Humanities and Social Sciences. Retrieved from:

Beames, S., Higgins, P., & Nicol, R. (2012). Learning outside the classroom: theories and guidelines for practice. New York, NY: Routledge.

Butin. D. (2010). Service-learning in theory and practise: the future of community engagement in higher education. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment (DPIPWE), 2015. Wild devil recovery. Tasmanian Government. Retrieved from:

Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment (DPIPWE), 2014. Parks and Wildlife Service, Leave no trace. Tasmanian Government. Retrieved from:

Shaw, G. (2012). Active and informed citizens…moving beyond the aspiration. Ethos, 20(3), 11 -16.

Smith, G. & Sobel, D. (2010). Place and community-based education in schools. London: Routledge.

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