Social Studies clarifications

Social Studies clarifications

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AS91040 Conduct a social inquiry

Updated August 2017. This document has been updated in its entirety to address new issues that have arisen from moderation.

Collected material

Learners need to collect information from primary and secondary sources. For the purpose of this standard:

  • a primary source means original material that is collected first hand, and is usually unedited, such as interviews, news reports, blogs, etc.
  • a secondary source means material others have collected, such as books, feature articles in newspapers, etc.

Using an ethical framework

The standard asks learners to use an ethical framework. This involves more than just referencing. Evidence of an ethical framework could include, for example, acknowledgement of sources, recognition of bias, verification of the accuracy of information against other sources of information, and evidence that permission has been sought for surveys.

Points of view

Points of view are what people think about something (their opinion or attitude towards an issue, an action, or an event). A quote itself is not enough to show understanding. Students should first identify the point of view, and then describe exactly what the person/group thinks about this issue, action or event. The quote is evidence to back up this explanation

Learners need to provide more than one point of view and more than one contrasting point of view. ‘Contrasting points of view’ do not have to be opposing viewpoints. Viewpoints could be similar, but come from different perspectives.

The final product

The focus of this standard is on the social inquiry process and how the information gathered relates to that inquiry. Students do not need to write a report answering their research questions, but they must provide evidence that they have conducted a social inquiry and how the collected information relates to the focus, either by annotating the information or by providing a short description of the information’s relevance.



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