Make your own free website on


Example of Deconstruction - A Newspaper Article
A Deconstruction of the HSC Syllabus - Change
Deconstruction - An Art
A Deconstruction of the HSC Syllabus - Change

Here is a deconstruction of the Board of Studies' "Change" statement from the first new HSC syllabus.

Deconstructing the Change Statement

The following is an identification of keywords in the Area of Study and Change statements.

Area of Study

In the Area of Study, students explore and examine relationships between language and text, and interrelationships among texts. They examine closely the individual qualities of texts while considering the texts relationships to the wider context of the Area of Study. They synthesise ideas to clarify meaning and develop new meanings. They take into account whether aspects such as context, purpose and register, text structures, stylistic features, grammatical features and vocabulary are appropriate to the particular text.

Explore Discuss in detail the implications of relationships.

Examine Analyse in deconstructive and literary detail.

Language and text How language constructs meaning in text.

Interrelationships The many levels of connections between texts.

Individual qualities How good each text is at delivering messages.

Wider context How the text relates to the concept of Change.

Synthesise clarify Bring together the ideas of how the texts relate to the concept of change into a clear written form.

Develop new Give some opinions of your own.

Language features Bring in discussion of this language use.

Area of Study: Change

This Area of Study requires students to explore the ways in which the notion of change is considered and expressed in and through texts. In their responses and compositions students examine, question and reflect on:

their observation and understanding of the portrayed events, people, ideas and societies that they encounter in and through the prescribed texts and texts of their own choosing related to the Area of Study

the assumptions underlying the representations of change

the ways in which they perceive the world through texts and speculate about it

the ways they consider and express their own processes of change.

They consider texts contained in the prescribed stimulus booklet Changing (Board of Studies, 1999), which offers various points of view from which the Area of Study can be introduced. They also consider at least one of the texts prescribed for study and additional texts of their own choosing.

Observation / Understanding What you observe and understand about the events of the texts studied.

Assumptions underlying The cultural, historical and social assumptions that lay behind the composition of the text.

Perceive / Speculate How you see the whole issue, and speculate why you perceive it this way.

Consider / Express your own This is more for parts 1 and 2 of the paper.

Students explore the notion of change through one of the three following focuses.


Changing Worlds

Through this focus, students explore the ways in which texts depict new worlds. They examine the underlying assumptions of these other worlds, considering them in relation to the world they know. They reflect on the ways in which understanding of the world is transformed and they express this understanding in a range of compositions.

Depict new worlds How a text describes, pictures, discusses a "new" world, whether it be another planet, OR a changed Earth. In our context, it looks at the way the world changed because of certain discoveries. You are exploring how these "new" worlds were created by the discoveries.

Underlying assumptions In our case, examining the nature of the old world, and thus how the discoveries could "change" that world.

The world you know Examining the changes in the light of todays world.

Understanding / transformed Reflecting on the way peoples perceptions of the world are changed by the discoveries.

NB : It is fair to say the "depicting new worlds" section could be clearer for texts set on different planets, such as Star Wars, or in the immigrant poetry of Imagined Corners. However, the understanding and transformed section is much stronger for On Giants Shoulders than most of the other texts.

This statement comes from the cultural school of critical literacy that is, looking at everything from its cultural, historical and social context. This is why you have to examine each texts underlying assumptions. This is a new dimension to literary analysis. You now have to look at the authors motivations, and how that author is directing a text at a certain audience. Gone are the days that you could just enjoy a text for texts sake. You need to understand why the text was written, and how it was written for that purpose.

Your answers for the Area of Study exam must reflect your reading of this document. That means you must apply the thoughts of Page 1 (Area of Study and Change) when answering the questions. In Section 1, you must analyse the texts in detail, and then be able to compare them and discuss the concept of "change" running in all of them. In Section 2, you must synthesise what you think change is all about, and transfer that to a creative piece. In Section 3, you really dont have to devote more than half the answer to your core text. The related material has great weight and importance, because your knowledge of them shows

a.  How well you understand the concept, and the way many texts address it.

b.  How well you can relate a different array of texts to a core text.