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WRITTEN REPORT – SOCIOLOGY – UNIT 1­ YOUTH The humanities involve the study of human societies and environments, people and their cultures in the

past and the present. (VCAA, 2007) The humanities framework in Victorian schools establishes a multidisciplinary approach to understanding the fields of human behaviour, social organization and physical environments. Sociology has much in common with the humanities, in that it represents a cluster of disciplines, which study human society and the dynamics that societies operate upon (Collins, 1994). In a post-modern context, both Sociology and the Humanities uses a range of primary and secondary sources to gather evidence, from recordings, to stories, to everyday objects, to multimedia (Campbell, 2006) Sociology is however a social science, due its scientific approach to research. The humanities skill-set, in a classical sense, has been analytic, critical, or speculative (Hoepper, 2006). The key skills in sociology have tended to emphasize the use of the scientific method in the study of humanity. Sociological research is made up primarily of Quantitative and qualitative methods, but also involves a variety of applied methods and approaches that investigate different aspects of human societies. Amid competing methodology students are exposed to the economic, political and cultural systems central to understanding changes in society. At a time of social change, new knowledge and identity shifts, sociology can have a wide range of subject matter, from the analysis of passing encounters between individuals in the street up to the investigation of world-wide social processes". (Giddens, 2006). Sociology provides insights into social change, our identities and social relations (VCAA, 2005). The study of youth explores the experiences of young people in a society shaped by social relations undergoing change. Issues relevant to the current generation include social justice for misrepresented young people, wealth distribution and apparent range of choices in many young people’s lives, emerging cultural and ethnic identities, changing media environments, and new contexts for defining the experience of being young. The overarching theme of this unit is to examine stereotypes of young people in a context characterised by a rich diversity in the ways young people live (VCAA, 2005). The outcome for unit one sociology students is to think about youth and adolescence as social categories, and discuss the experiences of young people within the context of social grouping (VCAA, 2005). To achieve this outcome the teaching sequence is planned around the empirical-evidence, ethnographic research, and critical analysis of representations found in various media, in the field, and within institutions. The wide-ranging source material, and variation of methods it requires allows students in this unit to present, report and discuss the category of youth in their society through a variety of technologies, communication activities, formal assessment tasks and higher-order processes.

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WRITTEN REPORT – SOCIOLOGY – UNIT 1­ YOUTH The multidimensional structure reflects the outcome and topic by emphasizing the usefulness of sociological analysis when thinking about social groups (Babbie, 2003). Recommendations from peer feedback indicated the layered and multidimensional structure of sequence created too many assessment tasks, with too heavy a reliance on student motivation. Acting on these observations the course is based on learning activities that address the knowledge and skills of the unit, however only four of these twelve tasks are formally assessed. Using multiple types of research methods helps students frame the social world in its many forms. Content analysis is used to study ‘youth’ stereotypes found in the mass media. The research tool is internet search engines ‘google’, ‘yahoo’, ‘bbc news’, ‘flickr’, ‘windows live’. The online platform is used by the students to gather a range of media material tagged ‘youth’. Students compare the dominant meanings found in the content by presenting the sources in a summarised form using a powerpoint presentation. Acting on recommendations from peer reports, all presentation tasks in the sequence will be modelled by the teacher to indicate expectations and content. To maintain reflective and practical teaching opportunities students move from comparing the meanings and the cultures the media articles represent, to Survey Research. The student as researcher obtains data from open-ended interviews using newsgathering apparatus. The set of persons are randomly chosen because they represent the ‘youth’ social category. Students use the key skills of; a) gathering and using a range of source material and; b) comparing representations and definitions of youth by forming a critical response to the dominant meanings given to the categories of youth and adolescence, and how they may differ from the experience of being young (key knowledge) (VCAA, 2005). Students are assessed on the information and knowledge they synthesis in an academic essay on the topic: To what extent is the online media construction of youth different to the identities and experiences of young people? Creating a six lesson cycle for the first formal assessment task allows the students to develop critical readings of the media, compose analytic inquiry questions, and synthesis complex definitions of youth. Students research the longitudinal study of English youth in the Granada documentary series ‘7-up’, and ABC Observational documentary ‘Cunnamulla’, which is about teens growing up in islolated Queensland town. Research undertaken by the ethnographic documentaries is analysed by the students who critically evaluate race, class, gender and geopolitics using the opportunities for critical thinking and student reflection offered by Socratic questioning. The teacher models critical thinking with an open mind always encouraging different viewpoints and deeper understandings through exhibited interest in student thinking (Paul, 2006). By privileging discussion the teacher creates and sustains an intellectually stimulating classroom environment and acknowledges the value of the students in that environment. The questioning tools employed by the film analysis of ethnographic research leads to the critical framing exercise of a class debate. Students are now required to work in groups and prepare arguments based on a sociology ‘youth’ reader that centres around the key knowledge of

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WRITTEN REPORT – SOCIOLOGY – UNIT 1­ YOUTH how social differences, such as ethnicity, age, class, rural/urban location and gender, affect the experience of being young (VCAA, 2005). The debate topic is: ‘the social divisions that shape the lives of older people are also central to the lives of young people’, the class is divided into affirmative and negative clusters. The discussion and debate uses critical thinking to make sense of factors that define and disempowered social groups. They are the tools that lead to insight and understanding. During disciplined, carefully structured questioning, students must slow down and examine their own thinking processes (i.e., reflective thinking). Thoughtful, disciplined questioning in the classroom allows students to examine their own thinking processes (i.e., reflective thinking). Critical thinking and discussion allows students to identify key factors that contribute to definitions of youth and critically analyse ‘youth’ social categories and the various kinds of power exercised over them (key skills). To formally assess the students insight and understanding over the five classes a short answer exam based on readings in the ‘youth’ reader is used in lesson 12. It probes their comprehension of economic and political influences on the experience of being young by requiring knowledge of how class, gender, race and location shapes young peoples lives in specific ways. Historical method is used by students to investigate the category of youth and adolescence, and its development in popular culture, amongst various experts, in government agencies and the media (key knowledge). A cinematic timeline of ‘youth’ is explored by considering the ‘teen’ archetype, be it delinquent, loner, anti-hero or victim. Young actors from 1950’s Marlon Brando in ‘the Wild ones’ to ‘Rosetta’ played by Émilie Dequennein in 1999, present portraits of different nationalities, social norms, gender, and class. But across all thirteen post-war western films the transitionary category of ‘youth’ contains a universal rebellious spirit in response to power relations intervening in young peoples lives. The whole-group film analysis breaks into group work to create a twentieth century teen timeline using the book ‘Flappers to Rappers: Teen culture by the decades’ as a guide for annotating a photographic history of youth. Students will be formally assessed on their annotated visual timeline. The key question in the excersise is how the relations between ages creates change or stability in society, but how change in society explains relations between different ages. To compare representations and the key factors defining youth (key skills) students are given the task of using historical method to search for the information and knowledge about past events related to the categorisation of Indigenous Australian youth using the Australian national archives and national museum online collections. The absence of information on Australian indigenous youth prevent’s students from creating a timeline that is as specific and public as the American, posing questions about how young people of minority groups in Australia experience the fundamental rights of educations, transport, health and recreation. The study of indigenous youth requires ethnographic fieldwork, as it remains a thwarted sociological study. The higher order thinking in this activity is reflexive. Students are asked by their six-lesson research task: ‘why study youth?’

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In the final component of the sequence students use a variety of records to conduct archival research. The key knowledge explored in this eight-lesson cycle concerns essentialist thinking about youth such as government policies and stereotyping. The records used are government education policies and research groups. Students are informally assessed on how they respond to institutionalised and academic studies using report writing in research-based and exam conditions. The key skills addressed include critically analyzing ‘youth’ social categories and the various kinds of power exercised over them. The formal summative assessment to conclude Unit 1 - outcome 1, is a group presentation to exhibit the practical key skills of gathering and using a range of source material on issues concerning dominant ‘youth’ narratives. The sequence has been arranged using a scaffolding structure that builds knowledge and skills in a sequential and overlapping design. The learning environment promotes independence, interdependence and self-motivation. To connect learning strongly with student communities and practice beyond the classroom, resources and tasks are chosen for their relevance and practical application to student needs (DEECD, 2005). Students engage with popular culture, and the culture of their peers to explore sociological method and critical thinking in academic assessment. The tasks are compelling in their sequential flow, providing students with transdisciplinary learning opportunities. To maintain a shared flow across the class, tasks are modelled by the teacher and specific timelines are outlined to keep all students on track within their independent research and inquiries. Key questions shape the learning cycles, providing clear guidance on project development. Group work is used in communication orientated assessment tasks and social skills are graded. Inclusive teaching strategies are promoted by tasks that utilise multiple intelligences, multiliteracies and multimedia. focusing teaching to meet the diverse needs of students creates a learning community that is responsive to changing student needs (DEECD, 2005). Visual research takes he form of photo analysis, fieldwork, data presentation and cinema studies. Existential ideas are explored in verbal and written formats, including debtes, discussions and essays that utilise interpersonal and intrapersonal intelligences. Logical, kinaesthetic and naturalist intelligences can be explored by the students when conducting fieldwork and class-based presentations due to the autonomy of the tasks. The content links cultural and linguistic diversity in its exploration of multiple perspectives and subjective methodology. Communication technology breaks the dominant language structure into segments of content, allowing students of different language skills to communicate in multimodal ways. the connections being made between linguistic and visual design, and the cross-cultural aspects of meaning making are structured according to the Multiliteracies pedagogy. Students are challenged and supported to develop deep levels of thinking and application in a praxis learning environment (DEECD, 2005). Students are

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WRITTEN REPORT – SOCIOLOGY – UNIT 1­ YOUTH encouraged to surf-sample-manipulate, loop theories, personalise meaning, improvise ideas and reinvent categories (Amerika, 2007). To think about youth and adolescence as social categories, and discuss the experiences of young people within the context of social grouping learning is based in the students' own experience (Situated Practice); the explicit teaching of how we make meaning (Overt Instruction); investigation of the cultural context (Critical Framing); and remixing content in new forms that the students have themselves created (Transformed Practice) (New London group, 1996). Assessment is done at various times throughout the sequence. Formative assessment is conducted at the beginning of the program using a presentation to assess students knowledge of theme. A summative presentation is included at the conclusion of the sequence, thus providing the opportunity for immediate evidence for student learning. Formative assessment during the sequence is conducted informally in classroom-based assessment scenarios, such as the discussions, fieldwork and debates. The purpose of these tasks is to improve the quality of student learning whilst meeting the student learning outcomes. The formative group assessments enables the learning objectives to be met in all knowledge and skill areas in a variety of student centred ways (Angelo, 1993). Exams and written reports are used as summative assessment to grade the students learning experience across learning cycles within the sequence. Research-based writing, test and group presentation offers various methods and measures of summative assessment data. The twelves assessment tasks spread over the 26weeks contribute to a comprehensive sequence planned around progression points in student knowledge and skills that can be marked and identified to assess learning and monitor the progress being made towards achieving the learning outcome (Bardes, 2001). Showing connections between research, representation, mediation, policy and practice reflects an Australian perspective only relevant to other advanced capitalist countries. It is not possible to study the social construction of youth without focusing on specific local contexts. The contribution of ‘young people’ to society is reflected in the sequence, creating ‘costs’ and ‘benefits’ like the systems of society (Wyn, 1997). Participation can undermine and advance the course, social inclusion, supportive structures and engaging resources shape the process through which the outcome is constructed and reconstructed.

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WRITTEN REPORT – SOCIOLOGY – UNIT 1­ YOUTH Sequence Resources Search engines: • Google • Yahoo • Windows live • Flickr • BBC news Sociology reader: • Chisholm, L. (1990) Childhood, Youth And Social Change: A Comparative Perspective. first edition, Falmer Press: Londo • Irving, T., Maunders, D., Sherington G., & Sorby, J. (1995) Youth in Australia: Policy Administration and Politics: A history since World War II Macmillan, Melbourne. • Livingstone, S. (2002) Young People and New Media: Childhood and the Changing Media Environment. Sage Publications • Pujolar, J. (2000) Gender, Heteroglossia and Power: A Sociolinguistic Study of Youth Culture (Language, Power, and Social Process) Walter de Gruyter: Barcelona • Smith, R.S. (2003) Youth Justice: Ideas, Policy, Practice • Yates, M. and Youniss, J. (1998) Roots of Civic Identity: International Perspectives on Community Service and Activism in Youth. Cambridge University Press • Wallace, C. (1990) Youth in Transition (Explorations in Sociology) University Of Chicago Press • Widdicombe, S. (1995) The Language of Youth Subcultures. First edition Prentice Hall PTR: Boston Ethnographic research: • Paul Almond (1964) 7-up. Granada Television • Michael Apted (1970) 14-up. Granada Television • Michael Apted (1977) 21-up. Granada Television • Dennis O'Rourke (2000) Cunnamulla. Australian Broadcasting Corporation Timeline: • Rollin, L. (1999) Twentieth-century teen culture by the decades (A reference gyuide) Greenwood press: London • Wunungmurra, W. (1998) Dhawurrpunaramirra: Finding the common ground for new Aboriginal curriculum,in Marsh, C.J (ed) Curriculum Perspectives. Vol.

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WRITTEN REPORT – SOCIOLOGY – UNIT 1­ YOUTH 8 No. 2 • www.nt.gov.au • www.naa.gov.au Youth archetypes: • The Wild One (1953) • Rebel Without a Cause (1955) • Quatre cents coups, Les (1959) • Shadows (1959) • Procès de Jeanne d'Arc (1962) • American graffiti (1973) • The Exorcist (1973) • Christiane F. - Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo (1981) • Heathers (1989) • Clueless (1995) • Kids (1995) • Gummo (1997) • Rosetta (1999) Government youth policy and research sources: • www.youthweek.gov.au • www.youth.vic.gov.au • www.yarn.gov.au • www.community.gov.au • www.facsia.gov.au • www.ayac.org.au • www.apo.org.au • www.sprc.unsw.edu.au • www.childpolicyintl.org • www.youthpolicyactioncenter.org • www.aracy.org.au Teacher resources: • Fiona Gontier and Analia Solis (2007) Sociology: A Teacher Guide To VCE Sociology, Units 1-4 • Macionis, J.J. (2007) Seeing Ourselves, 7th edition. Prentice hall • Anthony Giddens (2001) Sociology: Introductory Readings. Polity Press • McCormick, C. and Pressley, M. (1997) ‘Social International theories of learning and development’, in Educational Psychology: Learning, Instruction and Assessment, Longman, NY 500112781 8

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Bibliography Amerika, M. (2007). Meta/data. MIT press: Massachusetts Angelo, T. A., & Cross, K. P. (1993). Classroom Assessment Techniques: A Handbook for College Teachers (2nd ed.). Jossey-Bass: San Francisco Babbie, Earl R. (2003) The Practice of Social Research, 10th edition. Wadsworth, Thomson Learning Inc. Bardes, B. & Denton, J. (2001, June). Using the Grading Process for Departmental and Program Assessment. Paper presented at the American Association for Higher Education Conference; Denver , CO. Campbell, J. & Baikaloff, N. (2006) Towards a global community: educating for tomorrows world. Spinger, Dordrecht.. Collins, R. (1994) Four Sociological Traditions. Oxford, Oxford University Press. Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (2005) Principles of Learning and Teaching Page Last Updated: March 9, 2007. http://www.education.vic.gov.au/studentlearning/teachingprinciples/principles/unp acked.htm Giddens, A. (2006). Sociology (5th edition), Polity, Cambridge. Hoepper, B. (2006) Historical Literacy, in Social Educator, vol.24, no.2 Paul, R. and Elder, L. (2006). The Art of Socratic Questioning. Dillon Beach, CA: Foundation for Critical Thinking. New London Group. (1996). A pedagogy of multiliteracies: Designing social futures. Harvard Educational Review, 66(1), 60-92. Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (2005) Sociology study design Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (2007) http://vels.vcaa.vic.edu.au/essential/discipline /humanities/index.html)
Wagner, M (2005) Teaching humanities in new ways—and teaching new humanities. Humanist, May-June, Thomson gale. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1374/is_3_65/ai_n14835447

Wyn, J. and White, R. (1997) Rethinking youth. Allen & Unwin: Melbourne

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