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The Humanities - History

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Cross-curriculum priorities

There are three cross curriculum priorities in the Australian Curriculum:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures
  • Asia and Australia’s engagement with Asia
  • Sustainability.

The cross-curriculum priorities are embedded in the curriculum and will have a strong but varying presence depending on their relevance to each of the learning areas.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities are strong, rich and diverse. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Identity is central to this priority and is intrinsically linked to living, learning Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, deep knowledge traditions and holistic world view.

A conceptual framework based on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples’ unique sense of Identity has been developed as a structural tool for the embedding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures within the Australian curriculum. This sense of Identity is approached through the interconnected aspects of Country/Place, People and Culture. Embracing these elements enhances all areas of the curriculum.

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander priority provides opportunities for all learners to deepen their knowledge of Australia by engaging with the world’s oldest continuous living cultures. This knowledge and understanding will enrich their ability to participate positively in the ongoing development of Australia.

The Australian Curriculum: history values Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures. It celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories as part of the shared history belonging to all Australians.

Students will examine historical perspectives from an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewpoint. They will learn about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples prior to colonisation by the British, the ensuing contact and its impacts. They will examine key policies and political movements over the last two centuries. Students will develop an awareness of the significant roles of Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander people in Australian society.

Asia and Australia’s engagement with Asia

In the Australian Curriculum: History, the priority of Asia and Australia’s engagement with Asia provides rich and engaging content and contexts for developing students’ historical knowledge, understanding and skills.

The Australian Curriculum: History enables students to develop an understanding of histories of the diverse peoples of Asia and their contributions to the region and the world, and an appreciation of the importance of the region for Australia and the world. This happens as students learn about the importance of the traditions, beliefs and celebrations of peoples from the Asia region and through the study of ancient societies, trade, conflicts, progressive movements and migration to Australia by people from Asia.

In this learning area, students recognise the dynamic nature of socio-political relationships within the region over time, and the role that individuals, governments and other organisations play in shaping relationships between peoples and countries. They develop an appreciation of the history of Australia-Asia engagement and how this influences contemporary relationships within Australian society and relationships between Australia and the countries of Asia. Students also understand the ongoing role played by Australia and individual Australians, including Australians of Asian heritage, in major events and developments in the Asia region.

Sustainability

In the Australian Curriculum: History, the priority of sustainability provides a context for developing students’ historical knowledge, understanding and skills. It assists students in understanding the forces that influence continuity and change.

The Australian Curriculum: History provides content that supports the development of students’ world views, particularly in relation to judgments about past social and economic systems, and access to and use of the Earth’s resources. It provides opportunities for students to develop an historical perspective on sustainability. Making decisions about sustainability to help shape a better future requires an understanding of how the past relates to the present, and needs to be informed by historical trends and experiences.

In this learning area, students develop understanding, for example, of the changes in environments over time, the role played by individuals and communities in protecting environments, the emergence of farming and settled communities, the development of the Industrial Revolution and the growth of population, the overuse of natural resources and the rise of environmental movements.

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