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Why does the Civics and Citizenship make reference to contemporary events and issues?
Considering contemporary issues and events provides a way of linking the theory about democratic and political institutions and democratic values to real world examples. Events and issues such as proposals for changes to the law, local planning issues, elections, debates over international whaling, debates about refugee intake and national aid programs to support other nations allow students to appreciate and understand the nature of democratic government and decision-making. Making connections between what is learned in class and events or issues is vital to the study of Civics and Citizenship. Integrating these events and issues into the teaching and learning program enables the curriculum to be taught through relevant and contemporary contexts.
Should every content description in the curriculum be taught?
Each strand contains content descriptions, but these content descriptions should not be regarded as a checklist. Content descriptions within strands may be considered collectively and the teaching and learning program may draw together the content descriptions from different strands into ‘topics’/units of work. This will allow the content to be covered in a meaningful way.
Does my school need to have a specific Civics and Citizenship subject to deliver the curriculum?
No, the Civics and Citizenship curriculum can be delivered in a variety of flexible and relevant ways depending upon the school curriculum plan, resources available and ensuring the needs of the students are met.
Delivery methods could be, for example, through an integrated Humanities subject, a cross-curriculum approach where the appropriate components of different areas are incorporated to provide a locally relevant unit or theme, or a dedicated ‘day/week’ where the curriculum is covered through activities/speakers/excursions. It is important when planning integrated units that there is still explicit teaching of the specific content and assessment to progress student learning.
What is the place of active citizenship in the Civics and Citizenship curriculum?
Active citizenship focuses on the actions that citizens can take to improve their community. ‘Community’ may refer to the school community, the local community, the state, the nation or the global community. Active participation may be as small as improving a classroom recycling program or include large school-community social service programs, student leadership programs, volunteer programs and partnership programs with local councils or groups outside the school. The curriculum encourages students to consider the ways they can participate in school, local, state, national and global communities. They are also asked to consider options and arguments in relation to issues of community concern and develop action plans to address these. The nature of active citizenship will differ between schools.
Do all students in Years 9 and 10 have to study
Civics and Citizenship?
In the pathways stage of schooling (Years 9-10) students should have the opportunity to engage with the full structure of the Victorian Curriculum. The school curriculum plan should demonstrate how across these two years of schooling students will be offered a program that includes the History curriculum.
The school curriculum plan should recognise that in these two years of schooling some students begin to focus on areas of specialisation related to both their future schooling and intended pathways beyond school. The learning program for these Pathways years can, therefore, be based on the curriculum areas set out in the Victorian Curriculum, or where a student has already demonstrated achievement of the knowledge and skills at level 10, senior secondary studies could be drawn from equivalent curriculum areas.