CCS3.1 - Key figures, events and issues in the development of Australian democracy, including Sir Henry Parkes, the 1967 referendum and the republican movement
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Behind the News - 05/04/2011: Royal Family

Behind the News - 05/04/2011: Royal Family | CCS3.1 - Key figures, events and issues in the development of Australian democracy, including Sir Henry Parkes, the 1967 referendum and the republican movement |
The Royal Wedding between Prince William and Kate Middleton is still a few weeks away but its already been making news on TV and in newspapers and magazines A new study suggests that all this weddin
Sophie Elliot's insight:

This is a 4 minute ‘behind the news clip’, which is really good! It starts by talking about the royal wedding, and then gives a definition of what a ‘monarchist’ and what a ‘republican’ is, followed by a few arguments in favour of each. It also mentions the 1999 referendum, and its outcome. This would be a great clip to show a class to introduce them to the topic of the Australian Republican movement. After watching this clip, ask students whether they think Australia should stay monarchy or become a republic. Have a class discussion about this, where you introduce more reasons for and against republicanism in Australia (see and for more information). Show students several political advertisements from the 1999 referendum (there are some on youtube). In groups students will make and film their own political advertisements, arguing either ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to republicanism, stating their reasons (assessment). This could also be used for a school or classroom issue that the class will vote on.


This assessment is a bit tricky and requires synthesising information and arguing a point. For this reason the task is to be done in groups. Schellens & Valcke (2005) explain that in collaborative settings, students experience lower levels of cognitive load, due to the processing efforts of the other learners. This lesson also includes a lot of discussion, because, as Schellens and Valcke’s (2005) research suggests, the more discussion activity in the groups, the more phases of higher knowledge construction will appear. The literacy strategies that this task will develop include: discussion groups, new vocabulary, synthesising information, and developing understanding of multiliteracies – e.g. how we view film/advertisements.


Reference: Schellens, T. & Valcke, M. (2005). Collaborative learning in asynchronous discussion groups:what about the impact on cognitive processing? Computers in Human Behavior, 21, 957-975.

Eleni Smyrnis's curator insight, April 7, 2014 8:00 PM

I agree with Sophie’s insight to this resource! This video is explicit and defines the dichotomous nature of a ‘Monarchist’ and a ‘Republican’ in a simple Stage 3 appropriate manner. Another great facet about this resource is that it provides a teacher with related information links to relevant information such as the British Monarchy, Australian Republicanism and the movement towards an Australian Republic.


A fantastic teaching idea to incorporate film technology by having students film their own political arguments comparing and contrasting the monarchy and the republican ideals (formal assessment using video). This is one I will definitely use in my future teaching.

Other teaching idea:
This idea could form a component in a critical inquiry sequence, as proposed by Gilbert & Hoepper (2012).  The critical key questions may include:
How has democracy shaped Australia? Should Australia become a Republican Nation and Reject the idea of the ‘Monarchy’?

Contributing questions to assist in the structure of this social investigation (Gilbert & Hoepper, 2012, p. 57) may include:

-       What is a democracy? What is a Monarchy?

-       What are the rights and responsibilities of people in a democracy?

-       How have these structures changed over time?

-       Does Australia promote social justice amongst its people

-       Is Australia a fair and inclusive nation?


Undoubtedly, this critical inquiry idea also covers the Stage 3 topic area of ‘Social Systems and Structures’. Therefore such a resource is ideal as it can be used cross-curricular.


As I am an advocate of metacognitive learning, students during this inquiry process would critically reflect in a HSIE journal after every lesson. Students would be required to comment on whether the work and research they are doing in the social investigation is answering the focus question sufficiently? If so why/why not? Teachers would use this as a form of assessment.



Gilbert,R. and Hoepper, B. (Eds) (2012). Teaching Society and Environment. 4th Edition. Frenchs Forest: Cengage Learning.


Scott's curator insight, April 11, 2015 12:40 AM

communicates effectively for a variety of audiences and purposes using increasingly challenging topics, ideas, issues and language forms and features

Based on this video as a stimulus a HSIE/Literacy lesson could be created around the debate of Monarchist vs Republicans.

Students would have this scaffolded by taking the information presented for bother sides of each movement in the video, by brainstorming pros and cons for each side on the smart board after the video had been viewed at least twice. 

After the students are separated into groups of about 4 or 5 they would over a few lessons explore the what their movement was and the reason for why Australians should agree with their side of the argument. Once the teacher has reviewed the information they have found through computer lessons on the internet or library database, they would have a formal debate at the end of the unit to show the consolidation of the information they have acquired.

Board of Studies, NSW. (2012). English K-10:: Outcomes Linked to Content. Retrieved 11 April 2015, from


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Didj "u" Know - 1967 Referendum

The passing of the 1967 Referendum is recognised as the date that Indigenous people were finally allowed to vote and become citizens in their own country
Sophie Elliot's insight:

This website gives a brief description and history of the 1967 referendum. The author is strongly in favour of the referendum and the outcome, stating “The Referendum was a fantastic win for the Aboriginal movement – the movement for equality.” This website could be used by teachers to inform them of the basic ideas and most important people involved. There is also a list of events (with short descriptions) that built up support for the referendum. After the information about what the referendum was, and what the result was, has been presented to students, a small research project can be undertaken. This will do done in class and the students can use computers to conduct their project.  In pairs or groups of three, students will research one event (listed on this site) and present it to the class. Each pair will construct a simple A4 page poster or information sheet on their topic (this will be the assessment). The sheets will be put together to form a timeline, which will be discussed in class and referred to in later teaching.


Literacy strategies: Skimming and scanning as students search the web for information; constructing texts.


An activity such as this, where the students work together to find information is part of a social constructivist approach to learning, where learning is active rather than passive. Rice and Wilson (1999) argue for the use of technology in the classroom, asserting that “technology can be incorporated to support many aspects of social constructivism by using collaboration in problem solving, allowing construction of knowledge by students, having learning occur in meaningful contexts, and relating learning to students’ own experiences” (p. 28).


From analyzing this source using the selection criteria for the evaluation of Aboriginal Students and Torres Strait Islander studies, it is reasoned that this source is appropriate to use. In terms of authenticity, the material is up to date and accurate, and does not over generalize Aboriginal people. The presentation is balanced, with no use of stereotypes or racism. This resource does not really discuss Aboriginal culture; it is a history of the events that led to the 1967 referendum and the acceptance of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as Australian citizens.



Rice, M., & Wilson, E. (1999), ‘How Technology Aids Constructivism in the Social Studies Classroom’ in The Social Studies  Vol. 90, Iss. 1. 28-33


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Australian suffragettes -

Australian suffragettes - | CCS3.1 - Key figures, events and issues in the development of Australian democracy, including Sir Henry Parkes, the 1967 referendum and the republican movement |
Sophie Elliot's insight:

This website displays information about Australian suffragettes. It includes topics such as politics and Australian women in the 19th century, the petition, and voting; and has pictures, videos, cartoons and audio files about these topics. It includes copies of promotional material for the movement, as well as material against the movement. This website could be used to provide basic information for teachers, in preparation for teaching.


Teaching idea: Teachers could use this site to talk about how the women’s suffrage movement has contributed to democracy and our identity and rights as Australians. Discuss and make a few notes in small groups about what it means to live in a democracy (equal rights; equal participation in society, etc). Students should have prior knowledge in this area from previous lessons. Present the information this website contains to students, including examples, pictures, and possibly even a case study (if available). This may take more than one lesson. Assessment: In groups students will then construct a T-chart (including writing and pictures) to show what has changed as a result of the women’s suffrage movement – what was life like for women in the 19th century?; What is it like now?. Students should have access to the information this website provides to refer to while constructing their chart.


This lesson idea includes group work, which, if done correctly, can lead to effective and motivational learning experiences (Blatchford, Kutnick, Baines and Galton, 2003). Blatchford et al (2003) discuss what is necessary for effective group learning, and suggests four ways that teachers can make group work productive. The first is lowering the risk for pupils and making work fun; the second is scaffolding group work; the third is the role of the teacher as a “guide in the side, not a sage on the stage”; and the fourth is structuring lessons to facilitate learning in groups. To do this, all lessons with group work should include briefing and debriefing to reflect and develop skills. This lesson includes literacy links, as students must write a factual text.



Blatchford, P., Kutnick, P., Baines, E., & Galton, M., (2003). ‘Toward a social pedagogy of classroom group work’  in International Journal of Educational Research, Volume 39, Issues 1–2, Pages 153–172

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The changing face of early Australia -

The changing face of early Australia - | CCS3.1 - Key figures, events and issues in the development of Australian democracy, including Sir Henry Parkes, the 1967 referendum and the republican movement |
Sophie Elliot's insight:

This website could be used to give a global perspective on the development of democracy, as it examines migration and cultural diversity in the later 1800s and early 1900s. Topics include: British and European settler; Chinese, ‘Afgans’, Indians and Pacific Islanders; Indigenous Australians; White Australia and limits to civil rights for non-Europeans; Indigenous voting and citizenship rights; and social life and culture. These are all within the overall topic of cultural diversity.


Look at: what is cultural diversity? Ask students to write down their own definition. Discuss as a class and come up with a definition that everyone agrees on (and that is correct, obviously). Talk about possible reasons that people would move to Australia around this time – for example, the gold rush. Put students into small groups, and each group will research how a particular social group experienced life during the gold rush era. Allocate each group one of these topics: Chinese, British/Europeans, Indians and Pacific Islanders, and Indigenous Australians. Give students specific questions to answer, such as: Population statistics (how many people migrated to Australia, how many stayed, where they lived, etc), what were the main areas of industry? Significant people, Racial tensions, citizenship rights, etc. Groups can use this website as a starting point and then go on to find their own research. Groups will construct a poster about their topic, including answers to the questions mentioned above, and pictures. After this is finished, put students into groups so that each group has at least 1 person who is an ‘expert’ in each topic. In these groups students will informally explain their poster to the rest of the group. Students will be assessed on both their poster and their informal presentation. In another lesson, this could be compared to population information today. Literacy strategies: skimming and scanning texts; decoding texts; critical literacy (what information is reliable, etc). Numeracy strategies: understanding percentages.


This is a teaching method called ‘jigsaw teaching groups’, which is based on Vygotsky’s sociocultural theory, where internalisation through the zone of proximal development is the mechanism through which learning takes place (Vygotsky, 1978). Learning through collaboration with more competent peers is a key aspect of Vygotsky’s theory of the zone of proximal development. Brown (1997) conducted a study in which jigsaw groups were used. Through the process of Reciprocal Teaching, each student led discussions on their topic so that everyone in the group had information about every subtopic. This social process let each child be the ‘expert’ on a certain subtopic, guiding the other children through the zone of proximal development and allowing them to internalise the necessary skills and knowledge. After a year of such intervention, the students abilities to make links between concepts had improved.


References: Brown, A. L. (1997). Transforming schools into communities of thinking and learning about serious matters. American Psychologist, 52, 399-413.


Vygotsky, L.S. (1978). Mind in Society: The development of higher psychological processes. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, Chap 4 (pp. 29-36).

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Australian democracy, HSIE, Year 6, NSW | Online Education Home Schooling Skwirk Australia

Australian democracy, HSIE, Year 6, NSW | Online Education Home Schooling Skwirk Australia | CCS3.1 - Key figures, events and issues in the development of Australian democracy, including Sir Henry Parkes, the 1967 referendum and the republican movement |
Australian democracy, HSIE, Year 6, NSW
Sophie Elliot's insight:

See topics 3 and 4. You need to make an account to access these resources (it is free to register), and it includes information, pictures, animations, etc about people, places and events leading up to Federation, as well as democracy after Federation. This site could be used by teachers and the students. The topics this website covers includeFor and against Federation, The fathers of Federation: Parkes and Barton, The fathers of Federation: Deakin and Reid, The new Commonwealth government, Women's suffrage, Aboriginal exclusion (causes and effects), The 1967 referendum , and Democracy and social justice .


Teaching idea: Students will watch the animation on arguments for and against Federation, while taking notes. Using this information (possibly combined with their own research) students will write a persuasive text arguing either for or against the Federation of Australia. Students should pretend that they are a person living in Australia in 1900, and write from this point of view. Half the students in the class can write their argument for Federation, and half can write their argument against Federation. Students will be assessed on their writing and arguments.

Literacy Strategy: Writing different text types.   


This video is a good resource because it incorporates audio, written and visual information. It is important to integrate multiple representations of information in order for the most effective learning to take place in the highest amount of students. Ainsworth (2006) argues that multiple external representations complement each other because they differ either in the processes each supports, or in the information each contains. Different forms of representations can encourage students to use different strategies, therefore by  giving students multiple representations of information, students are able to choose the best strategy for the current task, as well as use a combination of strategies to gain information/complete the task (Ainsworth, 2006).



Ainsworth, S. (2006) ’DeFT: A conceptual framework for considering learning with multiple representations’ in Learning and Instruction, Volume 16, Issue 3, Pg 183–198

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