Saturday, July 7, 2018

New Directions in Humanities Conference in Philadelphia

Image above: 4th July celebrations in Philadelphia.

The focus of the workshop at the Humanities conference at Pennsylvania University

This year I was lucky enough to attend and present at the New Directions in Humanities Conference in Philadelphia from 5-7 July. My workshop explored the distinction between the so called "vocabulary" of subjects such as history, geography, economics, and civics and the "grammar" of these humanities subjects. A conversation was initiated to explore the idea that the most important aspect of humanities education is the development of conceptual thinking rather than just learning content and skills. It was suggested that the concepts developed in the Humanities curriculum in the new Australian Curriculum provide a conceptual lens for teachers and students to make sense of their world and to think in a particular way in the Humanities classroom. The workshop initially demonstrated the nature of the concepts in the Australian Humanities Curriculum and provided practical illustrations that could be used in the classroom. The majority of the workshop involved participants in a simulation activity developed to demonstrate how student conceptual thinking can be encouraged and developed when studying the myriad of topics encountered in the humanities curriculum. 
The point was made that considerable professional learning is being conducted in Australia using this workshop simulation to move teachers beyond the "vocabulary" of humanities and to use conceptual thinking to develop a high degree of "meaning making" when studying humanities in the classroom. 

Here are some of the Australian Humanities and Social Sciences (HaSS) resources and links I profiled at the conference.

HaSS links

AC History Units
DECD Learning Resources for Australian Curriculum 
Australian Geography Teachers' Association website

Geography Teachers Association of South Australia
History Teachers Association of South Australia
History Teachers Association of Australia

* The Australian Curriculum Portal

 Being a Citizen: a resource for Civics and Citizenship programming

 South Australian Parliament teaching resources

The role of juries eBook (DECD Outreach Education)

Suffragettes site (DECD Outreach Education)

Discovering Democracy resources 

* Parliamentary Education Office resources

A primary school resource from Parafield Gardens Primary School for Civics and Citizenship

A primary school resource from Parafield Gardens Primary School for Economics and Business

* DECD Australian Curriculum: HASS resources 

The DECD "Making the Australian Curriculum work for us' resource has been designed  to support the teaching and learning of the Australian Curriculum: HASS.

As you can see below the resource to date includes a creative animation, broadsheets on the curriculum, sound bites and 'talking heads'.

The Story of the learning areas animation. An excellent animation on 'What is Geography for'

The HaSS curriculum, year by year, all on one page in the Learning Area Explorer.

Achievement Standards Charts and activities (soon to be updated for HaSS F-7)

* The RSLSA Virtual War Memorial

A great resource for commemoration activities, historical research and work on Australian identity in the Civics and Citizenship curriculum.

Changing Worlds: The South Australian Story (DECD Outreach Education resource)

* South Australian Aboriginal Cultural Studies Curriculum
Click on ACS Aboriginal Cultural Studies course, log on as a Guest and then in the next screen,enter password in reverse as mentioned.

* DECD Outreach Education

Some other useful DECD Outreach Education resources for the teaching of HaSS

Muslim Cameleers website: (South Australian Museum)

Curator’s Table: German migrants experiences in Australia during World War I web based resource:

iPad inquiry trails to be undertaken on site at the South Australian Maritime Museum: