Social Studies clarifications

Social Studies clarifications

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91280: Conduct a reflective social inquiry

Updated May 2015. This document has been updated in its entirety to address new issues that have arisen from moderation.

Collected material

Collected material must be relevant to the focus of the inquiry and should come from a range of both primary and secondary sources. A primary source means original material that is collected first hand and is usually unedited, such as interviews, news reports, blogs, etc., whereas a secondary source means material that others have collected, such as books, feature articles in newspapers, etc.

Points of view, values and perspectives

Students need to explain more than one point of view, value and perspective.

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.

Values are the reasons why someone might think a particular way about something. The explanation needs to link to the values or beliefs that have influenced the person/group’s point of view, and can come from such things as their role in society, their cultural or political beliefs.

Perspectives/ideologies are what shape a person/group’s specific beliefs and values. They are the ‘big umbrellas’ under which people think a particular way about something, and discussion must involve more than just naming a specific, recognised ideology. It is important that the students can link the beliefs and values held by the person/group to a relevant ideology or belief system.

Scaffolding students’ work for points of view, values and perspectives

Students must use their own words, but it often helps to scaffold their work with prompts to:

  • identify the person or group
  • name the issue/event/action the person or group has a point of view on
  • explain why the person/group holds a particular point of view
  • explain how the person/group’s values/beliefs shape their point of view
  • explain how perspectives/ideologies shape the person/group’s values/beliefs
  • back explanations up with a quotation.

Justified generalisations outside the context

Students need to use the points of view, values and perspectives and the social actions that were identified and considered, and apply these to another context/setting. For example:

  • the same issue/social actions in a different place
  • the application of similar issue/actions from the student’s issue to another issue
  • the implications for different groups not studied in the original inquiry.
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