Engaging With HASS
There is a wealth of research that shows that education is a three-way endeavour between teachers, students and parents. The best outcomes are achieved when all three work together.
The Humanities & Social Sciences Learning Area lends itself to high-levels of parent engagement in the education of their children. Here are some suggestions that will benefit your daughters and sons and stimulate rich family life at the same time.
1. Watch the news together. Make time to sit as a family and watch a reliable news channel. Debate the issues that arise. Focus on events, their causes, their consequences. Invite your daughter to express her thoughts and opinions. Ask them why they think as they do. Gently test their assumptions and ask them about points of view.
2. Share dinnertime. Sit together as a family during at least one mealtime. Make a rule – no phones at the table, including your own! Discuss the day. Give time to exploring an idea, a story, an issue. Deep conversation engages the mind and brings forth quality reasoning. Ask questions to probe ideas.
3. Take an interest in the HASS courses. The HASS Department uses SEQTA, especially for Years7-9. Some classes use OneNote in the later years. Keep abreast of:
- Learning Objectives
- Assessment Outline
- Lesson notes
- PowerPoints and other resources
- Example questions and solutions
- Links to helpful videos and animations
4. Encourage your daughter to seek help. Attending afterschool tuition with HASS teachers can be a great investment of time because of the individualised attention possible in small group settings.
5. As with all areas of study, set aside a time and place for homework and study. Routine is the engine of discipline. Set expectations around homework and study. A computer may be essential for work, but it is also a ‘weapon of mass distraction’! A ‘public’ place in the home is best. Being able to see you daughter working and gently keep her on track will make the most of the time she spends studying.
Education is a team effort. It works best when all the players know their roles and play their parts.
Stephen King, Head of Humanities & Social Sciences