The St Helena Island Education Centre is commited to providing quality educational programs to schools and colleges. These programs have been developed by artists and educators who have many years experience working in specialised areas with young people. All programs endeavour to make learning an enjoyable and meaningful experience; one that engages the whole child: intellectually and emotionally. Each program focuses on a particular historical place, event or period, and links the history to the environment: geographically and ecologically. In this sense all programs sit well within the current SOSE syllabus and we would encourage teachers to check out our SOSE table, at the end of each program description, where we have identified some aspects of our programs that directly link to the Queensland School Curriculum document.
Whilst we have endeavoured to link our work to the SOSE syllabus, we in no way view these programs as prescriptive. Each program is diverse, complex and expanding; interlinking many aspects of a broad curriculum: the human experience. It is intended that each child, individually, and each class, collectively, will come to a deeper level of understanding because of their experience; and that the teacher will have a wealth of learning areas for exploration in the days, weeks and months to come. The key to our method is in exploiting the concepts involved; as outlined in the following paragraph, taken from the QSC document.
The concepts that underpin this key learning area are drawn from various disciplines and studies and provide knowledge about people and their environments that is important for students to understand. This knowledge is always tentative. It remains open to challenge because of new evidence, perspectives and methods of inquiry.
It is crucial that students develop understandings of concepts associated with social and environmental inquiry processes. For example, concepts related to the process of investigating include evidence, the centrality of environments, the uniqueness of human events, introspection, empathy and field study. Concepts related to the process of creating include visualisation, lateral thought, enterprise and initiative. Participating includes concepts of negotiation, tolerance, respect, equality and advocacy. Communicating includes concepts of clarification, interpretation, audience and argument, while reflecting includes concepts of introspection, metacognition and visioning.
A range of concepts is also associated with the key values of Studies of Society and Environment. For example, concepts related to the value of democractic process include democracy, constitutional government and human rights. Concepts related to social justice include equity, diversity and social sustainability. Ecology and economic sustainability includes concepts of interdependence, productivity, ethics and stewardship, while peace includes concepts such as belonging, hope, optimism, reconciliation and cooperation.
(Studies of Society and Environment Syllabus 2000)