Evidence Group 6 – History Curriculum

Yr 7 Common Assessment Task

This piece of evidence displays practice of 2.4: Understand and respect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to promote reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. 

As a part of year 7 History curriculum we look at Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories within Australia. In 2016, this included a common assessment task that all of the schools in our network complete in order to moderate across the four schools.

The task required students to interpret and analyse a number of different primary and secondary sources, and write about whether or not tourists should be allowed to climb Uluru. They needed to use evidence from the different sources to help them support their views.

As I read through some of the answers to this question in particular, I was somewhat concerned by the lack of respect and understanding for the Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander histories, culture and beliefs. Example here.

Once students were given their assessment tasks back I conducted a short class discussion  around their responses. This helped to highlight the respectful views and opinions shared by the majority of the group, and encouraged students to teach each other about their own understandings.

At the end of this lesson I spoke individually to the few students I was concerned with, asking about their answers, and whether or not the lesson had changed those views. The discussion, along with a short study on ‘Mungo Man’ in the lessons after the assessment task, the students expressed their new respect for cultural sights such as Uluru. Many had been approaching the question with a logical and economic mindset, rather than considering the people involved.


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