Australian Federation of Societies for Studies of Society and Environment

Professional Associations Help Implement
Discovering Democracy Materials



    Developing case studies for the Discovering Democracy programme in the AFSSSE Network
    Australian Federation of Societies for Studies of Society and Environment



The current project extends the work completed by AFSSSE in the following projects, as part of the National Activities element of Discovering Democracy.

1997 - 1998 Project

In 1998 AFSSSE ran a number of teacher focus groups around Australia to provide feedback to Curriculum Corporation as the primary and secondary school materials were developed. The focus groups provided valuable opportunities for the voice of teachers to be heard.

1998 - 1999 Project

The second project required AFSSSE to work with professional associations to raise awareness of the Discovering Democracy school materials. AFSSSE has a valuable database of experts in the SOSE key learning area and this extensive network allows teachers from History, Geography, Social Science, Business and Environmental Education disciplines to be involved in the awareness raising exercise.

Each of the five peak associations were funded to raise awareness of the materials. This has involved the preparation of case studies on using the Discovering Democracy materials, documenting best practice when students and teachers use the CDROM materials, running workshops, including sessions in state, national and international conferences, and disseminating information through the AFSSSE web site.

Reports from this extensive network have been placed regularly on the AFSSSE website.

1999-2000 project

In this project AFSSSE raised awareness of the Discovering Democracy materials by organising online discussions, and by continuing to promote discussion through the AFSSSE network.

Current project

AFSSSE will produce thirty case studies on using Discovering Democracy materials in a variety of contexts to recognize and promote quality teaching of civics and citizenship education by professional associations.

This report builds on the interim reports supported to DETYA. These previous reports described the process used by AFSSSE for the collection and production of case studies. The thirty draft case studies have been submitted to DETYA. Once DETYA approves the case studies, they will be placed on the AFSSSE website and advertised throughout the AFSSSE network.

AFSSSE Chair: Peter Leverenz AFSSSE Secretary: David Butler

AFSSSE Treasurer: Mike Rowland AFSSSE Project Officer: Sandra Kenman


  1. Education Report:
    1. Outcomes
    2. Funding
    3. Timelines
    4. Further Action
  3. Financial Report:
    1. Expenditure Statement

Appendix 1 Overview of case studies

Appendix 2 Evaluation reports

Appendix 3 Details for advertising the case studies

    1. Outcomes
  • The production of at least thirty case studies on using the Discovering Democracy materials in specific contexts, for primary and secondary teachers, and including assessment examples.

In accordance with the contract, thirty case studies have been produced and submitted in hard copy form to DETYA before publishing them on the AFSSSE website. Appendix 1 lists the case studies. The case studies provide examples of using the Discovering Democracy materials. They examples relate to primary and secondary classrooms and draw on experiences of teachers in all states and territories. They are useful for teachers interested in paper based or electronic materials. The case studies are useful for both teaching and assessing purposes.

AFSSSE believes the case studies provide excellent support material for those teachers needing ideas or encouragement when using the Discovering Democracy resources. Teachers who need to prepare thoroughly before using the CD-ROMs Parliament at Work and Stories of Democracy can access the Teachers’ Guides incorporated in the case studies. Teachers interested in an Indigenous link to the Discovering Democracy materials might access the ideas documented in the Western Australian case studies. Teachers who need short, sharp summaries linking the Discovering Democracy materials to local curriculum outcomes and other resources might look at the Tasmanian examples. Teachers with specific discipline needs (History, Economics, Enterprise, Work Education, Vocational Education) might refer to the Victorian, New South Wales and some of the Queensland examples. The South Australian examples provide a wealth of information of linking the Discovering Democracy materials to the notion of citizenship and democratic models in the school environment. The ACT case studies link the information presented by key speakers at a nation conference, to segments of the Discovering Democracy materials. Similarly, the case study from the Northern Territory developed from information presented at the national Discovering Democracy forum.

  • The promotion of the Discovering Democracy materials to members of the SOSE professional associations;

The SOSE Associations have been instrumental in the production of the case studies. The SOSE Associations in the ACT, Western Australia, Queensland, Tasmania, Victoria and AFSSSE coordinated the production of the case studies.

AFSSSE is the peak body for the five associations with an interest in SOSE. By using the SOSE consortia in the states and territories, AFSSSE has continued to build opportunities to strengthen the key learning area of SOSE, as well as the separate disciplines linking to SOSE. This also allows the Discovering Democracy materials to gain a wider audience.

  • Shared classroom examples of using the Discovering Democracy materials in the wider teacher-professional network.

The groups responsible for the production of the case studies have included representation from teachers and professional associations. The case studies include classroom strategies in a range of contexts. The materials are currently being prepared for production on the AFSSSE website and will be advertised in journals and magazines of AFSSSE affiliate groups. AFSSSE has gathered current detail on Editors and other key people so that the case studies might be advertised widely. Appendix 3.

AFSSSE is also applying to DETYA for support to advertise the case studies more widely in the next financial year, especially through the network of teacher professional association conferences and workshops. Some of the state/territory groups responsible for the production of the case studies will require guidance as to the avenues for disseminating the material. AFSSSE could have a key role in this area.

The AFSSSE website manager will publish the case studies as soon as DETYA agrees. The AFSSSE Project Officer will then provide an advertisement to the Editors in the AFSSSE network.

    1. Funding
    2. The project is operating within budget. AFSSSE is keen to be funded in the next financial year to ensure these case studies are well used. There is some concern that the size of some case studies will be a problem when accessing electronically. AFSSSE would like to extend the current project to examine this issue and provide solutions. Ideally these materials should also be used by the AFSSSE affiliates in professional development workshops. The funding in this financial year is insufficient to cover this additional component, so was not included in this contract.

    3. Timelines
    4. All timelines have been met, although the feedback from the SOSE state/territory groups indicated the time provided for gathering and publishing the case studies was insufficient. This was an issue in some cases more than others. Some case studies are not technically ‘case studies’ in that they go beyond the brief. Some teachers/writers felt a need to include worksheets and quite detailed information to make the material of use to teachers and the particular learning environments. Although this has added to the value of the case studies, it has caused some strain on time and finances for AFSSSE and the SOSE associations, simply because of the size and complexity of some documents/case studies.

    5. Further action and evaluation

AFSSSE monitored the production of the case studies and provided feedback to the writers. The Project Officer was briefed by the AFSSSE Board on the format for production of the hard copy to provide to DETYA. The SOSE groups in the states and territories have been asked to provide feedback on the processes used for this project. Appendix 2 provides examples of this feedback.

AFSSSE strongly recommends that DETYA advertise the availability of these case studies. AFSSSE would appreciate a role in this exercise if funding is available.

2. Financial statement


About these case studies:

The Australian Federation of Societies for Studies of Society and Environment (AFSSSE) has been contracted by DETYA to collect and publish thirty (30) case studies demonstrating classroom practice when using the Discovering Democracy materials.

Teachers and academics familiar with the Discovering Democracy materials wrote the following case studies and teacher guides. SOSE professional associations in the Australian Capital Territory, Victoria, South Australia, Queensland and Western Australian took responsibility for managing the writing of the case studies. AFSSSE coordinated the work at a national level.

The following teacher professional associations, who are members of AFSSSE, will advertise the case studies in teacher journals, newsletters and/or conferences. The case studies will be available electronically on the AFSSSE website:

AFSSSE Members:

Australian Association for Environmental Education Inc

Australian Geography Teachers Association Inc

Business Educators Australasia Inc

History Teachers Association of Australian Inc

Social Education Association of Australia Inc


Tasmanian Context

  1. Happy Birthday Australia

  2. Everybody…Everybody…Everybody – Environmental Citizenship

  3. Active Citizens Make a Difference

  4. Good Citizens All

  5. Centenary of Federation – Histories and Futures

Queensland Context

  1. Teacher’s Handbook to be used with Stories of Democracy CD – Middle and Lower Secondary

  2. Teacher’s Handbook to be used with Stories of Democracy CD – Middle and Upper Primary

  3. Teacher’s Handbook to be used with Parliament at Work CD – Middle and Lower Secondary

  4. Teacher’s Handbook to be used with Parliament at Work CD – Middle and Upper Primary

  5. A Professional Development Module: Queensland teachers in rural and remote areas

  6. Democratic Decision Making in Primary School

  7. Schools Working with Local Government Groups

  8. Schools Working with Industry Groups

South Australian Context

  1. City Links at Adelaide High School

  2. Adelaide High School – Australian Citizenship

New South Wales Context

  1. Enterprise Education and Discovering Democracy

Victorian Context

  1. How Ancient and Medieval Societies were Governed. Outcome 5.1

  2. The Colonisation of Australia. Outcome 6.1

  3. Australia: A Trading Nation

ACT Context

  1. Post and Rail – Primary

  2. Post and Rail – Secondary

  3. Researching Your First MP

  4. Essential Energy

  5. As if the Constitution has anything to do with it!

Northern Territory Context

  1. Empowering Students to use Democratic Processes

Western Australian Context

  1. Indigenous Issues and Who Rules?

  2. Indigenous Issues and Laws and Rights - primary units

  3. Indigenous Issues and Laws and Rights - secondary units

  4. Indigenous Issues and Citizens and Public Life

  5. Indigenous Issues and The Australian Nation


Evaluation Reports – examples


Journal, Newsletters and Contacts for advertising the case studies

Copyright © 2004  AFSSSE