Teaching the development of Australian democracy in the Primary Classroom
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Exploring Democracy · Home · Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House

Exploring Democracy · Home · Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House | Teaching the development of Australian democracy in the Primary Classroom | Scoop.it
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This resource is part of The Museum of Australian Democracy’s website and is incredibly comprehensive in its treatment of the history of the development of Australian democracy. It is split into three independent sections: Timelines, Trails and People. The Timelines section presents a timeline of “nearly 500 milestones that mark key events and turning points in Australian democracy”. Each milestone in the timeline can be clicked on for further information. The timeline also consists of international events, some without Australia’s direct involvement, which had an impact on the history of Australian democracy. This embeds this history within a global community, which is important for developing students as global citizens. The Trails section looks at a variety of key locations in the history of Australian democracy, which are also mapped on Google maps. The People section presents profiles of 127 people that had an impact on the history of Australian democracy. Each profile also features key events that the particular person was involved in that had an impact on the history of Australian democracy. Profiles of prime ministers of Australia also come with additional pdf fact sheets.

 

The sheer comprehensiveness of this resource allow it to be a great focus of a research-based lesson for a Stage 3 class. In pairs, students can be each randomly allocated a person from the People section of the website. It would be wise for the teacher to first create a smaller selection of these people to ensure a wide variety of time periods covered. Students quickly research their allocated person on the website and then, using the Timelines section, quickly research 2 or 3 other events that happened in the year (or subsequent years if the year doesn’t have that many events) that person was involved in a key event (e.g., became Prime Minister). Students then come together as a class and take turns placing their people and events on a class timeline, briefly explaining to the class what their person did and what impact the events had on the history of Australian democracy. The use of this timeline can also develop their numerical skills through the manipulation of a number line and relating it directly to history.

 

Using the resource in this way, with students working in pairs and then as a class, allows the students to construct their own knowledge in a social manner. This, under a social constructivist pedagogical view, allows meaningful and effective learning (Duffy & Cunningham, 1996).

 

References

Duffy, T. M., & Cunningham, D. J. (1996). Constructivism: Implications for the design and delivery of instruction. In D. J. Jonassen (Ed.),  Handbook of research for educational communication and technology (pp. 170 – 198). New York: McMillan.

 

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Federation

Federation | Teaching the development of Australian democracy in the Primary Classroom | Scoop.it
As you just saw there a couple of states had elections on the weekend. You probably know that Aussie states have their own laws and their own leaders but have you ever wondered why that is? It all goes back to a time when the states were separate colonies. I thought it was a good chance to go back in time and take a look at how Australia came to be Australia. And a warning for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers; this story contains images of people who've died.
Jarred Baker's insight:

This resource is a segment from the ABC’s ‘Behind The News’ program (air date: 18/3/2014, length 4.54) that explores the origins of Federation in Australia. It explores why Australian people wanted a united nation, how that came to be with a focus on key personalities such as Henry Parkes and Alfred Deakin, and what implications it had in the history of the development of Australian democracy. It uses authentic images from the period as well as re-enacting particular scenes using children in period costume, which can help make the content relevant to students. It also comes attached with a raft of related web resources.

 

It might be useful to have students, like the kids in the video, role play the negotiations leading up to Federation and drafting of the constitution. Students can be placed in groups that represent each state and then given particular points that their state wanted, or general concerns that parties had about the constitution, to argue in a mock debate.

 

A question that students can focus on when watching this video is what has changed or remained similar after Federation. These ideas can then be collated together as class by the teacher on the white board or smart board. It might be interesting to discuss the role of states in Australia and even debate whether we should still have states or not. This can then link in nicely with looking at the 1967 referendum and the idea of a need for federal, rather than state, legislation concerning Aboriginal people.

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Righting wrongs in the 1967 referendum

Righting wrongs in the 1967 referendum | Teaching the development of Australian democracy in the Primary Classroom | Scoop.it
On 27 May 1967 the Australian people supported two amendments to the Constitution for Indigenous Australian recognition....
Jarred Baker's insight:

This resource from the ABC Splash website gives a sequential recount of the 1967 referendum organised in separate sections on a single scrollable page. Students interact with the site by clicking on section headings, which expand with information. The sections are chronologically organised and all contain primary sources such as high resolution images of original documents and interviews with people who were involved in the referendum first hand. Of particular importance is the embedded video interview with Faith Bandler (length 5.39), a central Aboriginal figure in campaigning for Aboriginal rights, and original documents authored by Aboriginal people that were important to the momentum that led to the referendum. These provide an authentic Aboriginal perspective since they are authored/delivered by Aboriginal people and are accurate in being primary sources (NSW Department of Education and Training, 2003). While the perspectives are not localised since they are referring to all Aboriginal people, this is understandable since it addresses issues of rights of all Aboriginal people and doesn't imply a uniformity of culture among all Aboriginal people.

 

The ABC Splash website states that this resource is for a Year 10 history classroom, however it can most definitely be adapted for use in the primary classroom. The use of primary sources is important to develop the historical inquiry skills of students. However, the complex language used in some of these documents may pose a barrier to engagement for Stage 3 students and thus students will need to be directed on how to engage with these documents. The video interview with Faith Bandler will be appropriate to show as is to Stage 3 students and might be useful to use as a resource isolated from the wider ABC Splash website.

 

References
NSW Department of Education and Training (2003). Aboriginal education K-12 resource guide. Retrieved April 11, 2014, from 

http://www.curriculumsupport.education.nsw.gov.au/schoollibraries/assets/pdf/aboriginalresourceguide.pdf

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Republic

Republic | Teaching the development of Australian democracy in the Primary Classroom | Scoop.it
Here's a question: Is the royal family important to you? That's a question that lots of people might have to think about if some politicians get their way. Some people want Australia to become a republic and have its own head of state while others want to keep the Queen. Sarah looks at the debate.
Jarred Baker's insight:

This resource is a segment from the ABC’s ‘Behind The News’ program (air date: 11/6/2013, length 3.55) that explains the Republican Movement in Australia. It addresses both sides of the Republican Debate in easy to understand language for students to engage with. It also looks at the 1999 referendum, explaining what the Republican movement wanted, why a referendum was needed, opposition to the Republican Movement and the outcome of the referendum. A strength of this video when compared to other resources looking at the 1999 referendum is how recent it is, allowing it to look at both the Republican Movement and royal involvement with Australia beyond the referendum. A number of other useful resources are also included with the video as hyperlinks.

 

This would serve as a great resource to begin an integrated English/HSIE lesson where students write persuasive texts on the question ‘Should Australia become a Republic?’ The video addresses both sides of the debate very evenly, which equips students with arguments to put forth in their persuasive writing. In the conclusion of the video, this very question is asked to school students and they give a range of responses. This allows the teacher to make a very easy connection from the video to the persuasive writing task. Like the students in the video, students in the classroom can discuss reasons both for and against in small groups, drawing from the video as a key resource. These small groups can then share their ideas with the rest of the class. Students could then move to writing individual persuasive texts that argue for a particular side of the debate.

 

Teachers could also then take advantage of the commenting system attached to the video online. The commenting system is designed to be used by students. Students could create short comments about whether or not Australia should become a republic and upload them to the website.

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What is the Commonwealth? - YouTube

An introductory video for schools explaining what the Commonwealth is and what it represents This video is courtesy of the British Empire and Commonwealth Mu...
Jarred Baker's insight:

This resource is a short video that explains what the Commonwealth is and what that means for people living in the Commonwealth. This can directly connect to the students and allow them to reflect on their own experiences, providing authentic engagement (Zyngier, 2008). It is designed for a British audience, and should be prefaced with this when used, but can easily be used for an Australian primary school audience. The video is delivered as a singular monologue delivered through multiple people of vastly different nationalities, switching from one person to the next in reasonably quick succession. This can effectively communicate the vast make up of cultures that the Commonwealth is made up of. For students learning the history of the development of Australian democracy, this video can provide an interesting global perspective on the national community in which Australia’s democratic process are embedded and in which they developed. It can also link in particularly well when learning about the Republican Movement in Australia since it gives a broader context to the issue.

 

This video can act as a springboard for a class discussion about what it means for Australia to be in the Commonwealth. Using what they have learnt from the video, students can come up with ideas, which can form a class mind map on a white board or smart board. In conjunction with this, students can also come up with questions that they had from the video, possibly creating a mind map of these questions as well. One such question that might arise is what it means for the Queen to be our head. Issues of headship can connect very strongly to the idea of the Queen’s place in Australian democracy, which links very closely with the Republican Movement in Australia. It’s important to emphasise what it means in terms of both Australia’s past, present and even future.

References

Zyngier, D. (2008). (Re)conceptualising student engagement: Doing education not doing time. Teaching and Teacher Education, 24(7), 1765-1776.

 

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