Australian Federation of Societies for Studies of Society and Environment

Professional Associations Help Implement
Discovering Democracy Materials

JUNE 2003


Promoting Discovering Democracy Materials To Teachers
Through Teacher Professional Development Activities

CONTENTS1 Education Report

    1. Project Description and Role of Contractor

    2. Outcomes

  1. Financial Report

  2. Timelines

Appendix 1 Guidelines

    See Interim Report January/February 2003

Appendix 2 Reports subsequent to CDW Forums

    See Interim Report January/February 2003

Appendix 3 Examples of promoting DD materials Appendix 4 Draft of pamphlet to be produced See Interim Report January/February 2003PREAMBLEThe current project extends the work completed by AFSSSE in the following projects, as part of the National Activities element of Discovering Democracy.1997 - 1998 ProjectIn 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 ProjectThe second project required AFSSSE to work with professional associations to raise awareness of the Discovering Democracy school 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. 1999-2000 projectIn this project AFSSSE raised awareness of the Discovering Democracy materials by organising online discussions, and by continuing to promote discussion through the AFSSSE network.2000-2001 projectAFSSSE produced 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.2001 - 2002 projectAFSSSE is developing a package of at least ten case studies and accompanying lesson plans to demonstrate to teachers and lecturers of pre-service teachers how the Discovering Democracy materials, which have been circulated to date, can be used in specific disciplines in senior secondary classes. The case studies will be posted on the AFSSSE website.2002-2003 projectThe current project requires AFSSSE to host at least seven teacher forums during Celebrating Democracy Week (23-29 October 2002), and provide summaries from the Forums and a pamphlet advertising the Discovering Democracy material which will be available on the AFSSSE website.

  1. Education Report:

1.1 Project Description and Role of Contractor

The following peak associations have been involved in this project:

  • Australian Association of Environmental Educators ("AAEE");

  • Australian Geography Teachers Association Inc. ("AGTA");

  • Business Educators Australasia Inc. ("BEA");

  • History Teachers Association of Australia Inc. ("HTAA");

  • The Social Educators’ Association of Australia Inc. ("SEAA").

Guidelines have been prepared for these associations to issue to their managers. Appendix 1 – Interim Report.

1.2 Project Description and Role of Contractor

In accordance with the contract, AFSSSE has:

  1. hosted seven teacher forums during Celebrating Democracy Week (23-29 October 2002)

  2. provided summaries from the Forums to be placed on the AFSSSE website and

  3. developed a pamphlet advertising the Discovering Democracy material which will be available on the AFSSSE website and distributed through the AFSSSE network.

Some function have been subcontracted to the AFSSSE affiliates. These affiliates are: Australian Association of Environmental Educators (AAEE), Australian Geography Teachers Association Inc. (AGTA); Business Educators Australasia Inc. (BEA); History Teachers Association of Australia Inc. (HTAA); and the Social Education Association of Australia Inc. (SEAA).These affiliates managed seven forums during the 2002 Celebrating Democracy Week:

- AAEE managed and promoted the forum in Victoria

- AGTA managed and promoted the forum in South Australia- BEA managed and promoted the forum in Queensland. The BEA in Tasmania worked with the Discovering Democracy officer in that state, rather than organising a separate forum. AFSSSE also contributed to a local government project planning for Celebrating Democracy Week 2003.- HTAA managed and promoted the forums in Western Australia and New South Wales- SEAA managed and promoted the forums in Northern Territory and Australian Capital Territory.

See Appendix 2 – Interim Report for details.

The AFSSSE Chair and the AFSSSE Project Officer supervised the organisation of the forums. See Appendix 1, Interim Report for Guidelines.

At least 25 key educators were invited to attend each forum to respond to stimulus information provided by a guest speaker. Three focus questions were used to generate discussion at the forums:

  • How does the speaker’s address link with our current teaching for responsible citizenship?

  • What values of responsible citizenship might we apply from the address?

  • What are the future possibilities for using the Discovering Democracy resources to explore responsible citizenship?

Each association was advised to display the Discovering Democracy curriculum resources at each forum. AFSSSE is currently producing a pamphlet advertising the Discovering Democracy resources which are available on its website.

Associations have raised awareness of the resources and are planning further opportunities to promote civics and citizenship education, particularly through the use of the Discovering Democracy resources, See Appendix 3. Examples include trade displays or sessions at teacher professional association conferences during 2003/2004; publishing articles on the Forums in national and/or state newsletters; providing updates on Discovering Democracy materials and project through the AFSSSE website. AFSSSE will also use its affiliate association network to promote Celebrating Democracy Week 2003.

1.2 Outcomes and Deliverables

1.2.1 Outcomes

The attached appendices describe how AFSSSE has worked towards, and is investigating further opportunities for working towards the following outcomes:

  • collection and dissemination via the Recipient’s website of information to promote discussion on values and civics and citizenship education.

  • increased awareness of the Discovering Democracy materials and Celebrating Democracy Week.

  • opportunities for key educators to have input to reports prepared by AFSSSE for use in teacher professional development

  • production of promotional material for AFSSSE and the Discovering Democracy materials

1.2.2 Deliverables

Stage 1

  • The seven Forums have been organised and conducted. The only variation was the cancellation of the forum in Tasmania. The AFSSSE affiliate group worked with the Tasmanian Discovering Democracy officer on the state CDW activities rather than organise a separate forum. The AFSSSE project also worked on an additional activity in Queensland with a local government group to prepare for CDW 2003. See Appendix 1 and Appendix 2 for details.


  • The Interim Report as specified in Item C of the Contract Schedule has been submitted.

Stage 2

  • Summaries from the Forums have been placed on AFSSSE’s website. Affiliate groups have been advised to promote the Forum material in associations’ journals or newsletters or affiliate websites. See examples Appendix 3.

  • Draft Forum summaries have been provided to the Department for approval before publication

Stage 3

  • Summaries from the Forums are being used by each peak affiliate association when designing programs for teacher professional development. Appendix 3 provides some examples.

  • A pamphlet advertising the Discovering Democracy material is currently being produced and will be available on the Recipient’s website and circulated through the AFSSSE network. Appendix 4 provides draft outline.

  • The affiliate associations are using their networks to increase awareness of the Discovering Democracy materials and Celebrating Democracy Week.

  • Audit & Monitoring reports will be completed as required by Clause 7.

Financial Report

A summary of the Project finances as at 11.6.03 was tabled at the Board meeting.


All contract timelines have been met.

APPENDIX 1 GUIDELINES – See Interim Report





BEA has continued to promote a variety of activities involved with the Discovering Democracy programme.

These have included the work undertaken by AFSSSE that appears on their website, the Discovering Democracy materials including the website and the teacher and student competition such promotion has included:

  • information placed on the BEA and affiliate website

  • information included on affiliate newsletters

  • quarterly Presidents Report promoting an aspect of the Discovering Democracy initiatives

  • professional development activities run be affiliate associations

  • BEA included sessions at their conference

  • affiliate conferences have also included sessions to promote resources and assist teachers to introduce civics and citizenship into their classroom

  • e-mail reminders of material to affiliates.

This will be an on-going activity for BEA and their affiliate organisations.


Promoting CDW 2002

The summaries of the Celebrating Democracy Week forums and the speech notes of both the Alice Springs and Canberra evenings have been posted on the SEAA website and are featured as an insert in our journal.

Information both preceding and following the events has also featured in our journals which are made available to members in hard copy or electronically.

Activities for Celebrating Democracy Week are welcomed and strongly supported by the national executive and the local state and territory affiliates. They have proved to be well received and warmly embraced as positive forums for professional collegiate discussions.

General promotions - the SEAA conference

SEAA is actively and intimately aligned with the aims of Discovering Democracy and has a broad program of fostering and promoting these materials around the nation.

In just over a month (July 2003), the national biennial conference will be held in Melbourne in conjunction with Victoria's Discovering Democracy program . The 3 day event features a separate strand to particularly and specifically address issues of interest and concern to educators in this area. The program has been designed and developed in close consultation with the Victorian Discovering Democracy officer. The conference also has a strand devoted to indigenous issues which will highlight areas of civics and citizenship. The Curriculum Corporation are running several workshops to support and publicise the Discovering Democracy materials. The conference dinner is to be held at Parliament House to further make the links with civics and citizenship.

Students, teachers in training, teachers of all levels and systems, teacher educators and researchers will be all be in attendance, and a number of field excursions have also been arranged to compliment the civic institutions of the capital.

This joint conference raises the profile and connections of Discovering Democracy and SEAA is a strong and vital way. The connections and importance of this for the local (Victorian) constituents of SEAA and our state body (VASST - Victorian Association of Social Studies Teachers Inc) cannot be overstated. VASST has also conducted workshops and forums on a state level to promote the DD materials for primary and secondary teachers in the state and works formally with the DD Project as consultants in supporting Grant Schools implement and establish programs in their schools. They also publicise this in their state journal.


The following is an example of the type of information being posted on our newly-designed website (by the end of the month) and is also going to be incorporated in our next issue of ozEEnews (our newsletter) which is currently undergoing layout.

AFSSSE – Australian Federation of Societies for Studies of Society and Environment

The Australian Federation of Societies for the Studies of Society and Environment (AFSSSE) is a consortium of five professional associations formed in 1994 to act as the peak organization for the broad area of study known as Studies of Society and Environment (SoSE).

AAEE is one of five member associations of AFSSSE and we occupy two positions on the Board. Currently Greg Hunt and Josephine Lang are the AAEE representatives on the AFSSSE Board.

In October 2002 AAEE, in collaboration with AFSSSE, hosted a Celebrating Democracy Week Forum at Melbourne Museum. This initiative was part of the Discovering Democracy School Materials Project, developed by Curriculum Corporation for the Commonwealth Department of Employment, Education and Youth Affairs.

The keynote speaker was Dr Daniella Tilbury who is also the NSW State Delegate to the AAEE Council. Dr Tilbury spoke of her recent experience at the World Summit on Sustainable Development and presented strong connections with active citizenship, citizenship education and education for sustainability. This keynote address was then followed up with a discussion among participants about future directions for civics and citizenship education in Australia. An online report of this event is located on the AFSSSE website at:

Similar Celebrating Democracy Week Forums were held around Australia and hosted by other AFSSSE member associations. Each CDW Forum took on different perspectives of civics and citizenship education. You can view the online reports from each forum on the AFSSSE website.

You will also find that there are other resources developed by AFSSSE from projects undertaken in previous years. If you are a teacher of SoSE or an educator working with schools you should visit and bookmark this website to keep up-to-date with relevant SoSE resources, competitions and contacts.


Celebrating Democracy Forums:

Two successful Celebrating Democracy Forums were held in Perth and Sydney in 2002. Reports completed.

Results from both Forums were posted on the HTAA NSW and WA websites as well as AFSSSE.

Promotion of DD materials and Forums:

Both HTAWA and NSW have advertised the information from the Forums in their Bulletins to members as well as providing a ‘link’ to the information from their respective home pages.

NSW has also printed one speaker’s presentation in their journal. This also contained a review of the latest Senior DD Readers.

HTAWA has been privileged to be involved in Murdoch University’s History PD programme. The reports back from teachers, especially Primary teachers, of their action learning projects were very encouraging. The DD materials have now become essential teaching aids with many teachers. The WA Project Officer resigned at end 2002. A new officer has just been appointed. She is a very experienced and well known upper school History teacher with plans to expand the use of DD materials in Year 11/12 courses. This will appear at the CDW 2003/4 and the annual S&E Youth Conference later this year.

HTAV ran DD workshops at three HTAV conferences in 2002. The EO at HTAV actively promoted the use of the Readers on school visits – is still amazed at how many teachers have never seen them…….. Links to DD and AFSSSE on HTAV web site.

Colleen Williams in the NT is the Project Officer for DD. She is an active DD’er and has provided inspiration to many teachers in the NT. She is also passionate about history. Her teacher in-service programme developed in the NT promoted the use of DD materials and celebrated ideas of citizenship

HTASA – reports from South Australia indicate that the HTA has not been as active in promoting DD as some states. The association acknowledges this and recognizes the need to fulfill its responsibilities to HTAA as per the DEST contract. HTASA has agreed to promote the materials and CDW on its web site and through its Bulletins. HTASA will set aside workshop space at future HTA seminar/conference days. These will be aimed at the Senior Readers and utilize the expertise of the DD Project Officer.

ACT – The next Forum for CDW is planned to be held in the ACT. Details are provided in the future proposals section below.

HTA Qld - QHTA has published case studies from the previous project in the journal The History Teacher. DEST was acknowledged. QHTA included a Discovering Democracy workshop in the December 2002 Junior SOSE Day. Reference was made to the website and CDW Forum materials. The Executive Officer AFSSSE regularly attends the DD Professional Development meetings and has input to the next conference to be held at the Gold Coast, and to the development of a Focus Group on DD and Indigenous Issues, held in Brisbane, May 2003.

ACTHTA - similarly to SA, has had little formal involvement in promoting DD beyond members of the Association.   Both the CCE Project Officer in the ACT Department of Education and the DD Project Officer have attended a number of ACTHTA meetings, and discussed the DD materials with our members.  In the recent past, DD activities have played a role in our seminars, with the keynote speech at a ACTHTA Annual Conference being on Greek and Roman democracy, and how they relate to modern democracy.

ACTHTA recognises the key role that DD plays in the SOSE learning area in particular, and it acting to substantively rectify this lack, by playing a significant role in shaping the proposed DD/CDW activties currently being proposed.


The have always been well developed links between the Discovering Democracy materials, Civics and Citizenship Education and History teaching and learning in Australia. Both History teachers and teachers of S&E have been instrumental in the use and promotion of DD since 1998. In this latest project HTAA has maintained and enhanced its links to DD; firstly, by its ongoing commitment to promoting DD and secondly, through to highly successful Forums.




Information from the Celebrating Democracy Week Forums and promotion of Civics and Citizenship has been circulated in the following ways:

  • Ensuring that a summary of the CDW Forums organized by AGTA have been placed on the AFSSSE Website.

  • Advertising Discovering Democracy Case Studies and resources on the AGTA Website.

  • Providing links between the AGTA and AFSSSE Websites.

  • Promoting the AFSSSE Website in the AGTA NEWS (produced by an AGTA Vice President after each Council Meeting for inclusion in all Affiliate Journals/Newsletters). Advertising the Senior Case Studies and summaries from the CDW Forums as part of this promotion.

  • Circulating copies of the Case Studies and appropriate web pages at National and State Geography Teachers’ meetings.

  • Using the Case Studies as Professional Development Workshops.

  • Outlining the role of AFSSSE, the links to Discovering Democracy and the opportunities for Geography Teachers and Students in the next issue of the AGTA Journal-GEOGRAPHICAL EDUCATION. (This Journal is distributed to all AGTA Affiliates in Australia and is available overseas by subscription).

Depending on copyright implications, it is proposed to reproduce selected Senior Case Studies and summaries of CDW Forums in State Newsletters/Journals.


The following extract from the May 2003 Minutes of Meeting, AFSSSE Board highlight the possibilities for further promotion of civics and citizenship education and the Discovering Democracy materials through an expanding network and links with other projects.


  • National History Project is currently winding up. Examples of achievements - Queensland has a website; SA working with Queensland website, NSW regional initiatives; professional development activities in Victoria; Tasmania has compiled a CD of materials; WA – regional professional development; ACT – oral histories and writing Australian history. This year ANU Summer School joining with two other groups to broaden participation – civics, legal and history focus. National conference Brisbane 30 September to 3 October 2003.


National Conference – see detail in report above.


  • Working strategically with Environment Australia – establishment of Australian Environmental Education Foundation. Creating more resource materials and working with broad education sector. Three organisations to work with Foundation.

  • Teacher education review – how to change culture of innovation in schools. Need to think of future and education for sustainability.

  • Advisory role with Environment Australia

  • Pilot Sustainable Schools Project started this year. Report due at end of year.

  • Daniella Tilbury delivering environmental education to the wider community sector

  • Conference 2004 in South Australia

  • Aiming to improve national recognition through special interest groups.

  • Introducing Development Implementation Grants providing seeding for chapters to push the agenda of environmental education

  • Victoria lobbying for states to work together and gain political support.


BEA activities include:

  • Business Education Week

  • Plan Your Own Enterprise Competition

  • BEA Conference 2004

  • Asia Education Foundation Conference – Vietnam

  • BEA AGM and Council Meeting

  • Teacher Education Review submission


  • 89th meeting in Melbourne in April to plan the 2004 conference

  • Australian Geography Competition

  • National Geography Week

  • GIS Roadshow

  • "Keys to Geography"

  • Joint Meeting AGTA/Institute of Australian Geographers (IAG) Councils.


The Chair and Executive Officer are to prepare a submission to DEST proposing the following:

That AFSSSE continue to raise awareness of the Discovering Democracy materials through the strengthening of learning partnerships and accessing key conferences and professional development activities.

Theme: Effective citizenship - strengthening learning partnerships through the use of the Discovering Democracy resources

Suggested spread of professional development and partnership activity:


Comview Conference – Host group Business Education in Victoria ; Program to include a full day strand on CCE featuring DD. Invitees – members from AAEE and SEAA


Subject to gaining sponsorship, ACTHTA will organize a CDW Forum in the ACT - Host group is HTAA (ACTHTA) and groups in the alliance described below. Focus will be on effective citizenship Australia in the world. Invitees - members from AGTA.

The event will be a one day professional learning experience on the theme of effective Australian and international citizenship. Citizenship goes beyond mere civic knowledge; it means getting students of all ages involved in their society and the world around them. The day will focus upon both conceptual and practical ways of increasing students’ participation in their world.

The ACTHTA has entered into strategic alliances with the Civics and Citizenship Project Officer for the ACT Department of Education, Youth and Family Services, and the Discovering Democracy project officer of the ACT branch of the Association of Independent Schools. The professional learning day will be a joint venture, with all three stakeholders contributing to funds.


AGTA and the SOSE group in WA as hosts. Invite members from HTAA and BEWA.


AAEE is the host in Qld at the planning day for the 2004 conference. Invite members from SEAA and QSOSE.


BEA in the host in Tasmania. Invite members from AGTA and AAEE and HTAA. Essential learning focus.


SEAA is the host in South Australia. Invite members from AAEE and AGTA


HTAA to be the host in New South Wales. Invite AFSSSE members depending on the relevance of the topic chosen.


AFSSSE to be the host in Northern Territory - Colleen Williams and Sandra Kenman to coordinate.



See Interim Report

Copyright © 2004  AFSSSE