Thurs 3 Oct Workshop 3

Title: From Gallipoli to Megan Gale: ‘Significance’ through the lens of Project Based Learning.

Bio: Lesley-Anne Johnson & Heather Lockett

Lesley-Anne Johnson is currently a Year 5 classroom teacher at Trinity College North in Gawler. She has a passion for Gifted and Talented Education and is enjoying exploring the pedagogy of Project Based Learning (PBL) with her teaching partner, Heather.

Heather Lockett teaches with Lesley in Year 5, as well as being Head of Teaching and Learning at Trinity College North Junior School. She has a wealth of experience in varied educational contexts, and a passion for data.


Project Based Learning (PBL) is a pedagogy which can facilitate the creation of deep and transfer knowledge for all students, as well as a method of creating confident and competent learners. Hattie (2017) suggests, however, that ‘the right time, the right place, and the right instructions are the key to the success of PBL.’ This presentation outlines one team’s experience in implementing PBL in a Year 5 classroom, with a focus on the concept of ‘significance’. Strategies for planning, implementation, and reflection will be outlined, as well as some common traps for new players.

Title: Competing Visions for Modern South Asia

Bio: Dr Christopher Kenna

Chris Kenna currently teaches in the Year 11/12 Pathways program at the Canberra Institute of Technology. He has postgraduate qualifications in History, Education and Literary Studies. He contributed to the latest edition of Key Features of Modern History 2 (OUP Melbourne), including a chapter on ‘India 1942-84’.


The people of modern South Asia initiated profound political and social changes, including a traumatic process to achieve freedom from British imperial rule. Important features included a shift from elite politics to widespread mobilisation of the Indian people. In the twentieth century, advocates of independence began to expound competing visions for ‘India’: unified and non-sectarian; or secular and socialist; or split between dominant religious communities.

As well as tracing fragmentation into India and Pakistan in 1947 and Bangladesh in 1971, this interactive workshop will discuss the competing political/social visions of leaders including M.K. Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, M.A. Jinnah, B.R. Ambedkar, Indira Gandhi and Mujibur Rahman. With a focus on the period 1919-1984, it will also highlight how selected primary, secondary and fiction sources can foster an empathetic appreciation of this important topic.

Title: The first 18 months: Reflections on Leading and Managing a Humanities Faculty

Bio: Ms Lucinda Murrell

Lucinda Murrell (B.Ed Sec: Soc Sci, Grad Dip Theo, MAPPLI, ESL) is the Head of Humanities at Palmerston College, NT. For 27 years, she has taught in secondary schools in the Northern Territory and was an Urban ESL consultant for the NT Department of Education. Previously she has presented at National and Territory conferences in the field of EAL/D.


The first 18 months: Reflections on Leading and Managing a Humanities Faculty is just that. I reflect on my previous 18 months journey as the Professional Learning Team Leader; Humanities, at a large cross campus secondary school that is on a fast-paced school improvement journey. Some of the challenges, mistakes and celebrations about my leadership of a faculty will be shared; How I have used professional reading, the resources around me and experience to assist me to do the work. Additionally, what I have learned about effective leadership and management will be made clear. Finally, I try figure out what my impact has been, future direction and how it may be best achieved.

Title: Design Thinking for Historical Inquiry

Bio: Ms Nadia Szimhart

Nadia Szimhart has been teaching and studying history for 19 years. She has a passion for using history as a vehicle for embedding critical thinking skills so her students can improve their action potential as engaged global citizens. After teaching in New South Wales for 14 years she needed to update her knowledge and skills. For the past three years she has been on an adventure completing a Masters in International Studies with the University of Wollongong in Global Citizenship Education and teaching in Dubai. She also completed courses with the Harvard Graduate School of Education to master the Question Formulation Technique developed by the Right Question Institute, and has attended Stanford University’s d-School to master Design Thinking for Education. As the Head of History, Coordinator of Gifted and Talented Students, and Lead Teacher of Critical Thinking at Safa Community School in Dubai she combined these new superpowers to create engaging and impactful project based units for her history students. She has just returned home to Australia and can’t wait to share these superpowers with fellow teachers.


Design thinking is a creative thinking process where you first consider your audience then design your product to fully engage them. In this workshop you will be guided through the design thinking process to create a design thinking project for historical inquiry for your toughest students. The materials and methods are adapted from Stanford University’s d-school which codified the design thinking process and continually researches and develops the method. According to d-school when we participate in the process we develop 8 core abilities: “navigating ambiguity, learning from others, synthesizing information, experimenting rapidly, moving between concrete and abstract, building and crafting intentionally, communicating deliberately, and designing your design work” (

Each of these core abilities are transferable skills which link to the historical thinking process. The first time I used the design thinking process with my students I had a revelation, that historians are engaged in this iterative process when presenting their arguments. This process allows students the opportunity to choose their own path in developing knowledge and understanding of key features of history and in how they communicate their understanding about the past.

Title: Making the new HSC modern history syllabus (or senior historical study) a success for lower and middle ability students with a focus on rural and remote areas.

Bio: Ms Chivonne Gofers

Chivonne Gofers is the HT Wellbeing at Gulgong High School and has previously worked as a HT HSIE and History teacher in schools in the Western Region of NSW. She has taught Modern and Extension History and works to combine her teaching of history with her expertise in catering for the learning needs of all students in order to develop historical understanding across all stages.


Do you find it difficult to engage your middle-lower ability students with the new Modern History syllabus (or senior historical study), despite their interest in History? Do they find the concepts difficult to comprehend or are they unable to engage in further reading to develop their understanding? Research demonstrates that students who live in rural and remote areas underperform comparative to their urban counterparts. This is due to factors including access to opportunity and competition, expectations and prior instruction. The focus of my practice is to bridge this gap and develop historical understanding, writing skills and overall student engagement. This presentation will explore overall course structure, strategies, programming and assessment that support the engagement of lower and middle ability students. The strategies utilised support student growth and engagement, improved sophistication of written work and historical skills.

Title: Straight to the Poolroom: Australian Narratives and Year 10 History

Bio: Miss Natalie Baker

Natalie Baker is a Monash (1996) and UTAS (2005) graduate. She regularly judges for both the National History Challenge, and the Victorian Spirit of Anzac Prize, for which she was a 2017 Teacher Chaperone. A 2012 recipient of a Gandel Philanthropy scholarship for Australian Holocaust Educators, Natalie is committed to Human Rights, ANZAC, and Holocaust Education


Using Australian stories from national cultural institutions including the National Australian Archives (NAA), the National Film and Sound Archives (NFSA), The Museum of Australian Democracy, the National Library of Australia, and the ABC, this presentation will provide practical resources and strategies for using narrative in History classrooms. It will have a specific focus on Human Rights and resilience, and how we can engage students with often unknown and heroic Australian narratives from before, during, and after World War II.

Title: Inquiry, skills and accessing the National History Challenge.

Bio: Miss Emily Donders

Over the past 5 years working at Rossmoyne SHS I have gained significant experience in teaching students from low ability, through to Gifted & Talented, with most of my practice around the later. However, some of the students were not always ‘gifted’ in the HASS class, and other students(sometimes ESL) seemed to excel in classroom activities and could ‘think’ historically, however couldn’t communicate this in their Common Assessment Tasks. I am passionate about assessment that both engages students in real world learning/ thinking and helps them better understand how they think and learn.


This presentation will address using the National History Challenge as an accessible platform for creating an engaging inquiry assessment over which the students practice autonomy and have a place in negotiating their own presentation platform for success. Building an Inquiry that also teaches students for the purpose of learning should be an essential part of any classroom. The NHC also allows us to teach our students 21st century skills and build the profile of ‘HASS’ and History in schools.