Humanities and social sciences


In a world that is increasingly culturally diverse and dynamically interconnected, it is important that students come to understand their world, past and present, and develop a capacity to respond to challenges, now and in the future, in innovative, informed, personal and collective ways.

The Australian Curriculum for the Humanities and Social Sciences plays an important role in harnessing students’ curiosity and imagination about the world they live in and empowers them to actively shape their lives; make reflective, informed decisions; value their belonging in a diverse and dynamic society; and positively contribute locally, nationally, regionally and globally.

Thinking about and responding to issues requires an understanding of different perspectives; the key historical, geographical, political, economic and societal factors involved; and how these different factors interrelate. The Humanities and Social Sciences in F–6/7, which encompasses the knowledge and understandings of history, geography, civics and citizenship, and economics and business, gives students a deep understanding of the world they live in from a range of perspectives, past and present, and encourages them to develop an appreciation and respect for social, cultural and religious diversity.

The Australian Curriculum for the Humanities and Social Sciences empowers students to shape change by developing a range of skills to enable them to make informed decisions and solve problems. The subject provides students with the skills, behaviours and capabilities that will equip them to face challenges in their lifetime and to participate in and contribute to the wellbeing and sustainability of the environment, the economy and society. Through studying Humanities and Social Sciences, students are given opportunities to develop their ability to question, think critically, solve problems, communicate effectively, make decisions and adapt to change.

Through the Humanities and Social Sciences, students become well placed to contribute to Australia’s ideas of a cohesive society, sustainable environment, productive economy and stable democracy.

The F–6/7 Australian Curriculum for Humanities and Social Sciences aims to ensure that students develop:

  • a sense of wonder, curiosity and respect about places, people, cultures and systems throughout the world, past and present, and an interest in and enjoyment of the study of these phenomena
  • key historical, geographical, civic and economic knowledge of people, places, values and systems, past and present, in local to global contexts
  • an understanding and appreciation of historical developments, geographic phenomena, civic values and economic factors that shape society, influence sustainability and create a sense of belonging
  • the capacity to use inquiry methods and skills, including questioning, researching using reliable sources, analysing, evaluating and communicating
  • dispositions required for effective participation in everyday life, now and in the future, including critical and creative problem-solving, informed decision making, responsible and active citizenship, enterprising financial behaviour and ethical reflection.
Last reviewed 27 May 2019
Last updated 27 May 2019