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Course - History Elective

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 on 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 provides students with an opportunity to critique the world in which they live, consider complex questions about human sin and be reminded of the need for a Saviour in Jesus Christ.

Objectives 

Students will develop: 

  • a knowledge and understanding of history and historical inquiry
  • a knowledge and understanding of past societies and historical periods
  • skills to undertake the processes of historical inquiry
  • skills to communicate their understanding of history.

Students will value and appreciate:

  • history as a study of human experience
  • the opportunity to develop a lifelong interest in and enthusiasm for history
  • the nature of history as reflecting differing perspectives and viewpoints
  • the opportunity to contribute to a just society through informed citizenship
  • the contribution of past and present people to our shared heritage.

Download the PDF (below) to get the full course description.

FAQ

What will studying History do for you?

1. Understand Current Events
To figure out where we are going, we need to know where we came from.  History is a “story about the past.” To understand what the future can look like, we need to look at stories from the past and understand their contexts. Case in point: the world’s current geopolitical divides didn’t happen overnight. They happened over time, through a series of large and small events. To understand how they happened, we need to look at all the historical events that shaped the world’s divisions, so that we can attempt to shape positive outcomes. Historians determine how to tell the stories of the past to inform decisions of the future.

2. Define Identity
You are who you are—and history plays a role in that. How do families form? What shapes the community in which you live? Historical events can shape genealogy, the movement of families and large groups of people from one place to the other, the formation of communities, the formation of institutions, and even the formation of countries. Your family history partially defines who you are - what you value, why, and where you come from shape your interactions with the world. 

3. Understand Different Cultures
Why is it important to understand other cultures? Empathy. The ability to see the world from a different perspective. Despite cultural differences, all people want essentially the same things you do. Yes - we know there are exceptions. Ignorance breeds fear and violence (see #5). Ignorance of how other cultures see the world breeds fear of other cultures. Understanding other cultures in historical context gives us the tools to understand how other cultures function - and how to break down barriers. 

4. Understand Change
The butterfly effect. The domino effect. Call it what you will. Seemingly small events catalyse big ones - and there’s always a pattern, especially if you examine history. What kinds of events precipitate war? What kind of events precipitate peace? Periods of innovation follow dry spells. Why? By looking at history, you can begin to understand how change happens in the world. Consider WWI - over 37 million people lost their lives because Archduke Ferdinand was assassinated. That’s what started the conflict - but history shows us that even before Gavrilo Princip pulled the trigger, the world was in a tailspin over rapid, global imperialism. How does change happen? Pick one major historical event -  and look at the events that precipitated it, big and small.

5. Combat Ignorance
Why is ignorance dangerous? See #3. If we don’t know who we are (see #2), where we came from, how we got here, and where we’re going, we have no hope for correcting prior, devastating mistakes. As George Santayana said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” By studying history, we can try not to repeat the same mistakes. 

6. Open Doors
History can open doors to possibility. How? By inspiring us to be better people. Learn about one historical event—and questions will pop up. Dig deeper learn more. Learning more about the world around you, its people, its resources, and its history can only lead to a more informed life. And a more informed life leads to inspiration - and hopefully the desire to do good. Pick one thing you enjoy - and delve deep into its history.  You might shock yourself and learn about things you had no idea even existed. 

Broaden your perspective—and broaden your horizons - by studying history. You won’t be any worse for wear. The world needs informed, thoughtful people like you who have a sense of who they are, where they’re from, and where they’re going. Delve into the past. You won’t regret it

Why should I study history?

History helps you to understand the past which is interesting in and of itself. The subject helps you to weigh up multiple interpretations of events, which is a very useful skill for understanding the world you live in.

Is history relevant today?

It certainly is! You’ll be able to better understand the world by appreciating the diversity of other cultures and their unique histories. You also hone real world skills such as critical thinking, writing, reading and communicating.

Will elective History benefit me if I choose History again in Year 11 and 12?

Yes! You’ll have an advantage over students who have not chosen elective history, as you’ll have spent many extra hours over a period of two years getting a better understanding of the subject. You’ll have improved in your understanding as well as exam specific capabilities like essay writing and factual knowledge of past events.

If you have further questions, please contact:
HSIE Coordinator - Mr Anthony Pollard
apollard@covenant.nsw.edu.au