Teacher: Mr Lyndon Darko
Human Society and Its Environment (HSIE) covers the content areas of History and Geography. While History is soon to become a Federally mandated subject in its own right, it currently sits next to Geography under the HSIE mantle. Together, they coexist in a manner that links man and our living with the world in which we live.
History is all about people, motives and consequences.
‘How can we live together if we don’t appreciate our own and others’ histories?’
(Holocaust survivor Hadasa Rosenbaum, as quoted in Taylor,T, The Future of the Past, Faculty of Education, Monash University, Melbourne, 2000).
History is a disciplined process of inquiry into the past that allows students to locate themselves in the broad continuum of human experience. It enables students to appreciate and enjoy the human endeavours and achievements of the past, both for their own intrinsic interest and for their legacy to later generations. History provides opportunities for students to explore human actions in a range of historical contexts and encourages them to develop understanding of motivation, causation, consequence and empathy.
The study of History provides the intellectual skills to enable students to critically analyse and interpret sources of evidence in order to construct reasoned explanations, hypotheses about the past and a rational and informed argument. History also enables students to understand, deconstruct and evaluate differing interpretations of the past. The cognitive skills of analysis, evaluation and synthesis underpin the study of history and equip students with the ability to understand and evaluate the political, cultural and social events and issues that have shaped the world around them.
Geography is a rich and complex discipline involving two key dimensions:
The study of Geography develops a wide range of skills such as gathering, organising and evaluating geographical information from a variety of sources, including fieldwork. Through the spatial dimension, geography enables students to identify and analyse the physical, social, economic, political, legal and technological factors that influence where things are and why they are there. The ecological dimension requires students to identify and analyse the ways humans interact with environments and in so doing develops students’ skills in evaluating arguments and problem-solving. Culture is a key determinant of people’s lives and worldview and through the study of Geography students develop knowledge and understanding of different cultures and develop perspectives that enhance their understanding of the world.
Studying Geography enables students to critically assess the ideas and opinions of others and to form and express their own ideas and arguments. In so doing it forms a basis for active participation in community life, ecological sustainability, creating a just society, promoting intercultural understanding and lifelong learning. Through the study of civics and citizenship students develop knowledge of the decision-making processes that exist at a variety of scales, which informs them of ways they can participate as responsible and informed members of society.
HSIE as part of the curriculum
HSIE is compulsory in Year 7-10. In each year, students study geography for a semester and history for a semester. Modern History, Ancient History and Geography are offered in Year 11 and 12.
Recommended homework hours
Year 7-8 should spend approximately 1 hour per week in HSIE homework. Year 9-10 should spend approximately 2 hours per week and Year 11-12 should spend approximately 3 hours per week