Humanities and Social Sciences

Humanities and Social Sciences is the study of human behaviour and interaction in social, cultural, environmental, economic and political contexts. Humanities and Social Sciences has a historical and contemporary focus, from personal to global contexts, and considers opportunities and challenges for the future. 

In the Western Australian Curriculum, the Humanities and Social Sciences learning area comprises four subjects: Civics and Citizenship, Economics and Business, Geography and History. By studying Humanities and Social Sciences, students will develop the ability to question; think critically; make decisions based on evidence; devise proposals for actions; and communicate effectively. 

Thinking about, reflecting on, and responding to issues requires an understanding of the key historical, geographical, political, legal, economic, business and societal factors involved, and how these different factors interrelate. 

The Humanities and Social Sciences subjects provide students with the knowledge and skills they need to develop a broad understanding of the world in which we live and how people can participate as active and informed citizens in the 21st century. 

Through their learning in each subject or sub-strand, students develop knowledge and understanding relating to broader enduring ideas that underpin the Humanities and Social Sciences in the Australian Curriculum, which are represented in varying ways across the subjects. The key ideas are outlined below: 

  • Who we are, who came before us, and traditions and values that have shaped societies 
  • How societies and economies operate and how they are changing over time 
  • The ways people, places, ideas and events are perceived and connected 
  • How people exercise their responsibilities, participate in society and make informed decisions

The aim is to develop in students: 

  • a deep knowledge and sense of wonder, curiosity and respect for places, people, cultures, events, ideas and environments throughout the world 
  • a lifelong sense of belonging to, and engagement with, civic life, with the capacity and willingness to be informed, responsible, ethical and active participants in society at a local, national and global scale 
  • a knowledge, understanding and an appreciation of the past and the forces that shape society 
  • the ability to think critically, solve problems, make informed decisions and propose actions in relation to real-world events and issues 
  • enterprising behaviours and capabilities that enable them to be active participants and decision-makers in matters affecting them, which can be transferred into life, work and business opportunities 
  • an understanding of, and commitment to, the concepts of sustainability to bring about equity and social justice 
  • a knowledge and understanding of the connections among the peoples of Asia, Australia and the rest of the world.