Exploring National Parks, HSIE Stage 2.
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WilderQuest: Introduction

WilderQuest: Introduction | Exploring National Parks, HSIE Stage 2. | Scoop.it
Jacqui Stamell's insight:

Stimulation games are games that, “resemble reality” and, “promote active learning whilst providing students with immediate feedback on their decisions” (Marsh, 2010). Wilderquest is a fun and innovative children’s program that is designed to endorse love and care for nature. One of the many qualities of creating an account on Widerquest is that it allows students to find parks in their area by entering their postcode, thus enhancing relevance to their learning. Students are able to explore the flora and fauna amongst different geographical terrains (e.g. alpine, woodland, town), earn points in field quizzes and topical “guess who” games. To explicitly meet the stage two HSIE indicator, “uses geographical terminology to describe natural and built features in their local area” in outcome EN2.5: ‘Describes places in the local area and other parts of Australia and explains their significance’, students could be allocated a specific terrain from the map and, in groups, create and present a poster to the rest of the class, describing the qualities of the terrain, the endangered species and the natural/built features in the area (NSW Board of Studies, 2006, p. 31). In addition, students should make a critical judgment on how we, as community members, cooperate with the geographical area and brainstorm why it is important for us to preserve the area.


In their introduction, the NSW Board of Studies (2006) recognises the opportunities that Information technology provides for effective formative learning experiences in Human Society and Its environment.  Stromen and Lincoln (1992) believe that as a, “powerful tool for children’s learning by doing”, technology takes a special place in a student driven learning environment, a concept that is highly valued within the Constructivist theory of learning (p.3). Thus, a constructivist teacher will employ a technology rich-classroom to avert from using didactic methodology and force into place a student centered approach whereby motivation and interest drives the learner (McInerney & McInerney, 2010, p.6).  When planning a critical inquiry sequence in HSIE, motivation of students is considered a key strategy. By introducing students to the topic of natural features through an interactive, computer based game, engagement and interaction is immediately heightened (Gilbert & Hoepper, 2011, p.57).


References:

Gilbert, R., & Hoepper, B. (2011). Teaching Society and Environment. Victoria: Cengage Learning.


Marsh, C (2010). Becoming a Teacher: knowledge, skills and issues. French Forest: Pearson Australia.

McInerney, D., & McInerney, V. (2010). Educational Psychology: constructing Learning. Sydney: Pearson.

NSW Board of Studies. (2006). HSIE K-6 Syllabus. Sydney: Board of Studies NSW.  [online] Retrieved April 3, 2014, from

http://k6.boardofstudies.nsw.edu.au/wps/wcm/connect/93415130-2afa-4654-a740-cf3d399d2627/k6_hsie_syl.pdf?MOD=AJPERES

Strommen, E.F., & Lincoln, B. (1992). Constructivism, technology, and the future of classroom learning. Education and Urban Society, 24, 466-476.

 

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GALLERY: Bushfire photos

GALLERY: Bushfire photos | Exploring National Parks, HSIE Stage 2. | Scoop.it
Fairfax Media photographers have captured the drama of the firefighting effort throughout the state.
Jacqui Stamell's insight:

As part of their national park investigation, students can study the Blue Mountains in NSW and the 2013 fires that occurred there to gain further understanding about the significance of preserving natural features. This resource includes images that show the extent and the effects of the fire that occurred in the Blue Mountains National Park. Splitting students into three or four groups and allocating each group a responsibility will not only cover the topic in detail but also cater for different learning styles and ability levels across the classroom. For example, the group of ‘researchers’ could research the effects and extent of Blue Mountains bushfire in relation to other bushfires that have occurred across Australia. By gathering and organising the statistics in a graph or table layout, students will fulfil the Stage 2 Mathematical outcome; MA2-18SP: “Selects appropriate methods to collect data, and constructs, compares, interprets and evaluates data displays, including tables, picture graphs and column graphs” (NSW Board of Studies, 2012).

The “Fire prevention squad” can organise a fire prevention plan for their school, creating rules and regulations for students to adhere to in order to prevent the occurrence of a fire. Have these students think about why it is important to follow rules in order to prevent the occurrence of a fire in any community. To allude to the significance of national parks in the preservation of plants and animals, the “animal safety” group could write a letter to the management of the Blue Mountains National Park, identifying the animals whose habitats may have been ruined as a result of the fire, and list ways to rebuild and preserve their homes. This activity relates to English outcome EN2-2A – plans, composes and reviews a range of texts that are more demanding in terms of topic, audience and language (Board of Studies, NSW, 2012). The “Illustrator” group whose job is to draw original pictures or copy the photographs of the consequence of the fire could be formulated as an alternative or extension activity.

Through his “social Constructivist theory”, Vygotsky addresses collaborative learning as an effective agent whereby cross ability groups can work together and learn from one another (McInerney & McInerney, 2010, p.54). Students will further there peer learning by collating all the information and presenting it as a class poster. Each group will explain the significance of their research and students will offer their opinion on why it is essential to preserve and care for the natural environment.


References: 
 

Board of Studies NSW. (2012). NSW Mathematics K-10 Syllabus for the Australian Curriculum. Sydney: DET.

Board of Studies NSW (2012). NSW English K-10 syllabus for the Australian Curriculum.  Retrieved April 4, 2013 from
http://syllabus.bos.nsw.edu.au/english/english-k10/content-and-outcomes/

McInerney, D., & McInerney, V. (2010). Educational Psychology: constructing Learning. Sydney: Pearson.

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Aboriginal Blue Mountains Walkabout - Aboriginal tour – Guided bushwalk

Aboriginal tour Blue Mountains Walkabout accessed as a day tour from Sydney or Katoomba, by train. A unique eco trek of Aboriginal culture.

Via Laura Moore
Jacqui Stamell's insight:

I believe that excursions are effective in complementing the research and analysing of sources conducted in the classrooms. The Department of Education and Training Excursions Policies states that excursions must take account of the needs of the students and the total learning program (2013, objective 1.1). Thus, it is essential that the excursion is inclusive for all students and relevant to the HSIE learning experience. The Aboriginal guided Blue Mountains Walkabout provides a great opportunity for teachers to arrange an excursion for the class because it allows students to draw from prior learning of national parks and Aboriginal culture and develop a deeper, more emotional understanding of the outcome and content matter.

“Knowledge about Aboriginal people is often derived from popular myths or from media which distorts or omits Aboriginal issues” (NSW DET, 2003, p. 11). Students will benefit from an Aboriginal perspective in their HSIE study because it allows them to learn more about Aboriginal education and place. While the Aboriginal education resource guide (2003), provides key concepts for evaluating concrete resources, its selection criteria should be considered before committing to the Aboriginal Blue Mountains Walkabout. Evan Yanna Muru, who directs the tour is not only an accredited wilderness guide but is also an Aboriginal Site Officer of the Darug Custodian Aboriginal Clan. The website guarantees a very local and intimate understanding of the land and its culture, providing ‘Accurate’ and ‘Authentic’ information about Indigenous communities such as the Darug community (NSW DET, 2003). The walking tour explores relevant features relating to the Stage two Environmental outcomes ENS2.5, such as sandstone caves, rock pools and wildlife. While the site assures a true and honest Aboriginal experience and perspective on site preservation, teachers should not hesitate in further researching into the Walk About to ensure that there is no content that could be viewed as stereotypical or disrespectful to the Aboriginal community.

 

References:
 

Department of Education and Training, NSW. (2013). Excursion policies. Retrieved October 10, 2013 from https://www.det.nsw.edu.au/policies/student_admin/excursions/excursion_pol/PD20040010.shtml?query=excursion

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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Laura Moore's curator insight, May 22, 2013 8:21 PM

“Tell me, and I will forget, Show me, and I may remember. Involve me, and I will understand” (uncertain origin, as cited in Gilbert & Hoepper, 2011, p. 143). Active and experiential learning is promoted in Gilbert & Hoepper (2011) as it assists students to achieve connectedness to the world and obtain higher order thinking, among other qualities. Taylor, Boon and Kriewaldt (2012) believed that excursions can “enable students to develop more explicit links between their prior knowledge, their experiences and other classroom learning”. Although excursions are not the only way to demonstrate active and experiential learning, a walking tour is an excellent way for students to feel more emotionally connected to the outcome. Students will be able to draw from their prior learning in the classroom, of national parks and Aboriginal culture, and develop further connections and deeper understanding.

 

It is important for students to develop an understanding of the use of national parks to preserve Aboriginal sites (Board of Studies NSW, 1998). While there is no need for students to read and understand all of the laws enforced on the Aboriginal Site Preservation Laws (NSW Aboriginal Land Council, 2011), it is important that students know that these laws exist in order to preserve the rich Aboriginal history that lies within our country. On the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage’s website (2011), there is a brief introduction to students on the roles of the Aboriginal Sites Officer in national parks.  In order for students to develop a true and honest Aboriginal perspective on site preservation, I believe that a site visit, involving an Aboriginal site officer, would be the most beneficial way. It is important that teachers ensure that there is no content or behaviours presented that could be seen as stereotypical or disreprectful towards the Aboriginal community (Government of South Australia, 2013). By using a local Aboriginal expert, the teacher can ensure that this doesn’t occur.

 

Evan Yanna Muru directs the Blue Mountains Walkabout tours. Evan is an Aboriginal Site Officer of the Darug Custonian Aboriginal Clan and has also undertaken research into Indigenous culture in the bush. While this website shows set tour plans mainly aimed towards tourists, this tour group would be an excellent company to get in contact with to do a privately arranged tour of the national park for the class. Before the tour of the park, students should be encouraged to prepare questions for the tour guide (NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, 2011). Questions could be in relation to historical stories of sites, site preservations or roles and responsibilities of the Aboriginal Site Officer. Throughout the tour, students should develop a deeper understanding into the reasons why site preservation is important and the people who are responsible to ensure they are protected (including themselves).

Before and during the site visit, students will draw on the following skills:

-Interviewing (English outcome:  EN2-1a – communicates in a range of informal and formal contexts by adopting a range of roles in group, classroom, school and community contexts)

-Taking notes (English outcome: as above)

-Drawing diagrams/maps

 

 

References

 

Board of Studies. (1998). Human society and its environment K-6 syllabus. Sydney: B.O.S. Retrieved from http://www.boardofstudies.nsw.edu.au

Gilbert, R. & Hoepper, B. (2011). Teaching society and environment. 4th Edition. South Melbourne: Cengage Learning Australia

Government of South Australia (2013). The selection criteria for the evaluation of Aboriginal studies and Torres Strait Islander studies. Retrieved May 22, 2013 from http://www.aboriginaleducation.sa.edu.au/files/links/selection_20criteria.pdf

NSW Aboriginal Land Council. (2011). Site protection fact sheet 1: Using the land to protect Aboriginal sites in NSW. Retrieved from the NSW Aboriginal Land Council’s website: http://www.alc.org.au/publications/fact-sheets.aspx

NSW Office of Environment and Heritage. (2011). Meet the Aboriginal site officer. Retrieved May 22, 2013 from http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/edresources/MeetTheAboriginalSitesOfficer.htm

Taylor, T., Boon, D., & Kriewaldt, J. (2012). The permeable classroom. Place and time: explorations in teaching georgraphy and history. Ch. 15. Frenchs Forest, NSW: Pearson Australia.

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All about national parks | NSW Environment & Heritage

Jacqui Stamell's insight:

As a teacher’s resource, the NSW Environment and Heritage website provides substantial insight into the nature and purpose or national parks. This information is made accessible in the knowledge centre where I believe the most useful links for guiding teachers is found under, ‘What is a national park’ and, ‘Why do we have national parks?’ While this resource provides foundational knowledge about national parks, it should not be used in isolation for teacher planning because the resource does not provide a critical perspective on the topic. However, when used alongside a variety of resources and perspectives it could prove useful in furthering student understanding and developing critical judgment on the topic.

 

Furthermore, the website, which works alongside the NSW Department of Education and Training includes resources for students such as the activity sheet that requires students to match topical words with relevant images. Such a worksheet, whilst lacking in critical judgment, is a good indication of students’ prior knowledge. Thus, when used in conjunction with other teaching strategies, the worksheets can assist in the framing of critical key questions, which according to Gilbert and Hoepper (2011) provides, ‘focus and direction to student investigation’ (pg. 58). Strategies such as class discussions and group brainstorms that focus on simple questions such as, “what is a national park” and “why do we have national parks” will extend student understanding and, when used effectively, can delve into what students want to find out about the topic. Through the use of “a range of informational sources” and by coordinating student prior knowledge with their interest on the topic, a teacher is able to frame suitable critical questions that provide appropriate depth and encourages student engagement (Gilbert & Hoepper, 2011, p.58).

 

References:
 

Gilbert, R., & Hoepper, B. (2011). Teaching Society and Environment. Victoria: Cengage Learning.

 

 

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India | Global Education

India | Global Education | Exploring National Parks, HSIE Stage 2. | Scoop.it
Jacqui Stamell's insight:

This resource explores India’s geography in a succinct manner that is suitable for stage two students studying national parks. Under the subheading title, ‘environment’, students are provided with a global perspective on wildlife and natural resources. The sentence, “India has established a number of national parks and wildlife sanctuaries to conserve the wildlife”, can be used as stimulus for students to critically respond to questions such as, ‘in what ways do national parks conserve wildlife?” and, ‘why do you think animals become endangered in India?” The resource provides examples of national Parks found in India along with their endangered animals.

As an assessment idea, students can choose one of the endangered animals provided from the resource or find their own. In a report, students identify in what part of India the animal is located, their habitat, what their animal eats, physical characteristics and provide some interesting facts about their animal. Students will then describe three ways in which the community can help in preventing the extinction of their animal.

McInerney and McInerney (2010) believe that motivation is directly influenced by assessment. By providing student with choice over their Indian animal they wish to research and control over which interesting facts they use, intrinsic motivation is maintained and achievement enhanced (p. 205). Te report providing a global perspective of national parks will be collected as a work sample for a formative assessment of the HSIE stage two outcome ENS2.5: Describes places in the local area and other parts of Australia. The process of learning through formative assessment is significantly valued in the Constructivist theory of learning because it promotes student involvement and helps students adjust to their learning through feedback (McInerney &McInerney, 2010).



Reference:

McInerney, D., & McInerney, V. (2010). Educational Psychology: constructing Learning. Sydney: Pearson.

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