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July 10, 2020, 12:24:04 pm

Author Topic: How Would You Make Your Subjects Better?  (Read 1137 times)  Share 

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Geoo

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How Would You Make Your Subjects Better?
« on: June 01, 2020, 08:09:38 pm »
+14
Being the procrastinating master I am, I thought I'd start a thread to see how other would change their current year 11/12 subjects!

So, to anyone on the forums, how would you change your current or past (to all those graduated) subjects at a year 12 level?

There is no right or wrong answer, you could take something out, add something in, change the core of the subject, add new topics, redo criteria, literally anything you want. The core is to just see what you would think make the subject better or more fun. It could be just something you want personally, or something that could benefit other students.

I'll go through some of my subjects:
Chemistry
Here are some of the topics I would add:
- Pharmacology (it's more biochemistry, but the chemistry side is very interesting)
- I would love there to be more analytical chemistry, and doing more lab work around it.
- There is some food chemistry in there, but I would really like to go more indepth into some of the science of how stuff works in food, e.g the chemistry behind a cake rising, or how artifical colours/flavors where created using pre-existing structures of other chemicals.
-This may be we too much for a highschool level, but I wish there were more lab practices that involved chemical reactions to create products, e.g extracting caffeine from coffee.
-This was in year 11 VCE, but I think some of the bonding and atomic structure elements could be brought into year 12.
-There are a few more but these are just a few.
Here is what i'd remove:
I do see most of the topics being the real foundation of chemistry, so I wouldn't remove too much, but I'd take out most of the comparisons of fuels. In VCE year 11, i'd take out most of water being the universal solvent, it's a decent topic but the depth it was explored was excessive.

English
What I would think make english better (personal likes though)
This will never happen, but I would love if every student got to choose their own book, and for 3 months, they would be allowed to write an indepth analysis of the characters, plot, themes, and ideas. That would be amazing.
I wish there was more of a creative focus in year 12. I know it's not everyone's favourite, and I believe creativity takes time, so what if there was another long term project that meant students could create their own stories over a few months? Or even a collections of short stories over the year.

What I would change:
- I would remove half the booklist to give more relevant up to date books with topics that could relate more to the general 17/18 year old.
- I'd make the comparison task between adaptions compared to here is a book, and here is a movie that's similar. I think greater diversity of what is being compared would be great too. For instant two short movies by the same creater? An animation and a live action movie on the same topic.
-Time limits. I think they should be extended....
-Quote sheets. Remembering quotes should say if you know the book well, it just says your good at remembering...

Biology 
What I would change:
-I would add more medicine components. Doing more on how certain parts of the body work, how drugs interact with them etc.
- Diseases being explored in more depth.
- I didn't like unit 4 at all, but I think expanding the evolution topic to animals would be fascinating.
- Spend some time going on how environment affects lifeforms, (radiation, harsher climates etc)
What i'd get rid over:
- All the evolution stuff in unit 4. This is really just what i'd get rid off, I found those topics to be not my cup of tea.

Methods
Don't really have anything to say for what i'd improve, but once again for my own personal dislike of probability, i'd remove that and replace it with more statistics.

Food Studies
I'd change it to the old study design and make it a portfolio subject again, with an emphasis on creating. Food science should still be explored, but I think a life on having to follow the ADGs and AGHE should be scrapped, as I can't make any foods that contain high fat, sugar or salt. That takes the fun out of cooking. I would make the subject more on cooking and baking, and scrap the some of the humanities stuff based around food trends, marketing, global food security, farming etc. So i'd just make the main focus food.

What would you guys change?
« Last Edit: June 01, 2020, 08:47:20 pm by Geoo »
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eloisegrace

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Re: How Would You Make Your Subjects Better?
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2020, 08:54:38 pm »
+7
I love this thread idea  :) Even though I am only in year 11 I would love to give my thoughts on some of my subjects.

English Language
- I would prefer if more 3/4 content was covered in 1/2, Unit 1 AOS 2 and Unit 2 are quite irrelevant in my opinion and the language aspects could be covered in less time.
- More research elements.
- An oral presentation could give some variety to the assessments.

Methods
- Maybe graphing and solving modulus functions, they are mentioned in other parts of the course and it could be easier if these were explored in the 3/4 course
- Less probability and statistics (personal vendetta  ;))

Further
Nothing much to say, I love further hahaha

Chemistry
- More pharmacology
- Less nanomaterials
- Less stuff in 1/2 that is irrelevant for 3/4
I really enjoy VCE Chemistry so there isn't much here either

French
- Maybe incorporate certain extended studies for year 11, or even year 12
- More exploration of different text types (I feel like similar text types are repeated)
- Equal weighting of writing, interpretation of texts and oral component

Accounting
- More practical side of accounting
- Less theory
- I don't know how but possibly make the course more engaging because I find it pretty dry at times.

I know this isn't comprehensive and I may add stuff later but here it is 8)

eloisegrace :)
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brothanathan

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Re: How Would You Make Your Subjects Better?
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2020, 09:17:24 pm »
+1
LOTE
Oral examinations defo need to be revised. Gonna be real here, we shouldn't be judged by the way we look. We should be judged solely on the way we speak and express ourselves full stop.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2020, 09:22:17 pm by brothanathan »
What's your why?

s110820

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Re: How Would You Make Your Subjects Better?
« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2020, 01:06:02 pm »
0

So, to anyone on the forums, how would you change your current or past (to all those graduated) subjects at a year 12 level?

There is no right or wrong answer, you could take something out, add something in, change the core of the subject, add new topics, redo criteria, literally anything you want. The core is to just see what you would think make the subject better or more fun. It could be just something you want personally, or something that could benefit other students.

English
What I would think make english better (personal likes though)
This will never happen, but I would love if every student got to choose their own book, and for 3 months, they would be allowed to write an indepth analysis of the characters, plot, themes, and ideas. That would be amazing.
I wish there was more of a creative focus in year 12. I know it's not everyone's favourite, and I believe creativity takes time, so what if there was another long term project that meant students could create their own stories over a few months? Or even a collections of short stories over the year.

What I would change:
- I would remove half the booklist to give more relevant up to date books with topics that could relate more to the general 17/18-year-old.
- I'd make the comparison task between adaptions compared to here is a book, and here is a movie that's similar. I think greater diversity of what is being compared would be great too. For instant two short movies by the same creator? An animation and a live-action movie on the same topic.
-Time limits. I think they should be extended...
-Quote sheets. Remembering quotes should say if you know the book well, it just says your good at remembering...

Biology 
What I would change:
-I would add more medicine components. Doing more on how certain parts of the bodywork, how drugs interact with them etc.
- Diseases being explored in more depth.
- I didn't like unit 4 at all, but I think expanding the evolution topic to animals would be fascinating.
- Spend some time going on how the environment affects lifeforms, (radiation, harsher climates etc)
What I'd get rid of:
- All the evolution stuff in unit 4. This is really just what I'd get rid off, I found those topics to be not my cup of tea.

Hey Geoo!

I love the concept of this forum thread and personally, I agree with most of the points that you highlighted in your response - especially for English and Biology. However, I would have to slightly disagree with you when you discussed not studying the concept of "evolution" in Biology.

As a QCE student, I'm not entirely sure of the VCE Biology syllabus, but for my state, we're studying genetics before we study evolution which I think is great. Personally, I believe that the concept of "genetics" is the foundation of Evolution as a concept and without the foundation, learning the concept of evolution may seem useless or complex as there is no connection between the other concepts learnt throughout the year.

As a result, I believe that learning about the concept of evolution is useful in our Biology studies, especially since the concept of "genetics" would be perceived as the theory of the subject, rather than how the concept of "evolution" enables you to put your knowledge of "genetics" in a more practical way.

For English, however, I completely agree with what you said about the personalisation of the subject. The state-specific academic boards such as QCAA, VCAA etc. should write a prescribed text list with several texts that are relevant to the audience of coming-of-age/young-adult teenagers and then enable students to choose texts from the list as it may be difficult to keep track of and maintain a lot of texts (if that makes sense).

Personally, I believe that a "pretty decent" prescribed text list to have would be something similar to, and are in no particular order, is below. And also please note that several of these "themes" may overlap, which would give students the flexibility to choose their preference from the list without being restricted to just one theme from a particular novel. The examples below are just novels, but please feel free to suggest other modes of texts (such as poetry, graphic novels, plays, films/tv series etc.) in the forum thread!

Gender Roles

1. Jane Eyre
2. Little Women
3. Anne of Green Gables
4. Pride & Prejudice

Identity

1. Frankenstein
2. The Catcher in the Rye
3. Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda
4. Divergent

The "Tensions" Between Differences - not sure if this heading makes sense. But please suggest any ideas that I can change it to. I just phrased it really badly.

1. To Kill A Mockingbird
2. The Book Thief
3. The Hate U Give
4. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

Feel free to add more "themes" and text suggestions related to the "themes" as well as I would love to hear about what you think! I also agree with your idea of how students should be able to do each individual analytical task(s) over a span of three months or even through two terms (to learn about the text for the first term and write an analysis about the text over the next term - an example for self-paced learning) rather than cramming all of the content, features and analysis of characters, themes, chapters/acts into a few weeks.

Personally, I think that it would be beneficial if for certain assessment tasks (for any subject) if students were given the option to learn and study/revise at their own pace or work at a similar pace that they learn for school at the moment. For example, for a self-paced curriculum, it would enable students who don't have a "photogenic" memory or are not able to "keep up" with the standard workload a chance to really "flourish" and "thrive" in secondary school as the pressure of time is relieved with their own personal preferences.

Please let me know what you think of my suggestions, as I would love to hear from you!

Have a great week and good luck with your upcoming exams or assignments (if you have any)!

Kind regards,

Darcy Dillon.

2020 QCE: Biology, English, General Mathematics, Literature and Modern History.

Chocolatemilkshake

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Re: How Would You Make Your Subjects Better?
« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2020, 08:55:41 pm »
+3
Methods
- Maybe graphing and solving modulus functions, they are mentioned in other parts of the course and it could be easier if these were explored in the 3/4 course
- Less probability and statistics (personal vendetta  ;))
Yes I was so glad some of the probability was taken out of the course. The basic modulus is done is spec though so I guess they might want to avoid being too repetitive over the different maths? (haha you should come join the spec gang)

French
- Maybe incorporate certain extended studies for year 11, or even year 12
- More exploration of different text types (I feel like similar text types are repeated)
- Equal weighting of writing, interpretation of texts and oral component
These ideas are great, the weighting of oral/writing/interpretation of texts is a really interesting change to discuss. Have you seen the new weighting of the french exam sections? The writing section is now worth 20 marks, the same as the listening (also 20 marks) although the reading is 35 marks. I'm super happy about this change (especially since I find listening the hardest section.)

LOTE
Oral examinations defo need to be revised. Gonna be real here, we shouldn't be judged by the way we look. We should be judged solely on the way we speak and express ourselves full stop.
My understanding is that this is exactly how oral LOTE exams are scored, how well we express ourselves in the second language. Not sure what you particularly wanted revised? To be honest, I really like the new French study design where we have to bring in a photo to stimulate conversation and I also like how we as the student can direct our own investigation.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2020, 08:57:30 pm by Chocolatemilkshake »
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eloisegrace

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Re: How Would You Make Your Subjects Better?
« Reply #5 on: June 02, 2020, 09:44:28 pm »
+3
Yes I was so glad some of the probability was taken out of the course. The basic modulus is done is spec though so I guess they might want to avoid being too repetitive over the different maths? (haha you should come join the spec gang)
Yay for less probability! I guess they don't want too much repetitiveness but it was in the course until this study design (2016 onwards) and I feel like my teacher explains it to us like we know it? And no for me and spesh, I don't think my brain would be able to cope with another maths  ;)

These ideas are great, the weighting of oral/writing/interpretation of texts is a really interesting change to discuss. Have you seen the new weighting of the french exam sections? The writing section is now worth 20 marks, the same as the listening (also 20 marks) although the reading is 35 marks. I'm super happy about this change (especially since I find listening the hardest section.)
I haven't seen the new weighting, but I like it hahaha. I feel like writing is a good section to make more marks as it encompasses more of your vocab and grammar skills, as reading/listening are quite focused. It also allows for some marks to be easily (imo) gained with adequate preparation.
I also like how the reading and listening sections are somehow intertwined, while I thought I would hate it I actually found it a lot easier and it made more logical sense :)
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Re: How Would You Make Your Subjects Better?
« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2020, 11:45:26 pm »
+2
Great thread Geoo! :)

I think I would only change the sciences:
🧬Biology:
I wish there was an Extension 1 and 2 option. I really enjoy Biology and wouldn't mind taking on harder versions of it like, doing Extension 2 if they had it

☄️Physics:
I again wish there was an Extension 1 and 2 option. Just like Biology, I really enjoy it and would like to take on harder versions

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Re: How Would You Make Your Subjects Better?
« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2020, 08:22:27 am »
+4
ENGLISH CAN STAY COMPULSORY BUT IT SHOULDNT BE IN YOUR TOP 4
I understand why it is, but like the students who need a certain ss for uni entry will work to achieve that and it takes off some of the pressure i think?
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Re: How Would You Make Your Subjects Better?
« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2020, 09:35:31 am »
+4
For VCE Maths in general

#1 priority: Get rid of CAS. Maybe a scientific calculator should be allowed for Further, but otherwise the subjects should be calculator free. There is too much emphasis on pushing buttons to get an answer, and not enough on reasoning, understanding, and sharp technique.

For Methods / Specialist, there are severe problems with the design and relationship of these courses that won't be solved just by tinkering with what topics are included / excluded. The fundamental problems are that the courses are too bloated, too superficial, and too confusing with their pre/co-requisite structure. But given the way VCAA have responded to criticism in the past (ie. by ignoring it), it seems they are determined for Victorian students to continue receiving an inferior maths education.

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Re: How Would You Make Your Subjects Better?
« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2020, 09:57:03 am »
+2
Love this thread idea!

Chemistry: maybe some more emphasis on real world/food chem - I find it really interesting! Would also love a more superior biochem component.

Art: I could go on forever with this one. In general, less emphasis on folio annotations and more emphasis on creating. I think the practical componenet of art is judged way to much on how well you can write about artworks, rather than how good you are in actually creating them.

English: Could also go on forever about this one. Would love some more relevant essay styles to be taught, more engaging books. Perhaps also only needing to study one text throughout the year and doing the same text for creative/text response.

Methods: Quite like the methods course how it is, but would like a few things from specialist to be implemented into it, as it would make methods in some ways so much easier! After undertaking 3/4 spec after finishing methods, methods seems like a breeze because some things taught in spec helps enhance methods capabilities, thus advantaging those who do both.

Physics: Not much comment here. Found 1/2 quite interesting such as thermodynamics/nuclear physics, and would love it if those topics were taught in further detail in the 3/4 course.
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Re: How Would You Make Your Subjects Better?
« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2020, 03:01:06 pm »
+3
English: This has been a long debate between my friends and I, some were mentioning that English shouldn't be a compulsory subject and honestly, I'd have to agree with them. But anyway, English would probably be better if the texts were more interesting. Currently, we're doing Extinction (Hannie Rayson), The Namesake (Jhumpa Lahiri) and Reckoning, A Memoir (Magda Szubanski). Personally, I really only found The Namesake engaging as I believe it grasps the very world that we live in as individuals. Books and novels like that would be more interesting in the curriculum and plus, it would be pretty fun to write essays on something we can relate to. Implementing relevant writing forms into the study design would also be beneficial.

Chemistry: The basis of assumed knowledge from Unit 1/2 seeped into Unit 3/4 (regarding reactivity, first ionization energy etc.) but it would be cool if we could utilize real-world concepts and implement them into the Chemistry study design. For example. chemistry of drugs (pharmacology) and more emphasis on everyday chemistry.

Physics: Honestly, the content for Year 12 Physics is substantial, but going into detail with waves would be cool. (Doppler effect, the Schrdinger equation (might be a bit difficult for Year 12 Physics, lol)) Quantum physics and quantum mechanics would be interesting to see being in the physics study design as well.

Mathematical Methods: Probability and statistics is the bane of my very existence and it would be beneficial for most students if the content of probability and statistics were to be lessened. Other than that, the study design for Methods is alright.

Specialist Mathematics: Implementing more applications of specialist mathematics into real-world use (such as rates of change, I really enjoyed that chapter).
« Last Edit: June 08, 2020, 03:05:40 pm by tonyphan162 »
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Re: How Would You Make Your Subjects Better?
« Reply #11 on: July 06, 2020, 05:11:39 pm »
+1
I would  add geography to my course as it was not offered 😭 and add climatology as a course within it and horticulture
Also i would also love a chosen book in depth study like some one suggested and remove business studies all together