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NSW Syllabuses

Learning across the curriculum

Learning across the curriculum content, including the cross-curriculum priorities and general capabilities, assists students to achieve the broad learning outcomes defined in the NESA Statement of Equity Principles, the Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians (December 2008) and in the Australian Government's Core Skills for Work Developmental Framework (2013). 

Cross-curriculum priorities enable students to develop understanding about and address the contemporary issues they face.

The cross-curriculum priorities are:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures
  • Asia and Australia's engagement with Asia Asia and Australia's engagement with Asia
  • Sustainability Sustainability

General capabilities encompass the knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviours to assist students to live and work successfully in the 21st century.

The general capabilities are:

  • Critical and creative thinking Critical and creative thinking
  • Ethical understanding Ethical understanding
  • Information and communication technology capability Information and communication technology capability
  • Intercultural understanding Intercultural understanding
  • Literacy Literacy
  • Numeracy Numeracy
  • Personal and social capability Personal and socail capability

NESA syllabuses include other areas identified as important learning for all students:

  • Civics and citizenship Civics and citizenship
  • Difference and diversity Difference and diversity
  • Work and enterprise Work and enterprise

Learning across the curriculum content is incorporated, and identified by icons, in the content of the Modern History Stage 6 Syllabus in the following ways.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures

The study of Modern History includes the investigation of individuals and groups that have influenced movements for change, the progress towards recognition and equality for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, and the focus of continued efforts. In the study of Modern History this understanding is deepened through exploration of their interactions with others.

When planning and programming content relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures teachers are encouraged to:

  • involve local Aboriginal communities and/or appropriate knowledge holders in determining suitable resources, or to use Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander authored or endorsed publications
  • read the Principles and Protocols relating to teaching and learning about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures and the involvement of local Aboriginal communities.

Asia and Australia's engagement with Asia Asia and Australia's engagement with Asia

In Modern History, the study of Asia and Australia’s engagement with Asia includes the paths of development taken by Asian nations (and how they differ from the European experience), the distinctive and changing character of Asia, the growing influence of Asia in the world and how Australia’s engagement with Asia in the modern period has changed over time – culturally, economically and politically.

Sustainability Sustainability

In Modern History, sustainability provides opportunities to study the effects of developments such as the Industrial Revolution on the environment, the anti-nuclear movement and movements for environmental sustainability in the modern period.

Critical and creative thinking Critical and creative thinking

Critical and creative thinking is integral to the historical inquiry process. There are opportunities for students to delve deeply into the implications of any missing or questionable information in their investigation of historical topics. The demands of historical inquiry include: the ability to pose relevant questions; interrogate, select and cross-reference sources; and develop interpretations based on an assessment of the evidence. Students have opportunities to apply historical reasoning, identify possible weaknesses in their own positions, and evaluate alternative interpretations of the past. They engage in the analysis of historical accounts to determine how well supported a claim is by the available evidence. Students have the opportunity to use their knowledge to recognise and challenge instances of misrepresentation.

Ethical understanding Ethical Understanding

Ethical understanding provides opportunities for students to explore and understand the diverse perspectives and circumstances that shaped the actions and possible motivations of people in the past compared with those of today. In Modern History, students have opportunities both independently and collaboratively to explore the values, beliefs and principles that were the basis for the judgements and actions of people in the past.

Information and communication technology capability Information and communication technology capability

Information and communication technology (ICT) capability is important in the study of Modern History, particularly in relation to historical investigation, analysis and communication. In Modern History, students use digital tools and strategies to locate, access, process and analyse information. They use ICT skills and understandings to investigate and identify the provenance and credibility of evidence, and to develop arguments and communicate historical information. Students have opportunities to evaluate websites and online communication, and the interpretations and representations of the past that they convey. This includes how and why such sites are constructed (for example, for ideological or political purposes, commemoration, preservation, education and scholarship) the audiences they serve, and the techniques they use. They can develop an understanding of the issues involved in the use of ICT when practising ethical scholarship as part of the historical inquiry process.

Intercultural understanding Intercultural Understanding

Intercultural understanding is a vital part of historical learning in Modern History. Students explore the different beliefs and values of a range of cultural groups and develop an appreciation of diversity in the modern period. They have opportunities to develop an understanding of the nature, causes and consequences of conflict, dispossession and interdependence. Students develop an understanding of different contemporary perspectives, the historical contexts for those perspectives, their historical influence on the relationships between different groups within society, and how they contribute to individual and group actions in the contemporary world.

Literacy Literacy

Literacy is of fundamental importance in the study of Modern History. Students access historical content through a variety of print, oral, visual, spatial, aural and electronic forms, including letters, speeches, biographies, photographs, films, artefacts, sites and archived material. They have opportunities to interpret and extrapolate meaning from a variety of sources for evidence in an historical inquiry and they analyse and evaluate texts for authority, reliability, relevance and accuracy. Students have opportunities to create a wide range of texts to communicate, explore, discuss and argue a point of view, selecting and employing text structure and language knowledge to express their thoughts and ideas logically and fluently, supported by evidence. They can monitor their own language for accuracy in the use of historical terms, clarity of ideas and explanations, conciseness of expression, and to articulate a position on an historical problem or issue.

Numeracy Numeracy

Numeracy is useful in the historical inquiry process, which requires students to recognise patterns and relationships chronologically and spatially through the use of scaled timelines and maps. In Modern History, students have opportunities to investigate data, some of which is numerical in nature. They can develop numeracy capability when they analyse and interpret statistical information to draw conclusions, for example in relation to change over time.

Personal and social capability Personal and socail capability

Personal and social capability is developed in Modern History by students enhancing their communication skills and participating in teamwork. Students have opportunities to work both collaboratively in teams and also independently as part of their learning and research, in Modern History. Students have opportunities to develop advanced research and presentation skills to express and justify their views effectively to others. Through the study of individuals and groups in the past and their source work in particular, students can develop their ability to appreciate the perspectives and experiences of others. Students are provided with opportunities to develop social awareness through the study of relationships between individuals and groups in the modern world.

Civics and citizenship Civics and citizenship

In Modern History, students have the opportunity to study the development of political institutions across the world as part of their learning and research. They explore the contested nature of power and authority within and between nations, and develop their social and political awareness. This promotes students’ participation in Australia’s democracy by equipping them with the knowledge, understanding, skills, values and dispositions of active and informed citizenship.

Difference and diversity Difference and diversity

Modern History is well placed to develop students' knowledge and understanding about the difference and diversity of various groups in the modern world. Students have opportunities to learn to identify and appreciate the varying perspectives of individuals and groups over time and attempt to understand the actions, values, attitudes and motives of people from the past. This focus on difference and diversity provides students with the opportunity to explore similarities and differences between the past and the contemporary world. Such an approach enables students to investigate the circumstances of those whom society has marginalised because of their beliefs, gender, race and socioeconomic status.

Work and enterprise Work and enterprise

In Modern History, there are opportunities to investigate living and working conditions in the past and how people’s experiences were shaped by changing social, economic and technological developments. Students are provided with opportunities to explore earlier generations' struggles for rights and freedoms to understand how their own rights and responsibilities in the contemporary workplace have been achieved.