Why a national history curriculum needs a museum site study

by Louise Zarmati

When Australian high school students were asked what they thought about learning Australian history, a majority said they were bored by textbooks, notes, dates, teacher-talk and repetition of content. What they did enjoy was 'doing history', in particular, going on excursions. Teachers also said they were keen to take students to museums and historic sites. In this paper I present a number of reasons why students should be given learning opportunities out of the classroom that allow them to see, touch and experience Australia's historical and archaeological heritage.

With the Rudd government committed to producing a national history curriculum by 2011, an opportunity now exists to include a mandatory site study. After the implementation of its national curriculum in 1989 the United Kingdom government introduced initiatives that successfully established partnerships between schools and museums. This model is offered as an example of how Australian students could be given opportunities to visit significant museums and heritage sites and actively experience the 'practical stuff' of Australian history, thus forging stronger links with schools and promoting historical literacy in positive and creative learning environments.


Towards a national history curriculum

The final product of the Howard government's attempt to develop a national history curriculum in 2006–07 was its Guide to the Teaching of Australian History in Years 9 and 10, which 'aimed to provide the rationale and objectives for the study of Australian history in Years 9 and 10 as a separate subject in schools across Australia'.[1] Shortly after its election in November 2007 the Rudd Labor government began afresh by establishing a National Curriculum Board whose directive is to deliver national curricula for English, mathematics, the sciences and history to be implemented in January 2011.

While politicians, state curriculum bodies, academics and teachers were arguing about the content of school history courses, Anna Clark, researcher in history education at Monash University, was conducting a national survey of the attitudes of Australian students and teachers to the teaching of Australian history in schools.[2] Clark's research was completed in 2007 and provides the most up-to-date record of what teachers and students think about how Australian history should be taught and what students themselves think they should be learning. It provides a valuable evidential base to support the argument presented in this paper that Australian students would benefit from the inclusion of a site study in a national history curriculum.

Secondary student silhouette
Secondary students on a tour of the National Museum of Australia
photograph by Lannon Harley
National Museum of Australia
What adolescents don't like about learning Australian history

When Christine Halse conducted in 1997 a survey of the state of history teaching in New South Wales secondary schools, one student commented, 'We did Australian history in years 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8. It was boring. I would rather watch paint dry'.[3] Ten years later attitudes had not changed much. Teachers and students told Clark that while they thought it was important to learn Australian history, not everyone agreed it should be a compulsory subject. In fact, many teachers were against making Australian history a compulsory, examinable subject because, as one teacher from Brisbane put it, 'if you put the words "compulsion" and "teenager" in the same sentence, it's a disaster, and you will get a backlash'.[4] A student from New South Wales, where history is a compulsory subject in years 7 to 10,[5] said, 'I don't think it should be compulsory because I've always found from personal experience that if you try and make things compulsory it's the fastest way to make people not interested'.[6]

The general opinion was that if Australian history has to be mandatory then it should be taught extremely well. Clark maintains that, 'unless these classroom perspectives play a real and distinct role in developing a national history curriculum ... it's doubtful whether any effort to mandate the subject will be "doable", "teachable" or "sustainable"'.[7]

What adolescents do like about learning Australian history

Fortunately, the prognosis was not all bad. In response to Clark's question, 'How do you learn history best?' most said they preferred discussing different interpretations of history and some said they enjoyed it most when they were given the opportunity to do history themselves. A student from Tasmania said she would 'like to have more hands on sort of stuff ... if I'm watching something or actually doing something I find it easier to learn'.[8]

Most importantly, a number of students specifically mentioned that they liked going on excursions, 'because it motivates you practically. It's a different setting, different environment, and it's also really good to have discussions'. Students in one rural public school in New South Wales[9] 'begged for more history fieldwork'.[10]

Group after group described how comparing different perspectives through a mixture of class discussion, excursions and research projects made the subject more engaging.[11] A Canberra student said, 'Excursions always keep you interested because it's something different, something new — you're not in the classroom, you're out doing something else, so that helps you learn as well'.[12]

Secondary students with car
Secondary school students on excursion at the National Museum of Australia
photograph by Lannon Harley
National Museum of Australia

The general consensus among students was that they responded well to learning during excursions and were able to remember the concepts and details of history because they enjoyed the learning experience in a novel environment. They were most interested when they were actively engaged in the physical act of doing history themselves, rather than sitting passively in a classroom and having it taught to them.

Teaching historical literacy

In pedagogical terms, students indicated that learning was most effective when teachers were imbuing them with the skills of historical literacy, an approach now widely accepted in history education discourse.[13] Historical literacy covers the range of knowledge, understandings and skills required by the student to grasp the nature of history, including using historical reasoning, synthesis and interpretation to explain the past. Historical literacy is an important part of life as a whole because history is not merely about understanding what happened in the past, but also about using that understanding to develop an informed moral, political and social view of the world.[14] While historical literacy represents the ideal learning outcomes history students should achieve as a result of effective teaching, it is important to draw a distinction between it and the methods used to actively teach historical literacy to students.

The process of historical inquiry

Historical inquiry is a method employed by teachers to teach historical literacy. Developed concurrently in the United Kingdom and the United States during the mid-1980s, it has become the most commonly used (but not exclusive) method of teaching history in Australian high schools. In this paradigm, students are no longer considered passive consumers of history taught didactically by the teacher-authority. They are taught to work as historians: evaluating historical sources, identifying contradictions and conflicts, and developing interpretations supported by historical evidence.

Fundamental to the process of historical inquiry method is the evaluation and interrogation of sources: primary and secondary, written and archaeological. Students analyse primary sources such as eye-witness accounts, diaries, newspaper reports; two-dimensional objects such as photos, postcards and paintings; and, less commonly, artefacts such as pottery, weapons, statues, coins and jewellery. Most importantly they are encouraged to critically evaluate secondary interpretations of history. The emphasis is on interpreting and evaluating the reliability of sources in order to demonstrate that they can be biased, value-laden, ambiguous or incomplete.

In fact, historical inquiry method teaches students to:

recognize and criticise irrational historical interpretations; to reconstruct the 'point of view' of various historical interpretations; to evaluate and criticise reasoning in historiographical texts and debates; to evaluate the use of historical evidence and the reliability of sources referred to in historiographical texts; to understand and critically evaluate historians' use of causal attribution; and to engage in rational debate with different historical interpretations so as to widen the scope of their own experiences of the past.[15]
Real problems with virtual experiences

Although a plethora of textbooks, teaching resources and the internet now provide teachers with easy access to a variety of written sources on Australian history, access to authentic, tangible artefacts and cultural heritage sites may not be possible for a number of practical reasons discussed below. In response, some museums have attempted to solve the problem by providing loan services that deliver replica or authentic artefacts to schools.[16] Although students can access virtual tours via the internet, ultimately such activities are poor substitutes for the real experience of being physically present at a museum or heritage site.[17]

Places and things: object lessons in teaching history

Quite simply, the power of an out-of-the-classroom experience cannot be replicated by virtual reality. Visiting is experiential and sensory: students are excited by being in a place where a historic event took place, by being able to see or handle an artefact associated with a known historic event, person or groups. Artefact handling is a form of active learning that engages students in ways that other teaching methods often fail to do. Artefacts have a remarkable capacity to motivate learning because they stimulate curiosity and questioning. They provide concrete experiences that aid the imagination by providing creative stimulus and emotional connectedness.

Because they are real rather than abstract, artefacts aid the memory and cause physical sensations, experiences and emotions to remain longer in the mind than written or orally transmitted information.[18] A study of the impact of odours on the memories of visitors to Jorvik Viking Centre in York in England found that the repetition of odours significantly aided visitors' recall of information in this innovative museum's reconstructions of a Viking village with sights, sounds and smells.[19]

Why students enjoy learning in museums and heritage sites

Clark's finding that students enjoyed learning during excursions is supported by a number of studies that look at the impact of museum visiting on children's memory. Although significant research has been done on the learning of primary school children in science and art museums, both in Australia and overseas, to date no equivalent studies have been undertaken to measure high school students' learning in Australian history museums.[20]

A longitudinal study conducted in New York by Judith Hudson and Robyn Fivush found that kindergarten children's memories of an excursion to an archaeology museum were so profound that with appropriate cues, such as targeted questions and photographs, they were able to recall details of the experience six years later in sixth grade.[21] The researchers concluded that the high level of accuracy of recall may have been due to the novelty of the event, and the more distinctive aspects of the event seemed to persist longer in the children's memory (such as digging and finding artefacts, using archaeological tools, and making clay models of artefacts). After six years the children tended not to remember the more typical aspects of museum visiting, such as simply 'seeing things'.[22]

A quantitative study of 24 third-grade class visits to the Guggenheim Museum New York's 'Learning through art program' found that three main factors contributed to increased critical thinking skills and had a positive impact on students' academic performance: museum-educator guided inquiry sessions on topics relating to the curriculum, hands-on 'making' activities and multiple visits.[23] Museum staff carefully developed a set of measurement rubrics to test learning outcomes and tested student knowledge by interview:

The study demonstrates that students who participated ... were able to better articulate their thoughts and express more sophisticated responses to both a work of art and text than students who did not participate ... More importantly, students who participated ... were able to apply skills learned in an art context to language arts context and become better readers.[24]

This research shows that learning can be both enjoyable and effective when students are given the opportunity to actively participate in practical activities out of the classroom.

The quest for emotional connectedness

Research into 'thanatourism'[25] and 'dark'[26] tourism has shown that travel to places of historical significance, especially those associated with death, is not a new phenomenon but has become increasingly popular over the last century. However, 'war tourism', visits to sites or destinations associated with war, probably constitutes 'the largest single category of tourist attractions in the world'[27] and is often more a quest for national identity than an attempt to confront the brutalities of war.

Bruce Scates's study of what motivates young Australians to visit the battlefields of Gallipoli and the Western Front found that 'Wanderlust, a nostalgia for the past, the search for traditions in "a society without rituals" all help to "explain" the "annual migration" to Gallipoli'.[28] Although Australia's participation in warfare constitutes much of what is studied in Australian school history syllabuses,[29] few places where Australian soldiers fought and died in twentieth-century conflicts are located on Australian soil:[30]

One in every five Australians who went to [the First World] war was killed. Their bodies were buried (if they were buried at all) on battlefields 20 000 kilometres from Australia. In post war Australia, these places of mourning were desperately needed. Here the production of war memorials became a 'substitute' for burying the dead.[31]

For this reason, simulacra such as the Australian War Memorial in Canberra and the Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne have become popular venues for school excursions. Every year hundreds of school children even manage to make the long pilgrimage to the Gallipoli and Western Front battlefields in order to be connected on a personal level with the Great War.[32]

The enthusiasm with which such trips have been embraced by school parties suggests that sensory, kinaesthetic contact with artefacts and historic sites during excursions fosters powerful emotional connectedness to historic places, people and events that can make learning history a positive experience and has a lasting impact on the memory.

The potential of a national history curriculum for Australian museums

The educational potential of museums for Australian history was emphasised in the recent debate over a national history curriculum. When Tony Taylor of Monash University conducted a national inquiry into history teaching he concluded that 'there is more room for active and productive collaboration between history teachers and professional historians, including museum staff [and] heritage site staff'.[33] At the 2006 History Summit, historian Geoffrey Bolton pointed out that the museums sector had been actively lobbying summit members to impress upon them the importance of schools having access to their historical resources.[34]

Secondary students in classroom
A group of New South Wales history extension students in a learning session with the National Museum of Australia's education manager, David Arnold
photograph by Louise Zarmati

When Taylor briefed a Museums Australia group in July 2007 about the potential of a national history curriculum, he emphasised that 'institutions and organisations responsible for conservation and interpretation of historic sites and collections recognise the value of material culture to the understanding of history, but access to these collections and sites is not integral to teaching and learning of Australian history as presently structured'. He stressed that the museums sector should argue for a 'national program of local history/heritage' to become part of any future national curriculum.[35]

Impact of the national history curriculum on museums in the United Kingdom

A similar situation existed in the United Kingdom just before the national curriculum was introduced in 1991, when history became a compulsory subject for students aged 5 to 14.[36] Museums and heritage sites providing direct links to national curriculum topics were immediately flagged as venues that could enable students to access tangible primary sources and were given further incentives to develop relevant education programs.

Even so, change was slow and patchy. In 1994, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport funded research on the 'nature, extent, importance and development of museum education' and found that five years after the introduction of the national curriculum, only 37 per cent of museums made some limited provision for education, 51 per cent offered any educational services and only 25 per cent had an education policy.[37] Overall, the provision of educational services was reliant on 'arbitrary factors, such as the nature of a museum's governing body, or even the personal preferences of individual staff'. The reason for this was that unlike libraries, which were under local government jurisdiction, museums operated as a large, independent mixture with no unified structure or rationale.[38]

Significant change only came once the government began to invest considerable amounts of time, effort and money into developing a unified national framework with the aim: 'to establish the infrastructure that is required at a national level to support development of museum education'.[39] Financial support was provided not only by various government bodies but also through corporate sponsorship and innovative fundraising programs such as the Heritage Lottery Fund, established by parliament in 1994, which now uses money raised through the National Lottery to fund heritage projects, such as museums, historic places, archaeology, and the natural environment. The Heritage Lottery Fund has given strategic support to the development of public learning through museums in ways that previously had not been possible.[40]

Positive outcomes of museum education policy

The role museums can play in structured education has now been formally recognised by the United Kingdom government. Those museums that have demonstrated their relevance to specific national curriculum study units have witnessed a massive increase in schools use. The British Museum reported that only a few years after the introduction of the national history curriculum three times as many students were visiting than before the curriculum changes, and similar trends were observed in local museums.[41] A 1997 survey indicated that, as a result of the implementation of targeted policies, 'a higher proportion of museums now made provision for education'.[42] In 1999, the Department of Education and Employment launched its 'Museum and Gallery Education Programme', initially funding 65 projects nationally for museums working with schools.

Museums are now required to enhance the delivery of the national curriculum by providing new and varied ways of using unique objects and interpretative materials that can bring classroom teaching to life.[43] Education programs in museums and galleries are now marketed to schools showing their relationship to national curriculum attainments, not only for history but also for other mandated subjects, such as visual arts and science and technology.[44] Most significantly, a 2008 survey reported that school excursions also foster a lifelong interest in museum visiting and respect for heritage.[45]

The current situation in the United Kingdom fosters symbiotic partnerships between schools and museums: museums must embrace education as a core objective in the development of their policies and, likewise, schools must incorporate the unique educational role of museums in their policies, plans and mission statements.

Problems of getting out of the classroom

Although it is not mandatory, some state-produced curriculum documents in Australia encourage a visit to a museum and many teachers already do take their students on excursions to museums as a part of their course of study. In New South Wales a site study must be integrated into the course of study[46] of Australian history in years 9 and 10 because:

site studies enable students to understand their historical environment and participate actively in historical inquiry ... They also provide an enjoyable means to understand and actively engage in the past and help fashion a lifelong interest in history.[47]

As a result, two museums in the national capital have become popular excursion venues because their material meets the needs of state and territory curriculum documents: the National Museum of Australia and the Australian War Memorial. Both produce a wide range of interactive programs that cater to the variety of learning needs and interests of students. However, only 43 per cent of student visitors to the National Museum of Australia in the 2007–08 financial year were from high schools and 53 per cent of the total number came from New South Wales. Only 43 per cent of teachers chose the paid education program; the majority preferred to do a self-guided program.[48] The reasons why most teachers chose not to pay the relatively low-cost fee of between $2.50 and $5.00 per student for the guided education programs are not evident and would be worth investigating.

During the 2007–08 financial year the Australian War Memorial offered 21 staff-facilitated curriculum-linked programs and one self-guided program, yet only 48 per cent of students participated in the former programs.[49] These data indicate that although the cost per student for staff-facilitated programs is minimal (about $5.00), it is possible that the majority of teachers choose to guide their students in the museums in order to save money; the cost of transport, accommodation and food alone can make an excursion to Canberra quite expensive.[50] Other factors may also play a part, such as the relevance of programs to state curricula and the quality of pedagogies employed in their delivery.[51]

As both a former classroom history teacher and a museum educator I am a strong advocate of a national curriculum that mandates a site study requiring out-of-school visits to museums and heritage sites of local, state and national significance. However, my own experience in disadvantaged schools in western Sydney suggests that the cost of travel makes it difficult, if not impossible, to take students out of school on excursions. Timetabling, staffing and occupational health and safety issues also act as impediments. This is supported by some teachers interviewed by Clark who said, 'We would like to do more — just getting kids out of school is always a complex thing, but it's of great value'.[52] A number of New South Wales teachers reported feeling so rushed and pressured to cover the syllabus content that they could not find the time to take students on excursions even though a site study is mandatory in this state, and when they did the visit was often cursory.[53] In the light of this research, if a site study were mandated in a national history curriculum the federal government would need to consider committing a substantial amount of money to support initiatives that make it more economically and logistically viable for teachers to take students on excursions to museums and heritage sites.

The research presented in this article makes the case for the inclusion of a site study in the forthcoming national history curriculum. Recent evidence on the views of teachers and students demonstrates that they like excursions to museums and heritage sites because they foster an emotional attachment to the past that makes learning enjoyable and memorable. The experience of the United Kingdom provides a valuable model for Australian history educators to consider. The time is now ripe for government, museums and educational institutions to work in partnership towards the common goal of developing a national curriculum that promotes school visitation to museums and heritage sites. This initiative would encourage practical, experiential learning, teach historical literacy and promote an understanding and interest in our national heritage. However, it would require not just a commitment of will by the government but also the investment of adequate funding.

This paper has been independently peer-reviewed.

My sincere thanks go to my supervisor Linda Young for her comments and encouragement, Bradley Wood for proof-reading, the two anonymous reviewers and the editors for their detailed critiques and suggestions for improvement.
Endnotes 1–26
1 See the federal government's Guide to the Teaching of Australian History in Years 9 and 10, Department of Education, Science and Training, Canberra, 2007, www.htansw.asn.au/home/nationalcurriculum/Guidetoteaching
historyDEST11Oct07.pdf, accessed 18 May 2008.
2 Anna Clark's research was funded by a post-doctoral research grant and published as History's Children: History Wars in the Classroom, University of New South Wales Press, Sydney, 2008.
3 Christine Halse, The State of History in NSW, History Teachers' Association of New South Wales, Sydney, 1997, p. 91.
4 Clark, History's Children, p. 99.
5 New South Wales was the only state that did not agree to subsume history under Studies of Societies and Environment (SOSE) in the 1999 Adelaide Declaration on national goals for schooling, and subsequently developed a stand-alone, compulsory history curriculum that is tested by public examination at the end of Year 10. SOSE was officially disaggregated in the secondary school curriculum at the Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs (MYCEETYA) meeting in Darwin in April 2007. Changes to state curricula that result in history being extricated from SOSE are now reliant upon the forthcoming national syllabus produced by the National Curriculum Board.
6 Clark, History's Children, p. 101.
7 ibid., p. 104.
8 ibid., p. 116.
9 This statement is particularly meaningful because in New South Wales students are required to do a site study as part of their mandatory study of history from years 7 to 10.
10 Clark, History's Children, p. 116.
11 ibid., p. 137.
12 ibid., p. 143.
13 Paul A Gagnon, Historical Literacy: The Case for History in American Education, Collier Macmillan Publishers, New York, London, 1989; Tony Taylor, 'Trying to connect: Moving from bad history to historical literacy in schools', Australian Cultural History, issue 22, 2003, 182–89 in which he formulates 11 basic attributes which constitute historical literacy.
14 Tony Taylor & Carmel Young, Making History: A Guide for the Teaching and Learning of History in Australian Schools, Curriculum Corporation, Canberra, 2003, p. 28ff, http://hyperhistory.org/index.php?option=displaypage&Itemid
=220&op=page, accessed 28 May 2008.
15 Pieter van Veuren, 'Does it make sense to teach history through thinking skills?', http://chss.montclair.edu/inquiry/spr95/veuren.html, accessed 30 May 2008.
16 For example, Logan Council (Queensland) provides 'History in a box' kits and classroom activity sheets. See http://www.logan.qld.gov.au/LCC/logan/history/historyinabox.htm, accessed 5 January 2009.
17 The Australian Museum in Sydney, the National Museum of Australia in Canberra and the Migration Heritage Centre, New South Wales, provide virtual tours on their websites. However, most of the objects are texts and visuals and only a few are three-dimensional artefacts. See www.amonline.net.au/virtual_tour/index.htm, www.nma.gov.au/visit/virtual_tour/, www.migrationheritage.nsw.gov.au/exhibitions/objectsthroughtime, accessed 2 January 2008.
18 Gail Durbin, Susan Morris & Sue Wilkinson, A Teacher's Guide to Learning from Objects, English Heritage, Middlesex, 1990, pp. 4–5.
19 John P Aggleton & Louise Waskett, 'The ability of odours to serve as state-dependent cues for real-world memories: Can Viking smells aid the recall of Viking experiences?', British Journal of Psychology, vol. 90, no. 1, 1999, 1–7.
20 See Janette Griffin, 'Research on students and museums: Looking more closely at the students in school groups', Science Education, vol. 88 no. 1, July, 2004, 59–70.
21 Judith Hudson & Robyn Fivush, 'As time goes by: Sixth graders remember a kindergarten experience', Applied Cognitive Psychology, vol. 5, no. 4, 1991, 347–60.
22 ibid. (p. 356).
23 Stephanie Downey, Jackie Delamatre & Johanna Jones, 'Measuring the impact of museum-school programs: Findings and implications for practice, Journal of Museum Education, vol. 32, no. 2, summer 2007, 175–88.
24 ibid. (p. 178).
25 Peter Slade, 'Gallipoli thanatourism: The meaning of Anzac', Annals of Tourism Research, vol. 30, no. 4, 2003, 779–94.
26 John Lennon & Malcolm Foley, Dark Tourism: The Attraction of Death and Disaster, Thompson, London, 2004.
Endnotes 27–53
27 Valene L Smith, 'War and tourism: An American ethnography', Annals of Tourism Research, vol. 25, no. 1, 1998, 202–27.
28 Bruce Scates, The Ghosts of Gallipoli: Revisiting the Anzac Battlefields, Tenth Annual History Lecture for the History Council of New South Wales, delivered 16 September 2005, History Council of New South Wales, Sydney, p. 20. Here Scates quotes one of his respondents, 'Kristie'.
29 For example, see VCE History Units 1 and 2 Twentieth Century History 1900–1945/Twentieth Century History 1945–2000, Unit 4 Australian History; Victorian Essential Learning Standards (VELS) Stages 3 and 6 at: http://vels.vcaa.vic.edu.au/assessment/ppoint/humanities
/index.html; Stage 5 Australian History syllabus that requires students to study Australia's participation in the First World War, the Second World War and the Vietnam War. History: Year 7–10 Syllabus, Board of Studies NSW, Sydney, 2003, pp. 32–9.
30 Although Darwin and Broome were subjected to Japanese bombings during the Second World War and war cemeteries commemorate the casualties, these sites are neither well-known nor visited in the same numbers as battlefields and war cemeteries, especially those of the First World War, located outside Australia.
31 Scates, The Ghosts of Gallipoli, p. 9.
32 ibid., p. 23.
33 Tony Taylor, The Future of the Past: Final Report of the National Inquiry into School History, Monash University, Melbourne, 2000, p. 105, www.dest.gov.au/sectors/school_education/publications_
of_the_past_final_report.htm, accessed 28 May 2008.
34 Australian Government Department of Education Science and Training, The Australian History Summit: Transcript of Proceedings, 2006, www.dest.gov.au/sectors/school_education/policy_
History_Summit, accessed 1 June 2008.
35 Tony Taylor, 'Summary notes from the History Summit briefing and actions agreed', Museums Australia at Melbourne, State Library of Victoria, 2007.
36 Ian Dawson, www.thinkinghistory.co.uk, personal communication, 6 March 2009.
37 David Anderson, A Common Wealth: Museums in the Learning Age: A Report to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, Norwich, (revised edition) 1999, p. 37.
38 ibid., p. 44.
39 ibid., p. 116.
40 ibid., p. 127. The downside of this largesse is that lottery funds can be used only for capital works, not for operational costs. Still, they have provided a valuable kick-start to many exciting programs.
41 Eilean Hooper-Greenhill, 'Education at the heart of museums', Pathways to Partnerships: Linking Collections with Educators, Curators, Guides and the Community, Museum Education Association of Australia, Melbourne, 1993, p. 5; John Reeve, 'Making the history curriculum', in Gaynor Kavanagh (ed.), Making Histories in Museums, Leicester University Press, London, 1996, p. 231.
42 Anderson, A Common Wealth, p. 37.
43 The Learning Power of Museums — A Vision for Museum Education, www.culture.gov.uk/images/publications/musuem_vision_
44 Eilean Hooper-Greenhill, Museum and Gallery Education, Leicester University Press, Leicester, 1991, pp. 73–5.
45 Tina Corri, Heritage Learning newsletter, summer 2008, p. 3. Corri is head of education, English Heritage (UK).
46 A site study is defined in the New South Wales syllabus as 'an inquiry-based examination of an historically or culturally significant location. Site studies may include an investigation of the school and its surroundings or a visit to an archaeological site, a museum, an Aboriginal site (with permission), a specific building, a monument, a local area, an open-air museum'. See History: Year 7–10 Syllabus, p. 15.
47 ibid., p. 15.
48 National Museum of Australia, Annual Report 2007–08, www.nma.gov.au/shared/libraries/attachments/annual_report/
annual_report_2007_2008/, accessed 6 March 2009. One reason is that there are funds for school visits to Canberra for schools located over 1000 kilometres away, and they are aimed at Year 5.
49 Australian War Memorial, Annual Report 2007–08, www.awm.gov.au/corporate/annual_report/ann_rep07-08.pdf, accessed 5 March 2009.
50 The cost of travel to Canberra has been reduced by the federal government's Parliament and Civics Education Rebate (PACER) program that provides a travel subsidy to students in years 4–12 from across Australia to visit Parliament House, the War Memorial and Old Parliament House as well as other institutions as part of their civics and citizenship education. The program encourages on-site learning about national democratic, historical and cultural institutions and benefits students living more than 150 kilometres from Canberra. See www.civicsandcitizenship.edu.au/cce/parliament__civics_
education_rebate_(pacer),18103.html, accessed 2 January 2008.
51 Both factors are the subjects of my current doctoral research.
Clark, History's Children, p. 116.
53 ibid., p. 117. Another problem is that only a few museums and heritage sites in New South Wales or the Australian Capital Territory fit the content requirements of the New South Wales years 9 and 10 history syllabus, which focuses on twentieth-century history, specifically Australia's part in overseas conflicts such as the two world wars. Some examples are the Australian War Memorial and Old Parliament House, Canberra; The Rocks (Green Bans); and local heritage sites such as Scheyville National Park (migrant history and Vietnam) and the Cowra Prisoner of War Camp (Second World War).