DEC Scan Journal : Volume 33 Issue 3
2014 Volume 33, Issue 3 40 Contents Editorial Currents Teaching & learning Research Curriculum support Share this Resource reviews Michael Murray is an educational consul- tant who was formerly the chief education officer, English, with NSW Department of Education and Communities. In his article, he outlines how teachers of English and teacher librarians can prepare to teach and support the resourcing of the new Area of Study: Discovery. A new Area of Study 2014/5 is a significant year for the 2 unit English courses because it is the first year of implementation of English Stage 6: prescriptions:Area of Study, electives and texts : Higher School Certificate 2015–2020. This document prescribes the electives and texts available for HSC English study in any given year. Significant to all three courses is the launch of a new Area of Study, Discovery, replacing the previous Area of Study, Belonging. Stage 6 English teachers need to be prepared for the challenges of the new Area of Study before the HSC English courses commence in Term 4. Teacher librarians in secondary schools will want to support teachers and students working with this new Area of Study, and will therefore need to make preparations also. Parameters for study English teachers, students and teacher librarians should be aware that the parameters for the study of English are set broadly by the English: stage 6 syllabus and specifically by the English stage 6: prescriptions:Area of Study, electives and texts : Higher School Certificate 2015–2020. To prepare for Area of Study: Discovery, they will need to engage with both: • The rubric broadly outlining the Area of Study in the syllabus: (Note the rubrics for Area of Study in standard English page 29, and advanced, page 46, are identical, as this is a common aspect of the two courses. The rubric for ESL, page 67, has some similarities, but particularly involves the study of language through the Area of Study). • The rubric particularly defining the Area of Study: Discovery in English stage 6: prescriptions: Area of Study, electives and texts : Higher School Certificate 2015–2020: (Note that the prescriptions rubrics are again identical for standard and advanced courses, page 9, while similar, but also different, for ESL, page 22). Discovery as a concept The key statement in the prescriptions document rubric for Area of Study: Discovery is as follows: This Area of Study requires students to explore the ways in which the concept of discovery is represented in and through texts. Prescriptions, p.9 SERGEYNIVENS/shutterstock.com What do we mean by a concept? A concept is a big, often complex and dynamic, idea. It can be considered from different perspectives. It is helpful to distinguish concept from similar notions, such as topic and theme. Think of a text as like an iceberg. The tip of the iceberg is the topic, or what the text is obviously about. Beneath the surface of the text is the theme, or possibly several themes, which might only be discerned after careful investigation of the text. But the concept sits outside the text. A wide range of texts taps into this big idea in a variety of ways. In our analogy, the concept is more like the ocean current that swirls about the iceberg, indeed many icebergs. Like an ocean current, a concept is dynamic, changing according to context and perspective. It is important that students develop an appreciation of the complex and dynamic nature of discovery as a concept and that they reflect this deep understanding in their HSC responses. Will the real concept please stand up? Note that, in the key statement from the prescriptions document quoted above, students are required to explore the ways in which the concept of discovery is represented.
Volume 33 Issue 4
Volume 33 Issue 2