Stage 1 | Subject outline | version control

Politics, Power and People Stage 1
Subject outline

Version 2.0
For teaching in 2022. Accredited in May 2020 for teaching at Stage 1 from 2021.  See subject changes for 2022.

Stage 1 | Subject outline | Subject description

Subject description

Politics, Power, and People is a 10-credit subject or a 20-credit subject at Stage 1.

Politics, Power, and People is the study of how power is distributed and exercised in all levels of society. The subject explores ideas related to cooperation, conflict, crises, and the political intricacies of a government. Students develop an understanding of expressions of power and politics and the effect of these on individuals, schools, families, workplaces, communities, governments, law, media, and institutions in the commercial world. Through inquiry and reflection, students challenge their existing political understanding and move from ‘right or wrong’ thinking towards appreciating nuances that are ‘grey’. They explore abstract ideas, then put this learning into action as they move to understand the various themes and concepts related to politics, power, and people at local, state, national, and international levels. 

Students develop a broad understanding of political events and their effects through the integration of historical, legal, cultural, philosophical, geographical, and economic perspectives.

Students explore the themes by collaboratively critiquing political ideas and transferring their learning to other situations and cultural contexts. They explore the boundaries and conflicts between social power and civil disobedience. Case studies provide students with the opportunity to construct knowledge and to connect the contextual understanding of political structures with political theories. Students apply their understanding of elements of the Australian political system to a global context. They learn to understand why conflicts occur and the mechanisms used to negotiate and resolve these. Through the study of Politics, Power, and People, students begin to appreciate the complexity and diversity of approaches to solving local and global challenges related to human rights, equality, welfare, poverty, and the distribution of resources. 

Students develop skills in written and oral communication, critical and creative thinking, analysis, and conducting ethical, reliable, and valid research. These skills empower students to become active citizens, voters, and participants in local, national, and international communities. They explore how different systems of government offer varied opportunities for participation, and make informed decisions about the right to dissent and the limits of tolerance in relation to social justice, morals, and ethics. 

The investigations allow students to carry out in-depth research on the theme of their choice or an area of interest. They are encouraged to use a range of investigative methods (e.g. quantitative, qualitative, or mixed), using primary and/or secondary data. Students use political terms to articulate their understandings and justify their political reasoning.

At Stage 1, students develop their understanding of Politics, Power, and People through a compulsory theme: Understanding how politics works. Students also choose themes from the option theme section — one theme for a 10-credit subject and two themes for a 20-credit subject.