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Breakdown of the NSW Board of Studies Definition
Examples of Critical Analysis
Cloudstreet and Three "Readings"
Critical Analysis of On Giant's Shoulders
How to Apply Critical Literacy in Study Techniques
Conclusion - What Does This Mean for Teachers and Students?
Critical Literacy
How to Apply Critical Literacy in Study Techniques

Here are some notes related to how students should be applying Critical Literacy in the HSC examination, specifically in the Area of Study Section 3.

Report on Macquarie University Lectures

How Can Students Study for the Area of Study?


  • What the markers are looking for is the WAY change is PRESENTED in texts.

  • DON'T tell the story of the text you are studying, just how their ideas are presented as a part of change.

  • Section 3 is really an essay on CHANGE, not the text. The text is just a major member of an ensemble cast.

  • When you receive the question, see it as a challenge. Play with the question and anything associated with it, such as last years rippling pool.

  • Go in with your own pre-realised idea of what change is ; and how it has been presented in the texts you studied.

  • Ask yourselves these questions about Change:

    • Is it a process or result?

    • Are there cycles of change?

    • Is change part of the natural order?

    • Can change be resisted?

    • Are people resistant to change? Why? Fear? Complacency? Lack of Curiosity?

    • How much does their reaction / response depend on what or who changes? On how things / people change or seem to change?

    • Distinguish between a. change for the better and b. change for the worse? How do we make this distinction? Does society see the need to make this distinction?

    • Does Change = Progress? Regression? Who decides? What criteria is set for this distinction?

    • Are there Things which do not Change?

  • Differentiate between changes that people make deliberately (eg. Opinions, way of life) and changes over which they have no control (eg. aging, environmental changes, natural disasters)

  • "The More Things Change, The More Things Stay The Same" Is this true?

  • How do we notice changes?

  • Its not the Thing that Changes, its the Attitude.

  • The effects of technology and computerisation how much change have they actually wrought?

  • How does language shapes the way people see change use of positive, negative language.


  • Change = Transformation, Alteration, Transition, Movement from one set of circumstances, ideology, point of view, situation, place, ideology, to another.

  • NOMENCLATURE. How does a word choice reveal the opinion of change?

  • Terrorist - Freedom fighter

  • Colonist - Invader

  • In virtually all cases, the THING hasnt changed, the WORD for it has. Words are used to shape the opinion of the Thing. So, why are those words used? What agenda is behind the use of those words?

  • CHANGING WORLDS Is this a Metaphor?

  • Do we exchange one World for another?

  • C.W. is a A Shift in the Way Elements are Regarded by people in societies.

  • Moving from one social / age / physical grouping to another is a changing world.

  • Eg. when a person becomes blind, they have gone from a sighted world to an unsighted world.

  • The World of the Teenager is different to the World of the Elderly, even if they share the same physical appearance. Thus, CHANGE to that physical world would mean different things in the different worlds of the people perceiving it.

  • Shes off in a World of her Own. What does this mean?

  • What is the 1st World? The 3rd World?

  • It is primarily the way language is used that is significant, and the context in which it is used that is significant in establishing "meaning". ie. how "change" is represented / expressed literally, metaphorically.

  • Look at the positive way change through science is portrayed in the Bragg and contrast this with the negativity surrounding cloning, and other scientific "change".

  • Find visual texts that represent change, such as Baker : When the Forest Meets the Sea.