Agora 2024-1 Teaching the Capabilities through History

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Teaching the Capabilities through History | Agora vol. 59 no. 1 (2024)

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Reflection Ashley Keith Pratt
Editorial Guy Nolch

Research and analysis
Teaching Indigenous Histories through Indigenous Ways of Knowing and Being
Ken Hayward, Libby Jackson-Barrett, Mary-anne Macdonald and Sarah Booth, Edith Cowan University

Teaching Indigenous histories requires an understanding that time and place are not linear in Aboriginal cultures, but are connected through changes in relationships.

Reflections on the theme
Critical Evaluation of Who Edits Wikipedia Entries, and Why
Heather Ford, University of Technology, Sydney

The evolution of a Wikipedia page about the Egyptian protests in 2011 provides a fascinating example of the need for critical thinking about knowledge produced in the digital age.
Critical Thinking about Colonial News Reports of Attacks by Indigenous Tasmanians
Lyndon Pratt, Bacchus Marsh Grammar

Reports that Indigenous attacks on Tasmanian settlers were led by rogue ‘blacktracker’ Musquito provide useful material for students to evaluate the evidence and claims presented in original sources.
Teaching Intercultural Capability Starts with a Diverse History Curriculum
Brad Nguyen, Docklands Primary School

Teaching the history of cultures from every continent can be achieved over several years of schooling in which content is carefully sequenced and taught in a structured and cumulative way.
Integrating Intercultural Capabilities in the History Classroom
Byron Haast, St Michael’s Grammar and Phillip O’Brien and Dafina Spahiu, McKinnon Secondary College

Engagement with different cultures, curriculum design, teaching strategies and assessment methods can all be employed to incorporate intercultural capabilities within the History curriculum.
Making Space for First Nations Peoples in Intercultural Understandings
Thara Brown, Culture Is Life and Scott Alterator, La Trobe University

The intercultural capabilities must begin with cross-curriculum priority learning about Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures.
How to Foster Respectful Discussions when People Disagree on an Issue
Nyree Wilson, Dandenong High School

Building students’ social and emotional capacity can create communities of learners who work cooperatively with each other and participate in reasoned and respectful discussion.
Teaching War Histories to Students with Personal Experiences of Warfare
Dr Bronwyn Cook, Monash University and Dandenong High School

Victoria’s classrooms have a high proportion of refugee students for whom the history of warfare is confronting, but there are ways teachers can approach these topics with sensitivity.
The Capabilities Gained from Studying History Will Get You a Good Job, Studying STEM Might Not
Peter Acton, Humanities 21

History studies develop capabilities that employers in a range of sectors value.
Approaches for Activating the Ethical Understanding Capability
Selena Prior, Federation University

History provides case studies that navigate complex ethical scenarios in a way that no other learning area can. Here are some approaches to incorporating the curriculum’s ethical capability.
Teaching Ethical Capability through History
Aristidis Galatis, The University of Melbourne

By critically exploring the traits, actions and motivations of people in the past, History teachers are well-placed to develop students’ ethical thinking and decision-making.

Teaching ideas
Pharaoh: Creative and Critical Thinking at the NGV
Johanna Petkov and David Menzies, National Gallery of Victoria

Historical objects on display in the National Gallery of Victoria’s upcoming exhibition Pharaoh offer students the opportunity to extend their critical and creative thinking skills through object-based learning.
The Story Box of Life: Sharing Identities through Objects
Annelies Van de Ven and Sharyn Volk, The Hands-on-Humanities Project

Objects demonstrate a unique ability to inspire storytelling, open conversations, grow connections, and develop observation, analysis and interpretation skills while nurturing intercultural empathy.
Why Did Colonial Art Make Australia Look So English?
Sue Rabbitt Roff, University of Dundee

The Anglicisation of early settler art reflects intercultural misunderstandings in the first 25 years of contact.
The Power of Socially Shared Regulation of Learning
Nathan Wood-Davies, Port Melbourne Secondary College

Socratic Circles are an effective way to help students achieve the personal and social capabilities by working together to meet the same learning goals.
Teaching the Capabilities through a Variety of Historical Tasks
Diana Millar, Author and former teacher

History teachers can employ some simple activities that address the four capabilities outlined in the curriculum. Here are some you can use in your class.

Reviews available online

Dreamers and Schemers
By Frank Bongiorno
Reviewed by Sue Rabbitt Roff, University of Dundee

The Emperor's Grace
By Mark Baker
Reviewed by Linda Letten, St Paul’s Anglican Grammar School

Australia: A new more inclusive history
By Michael S. Pahoff
Reviewed by Katrina Burge, Upwey High School

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