The reuniting of Humanities

Posted 27 June 2019 3:34pm

As our Principal, Anna Owen, has announced, there will be a reunion of sorts happening in the Senior School from the beginning of Semester 2.

For several years, our humanities subjects have been split across two faculties, Geography and Social Sciences Faculty (led by Dianne Gilbert) and History and RAP (led by Louise Dwyer). From next term the following subjects will (literally) ‘move in’ together and form the Humanities and Social Sciences Faculty (HSSF): Business, Commerce, Economics, Geography, Global Studies, Legal Studies, History – Ancient, History – Modern and PreModern, Philosophy and Ethics, RAP and REST.

Members of this Faculty will be located in the Gabriel Centre (G Block) near Academic Engagement. I am delighted to be leading the team at this exciting time and look forward to working alongside Louise Dwyer as she takes up the role of HSSF Curriculum Development (Years 7-10).

So why do we study these subjects?

Well, because there is one constant in the world - people.

It may initially be because the government, through the Australian Curriculum, says that you have to! Then you may decide to study some of those subjects further because they interest you and you find them enjoyable.

But the focus of our subjects is to understand the ways that people interact with each other, with the natural and man-made world, how people and societies make decisions for themselves, their communities and their nations and how we can help solve the problems of today and into the future.

We learn about the importance of fostering empathy and social justice and how people have, and continue to, make sense of the world intellectual, morally and spiritually.

In the words of an esteemed Year 10 History student: “History is very practical as I have more of a global understanding and can understand current affairs and the way countries operate and international relationships.”

We want you to question everything! Be critical, questioning, ask why often, research widely and, find and assess credible sources (always citing them accurately!) and develop convincing arguments.  Because humans are unpredictable and complex, you can then go on and develop creative solutions.

Why is this important to you I hear you ask?

Consider this: A ‘fake news’ tweet is 70% more likely to be re-tweeted and will reach 150,000 re-tweets 6 times faster than ‘real news’.

When you venture beyond the gates of CGGS, to university and work, your ability to think critically, consider multiple perspectives, conduct sophisticated research, construct a compelling argument and contribute creative solutions in a team environment will be an amazing advantage.

The world will, according to all current predictions of the future, contain human beings. So Humanities and Social Sciences will have an even greater role to play.

Why do we need these subjects in one Faculty?

Once upon a time, History, RAP, Geography and Social Sciences were all together in one Faculty, so this is now an opportunity to reunite; strengthening our existing programs and courses and developing new and progressive ones. We have a team of passionate educators and our purpose is, and always should be, around our students.

A CGGS Year 12 graduate ventures out into the world with knowledge, skills and qualities that are second to none; a well-educated, aware and empathetic young woman.

Dianne Gilbert
Head of Humanities and Social Sciences Faculty

Photo above: Dianne Gilbert and Louise Dwyer