What is HASS? 7 Questions and Answers about the changes to the Australian Curriculum

What is HASS? 
I've heard people ask this question a lot lately, so I thought I would create a blog post about it.

In the Australian curriculum version 7.5 the subjects of History, Geography, Civics and Citizenship, Economics and Business were individual subjects. 

However, in the newly updated Australian curriculum version 8.3 these subjects have been combined into one learning area called Humanities and Social Sciences (HASS). 

1. What does this mean for teachers?
A significant reduction in the amount of content descriptors we need to wade through when trying to teaching these subjects.

2. Is the content different for History or Geography in Foundation - Year 3?
No. The concepts covered are the same but the level of detail the Australian Curriculum provides on these has been reduced to make it easy to combine these subjects into HASS.

3. What is humanities?
In the past, History was the study of past events and Geography was a the study of maps. However, this has changed over the last 10 years and History and Geography is more a humanities subject in primary school with an exploration of cultural, social and economic forces that shape people and areas. 

4. Is HASS still inquiry based?
Yes. Critical thinking is the bedrock of all subjects as is problem solving. Thinking and responding to inquiry questions helps students to explore key historic and geographic skills required when responding. 

5. What are some of the key ideas covered by HASS in Foundation to Year 6?
The subject sub-strands explore the knowledge and understanding students need to have when studying HASS. The key ideas are:

  • Who we are, who came before us, and traditions and values that have shaped societies. 
  • How societies and economies operate and how they are changing over time.
  • The ways people, places, ideas and events are perceived and connected.
  • How people exercise their responsibilities, participate in society and make informed decisions
To find out more click here to go to the Australian Curriculum website.

6. Will I have to teach Civics and Citizenship in early primary?
No. All years need to teach History and Geography. Civics does not start until Year 3 and Economics and Business does not begin until Year 5. However, these curricula are still being rolled out so if you have any doubts talk to your Head of Curriculum within your school.

7. Where can I find resources that are aligned to the Australian curriculum?
TechTeacherPto3 provides History and Geography resources that are aligned to the Australian curriculum and neatly address each of the Knowledge and Understanding required for Foundation to Year 3 (see image below). 

To view TechTeacherPto3's full range of Australian aligned History and Geography resources

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