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NSW Syllabuses

Rationale

History is a disciplined process of inquiry into the past that helps to explain how people, events and forces from the past have shaped our world. It allows students to locate and understand themselves and others in the continuum of human experience up to the present. History provides opportunities for students to explore human actions and achievements in a range of historical contexts. Students become aware that history is all around us and that historical information may be drawn from the physical remains of the past as well as written, visual and oral sources of evidence.

The study of History from Kindergarten to Year 10 investigates the actions, motives and lifestyles of people over time, from individuals and family members, to local communities, expanding to national and world history contexts. It introduces the idea that History contains many stories and that there is never only one uncontested version. There are many differing perspectives within a nation's history, and historians may interpret events differently depending on their point of view and the sources they have used. The study of History strengthens an appreciation for and an understanding of civics and citizenship. It also provides broader insights into the historical experiences of different cultural groups within our society and how various groups have struggled for civil rights, for example Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, migrants and women. History encourages students to develop an understanding of significant historical concepts such as cause and effect, change and continuity, significance, empathy and contestability.

History as a discipline has its own methods and procedures. It is much more than the simple presentation of facts and dates from the past. History provides the skills for students to answer the question 'How do we know?' An investigation of an historical issue through a range of sources can stimulate curiosity and develop problem-solving, research and critical thinking skills. It develops language specific to the discipline of History and provides opportunities to further develop literacy skills. Students learn to critically analyse and interpret sources of evidence in order to construct reasoned explanations and a rational and informed argument based on evidence, drawn from the remains of the past. Students engage in research involving traditional methods and ICT, including evaluating web-based sources and using a range of technologies for historical research and communication.