Critical Syllabus Reflection

Critical Syllabus Reflection


Read through the following excerpt from a speech given by Sir Peter Cosgrove on good neighbors in the wake of the 2004 Tsunami and Bali Bombings then respond to the question that follows. Develop a 1500 – 1800 (excluding refs) critical extended response:


Good neighbors learn to speak each other’s languages. Good neighbors learn to respect each other’s religious and cultural beliefs. Good neighbors learn to allow for differences and to be inclusive. Good neighbors spend time with each other. – Sir Peter Cosgrove, Governor General of Australia.


Critically evaluate the effectiveness of cultures-based education in History to enable students to be ‘good neighbors’. In your response, refer to an appropriate Depth Study in Stage 4 and 5 from the NESA K-10 History syllabus.

Assessment criteria:

  • Extent & quality of research and depth of critical understanding about the discipline of Social Science
  • Effective use of evidence in the argument
  • Critical use of sources including state-based curricula, academic journals and texts
  • Clarity of written expression and coherence of the ideas presented

Critical Syllabus Reflection

Government and other public reports from the past five years indicate no significant change in the gap in education outcomes between indigenous (Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islander peoples) and non-indigenous students. The 12th Closing the Gap Report released in February 2020 showed that education targets for indigenous students were not on track, especially on literacy, numeracy, and school attendance (Henebery, 2020). The main aim of the Closing the Gap reports has been to encourage local governments to pledge to attaining equality for indigenous people in several facets (Australian Government: Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, 2019). Although the results show improvement, the Prime Minister conceded that they are still nowhere near what was initially expected (Henebery, 2020).

It is well known that education provides a foundation for better outcomes in areas such as employment, health, and general wellbeing in the future. This is why it is important for indigenous students to achieve the same outcomes or close to those of their non-indigenous counterparts. The Australian education system has, and is still taking further steps to incorporate culture into its curriculum in an effort to bridge the gap in outcomes for indigenous and non-indigenous students (Booth, 2014). This paper evaluates the efficacy of culture-based education in History to enable students become “good neighbours.” The paper will refer to Depth study 6d from the NESA K-10 History syllabus, titled “Aboriginal and Indigenous Peoples, Colonisation and Contact History” (NESA, 2012).

Sir Peter Cosgrove supposed that “good neighbours” learn one another’s languages, respect each other’s religious and cultural beliefs, and become inclusive by allowing their differences. These attributes form the basis of culture-based education, in that the curriculum incorporates cultural, linguistic, religious aspects of indigenous peoples and also their experiences. It is evident from the findings of various research studies that culture-based education has been effective, even though it is yet to achieve optimum results….End of Preview….

Leave a Reply