History and SOSE : Where to now?
Hart, Catherine Robyn. (2008). History and SOSE : Where to now? Curriculum Perspectives. 28(1), pp. 75-81.
|Authors||Hart, Catherine Robyn|
[Extract] THE PROBABLE (INEVITABLE?) MANDATING of Australian history across all Australian secondary (and possibly primary) schools offers school history a chance at what many see as revival. It is a chance for school history to regain status as a stand alone subject, as a monolithic disciplinary entity (Goodson, 1983), and a chance for the return of specialist disciplinary teachers; but is this a good thing? Given that this 'resurrection' will most likely come in the form of a national Australian history curriculum (which is in itself swathed in the rhetoric of standards and accountability), this is problematic. So too are claims of 'resurrection' as many schools, especially those in NSW, have continued to teach history as a separate subject. At the same time, SOSE is under threat. In a number of states and territories SOSE no longer formally exists (nor for that matter do KLAs), and SOSE has variously been labelled as 'mickey mouse', the 'social slops' and a 'mish-mash of incomprehensible sludge'. W hilst concerns about SOSE, the knowledge bases it is founded on, its curricular structure and teachers abilities to effectively teach across such a broad KLA are not unfounded (see for example Schultz, 2006); such derisive criticisms overlook both the potential for SOSE and indeed the effectiveness of SOSE in many schools as Tudball has highlighted.
In the first part of this paper I overview the current policy contexts driving the history and SOSE debate and detail the criticisms that have been levelled at both history and SOSE. In doing so I also examine which concerns are justified and which are more a result of misperceplion. I subsequently explore ways in which these concerns could be addressed in terms of curriculum development, teacher preparation and pedagogy. You will note that the ordering of the terms 'history' and 'SOSE' varies throughout this paper - this is quite deliberate as it reflects the changing focus in the history and SOSE debate. Throughout much of the 1990s and early twenty-first century discussion was centred on SOSE and history was positioned in many states as peripheral to SOSE, whilst the focal point of current policy contexts is history and, to a much lesser extent, SOSE.
|Journal citation||28 (1), pp. 75-81|
|Publisher||Australian Curriculum Studies Association|
|Research Group||School of Education|
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