At Christ Church, Humanities indicates the broad and encompassing philosophies embraced by the department and its staff in interpreting and implementing the Curriculum Framework in the subject areas of Geography, History and Commerce.
In Years 7 to 10, the discrete disciplines and themes of Humanities challenge the boys in many areas of study that are clearly identifiable as archaeology, anthropology, history, geography, sociology, commerce and so on. At the same time, the boys are encouraged to explore and investigate the links between the subject areas as well as those that exist with other learning areas.
The Department of Humanities holds as a fundamental tenet the notion that, as a Learning Area within the school, it holds a place at the hub of student learning. Consequently, the Overarching Outcomes are as much at the forefront of learning and teaching as are the more specific Learning Area Outcomes. ‘Investigation, Communication and Participation’ (ICP) is a specific outcome that allows course design and implementation to satisfactorily and effectively address several of the Overarching Outcomes. Through ICP students are provided with the opportunity to select and utilise resources, languages (not exclusively English) and technologies to demonstrate their learning.
Links, whether tacit or openly demonstrable, are created with the Arts, Sciences and Mathematics and student work in the Humanities frequently incorporates numerical skills, scientific investigation and method as well as dimensions of art, music and drama. In all learning situations the student’s personal, emotional, intellectual and spiritual growth is nurtured as a part of the experiences created in all Humanities classrooms.
Recognising that Year 7 boys have attained varied abilities in abstract thought, the context and strategies in this year seek to develop a position of security and comfort from which students are prepared to accept the challenges of more abstract investigation.
Essentially, courses in Years 7 to 10 move from local to global as the boys develop an awareness of the complexity of their local community and seek more sophisticated understandings of the interdependence of Australia with other communities and societies.
In pursuing these outcomes students are encouraged to identify and analyse the connections and relationships between people, ideas, beliefs, experiences and values within a range of contexts encompassing studies of cultures, societies, natural systems and political systems in time and space.
Students engaging in Humanities learning are challenged to be inquisitive, encouraged to take risks, to enter the unknown, to demonstrate tolerance and to support the efforts of others. In dealing with aspects of societies and cultures the need to understand and appreciate diverse values is critical and opportunities for boys to reflect on their own values, and those of others, are woven through all learning programs.
Humanities classrooms are friendly, encouraging environments that promote confidence in the boys as they undertake all aspects of their learning. Classes in Humanities provide a supportive environment where boys with all points of view and opinions may express themselves.
The department has a strong link with the Centre for Ethics and studies in Religious Education. These links further reinforce values education within the School and flow over into the School’s broader treatment of values through its various programs of self-development, pastoral care and spirituality.
Values education also figures strongly and prominently within the co-curricular and excursion program in which the department is involved. Here, issues of Human Rights, Social Justice, Racial Tolerance, Civic Responsibility and Environmental Responsibility feature as some of the regular themes.