Discovering Democracy Units
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Rules and Laws

National, state and territory curriculum links

National | ACT | NSW | NT | QLD | SA | TAS | VIC | WA

National

The nationally developed Statements of Learning for Civics and Citizenship includes three ‘Aspects’ that are defined at four levels of schooling (ie Year 3, 5, 7 and 9). The Year 3 and Year 5 Statements of Learning are relevant to the Discovering Democracy unit, ‘Rules and Laws’.

Year 3
Government and law

  • Students understand that rules have a key purpose in supporting community values, protecting people’s rights and outlining their responsibilities (eg purpose of rules in a variety of contexts; fair and unfair rules; consequences of breaking rules and restorative justice).

Citizenship in a democracy

  • Students explore rights, responsibilities and participation in a democracy (eg define and exercise personal rights and responsibilities within a variety of contexts).

Historical perspectives

  • Students explore perspectives on the past through symbols, events and personal and group stories and reflect on how people were governed in the past (eg Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history pre-European settlement).

Year 5

Government and law

  • Students understand that Australia is a democracy based on a constitution, shared values and specific civic features (eg the constitution; three levels of government; role of government in making decisions).
  • Students consider the purpose of laws within a democracy (eg why laws exist; consequences of breaking the law; rules affecting young people; punishment and restorative justice; how the legal system protects people’s rights).

Citizenship in a democracy

  • Students understand and practice personal rights and responsibilities within their school and community.

Historical perspectives

  • Students explore how Australian identities and civil society have changed over time (eg Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander social organisation prior to 1788).

Australian Capital Territory

The Every chance to learn: Curriculum framework for ACT schools has essential content within the later childhood band relevant to the Discovering Democracy unit, ‘Rules and Laws’.

Later childhood band

ELA 22 The student understands and values what it means to be a citizen within a democracy

Democratic features

  • 22.LC.1 Why society has laws (eg the purpose of laws within a democracy in protecting people’s rights), some rules and laws which relate to children and what happens when people break the law.
  • 22.LC.2 How the legal process plays an important role in protecting people’s rights and key positions within the legal system.

Democratic principles

  • 22.LC.4 Australia as a democracy and the values that are fundamental to a healthy democracy (eg rule of law; freedom of speech, religion, association etc).
  • 22.LC.5 The traditional methods of governance in Indigenous communities.
  • 22.LC.9 The right of people to be different within the rule of the law.

Active citizenship

  • 22.LC.12 How shared values can help people resolve conflict or achieve consensus between diverse views.
  • 22.LC.15 Identify and exercise personal rights and responsibilities within their school and community.
  • 22.LC.18 Consider whether laws and likely sanctions are fair and appropriate for all people in all situations (eg whether punishment is always appropriate when a law is broken).

New South Wales

Learning outcomes within Stages 2 and 3 of the Human Society & Its Environment K–6 Syllabus are relevant to the Discovering Democracy unit, ‘Rules and Laws’.

Stage 2

Cultures

Cultural Diversity

  • CUS2.4 Describes different viewpoints, ways of living, languages and belief systems in a variety of communities (eg how citizens in communities value and respect others; examples of systemic unfairness and how they can be addressed).

Stage 3

Change and Continuity

Time and Change

  • CUS3.2 Explains the development of the principles of Australian democracy (eg fairness, social justice and human rights in Australia; Aboriginal democratic practices before British invasion).

Social Systems and Structures

Roles, Rights and Responsibilities

  • SSS3.8 Explains the structures, roles, responsibilities and decision-making processes of state and federal governments, and explains why Australians value fairness and socially just principles (eg how laws are developed and changed).

Northern Territory

Student learning outcomes within bands 1 and 2 of the Studies of Society and Environment Learning Area of the Northern Territory Curriculum Framework are relevant to the Discovering Democracy unit, ‘Rules and Laws’.

Band 1

Social Systems and Structures

Indigenous Studies

  • Soc 1.2 Identify local Indigenous groups and explain the significance of local Indigenous cultural practices for Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians (eg what a local Indigenous story reveals about ways of behaving).

Civics, Governance and Social Justice

  • Soc 1.3 Participate in and reflect on a range of decision-making processes and explain how individual and group behaviour affects the rights of others (eg community rules; individual and group rights).

Band 2

Social Systems and Structures

Indigenous Studies

  • Soc 2.2 Describe the diversity among Indigenous people and their traditional and contemporary cultures (eg reconstruct Indigenous ways of life in the local area by examining local histories).

Civics, Governance and Social Justice

  • Soc 2.3 Make informed decisions and choices about local issues and define social justice and its relevance to societies.

Queensland

Student learning outcomes within Levels 2 and 3 of the Studies of Society and Environment Years 1 to 10 Syllabus are relevant to the Discovering Democracy unit, ‘Rules and Laws’.

Level 2

Systems, Resources and Power

  • SRP 2.4 Students analyse information about their own and others’ rights and responsibilities in various settings.

Level 3

Systems, Resources and Power

  • SRP 3.5 Students explain the values associated with familiar rules and laws.

South Australia

Standard 2 in Society and Environment of the South Australian Curriculum Standards and Accountability Framework is relevant to the Discovering Democracy unit, ‘Rules and Laws’.

Standard 2

Social Systems

  • 2.12 Describes and participates in decision-making processes and interprets the effects of decisions on people (eg how a particular school or community decision is made; impact of decisions on different groups).

Tasmania

Strands and performance criteria at Standard 2 in the Society and History Syllabus of The Tasmanian Curriculum are relevant to the Discovering Democracy unit, ‘Rules and Laws’.

Standard 2

Strand 1 Identity, relationships and culture

  • Students understand how culture and community shape identity and relationships (eg class rules; law in the community; use of stories to explore community values and behaviour).

Strand 2 Democratic values and processes

  • Students understand democratic values and processes in society, government and law (Stage 4: connections between rights and responsibilities; Stage 5: know some laws that apply to them; Stage 6: know that laws are developed by governments).

Strand 4 Interconnections between systems

  • Students understand social, economic and political systems and the connections between them (Stage 4: why we have routines and rules; Stage 5: impacts of rules on choices; Stage 6: how laws help govern human interactions).

Strand 5 Responsible citizenship

  • Students understand how individuals and groups take action to positively influence change (eg local rules and laws).

Strand 6 Historical inquiry

  • Students undertake historical inquiries in relation to continuity and change in society (eg hypothesise new class rules based on past events).

Strand 7 Philosophical inquiry

  • Students undertake philosophical inquiries into issues and beliefs in society (eg discuss values present in class rules).

Strand 8 Communication

  • Students acquire, critically examine and communicate information.

Victoria

Standards in the domain of Civics and Citizenship within the Victorian Essential Learning Standards are relevant to the Discovering Democracy unit, ‘Rules and Laws’.

Level 3

Civic knowledge and understanding

  • Students explain the difference between rules and laws and describe the qualities of a good law (eg why we have laws, the role they serve and how they can be changed).

Community engagement

  • Students contribute to the development of class rules.

Western Australia

The K–10 Society and Environment Syllabus (2007) is consistent with other Department of Education and Curriculum Council frameworks and progress maps. There are developmental progressions of broad understandings in a number of strands relevant to the Discovering Democracy unit, ‘Rules and Laws’.

Year 3

Culture

Cohesion and Diversity

  • How different cultural groups may have different beliefs, values and practices (eg Indigenous law).

 

Natural and Social Systems

Political and Legal Systems

  • The elements and processes of law-making and law enforcement (eg how rules are made; the need to follow rules).

Year 4 and 5

Investigation, Communication and Participation

Planning

  • When focussing on what happens in political and legal systems, questions are asked about the purpose of laws, who makes the laws and who enforces them.

Culture

Cohesion and Diversity

  • That cultural groups are diverse and change over time (eg written and unwritten rules of groups).

Natural and Social Systems

Political and Legal Systems

  • The elements and processes of government and governance (eg roles of government and parliament; difference between rules and laws; restorative justice).

Active Citizenship

  • Students respect legitimate and just authority structures and the role of law.

Year 5 (and 6)

Natural and Social Systems

Political and Legal Systems

  • The elements and processes of law-making and law enforcement (eg principles of law in Australia; why the law changes; the role of constitutions).
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