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Intercultural understanding in History

The following table expands on aspects of intercultural understanding and identifies examples of how this capability can be developed within the History curriculum. 

Note: Intercultural understanding in the Australian Curriculum suggests capabilities that students would typically display at the culmination of various levels of schooling. The levels in this chart relate to the following years of schooling.

Level 3 – Years 3/4
Level 4 – Years 5/6
Level 5 – Years 7/8
Level 6 – Years 9/10

Recognising culture and developing respect

Level Investigate culture and cultural identity Explore and compare cultural knowledge, beliefs and practices Develop respect for cultural diversity
3 Comparing national celebrations from several Asian countries (Yr.3)
Identifying knowledge and practices shared by the Macassans and the Yolngu people (Yr.4), as in First contact – Macassans
Listing significant cultural days observed by members of the class (Yr.3)
4 Exploring migration stories from students’ own family histories (Yr.5/6), as in Australians of Asia heritage – personal stories
Comparing the different methods used by Chinese and European miners on the Australian goldfields (Yr.5), as in Chinese migrants and the gold rush
Using primary sources to explore the contribution of an Asian migrant to Australia (Yr.5/6), as in We come to Australia
5 Explaining the factors that lead to the rise of imperial China (Yr.7) Examining ‘bushido’ – the chivalric code of conduct of the samurai (Yr.8), as in Feudal Japan
Investigating the history of Hinduism and its significance to India over time (Yr.7), as in Ancient India: the spread of Hinduism and Buddhism
6 Investigating the experiences of ‘Chinese Anzacs’ during World War 1 (Yr.9), as in Chinese ANZACs: A missing history?
Identifying the ways that globalisation and immigration from the Asia region have shaped the Australian community (Yr.10), as in The impact of the Vietnam War on immigration
Considering the ways in which international cricket competitions shape Australia’s relationships in the Asia region (Yr.10)

Interacting and empathising with others

Level Communicate across cultures
Consider and develop multiple perspectives
Empathise with others
3 Role-playing a trading session between Macassan traders and some Yolngu people (Yr.4), as in First contact – Macassans
Identifying the meaning of Australia Day for different members of the class or community (Yr.3)
Completing a Y chart  (looks like, feels like, sounds like) about a Diwali festival (Yr.3), as in Diwali
4 Exploring historic government publications, such as posters, which promote multiculturalism (Yr.6)
Completing a PMI (plus, minus, interesting) chart about the internment of Asians in Australia during WW2 (Yr.6)
Writing a letter home from the perspective of a Japanese pearl diver in Broome (Yr.5)

Investigating how Genghis Khan treated conquered peoples and his motivations for this (Yr.8), as in The rise of Genghis Khan

Role-playing characters from various social groupings in Ancient India to explore their experiences and attitudes (Yr.7), as in Ashoka and the Mauryan Empire
Creating an artwork about the Black Death (Yr.8), as in The Black Death of Asia
6 Investigating why a dictation test was used as the means of enforcing the Immigration Restriction Act (Yr.10)
Investigating the work of Christian missionaries in China at the turn of the 20th century from various perspectives (Yr.9)
Writing a diary entry for a Japanese soldier serving in World War 2 (Yr.10), as in Unscrambling acronyms: Australia–Japan relations

Reflecting on intercultural experiences and taking responsibility

Level Reflect on intercultural experiences
Challenge stereotypes and prejudices
Mediate cultural difference
3 Using historic images of the local community to identify Asian influences over time, such as religious buildings, Chinese cemeteries (Yr.3)
Discussing use of the terms ‘Asia’ and ‘Asians’ and how to avoid making generalisations  (Yr.3/4) Identifying the common beliefs and values of religions practised in Australia (Yr.3), as in Ramadan
4 Identifying things that Asian migrants have brought to Australia which could not be ‘packed’, for example skills, recipes, stories (Yr.5/6) Analysing primary sources about Indochinese refugees arriving in Australia as a result of the Vietnam War to identify examples of prejudice (Yr.6), as in Vietnamese migrant stories
Investigating the significance of anti-discrimination legislation for Australia (Yr.6)
5 Forming a personal response to quotations from Buddhist or Hindu texts (Yr.7), as in Ancient India: the spread of Hinduism and Buddhism
Analysing how Shoguns have been represented in art and film over time (Yr.8), as in Japan and the Shoguns
Debating the significance of Sun Tzu’s The Art of War as a class (Yr.7)
6 Reviewing and rating a Bollywood movie (Yr.10), as in Bollywood Identifying stereotypes about Asian peoples depicted in cartoons around the turn of the 20th century (Yr.9), as in Australian attitudes towards Chinese migrants
Critiquing the policy of multiculturalism as first introduced in the 1970s (Yr.10)

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