ERIC Number: ED319651
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1990-Feb
Reference Count: N/A
Teaching about Australia. ERIC Digest.
Prior, Warren R.
Many reasons can be offered for teaching about Australia. The field of Australian studies offers many opportunities for U.S. teachers and students to critically analyze aspects of their own culture, for there are many experiences in the history of Australia that parallel the U.S. experience. Australia and the United States have strong ongoing economic, social, and political ties. A study of Australia reveals interesting interactions between an extremely old geological landscape and the evolution of its unique fauna and flora. The Aboriginal people in Australia have possibly the oldest indigenous culture still operating. Teaching about Australia can profitably be included in the curriculum from kindergarten to 12th grade as part of a global perspective in social studies education. Teachers can begin with basic geography lessons to locate Australia on a world map, noting its size, major geographic features, climatic zones, demographic distribution, location of major cities, and state borders. A historical perspective can be used to enhance understanding of different cultures in Australia. The use of a range of Australian literature, art, films, and visual and oral primary source materials can be a useful entry into an understanding of the values and assumptions underlying Australian culture. A study of issues facing Australia today can enhance students' inquiry skills and enable them to form generalizations that may be useful in explaining issues facing the United States. A 16-item bibliography is included. (JB)
Descriptors: Area Studies, Comparative Analysis, Cultural Awareness, Cultural Differences, Curriculum Enrichment, Educational Strategies, Elementary Secondary Education, Foreign Countries, Global Approach, Social Studies
ERIC Clearinghouse for Social Studies/Social Science Education, 2805 East Tenth Street, Suite 120, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405.
Publication Type: ERIC Publications; Guides - Classroom - Teacher; ERIC Digests in Full Text
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Practitioners
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse for Social Studies/Social Science Education, Bloomington, IN.
Identifiers - Location: Australia