I presented at the primary day of the HASS Week Conference last Friday. It was good to have the opportunity to emphasise to a sub-group of 20 teachers that you do not have to be a rocket scientist to teach Econs and Bus in Year 5 and 6 and that the 'ideas' in the syllabus are within the capability of children of this age (just don't go too deep). I used a few activities from the EandB Education Learning Activities books to illustrate how the E&B content develops the so called '21st Century skills' (sometimes described as the 4 Cs - Critical Thinking, Creativity, Communicating and Collaborating).
I also shared a learning activity based on the Matagarup Bridge that I recently developed for Year 5. This emphasised that keeping examples up to date and in the students 'realm' is essential for ease of learning. I will share the MB activity in a blog post soon.
Thanks to Maree Whitley (from AISWA) for getting HASS Week going for the first time in 2018 following a one day event in 2017. HASS knowledge, understandings and skills are important for any person in Australia today. Those lacking economic and financial literacy are at a great risk of being 'left behind'.
Despite the rhetoric, education should NOT be all about STEM (or STEAM as it has more recently been termed in some places - that's A for Arts added). There is plenty of requirement for workers with an Economics background and/or the skills that Economics learning develops. Perhaps Hassteam is a better acronym (that still leaves out three learning areas - English, Health and Phys Ed and Languages - all in the Melbourne Declaration).
I am looking forward to HASS Week 19 being even bigger and better!