High Possibility Classrooms: Creating iHistorians and iGeographers

Publisher:
NSW Department of Education and Training
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Scan: the Journal for Educators, 2015, 34 (3), pp. 20 - 27
Issue Date:
2015
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The newly released NSW syllabus for the Australian curriculum: Geography K–10, based on the Australian Curriculum for Geography F-10, sits alongside the syllabus developed by the NSW Board of Studies Teaching and Educational Standards (BOSTES) for History K-10. Both documents open up captivating possibilities for re-imagining how History and Geography are taught in NSW schools. The new Australian Curriculum, and the NSW syllabuses for the Australian curriculum in History and Geography, provide opportunities for rich technology-enhanced learning. The terms iHistorians and iGeographers in the title of the article are used to capture the necessary hook of technology in learning these subjects in school classrooms. The iHistorian notion can be attributed to a blog post published by Amy Kingsley in January 2015. It is predicted that fascinating content in both existing and developing curriculum, combined with engaging pedagogy using inquiry methods, will encourage more teachers to experiment with History and Geography in ways not previously considered. A sense of re-imagining in the NSW History K–10 syllabus was inspired by the blog post referred to above. Although it is written in the single context of a Kindergarten class in a school in Manchester England, some important points are made about technology-enhanced learning in History. For example, iPads are used with different groups of students to embed historical content by creating everything from movie trailers in iMovie on Roman emperors to making simple books on the animals used in The First World War, using Book Creator. What Amy enacts in her British classroom holds pedagogical relevance for teaching primary History in Australia and re-affirms the critical necessity of engaging students’ inventiveness and creativity. This article explores how Amy Kingsley’s notion can be used for proposing technology-enhanced learning in History and Geography in primary schools using the model of High Possibility Classrooms. This model was developed from research in exemplary teachers’ classrooms in NSW public schools (Hunter, 2013; Hunter, 2014; Hunter, 2015a). Before looking at some case study examples, it is necessary to understand more about the High Possibility Classrooms model.
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