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VCAA CDES – Psychology Conference 28 February 2014

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1 VCAA CDES – Psychology Conference 28 February 2014

2 © Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority 2012
The copyright in this PowerPoint presentation is owned by the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority or in the case of some materials, by third parties. No part may be reproduced by any process except in accordance with the provisions of the Copyright Act 1968 or with permission from the Copyright Officer at the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority.

3 Purpose The aims of this session include to: provide an update re AusVELS provide an update re progress in review of suite of VCE sciences collect individual feedback for consideration by the VCE Review Panels respond to educator questions

4 AusVELS Update The set of published Content Descriptions and Achievements (published by ACARA) have been endorsed by all state, territory and federal education ministers as being a base entitlement for all students Victoria has strengthened the Achievement Standards in line with previous Victorian standards and in preparation for VCE studies Victoria has re-written the Achievement Standards into two-year bands to provide greater delivery flexibility Federal government is currently reviewing the standards – final report expected mid-2014

5 AusVELS – SU opportunities for Psychology
Science Understanding Year 9 (and/or Year 10): Multi-cellular organisms rely on coordinated and interdependent internal systems to respond to changes to their environment

6 AusVELS – SHE opportunities for Psychology
Nature and development of science Scientific understanding, including models and theories, are contestable and are refined over time through a process of review by the scientific community Advances in scientific understanding often rely on developments in technology and technological advances are often linked to scientific discoveries Use and influence of science People can use scientific knowledge to evaluate whether they should accept claims, explanations or predictions Advances in science and emerging sciences and technologies can significantly affect people’s lives, including generating new career opportunities

7 AusVELS – SIS opportunities for Psychology
Science Inquiry Skills Questioning and predicting Formulate questions or hypotheses that can be investigated scientifically Planning and conducting Plan, select and use appropriate investigation methods, including field work and laboratory experimentation, to collect reliable data; assess risk and address ethical issues associated with these methods Select and use appropriate equipment, including digital technologies, to systematically and accurately collect and record data Processing and analysing data and information Analyse patterns and trends in data, including describing relationships between variables and identifying inconsistencies Use knowledge of scientific concepts to draw conclusions that are consistent with evidence Evaluating Evaluate conclusions, including identifying sources of uncertainty and possible alternative explanations, and describe specific ways to improve the quality of the data

8 2013-2016 VCE Psychology clarification
Unit 4, Area of Study 2 systems of classification of mental conditions and disorders:…strengths and limitations of discrete categorical (DSM-IV and ICD-10)…. DSM-IV has now been updated to DSM-V, but since practitioners use both classification systems, consideration of either classification is suitable for the purposes of the current study design

9 National senior curriculum
Federal and state/territory Ministers for Education have agreed to use the published Australian Curriculum senior secondary subjects as the ‘common base for development of state and territory senior secondary courses’ December 2012

10 VCE Sciences review progress
VCE Science Expert Reference Group set up for initial scoping exercise VCE Review Panels have been set up to review all five VCE sciences (Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science, Physics and Psychology) A Specialist Science Advisory Group has been set up to provide advice for consideration by the VCE Review Panels Feedback will be sought from educators at the February VCE science conferences Feedback on a consultation draft will be sought in May 2014

11 Review timelines Current science study design accreditation: 2013-2016
Review activity Feb-May 2013 Science Expert Reference Group deliberations May-June 2013 Consultation – VCE science proposals October 2013 VCE Review Panels commenced work mid- 2014 Consultation drafts available for feedback December 2014 Publish revised VCE Study designs and Advice to Teachers ?2015 VCE Implementation Workshops Units 1&2 ?2016 VCE Implementation Units 1&2 VCE Implementation Workshops Units 3&4 ?2017 VCE Implementation Units 3&4

12 ‘Givens’ for the reviews
Victoria has moved to School-assessed Coursework moderated against a single end-of-year examination (Note: Queensland will move to internal assessment moderated against a single end-of-year examination) School-assessed Coursework audits now include possibility of request for actual student work samples Format of revised study designs should be in line with current study designs

13 Survey of 30 countries Major findings:
An Overview of senior assessment and tertiary entrance in Australia and other countries – Doug McCurry, ACER (10 February 2014) of 4 Survey of 30 countries Major findings: All 30 systems use exams, tests or school assessments for certification and/or tertiary selection 20 of the 30 systems have external exams used as final or leaving exams for secondary certification (usually national) 15 of the above 20 systems also use the same external exams as part of tertiary selection 7 of the above 20 systems also use school assessments 11 of the 30 systems have tertiary selection on the basis of particular exams of tertiary institutions

14 Specific international examples:
An Overview of senior assessment and tertiary entrance in Australia and other countries – Doug McCurry, ACER (10 February 2014) of 4 Specific international examples: India has no state or nation-wide system of secondary certification: tertiary selection based on entrance exams of tertiary institutions tertiary entrance systems in Norway and Canada system are based exclusively on school assessments tertiary selection in the United States is based on school assessment, usually in conjunction with standardised test scores Only England, Scotland and USA make extensive use of non test/exam results (e.g. application dossiers and standardised test scores)

15 An Overview of senior assessment and tertiary entrance in Australia and other countries – Doug McCurry, ACER (10 February 2014) of 4 Specifications England has no overall requirements: success in individual subjects is reported in that system New Zealand awards an overall certificate on the basis of breadth and depth requirements Hong Kong requires 4 core subjects and 3 electives France has 4 different streams with common requirements Denmark has 12 set programs the International Baccalaureate requires 5 groups of subjects the USA has no subject requirements, although subjects are generally recognised at different levels of difficulty

16 Differences in Australian assessment
An Overview of senior assessment and tertiary entrance in Australia and other countries – Doug McCurry, ACER (10 February 2014) of 4 Differences in Australian assessment emphasis given to internal and external assessment can differ significantly in Australian senior secondary systems two systems have no external examinations: these systems use general ability tests as external assessments methods of quality assurance and means of moderating school assessments differ significantly in different Australian systems scales used for reporting senior secondary assessments differ significantly across Australia all systems have breadth and depth requirements for their senior secondary certificates some systems add compulsory subjects requirements, literacy and numeracy requirements and other activity for completion of a senior certificate

17 “Big questions in science” – Harriet Swain (ed), Vintage, 2003. London
“Big questions in science” – Harriet Swain (ed), Vintage, London. ISBN X Big questions in science What is time? Are we still evolving? What is life about? How did the Universe begin? Are we shaped by nature or the environment? How did language evolve? What makes us fall in and out of love? How are men and women different? What is a thought? Will we ever be pain free? What is a dream? What is intelligence? What is consciousness? How will the world end? Can we end disease? Can we end hunger? What is time? Is it right to interfere with nature? Is there life on other planets? Does God exist?

18 Extended Scientific Investigations
“The senior secondary Science subjects have been designed to accommodate, if appropriate, an extended scientific investigation within each pair of units. States and territories will determine whether there are any requirements related to an extended scientific investigation as part of their course materials.”

19 Opportunities for collective science review
Study overlap TOPIC VCE STUDY Thermodynamics Chemistry or Physics? Ecology Biology or Environmental science? Nerve transmission Biology, Chemistry, Psychology or Physics? Pollution Chemistry or Environmental science? Nuclear reactions Imaging technologies Physics or Psychology? Hormones Biology or Psychology?

20 VCE Psychology feedback – SERG/consultation
Issues: Units 1 & 2 need significant re-thinking Content heavy Suggestions: Reduce content, particularly for Units 1&2 Application of a biopsychosocial framework across all units Greater emphasis on biological influences on behaviour and mental processes (including neuropsychological factors) Undertaking of in-depth investigative inquiry Explicit inclusion of SHE

21 VCE Psychology teacher feedback
The VCAA appreciates your feedback. From last year’s CDES survey (124 teachers): Threat: ”That the course becomes a study of research methodology rather than aspects of understanding the mind that draws students to the course”

Content volume Content selection (which content?) Rote memory vs critical thinking Workload of SACs Authenticity/authentication of SACs School compliance and equity Extended student-designed experimental investigation Science as a Human Endeavour Amount of practical work as a % content (each Unit is 50 hours) Teacher choice vs student choice in senior curriculum Inquiry-based curriculum

23 Curriculum Manager Science VCAA
Contact Maria James Curriculum Manager Science VCAA Telephone:

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