Topic: Keep on rocking in the free world Popular Culture 1945-now

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Stage 5 | History Program | Popular Culture Unit 2014

Year 10

TOPIC: Keep on rocking in the free world - Popular Culture 1945-now.

(Depth Study: 5a - The Globalising World: Pop Culture)

Stage 5

Year 10


4 weeks (Semesterised course)


10 hours/ approx 15 lessons (45 mins)

Historical Context of the Overview -

This unit is a study of popular culture - music, art, and more - from the period after 1945 in Australia and the world. The unit will require students to explore the ways in which popular culture was affected by social, political and economic realities as well as how popular culture had an effect on these areas. A decade should form the focus on specific study to highlight the changes which occurred at a particular moment in history. This will include a focus on specific musicians, artists and other personalities of that era and how they contributes to continuity or change in Australian and global society. Students will engage in a range of historical thinking and working skills including source analysis and presentation of ideas in various forms.

Key Inquiry Questions -

Historical Skills - the highlighted skills are targeting in this unit.

  • How did the nature of global conflict (Cold War) affect popular culture in the 20th century?

  • What were the consequences of WWII? How did these consequences shape the modern world?

  • How was Australian society affected by other significant global events and changes in this period?

  • Comprehension: chronology, terms and concepts

  • read and understand historical texts

  • use historical terms and concepts in appropriate contexts (ACHHS165, ACHHS183)

  • sequence historical events to demonstrate the relationship between different periods, people and places (ACHHS164, ACHHS182)

Analysis and use of sources

  • identify different types of sources

  • identify the origin, content, context and purpose of primary and secondary sources (ACHHS169, ACHHS187)

  • process and synthesise information from a range of sources as evidence in an historical argument (ACHHS170, ACHHS188)

  • evaluate the reliability and usefulness of primary and secondary sources for a specific historical inquiry (ACHHS171, ACHHS189)

Framing Questions

Content Q - What major changes occurred in popular culture in Australia after 1945?

Conceptual Q - What influences had the greatest effect on Australian society from overseas?

Contestable Q - Has Australia made a significant and lasting impact on global pop culture?


Historical Concepts

A student:

HT5-1 explains and assesses the historical forces and factors that shaped the modern world and Australia

HT5-3 explains and analyses the motives and actions of past individuals and groups in the historical contexts that shaped the modern world and Australia

HT5-4 explains and analyses the causes and effects of events and developments in the modern world and Australia

HT5-5 identifies and evaluates the usefulness of sources in the historical inquiry process

HT5-7 explains different contexts, perspectives and interpretations of the modern world and Australia

HT5-9 applies a range of relevant historical terms and concepts when communicating an understanding of the past

HT5-10 selects and uses appropriate oral, written, visual and digital forms to communicate effectively about the past for different audiences

Related Life Skills outcomes: HTLS-3, HTLS-4, HTLS-5, HTLS-6, HTLS-7, HTLS-9, HTLS-11, HTLS-12, HTLS-13

The following historical concepts are integrated into the lesson sequences:

Continuity and change: music, art and other forms of popular culture changed dramatically after WWII, driven by a youth culture and changes in technology and political involvement.

Cause and effect: there were several domestic and international influences on the changes which occurred in Australia, as well as changes within Australia that had international impact.

Perspectives: different groups in Australian society affected (and were affected by) the changes which occurred since 1945. There was debate and conflict over how and why these changes occurred.

Empathetic understanding: the themes and issues present in the pop culture of the post-war period offer insights into the ideas, emotions and experiences of the people at the time.

Significance: some of the popular culture icons and movements of this period had significant impact on political, economic and social lives of people in Australia and the world.

Contestability: there is argument over whether pop culture had a significant impact on society, which nations/groups/individuals had most impact in Australia and whether pop culture can be a valid form of historical evidence or study.

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