Australian students to study Wikipedia

June 25, 2008 at 2:00 am Leave a comment

Having once been a High School teacher (back in the mists of Creation), I am pleased to see the NSW Board of Studies offering Wikipedia as a prescribed text for Higher School Certificate students. We’ve all carried on about Wikipedia in various ways: sloppy or inaccurate entries; Wiki fascists attempting to dominate a collaborative space; students thinking that accessing a Wikipedia entry constitutes thorough research and so on.

The English syllabus in 2009-2012 will now include the option of studying Wikipedia in an elective called the Global Village. This really brings home that I studied in the Dark Ages – my prescribed texts were The Grapes of Wrath, The Triffids and stuff by Hemingway if I recall. There was no Global Village elective ‘cos there wasn’t any Global Village.

So High School students will get to look at how social communities interact and communicate. At the same time, I trust they will also learn to critique Wikipedia and understand it triggers further investigation and that they need to explore alternate viewpoints.

I decided to check out what the NSW Board of Studies offers these days. Great to see they’ve just launched NSW Students Online for Year 12 students, described as a one-stop online study shop to give students a personalised experience.

I also decided to check out the current HSC syllabus. Great stuff kids get to learn these days. And I decided to take a few multiple choice questions – previous Higher School Certificate questions that students use to test themselves out in preparation for the real thing. Thankfully, I flew through the Legal Studies questions. Don’t ask how I fared with General Mathematics or Senior Science (I am perplexed by the title: is this science for senior citizens?!). Go ahead, try out the multiple choice questions and see if you’re smarter than the average 17 year old.


Entry filed under: Education, Schools and schoolchildren. Tags: , .

ET: are you in US computers? We know everything about you!

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