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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Source 1: Principles of Social Justice through ‘Democracy’ rooted in Ancient Greece

Source 1: Principles of Social Justice through ‘Democracy’ rooted in Ancient Greece | CCS3.1 - Key figures, events and issues in the development of Australian democracy, including Sir Henry Parkes, the 1967 referendum and the republican movement |

Power to the people. A global perspective on Social Justice.

Eleni Smyrnis's insight:

It is imperative students understand the context around the global social justice/equality perspective and through the origins of an egalitarian democratic system rooted from Ancient Greece.


Teaching Ideas:
The teacher would use prompting discussion questions to identify what the image is trying to tell us in relation to social justice.

• Where do these people come from? How do you know?

• What are the people advocating for? Democracy through People power

• What does it mean to live in a democracy?
ANSWER: Whether it is a federation or a single stage, it is characterised by each citizen having a vote in deciding how the government works and who runs the government

• Justify why might they be advocating for this?

• What are some of the elements in this photograph that show this?

• How does this photograph shape your understanding of social justice issues?

• Is this notion or idea of social justice and human rights only present in Ancient Greece? Where else does this idea resonate in the 21st century?


The teacher can then use the informative video of Athenian Democracy including key figures and democratic principles to enlighten students about the origins of this social justice movement:


Using a timeline in the link below, the teacher would use ‘jigsaw teaching groups’ where students develop an ‘expert’ conceptual understanding of their (1) assigned topic through research, and subsequently (2) swap groups to share and (3) present their information with others so that everybody becomes an expert on each other’s topic (Aronson et al., 1978, as cited by Whittaker, 1996, pp. 31- 32). In this case students would be scaffolded through this process and grouped according to different key events in Ancient Greek History. Some students would be intentionally grouped to outline the reasons for the movement PRE-democracy, key figures DURING the movement including Pericles, and Solon in this movement, and happenings POST movement.

Timeline Link:


Such a pedagogical strategy facilitates the cognitive progression through Vygotsky’s (1987) theory of the ‘Zone of Proximal Development‘ where students internalise necessary skills and knowledge learned.
Literacy strategies: reading, summarizing, evaluating, presenting, semantic understanding



Along with observational assessment during presentations, I also found a chronologically appropriate checklist for this ‘Jigsaw’ method of learning:

Teachers should definitely use this checklist to help scaffold and instruct their students in the right direction for such learning tasks.


Whilst co-operative learning through a social constructivist approach has proven to have great academic gains on a student, one must note that the ‘Jigsaw’ method encourages task specialisation e.g. researcher, summariser, etc. Therefore, when a teacher uses this method, they must ensure that students rotate these specific roles, making it easier to assess students’ skills across a variety of levels.



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


Whittaker, C. R. (1996). Reading & Writing Quarterly: Overcoming Learning Difficulties. Adapting Cooperative learning structures for mainstreamed students, 12(1), 23-39.

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Source 3: Federation, Democracy and Social Justice- Online Education Home Schooling Skwirk Australia

Source 3: Federation, Democracy and Social Justice- 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
Eleni Smyrnis's insight:

This interactive schooling resource is a fantastic resource for not only teachers, but also students and parents. It is free for all to join.

Specifically topics 3 and 4 cover information on Democracy, Federation and the global perspective of Social Justice + human rights including the for and against Federation, the fathers of Federation including Parkes, Barton, Deakin and Reid, the Commonwealth government, women’s suffrage, Aboriginal exclusion, the 1967 Referendum and links to Nelson Mandela’s Struggle through apartheid.


The clear, colourful structure of this website uses bold titles and subtitles to separate major thematic ideas, making it easier for teachers, students and parents to use. Alongside written information, this website includes pictures, animations, videos and activities teachers can use in their classrooms. According to Winch & Holliday (2010), this multimodal text encompasses the linguistic, visual, audio and special semiotic systems, which when used simultaneously heighten the nature of learning.


Teaching Ideas:

Drawing on prior research about Democracy, social justice/human rights, and Federation students are to watch the ‘For and Against Federation’ video within this source and subsequently debate/argue FOR or AGAINST Federation in Australia.

The teacher MUST model and scaffold for students metacognitive skills, which enable students to become self-regulated learners. One working model that allows individuals to react to opportunities and challenges is through ‘reciprocated teaching’ involving (1) the task, (2), the strategy use, (3) the performance and (4) the feedback stage (Borkowski & Muthukrishna, 1992, p. 487). In this case, the teacher would expert model and prompt strategies of specifically summarising the video.  
I.e. the teacher will ensure students focus on:

-       The introduction as it outlines and determines the main points of the video

-       Key words during the video which will help structure argument

-       Correctly filling in the graphic organiser of a T-chart during the video


Students will view the video twice, then group up in their teams to discuss what they have written, add to their T-chart using a red pen and subsequently debate this topic. After this, students can write a persuasive text advocating their perspective on Australian federation (literacy strategy- writing and text types).


Using the t-chart students used to summarise the video, teachers can see what parts students could summarise themselves, and what they added onto their sheet after the activity with the help of their peers. The persuasive text would also indicate where their literary strengths and weaknesses lay.



Borkowski, J.G. and Muthukrishna, N. (1992). Moving metacognition into the classroom: ‘Working models’ and effective strategy teaching, Chap. 17 (pp. 477-501). In M. Pressley, K.R. Harris and J.T. Guthrie (Eds.), Promoting academic competence and literacy in school. San Diego: Academic Press.


Winch, G., Johnston, R., March, P., Ljungdahl, L., & Holliday, M. (2010). Literacy: reading, writing and children's literature (4th ed.). South Melbourne: Oxford University Press.

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Source 5: BTN- The Republican Movement

Source 5: BTN- The Republican Movement | CCS3.1 - Key figures, events and issues in the development of Australian democracy, including Sir Henry Parkes, the 1967 referendum and the republican movement |

Behind the News - 05/04/2011: Royal Family


Via Sophie Elliot
Eleni Smyrnis's insight:

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.


Sophie Elliot's curator insight, April 21, 2013 9:59 AM

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.

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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Source 2: Behind the News- Australian Federation including key figure Sir Henry Parkes

Source 2: Behind the News- Australian Federation including key figure Sir Henry Parkes | CCS3.1 - Key figures, events and issues in the development of Australian democracy, including Sir Henry Parkes, the 1967 referendum and the republican movement |
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.
Eleni Smyrnis's insight:

This very informative Behind the News video illustrates major thematic ideas behind Australian Federation and Democracy including the history of separate Australian colonies, important key figures pushing to unite the colonies including Sir Henry Parkes, the Constitution and the Australian Commonwealth. Such a resource is most stimulating and stage appropriate to Stage 3 students through the combination of visual, written and auditory representations, as well as the structural nature and simple language use.


Teaching ideas:

Task orientated communication encompasses three basic cognitive processing activities according to Schellens and Valcke (2005), namely presentation, explicitation, and evaluation.

Using information presented in the Behind The News clip teacher and students discuss and explicitate on these ideas. The teacher would encourage critical discussion and comprehension tasks through questions such as:

-       What is Federation?
ANSWER: A federation is a group of states. It can be a democracy or dictatorship, or anything in between. The United States is a federation.

-       Why would key figures such as Sir Henry Parkes advocate for a Federation?

-       How did these figures strive to change the nation? What was the result? Constitutional Monarchy etc.

-       What complications did these figures face during the process?

-       What does that mean for people like us in todays society? (Teachers can touch on concepts of citizenship and voting)


Following the discussion, students could work in pairs to construct a Venn Diagram and elaborate on information as well as compare and contrast the two key figures involved in both movements- Pericles (Democracy) VS Sir Henry Parkes (Federation). After some time has lapsed, students would collaborate and evaluate earlier information and ideas, confirming, negotiating and reflecting on arguments posed. This task orientated communication type task through studies has shown to foster higher knowledge construction than a series of individualized tasks (Schellens & Valcke, 2005).


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.

Scott's curator insight, April 10, 2015 9:30 PM

This resources is easily accessible in terms of literal access and intellectual access. As it is provided in a way that is engaging and easily understood by stage 3 students. It provides a brief over view of the development of the Australian federation along with the issues and background of why it came about. The source provides a good introduction to a key figure in Australian democracy such as Sir Henry Parkes and can be used to scaffold a biographical account of his contributions to Australia and Australian democracy. 

In good practice of critical thinking it is important to mention that this resource does skim over a few major issues, although as a teacher the brief mentioning of such events is enough to generate an opportunity for further learning. Issues such as the struggle for equality in the form of women being able to vote, the white Australia policy and the hardships Federation brought about for indigenous Australians.

Using this BTN video as a stimulus is a great way to not only enable the exploration of these issues and events, but implement the students critical thinking when accessing different forms of information. Critical thinking develops the ability for students to take control of their individual thinking, assessing, and evaluating the effectiveness and validity of information according to the purpose and developing a criterion for constant evaluation which is based on logic (Paul, 1993). This is important for students to use this high order thinking when interaction and internalising the information they come in contact with. 

Paul, R. W. (1993). Critical thinking: What every person needs to survive in a rapidly changing world. Santa Rosa, CA: Foundation for Critical Thinking.

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Source 4: 1967 Referendum Resource through a variety of Perspectives

Take a look beyond the stereotypes and discover what Aboriginal life is like today - from arts and land to sport and spirituality.
Eleni Smyrnis's insight:

This 1967 Referendum website link within the ‘Creative Spirits’ website is a great teacher resource, as it encompasses factual information about the 1967 Referendum, White/Australian perspectives on this event through the government constitution, quotes, exerts, newspaper articles, advertisements etc, and Indigenous perspectives through quotes, and personal video interviews.


The ‘Creative Spirits’ team responsible for collating the information the website meets the selection criteria for a good quality resource in that it is authentic, balances materials used, acknowledges the ABTSI people and is acknowledged and supported by Indigenous communities, and Aboriginal Individuals (NSW DET, 2003, p. 17).

For example, there is much authenticity throughout the resource there are quotes from the perspectives of Indigenous Australians on the 1967 Referendum, in written and video form. Similarly, the photographs are accompanied by captions of the ABTSI persons and where they came from. The site has been acknowledged by numerous ABTSI persons, which are displayed on the main page through listing and quoting them (NSW DET, 2003).


Teaching Ideas:

A whole class discussion can begin with “What is a petition? How and where are petitions used in Australia today?”. The teacher can discuss the information with the class and view the video within the website outlining true Indigenous perspectives about the 1967 Referendum:

Literacy strategy: students could write a letter to the government from the perspective of an Indigenous person in retrospect with regards to the 1967 Referendum. Teacher scaffolds appropriately.


Another Idea:
Kagan’s (1989) ‘Think- Pair- Share’ co-operative learning strategy where students imagine they are organising petitions to change situations set out in:

-       An aspect of your school

-       Parking laws in a local street

-       Reduce plastic use in supermarkets

-       Increase (or decrease) refugee intake into Australia

Students should consider (1) who the petition would be presented to e.g. principal, local government and (2) key factors that are likely to make this petition effective. Then they share their ideas with their peers and with the class.



Kagan, S. (1989). Cooperative learning: Resources for teachers. San Juan Capistrano, CA.


New South Wales Department of Education and Training. (2003). Aboriginal Education K-12: Resource Guide. Sydney: Professional support and Curriculum Directorate NSW DET.

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