History - The information listed below has been taken directly from the Australian Curriculum.
History is a disciplined process of inquiry into the past that develops students' curiosity and imagination. Awareness of history is an essential characteristic of any society, and historical knowledge is fundamental to understanding ourselves and others. It promotes the understanding of societies, events, movements and developments that have shaped humanity from earliest times. It helps students appreciate how the world and its people have changed, as well as the significant continuities that exist to the present day. History, as a discipline, has its own methods and procedures which make it different from other ways of understanding human experience. The study of history is based on evidence derived from remains of the past. It is interpretative by nature, promotes debate and encourages thinking about human values, including present and future challenges. The process of historical inquiry develops transferable skills, such as the ability to ask relevant questions; critically analyse and interpret sources; consider context; respect and explain different perspectives; develop and substantiate interpretations, and communicate effectively.
The curriculum generally takes a world history approach within which the history of Australia is taught. It does this in order to equip students for the world (local, regional and global) in which they live. An understanding of world history enhances students’ appreciation of Australian history. It enables them to develop an understanding of the past and present experiences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, their identity and the continuing value of their culture. It also helps students to appreciate Australia's distinctive path of social, economic and political development, its position in the Asia-Pacific region, and its global interrelationships. This knowledge and understanding is essential for informed and active participation in Australia's diverse society.
The Australian Curriculum: History is organised into two interrelated strands: Historical Knowledge and Understanding and Historical Skills.
Historical Knowledge and Understanding
This strand includes personal, family, local, state or territory, national, regional and world history. There is an emphasis on Australian history in its world history context at Foundation to Year 10 and a focus on world history in the senior secondary years. The strand includes a study of societies, events, movements and developments that have shaped world history from the time of the earliest human communities to the present day.
This strand explores key concepts for developing historical understanding, such as: evidence, continuity and change, cause and effect, significance, perspectives, empathy and contestability. These concepts may be investigated within a particular historical context to facilitate an understanding of the past and to provide a focus for historical inquiries.
This strand promotes skills used in the process of historical inquiry: chronology, terms and concepts; historical questions and research; the analysis and use of sources; perspectives and interpretations; explanation and communication. Within this strand there is an increasing emphasis on historical interpretation and the use of evidence.