|Scooped by Jarred Baker|
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).
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.