Wodonga Senior Secondary College and Latrobe University: Social Movements Day

WSSC students at La Trobe University Albury-Wodonga campus

Location: La Trobe University, Albury-Wodonga campus.

Date: Wednesday 7th September 2011.


Wodonga Senior Secondary College year 11 students have produced a series of short videos on different social movements from the 1950s and 1960s, as an assessment task for the subject Twentieth Century History.  Political and military developments, technological advances in media, increased education, wealth and freedom for young people were all features of western society in the 1950s and 60s.  Yet amidst these unique times the 1960s saw a number of new ideas and groups emerge that challenged existing power structures and the conservative values that were driving western societies.  Students were asked to research one of these ‘movements for change,’ report on it & prepare a multimedia presentation of the movement.

The social movements studied include the following…

Decolonisation & Political Change: Indian independence;Vietnamese independence;Pro-Democracy Movement in China; Tibet and the Dalai Lama; Free Burma & Aung San Suu Chi; Congo Independence.

Civil Rights: Women’s Rights & Feminism; African National Congress; Black Panthers and the Black Power Movement; Gay Liberation Movement; Anti-Globalisation Movement; Civil Rights Movement; Aboriginal Advancement League.

Counter-culture Movements: Hippies & Yippies; Sexual Revolution; Weathermen; Summer of Love & Woodstock; Greenpeace; People for Nuclear Disarmament.

WSSC teachers Simon Webb and Simmi Kaur teamed up with Ben Habib from La Trobe University to present ‘Social Movements Day’ at the La Trobe University Albury-Wodonga campus.  The WSSC students’ multimedia presentations were screened in the main lecture theatre, followed by a university-style tutorial class where WSSC students participated in a series of activities in small groups led by undergraduate LTU students from the Bachelor of Arts program.  The activities were based on the themes of life at university, different types of thinking skills, and reflection on twentieth century social movements.

DOWNLOAD: Morning Session — Introductory Remarks and Student Speeches.mp3

DOWNLOAD: Afternoon Session — Tutorial Activities.pdf

A primary aim of ‘Social Movements Day’ was to get WSSC students to engage more deeply with their subject material on social movements.  Hands-on activities have been shown in numerous studies to enhance the ability of students to retain complex information.  In particular, the activities were designed to encourage the students to employ critical, creative and strategic thinking skills in examining their subject material on social movements.  These skills are critical for young people aspiring to leadership positions across numerous career paths.

In addition, the event provided an opportunity for both WSSC and LTU students to enjoy learning and take pride in being intelligent.  Being smart is both ‘cool’ and a desirable attribute for meaningful economic, social and democratic participation in Australian society.

Finally, the event exposed WSSC students to the university experience and promote university study as a meaningful career pathway after high school, while providing hands-on experience for LTU Bachelor of Arts students in group leadership and discussion facilitation.

Hear what WSSC students had to say about their study of social movements, in conversation with LTU Bachelor of Arts students…

DOWNLOAD: LTU Students Interview WSSC Students

Part 1.mp3  /  Part 2.mp3  /  Part 3.mp3

This is part of a broader collaboration between Ben Habib from La Trobe University and Simon Webb from Wodonga Senior Secondary College.  On Friday 5th August, Ben Habib gave a presentation at WSSC to year 12 history students on the Chinese revolution.  In addition, Ben produced a series of six short videos exploring key periods in modern Chinese history spanning the period between the First Opium War in 1939 and the present day, which Simon used as a teaching tool with his year 12 students.  These clips are publicly available as audio downloads here.  This kind of collaboration, enhancing links between local institutions and providing leadership opportunities for local youth, can help to enhance the intellectual and social capital of the broader Albury-Wodonga community.


The views in this story are those of the author and not necessarily those of Our Voice: Politics Albury-Wodonga.


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