How did aboriginal people meet their needs before colonisation?

| August 31, 2015

How did aboriginal people meet their needs before colonisation?

Order Description

Due date: Monday, 21st September, 2015

Weight: 60%

Length: 2400 words (notional length)

Learning Outcomes being assessed: 3, 4, 5, 6

UNE Graduate Attributes being addressed: 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7

Task overview

This assignment requires you to design a cognitive inquiry sequence to teach an aspect of history using the model introduced to you in EDSS279/379 in Module B Topic 5: Inquiry Learning. You will need to consider which teaching strategies will best suit your purpose for each level/stage of the inquiry model and the sources of information you will need to teach this history topic in the primary classroom

Task description

Assignment 2 requires you to plan a cognitive inquiry sequence that is based on a history question from one of the units listed in the table that follows. Each unit has a contributing/sequencing question in bold. You are to select one of these four options to base your planning on.

Note: Providing you with the whole unit enables you to see the ‘big picture’ in which the question you select fits. You are able to see the other questions students will investigate in the unit and this should allow you to develop a better understanding of what your selected question will contribute to the whole topic. DO NOT PLAN AN OUTLINE FOR THE WHOLE UNIT addressed by the Focus Question.

The task in detail

Part 1: Planning a cognitive inquiry sequence (notional 1600 words)

Plan an inquiry sequence based on a question that investigates an aspect of history using the inquiry model introduced to you in EDSS279/379. This model is outlined in Module B Topic 5: Inquiry Learning.

Your sequence plan must have the following features:

a sequence inquiry question as the heading for the sequence (selected from the list provided in the table below)
an answer to the question you are expecting students to develop, written in language that is age appropriate
An outcome from your state’s History Syllabus or equivalent (e.g. Content description if using the Australian Curriculum: History) that the question will address
the six levels (stages) of the inquiry model
clear links between levels of the sequence through sequentially related activities requiring active student involvement and utilising different types of thinking
the use of information sources by students to get started with their investigation, to find out information to answer the sequence inquiry question and to make connections
a clear indication of where and how assessment of the outcome (or equivalent e.g. content description) will occur

Assignment Template (on Moodle) MUST be used for your response to Part 1.

Part 2: Reflection report (800 words)

You are to write a 800-word reflection report answering the following question:

How has your understanding of inquiry methodology further developed as a result of researching and planning the cognitive inquiry sequence?

In-text citations and reference list, including a full list of the information sources used in Level 1 (Get Interested), Level 2 (Find out) and Level 5 (Make Connections), must adhere to APA conventions.

Sequence Question list

Select one of the questions in bold from the four units listed to develop your cognitive inquiry sequence. (The bolded question I have selected is: How did Aboriginal people meet their needs before colonisation?)

Focus Question: How did British colonisation affect people’s lives in Australia?

1. How did Aboriginal people meet their needs before colonisation?

2. Why did the Europeans come?

3. What were the early days of the penal colony like?

4. What effects did colonisation have on Aboriginal people, convicts and new settlers?

Assignment Two FAQs
How long is Assignment Two expected to be?

We suggest that with portrait planning, you should be able to cover your planning in 4-5 pages. Use this as a guide, because we do not want you to do more work than is necessary to complete the task.

How do I set out Assignment Two?

The model template MUST be used for this assignment. It can be downloaded from the Moodle site.. Set out your assignment as outlined in this template. The only additional item needed is a 800 word reflection report to answer the two set questions and a bibliography. Also see ‘How much detail is required?’ at the bottom of this page.
Can we select another question to base our sequence planning on?

No, you must select a bolded question from the list provided with Assignment 2 details.
Where do I make a start on assignment two?

The task specifically asks for a sequence that addresses a history question from the list provided with Assignment 2. I would suggest you start by reading up on the topic that your selected question covers. A strong knowledge base of the topic is necessary for you to do well in this assignment. You will need to locate actual information sources that you can use to teach this topic. These need to be age appropriate, rich, reliable and relevant for the levels where information sources are required. Once you have researched the topic you will be able to record the answer/generalisation to the question you have selected to base your planning on. Knowing the ‘end’ result is a crucial step in this planning. You need to know your ‘final’ destination before a plan can be formulated on how to ‘get there’ i.e the learning activities you will use at each level in the inquiry model to allow students to answer the question under investigation in a gradual and methodical manner.

How many lessons should the sequence cover ?

Please do not think of the inquiry model as a lesson plan. You are to plan a sequence of connected activities to answer the question under investigation. How you then teach the sequence and fit it into the time frame allowed for History will depend on the activities and the time available and is another part of the planning process.
Do we need a Reference List?

Yes, this is a list of all the sources that you have used as in-text references in your assignment. Both parts must adhere to APA conventions.

How do I format the assignment?
Assessment Overview in the Unit Orientation block clearly outlines how the assignment should be formatted.

How much detail is required?

You are to use the template as is.

Inquiry sequences require a purposeful activity planned for each level of the model. Don’t over plan..planning lots of activities within each level can be confusing for students.

Commencing with a rough outline is useful as once you have the main activity for each level ‘what students will do’ …it is just a matter of adding some detail to demonstrate ‘how students will do it’ .This is not a lesson plan but an overview of ‘what’ is planned at each level. There should be enough detail for a teacher to pick up the plan and teach from it.

Below is an example for one level (based on a study of Federation) of how much planning is expected.

1. Get Interest

Revise previously investigated question in unit …‘How was Australia governed between 1788 and Federation?’

Introduce the Federation Herald by asking students to suggest ways people heard the news in the nineteenth century. (copy on interactive whiteboard)

Students asked to identify type of source…(explain that this is an adapted copy of a real letter that was published in the Argus newspaper.)

Provide each student with a copy of newspaper article. Students read and highlight words they are unfamiliar with

Highlight features such as:

the old-fashioned language
the use of the word ‘colony’ instead of ‘state’
the use of the term ‘federation’.

Using the information in letter ask the students to explain what the letter writer is complaining about. Discuss questions such as:

Do you think this is a letter that has been written recently? Why?
What actually happened to this man and his wife?
Why is he referring to ‘colonies’ rather than states?
Who set the regulations?
Why might he be blaming Victoria for this problem rather than South Australia or New South Wales?
Do you think this sort of thing would happen today when you crossed the border between South Australia and Victoria? Why?

The following is the word template we are to use:

Sequence Inquiry Question:

Answer (generalisation):

Outcome (or equivalent) being addressed:

1. Get interested

2. Find out

3. Sort information

4. Answer the question

5. Make connections

6. Evaluation

Information sources used to teach this inquiry sequence:

Level 1. Get interested
Level 2. Find out
Level 5. Make Connections

Indication of where and how assessment will occur:

Use the following content description from the Australian Year 4 curriculum (ACARA): The diversity of Australia’s first peoples and the long and continuous connection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples to Country/ Place (land, sea, waterways and skies) and the implications for their daily lives. (ACHHK077)

The template printed above is a word document that I can convert to a PDF and attach to an email if need be. Let me know.

These are the Topic notes for this assignment:

1 The inquiry model
Lifelong learning

Previous Topic notes and the recommended readings have hopefully led you to a point where you can see that pedagogical changes are a result of both reaction to a current practice and rigorous and reliable research (Taylor, 2012, p. 124). Whilst the former often instigates the latter, it is important to be aware of, and stay updated, with current research for best practice teaching.

As previously discussed, social science teaching is aimed to develop life long learning skills that will enable students to participate effectively as active citizens of their local, national and global community. As a result, a teaching methodology that allows students to form opinions, develop values and understand the perspectives and values of others is a crucial part of social science teaching.

Likewise, students need to be able to apply their learning about their world to real-life contexts, issues and problems. We will explore the inclusion of different perspectives and values in another Topic. Such learning will not result with a focus only on achieving mastery of fact-based content. As a result, inquiry learning which takes a student centred approach, where students progressively build skills to support a range of different types of thinking, underpins both the current HSIE/SOSE documents and the Australian Curriculum documents that have been developed for history and geography in the new national curriculum. If students are to achieve the purpose set by The Foundation to Year 10 Australian Curriculum: History, “to develop students’ capacities and attitudes to be active and informed citizens, to understand the forces that shape societies, and to use transferable concepts and skills associated with the process of historical inquiry” (Australian Curriculum and Reporting Authority [ACARA], 2011, p. 1) then the development of a purposeful range of both knowledge and skills is mandated. This is mirrored by the Australian Curriculum: Geography (ACARA, 2013), in which students develop “the capacity to be competent, critical and creative users of geographical inquiry methods and skills” (p.1)

It is important to note that within inquiry methodology there is a range of models that teachers can draw on. Likewise the teaching strategies that teachers use within these models should reflect what we know about what effective teachers do to assist student learning.

Whilst inquiry learning underpins most of our social science teaching we must not lose sight of why we use this methodology and thus the need to incorporate the methods best suited to achieve purposeful lifelong learning. Inquiry learning does not mean that we leave students to their own devices. As Taylor (2012, p. 124) so aptly describes many people’s incorrect interpretation of this methodology, it “is not just about sending students to the library to ‘research’, asking them to ‘do a Google’ or getting them to cut and paste a Wikipedia entry”.

Inquiry methodology

Fundamental to inquiry methodology is the belief that students need to build their own understandings. Younger students need concrete resources and all students benefit through ‘hands-on’ learning and authentic contexts. Whilst not all inquiry is problem solving or issue based, both these teaching strategies are regularly incorporated to ensure learning is both relevant and challenging.

Inquiry is always introduced in question format rather than a ‘topic’. The aim is to systematically build conceptual understanding rather than a thematic approach that is often extremely broad and has no clear learning objectives. How this question is framed is important as the wording can dictate what the teacher thinks is the answer and/or convey the values intended. Sometimes this is appropriate when it is a core value but, on the whole, the aim is to allow students to ‘discover’ why and how rather than just proving what has already been assumed! Consider the question: ‘Why are National Parks important? This question would be so much more open and useful if students were able to inquire and find out for themselves about National Parks and from their research conclude that National Parks are important for a number of reasons, not the least being their protection of heritage and Aboriginal sites. Consequently, the preferable wording for this question would be ‘Why do we have National Parks?’ We hope you can see the difference because these semantics completely change the investigation and often the attitude of the learner.

Usually a ‘focus’ question outlines the investigation and this is ‘unpacked’ by a number of contributing questions. The focus question usually encompasses what most schools refer to as a ‘Unit of Work’ and is intended to develop the necessary knowledge relevant to a particular outcome(s). The focus question will be answered once all of the contributing questions have been covered. The unit would be ‘wrapped’ up by the teacher in a discussion around the focus question at the end of a unit.

The contributing (also known as sequencing) questions are still ‘open’ questions but they ensure that students explore the necessary information needed to build an answer to the focus question. By having several ‘contributing’ questions, students do not get overwhelmed and are able to methodically build understanding of the topic/issue being explored. Thus if students were to explore the focus question of ‘How did children’s lives in the past differ from ours today?’ this would be broken down into several contributing questions:

What was school like in the past?
How have toys and games changed or remained the same?
What roles and responsibilities did children have in the past?

Through answering these contributing questions (in the above order), students would come to a good understanding of how changes have occurred due to technology and different lifestyles, as well as understanding that some aspects remain constant. Thus, the activities that are used within each of these contributing questions (such as interviewing grandparents, viewing old photos and handling artefacts) allow the students to compare their lifestyle with that of the past. Each of these contributing questions is thus a separate investigation that will build to the answer of the focus question.

Note: A common error we see in assignments is students thinking they can plan for and get students to answer the focus question in one inquiry sequence. The result is an overwhelming amount of information, for primary students, and a large number of tangents and/or thematic styled activities that do not result in deep learning.

Also important to understand is that an inquiry sequence is not a lesson plan. Depending on the focus question heading the unit of work, and the class stage, some teachers may only complete two focus questions a term. Thus an inquiry sequence (contributing question) may well run over several lessons and the teacher must use judicious planning as to when breaks in the inquiry will be best accommodated.

Most importantly inquiry leads students from basic thinking skills such as remembering and recall to the higher thinking skills of analysis and evaluation. Inquiry learning allows for conceptual development that is now considered essential for both history and geography learning. “Central to current approaches to thinking in both geography and history is the notion that learning should allow students to develop and use contextualised higher order thinking skills to ask questions and solve problems (Boon, 2012, p. 79).

Crucial to inquiry is that the teacher has identified the learning goals (in conjunction with curriculum/syllabus outcomes) that the learners will be expected to achieve. The next step is to interest the students in the topic/issue, introduce the question to be investigated, find out what they already know and by some exposure to the issue/topic motivate students to pose further questions. So the first level of inquiry is: What is about? Are we interested?

The next level is assisting students to find relevant information and this is where, if not carefully planned and scaffolded, much time and energy can be wasted. I wonder how many of you, (as part of your primary education) had the experience of copying (or cut and pasting and printing) huge chunks of information onto cardboard sheets and adding pictures and headings to create a ‘project’ that was displayed in the classroom. Despite the time often spent on these (usually a homework assignment capable of reducing parents to tears) most students could not explain their topic in their own words and certainly were unable to pick out the parts that had importance or relevance to their lives.

These days, thanks to technology, students have access to a much greater range of information but need to be increasingly skilled in evaluating whether it is both reliable and relevant to their topic. Thus fact-finding can be lower order thinking on one level but the analysis of whether the information is usable is higher order. Younger students need teachers to provide them with appropriate sources of information but the teacher needs to build up the knowledge of why and how the information sources are suitable. This is one of the specified skills in the Australian Curriculum: History (and the new Board of Studies, NSW, 2012, History Syllabus K-6). Unless using a cooperative learning strategy (each member of the group finds out one part of the information needed) it is best to have younger students using one rich and reliable information source from which to gain information. The use of multiple information sources can be overwhelming for younger students and result in confusion rather than deep learning. So at this second level students need to find: What? Where? When? Who?

Once students have the necessary information, they then need to organise it into a usable form so they can see how it all fits together to answer the inquiry question. This is where the teacher needs to ensure that facts are grouped into concepts and these are displayed simply so students can see the relationships. Often a graphic organiser such as a table, Venn diagram or consequence chart is the easiest way to do this. Imagine you had taken a Stage 1 class to a home that depicted life a century ago. The inquiry question is:

How can we see that the present is different from or similar to the past? (Board of Studies, NSW, 2012, p. 38).

Students will have been shown a range of period items from irons, mangles, butter churns, gramophones, bell systems (to summon servants) ceramic hot water bottles and so on. To analyse and organise all this factual knowledge a Venn diagram could be used to show what items we still have (albeit in a changed form) such as irons and those that are different such as computers and mobile phones.

The next level is where the teacher uses discussion and careful questioning to assist students to understand the concepts being built up i.e. change, continuity, cause and effect and technology. It is crucial at this stage that students understand the vocabulary being used and are thus building the concepts needed to form the ‘big ideas’ that we call generalisations. For example: ‘the introduction of electricity changed many household appliances and less people were needed to do the household work like washing, ironing and cooking’. This is where the students answer the inquiry question and often a written or other assessable activity is used here for the teacher to gain feedback on individual understanding and learning progress.

Up to this level you may be thinking ‘this is all very familiar’. However, it is the following two levels that teachers often skip and that deprive students of understanding the relevance of the learning and applying this learning in a meaningful way. Once student know something then they need to evaluate how this knowledge is used – can it be applied to other areas of learning? What could happen if…? (this is not some fantasy world you enter but real life problem solving of how we can make a difference or effect change) What ought to happen? A new information source is used at this stage to enable students to further explore or transfer the concepts and skills being learned.

The final level need not be long but it is essential to lifelong learning. This last level is where the teacher and students reflect both on what was learned and also how it was learned. Students are able to identify what was useful and relevant to them and how they might use their learning. Younger students in particular, have difficulty with learning transfer and reflection such as this helps them to make the links that are so essential for effective learning.

Evaluating how you learned something is one of the first steps to becoming an independent learner who can choose appropriate strategies to find, organise, display and communicate knowledge and understanding. Explicit discussion on whether a Venn diagram or a table best met their needs when organising their information gives students the clear understanding that there are choices to be made and there is more than one way to learn. This reflection stage allows the teacher to link the learning with the next question to be investigated or, if it is the last question, to ensure that students understand how they have answered the focus question.

Read (This activity is recommended to reflect more deeply on issues associated with using Inquiry in the classroom)

Reynolds (2014) Chapter 2 Prescribed text

The following also cover this area:

Marsh and Hart (2011) Chapter 6

Taylor (2012) Chapter 8

Gilbert and Hopper (2014) Chapters 3 and 10


What do these researchers cite as the advantages and problems associated with inquiry teaching?

Would all classrooms experience the same issues with inquiry teaching? Why/Why not?

What strategies can teachers use to resolve these issues?

An Inquiry Model

This unit aims to give you an introduction to cognitive inquiry and provide you with a model from which you can later (in your own teaching practice) build on or modify to suit your needs. Using the same model through this unit allows us to have a common language to discuss the concepts we are introducing and developing and to enable us to consistently refer to and model the procedures we are teaching. The model below is adapted from the “IGASAR” model in the HSIE syllabus K-6 (Board of Studies, NSW, 2006, p. 12)

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