The New South Wales Higher School Certificate (HSC) syllabus has been given a radical overhaul for the first time in 16 years.
The new syllabus moves away from a “social context” approach to teaching that critics — particularly in science academia — argued had led to a “dumbing down” of subject matter.
- Overhaul of curriculum to focus on science concepts rather than their context. For example, instead of writing essays about famous physicists, students will be studying the quantitative theories
- Increased mathematical content especially in physics and chemistry
- A focus on learning scientific principles, theories and laws
- Option topics such as The Chemistry of Art have been scrapped
- More practical investigations
- Up to 15 hours each year of “depth studies” to allow students to investigate concepts in more detail
- Deeper study of texts across all levels with a focus on quality literature
- Year 11 standard and advanced courses now have a mandatory first module, Reading to Write, that focuses on developing essential skills required for senior study and to refine writing skills
- Focus on digital literacy skills in year 11 English standard module Contemporary Possibilities
- The year 12 common module areas of study — including Journeys, Discovery, Belonging — are scrapped
- New module The Craft of Writing now mandatory in standard and advanced courses
- Completely new syllabus topic The Shaping of the Modern World, which includes The Enlightenment, The French Revolution, The Age of Imperialism, and The Industrial Age
- Focus on key ideas and Western traditions including the ideas that shaped democracy and liberty, inalienable rights, and the expansion of capitalism
- World War I is shifted from year 12 to year 11
- World War II topics retained
- Requirement that students study a non-European/Western study
- Retained focus on Aboriginal history
In standard maths, there will be a focus on online data and its application in a new topic area known as Networks.
- Extension of current syllabus to incorporate more complex concepts
- New topic: Financial Mathematics
- Statistical analysis now introduced at advanced level as well as extension 1
- New topic of vectors has been added, providing stronger links to engineering and other STEM-related concepts
- New topic of combinatorics
- New topics: more advanced studies in vectors and proof
- The topic circular motion has been removed and replaced by enhanced calculus content
- Study of complex numbers including Euler’s formula
* The new syllabus will be rolled out in 2018
Source: NSW Education Standards Authority
This post originally appeared on ABC News.
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