Humanities

Economics investigates the choices which all people, groups and societies face as they confront the ongoing problem of satisfying their unlimited wants with limited resources. Economics aims to understand and analyse the allocation, utilisation and distribution of scarce resources that determine our wealth and wellbeing. Economics develops the knowledge, reasoning and interpretation skills that form an important component of understanding individual, business and government behaviour at the local, national and global levels.

The Economics ATAR course encompasses the key features which characterise an economist’s approach to a contemporary economic event or issue: the ability to simplify the essence of a problem; to collect economic information and data to assist analysis and reasoning; to think critically about the limits of analysis in a social context; and to draw inferences which assist decision-making, the development of public policy and improvement in economic wellbeing.

Unit 1 – Microeconomics

This unit explores the theory that markets are an efficient way to allocate scarce resources, using real world markets with an emphasis on the Australian economy. When the forces of demand and supply do not allocate and price resources in a way that society would regard as efficient, equitable or sustainable, market failure can occur. Students examine examples of market failure along with a range of government policy options that can be applied to achieve more desirable outcomes. Students are also introduced to the language of economics and the use of theories and models to explain and interpret economic events and issues.

Unit 2 – Macroeconomics

This unit explores the government’s role in a modified market economy and Australia’s recent (the last ten years) and contemporary (the last three years) macroeconomic performance. The cyclical fluctuations in the level of economic activity result in changes in the levels of output, income, spending and employment in the economy, which, in turn, have implications for economic growth, inflation and unemployment. Students examine the role of government, through its spending and taxing powers, which can affect the allocation and price of resources, and the level of economic activity by targeting economic objectives.

Prerequisite:  B or higher in Year 10 Society and Environment (Humanities).

The Modern History ATAR course enables students to study the forces that have shaped today’s world and provides them with a broader and deeper comprehension of the world in which they live. While the focus is on the 20th century, the course refers back to formative changes from the late 18th century onwards and encourages students to make connections with the changing world of the 21st century. Modern history enhances students’ curiosity and imagination and their appreciation of larger themes, individuals, movements, events and ideas that have shaped the contemporary world.

Unit 1: Capitalism – The American Experience (1907–1941)

“Capitalism is the astounding belief that the most wickedest of men will do the most wickedest of things for the greatest good of everyone.” John Maynard Keynes

This course begins by looking at the main causes for the rise of capitalism in the USA including immigration, the end of slavery and the discovery of oil. Before examining the role and impact of significant individuals in this period, with particular reference to F D Roosevelt, J D Rockefeller and Henry Ford. The key events studied include WWI, the social changes and intolerance of the 1920s including examining the KKK, the Wall Street Crash and the Great Depression. This period of history shows the shaping of American values and the growth of consumerism, for example, film and fashion, prohibition and the ‘Jazz Age’. Another interesting part of the course is examining the impact of capitalism on different groups within American society along with the aims and beliefs of these groups, for example, African Americans, urban workers, rural workers, immigrants, industrialists, and members of Indian Nations; and the consequences of divisions caused by capitalism.

Unit 2: Nazism in Germany

“Silence in the face of evil is itself evil.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer

This is the course that all history students need to study. Students will gain an understanding of how Adolf Hitler rose from obscurity to become arguably the most powerful and feared leader in history. The course focuses on a number of key areas including the contributing factors for the rise of the Nazi party such as the Treaty of Versailles, the impact of the Great Depression; the nature of Nazi ideology and hostility towards communism. Once the Nazi party gained power the focus shifted to key aspects such as military mobilisation, Lebensraum (living space), propaganda, terror and repression (SA and SS), the Hitler Youth, social policies on religion, women, education, trade unions, and the nature of opposition to the Nazis. As well as Nazi policies of anti-Semitism and the promotion of the Aryan race, resulting in efforts to exterminate minorities in German-controlled lands, the greatest crime against humanity the ‘Holocaust’.

Prerequisite: or higher in Year 10 Society and Environment (Humanities).

The Politics and Law ATAR course provides a study of the processes of decision-making concerning society’s collective future. It aims to develop the knowledge of the principles, structures, institutions and processes of political and legal systems primarily in Australia. It brings together the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government to demonstrate how society is governed and how each branch of government is held to account. It examines the democratic principles practised in Australia and makes comparisons with other political and legal systems.

Unit 1: Democracy and the rule of law

This unit examines the principles of a liberal democracy; the legislative, executive and judicial structures and processes of Australia’s political and legal system; the functioning of a non-democratic system; and the processes of a non-common law system. Political and legal developments and contemporary issues (the last three years) are used to provide a framework for the unit.

Political and legal systems

Essential to the understanding of democracy and the rule of law are the separation of powers doctrine, sovereignty of parliament, division of powers, representative government, responsible government, constitutionalism, federalism and judicial independence. Key aspects studied include:

  • operating principles of a liberal democracy (equality of political rights, majority rule, political participation and political freedom)
  • structure of the political and legal system in Australia
  • roles of the legislative, executive and judicial branches of government
  • key influences on the structure of the political and legal system in Australia (the Westminster system of government, English common law, the American federal system, the Canadian federal system and the Swiss referendum process)
  • structures and processes of one democratic political and legal system and one non-democratic political and legal system
  • types of laws made by parliaments, courts and subordinate authorities
  • legislative processes at the State or Commonwealth levels
  • the court hierarchy, methods of statutory interpretation and the doctrine of precedent
  • key processes of civil and criminal trials in Western Australia
  • key processes of at least one non-common law system

Political and legal issues

Including at least one contemporary issue (the last three years) involving the legislative process and at least one contemporary issue (the last three years) involving the judicial process.

Political and legal research skills

Unit 2: Representation and justice

This unit examines the principles of fair elections; the electoral and voting systems in Australia since Federation, making reference to a recent (the last ten years) election in Australia; the electoral system of another country; an analysis of the civil and criminal law processes in Western Australia; and an analysis of a non-common law system.

Political and legal developments and contemporary issues (the last three years) are used to provide a framework for the unit.

Political and legal systems

Essential to the understanding of representation and justice are the principles of fair elections, participation and natural justice.

  • political representation with reference to the role of political parties and pressure groups
  • the Western Australian and Commonwealth electoral and voting systems since Federation
  • advantages and disadvantages of the electoral and voting systems in Australia with reference to at least one recent (the last ten years) election
  • a recently implemented or proposed reform (the last ten years) to the electoral and voting systems in Australia
  • the electoral and voting systems of another country
  • ways individuals, political parties and pressure groups can participate in the electoral processes in Australia
  • strengths and weaknesses of Western Australia’s adversarial civil and criminal law processes
  • a recently implemented or proposed reform (the last ten years) to the civil or criminal law process in Western Australia
  • strengths and weaknesses of the processes and procedures of at least one non-common law system

Political and legal issues

Political and legal research skills

Research provides the opportunity to examine aspects of political and legal systems. The following skills will be developed in this unit.

  • identify, define, distinguish, analyse and evaluate principles and terms
  • describe, discuss, analyse and evaluate the operation and key features of a political and legal system
  • analyse statute law, common law, political decisions and legal decisions
  • distinguish between fact and opinion, theory and practice and formal and informal processes
  • identify and evaluate alternative conclusions
  • identify or propose solutions
  • predict intended or unintended consequences

 Prerequisite:  B or higher in Year 10 Society and Environment (Humanities).

This course is for students who have an interest in Modern History and are following a general pathway.

This course allows for a fascinating insight into Russia and the Soviet Union. Significant ideas such as Communism are addressed. Events including the February and October Revolutions will highlight the crisis within Russian society. Another factor included in the course is the examination of key historical characters such as Lenin, Trotsky and Stalin. The social and cultural impact of communism in Russia is examined including the Purges and the Great Terror. This is a very engaging unit that will challenge students understanding of Modern World History.

Unit 1

Nicholas II and the decline of Tsarism in Russia
and
Local history study including fieldwork

Unit 2

Authoritarian state: Communist Russia/USSR 1917–1953 

Prerequisite:  There is no prerequisite for this course.

Office administration tasks are essential in all business organisations. Tasks include word processing, records handling, business correspondence and book keeping. The Certificate II Business will prepare you for work in a variety of industries including retail, hospitality, education and health care. However the skills covered are relevant in most occupations.

Some of the topics to be covered through this certificate will include:

  • Workplace Health & Safety
  • Communicate in the business environment
  • Produce workplace documentation
  • Organise and complete daily work activities
  • Work effectively with others
  • Use business technology

The Certificate II Business will be delivered over a one year period only and will count as two units of equivalence towards the students WACE requirements. 

Careers prospects:  Completed Certificates carry considerable points towards TAFE entry aggregate. Graduates will gain the skills and knowledge to undertake entry level administrative roles such as Receptionist, Administrative Assistant, Clerical Officer and the skills will be useful if you are working in a Small Business.

Cost:  A student choosing to complete this qualification at Prendiville Catholic College will be charged a subject levy which absorbs the delivery costs of completing the qualification from the RTO (Registered Training Organisation).  Students will be enrolled with this RTO (TBA) and will be inducted into RTO requirements at the beginning of the year. An approximate levy of $150 (Auspice fee) + courses costs per student will be incurred in 2017.

Prerequisite:  There is no prerequisite for this course.

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