incorporating the Year Eleven and Twelve programs) Principal


Unit 2: How can pollution be managed?



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Unit 2: How can pollution be managed?

In this unit students explore the concept of pollution and associated impacts on Earth’s four systems through global, national and local perspectives. They distinguish between wastes, contaminants and pollutants and examine the characteristics, measurement and management of pollution. They analyse the effects of pollutants on the health of


humans and the environment over time. Students consider the rules for use, treatment and disposal of pollutants and evaluate the different perspectives of those who are affected by pollutants. They explore the significance of technology, government initiatives, communities and individuals in redressing the effects of pollutants, and consider how values, beliefs and evidence affect environmental decision making.

Pollutants can be produced through natural and human activities and can generate adverse effects for living and non-living things when released into ecosystems. Students examine how pollutant effects produced in one of Earth’s four systems may have an impact on the other systems. They explore the factors that affect the nature and impact of pollution including pollutant sources, transport mechanisms and potential build-up due to long-term or repeated exposure. Students compare three pollutants of national and/or global signifiance with reference to their effects in the atmosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere and lithosphere, and discuss management options.


Students undertake an in-depth case study of the management strategies that apply to a pollutant of local concern related to ecosystem monitoring and/or change. The investigation draws on content from Area of Study 1 and/or Area of Study 2.


Area of Study 1

When does pollution become a hazard?

In this area of study students examine biotic and abiotic indicators of pollution in various environments. Using selected examples, they distinguish between pollutants that result in bioaccumulation, and air- or water-borne pollutants.


Students explore the chemical and physical characteristics, sources and transport mechanisms of pollutants and consider how levels of safety standards are set. They analyse the effects of pollutants on environmental and living systems and consider approaches to monitor and manage pollutants.
Outcome 1

On completion of this unit the student should be able to compare a selected pollutant that results in bioaccumulation with an air- or water-borne pollutant, with reference to their sources, characteristics and dispersal, explain how they can be measured and monitored, and describe treatment options.


Area of Study 2

What makes pollution management so complex?

Pollutants may be categorised by the Earth systems they affect, the chemical form that poses greatest threat to life, or the method used to make the pollutant inactive. Any particular pollutant may fall into multiple categories. In this area of study, students investigate three pollutants of national or global concern. They explain how pollutants move through, and affect, the atmosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere and lithosphere, and compare treatment and management options for each pollutant. Students investigate a question for each of the three categories of pollution: air, water and soil.


Outcome 2

On completion of this unit the student should be able to compare the sources, nature, transport mechanism, effects and treatment of three selected pollutants, with reference to their actions in the atmosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere and lithosphere.


Area of Study 3

Case study

Recognition of the impacts on public health and on the environment due to the pollution generated by human activities has grown. Pollution management technologies and legislation to improve the quality of water, air and land have been developed in response. A shifting emphasis from pollution management towards pollution prevention also reflects social and behavioural change in responding to pollution as an issue.


In this area of study students investigate a case study involving the management of a selected pollutant of local interest. Material for the investigation may be gathered from laboratory work, fieldwork, computer simulations and modelling, literature searches, environmental databases and interviews with experts.


Outcome 3

On completion of this unit the student should be able to investigate and communicate a substantiated response to an issue involving the management of a selected pollutant of local interest.


Assessment task

A report of a case study involving the management of a selected pollutant of local interest


PSYCHOLOGY
Introduction
Scope of study

Psychology is a broad discipline that incorporates both the scientific study of human behaviour through biological, psychological and social perspectives and the systematic application of this knowledge to personal and social circumstances in everyday life.


VCE Psychology enables students to explore how people think, feel and behave through the use of a biopsychosocial approach. The study explores the connection between the brain and behaviour by focusing on several key interrelated aspects of the discipline: the interplay between genetics and environment, individual differences and group dynamics, sensory perception and awareness, memory and learning, and mental health. Students examine classical and contemporary research and the use of imaging technologies, models and theories to understand how knowledge in psychology has evolved and continues to evolve in response to new evidence and discoveries. An understanding of the complexities and diversity of psychology leads students to appreciate the interconnectedness between different content areas both within psychology, and across psychology and the other sciences.


Rationale


VCE Psychology provides students with a framework for exploring the complex interactions between biological, psychological and social factors that influence human thought, emotions and behaviour. In undertaking this study, students apply their learning to everyday situations including workplace and social relations. They gain insights into a range of psychological health issues in society.

VCE Psychology provides for continuing study pathways within the discipline and leads to a range of careers. Opportunities may involve working with children, adults, families and communities in a variety of settings such as academic and research institutions, management and human resources, and government, corporate and private enterprises. Fields of applied psychology include educational, environmental, forensic, health, sport areas such as medical research or as part of on-going or emergency support services in educational, institutional and industrial settings.


Aims
This study enables students to:

• apply psychological models, theories and concepts to describe, explain and analyse observations and ideas related to human thoughts, emotions and behaviour.

• develop a range of individual and collaborative science investigation skills through experimental and inquiry tasks in the field and in the laboratory.

• develop an informed perspective on contemporary science-based issues of local and global significance.
• understand and apply the research, ethical and safety principles that govern the study and practice of the discipline in the collection, analysis, critical evaluation and reporting of data

• communicate clearly and accurately an understanding of the discipline using appropriate terminology, conventions and formats.


Entry
There are no prerequisites for entry to Units 1, 2 and 3. Students must undertake Unit 3 prior to undertaking Unit 4.

It is not recommended that students would enter Unit 2 without first completing Unit 1.

It is not recommended that students would enter Unit 3 without Units 1 and/or 2. If they do they would be required to undertake significant additional preparation as prescribed by their teacher.


Unit 1: How are behaviour and mental processes shaped?

Area of Study 1



How does the brain function?

Advances in brain research methods have led to new ways of understanding the relationship between the mind, brain and behaviour. In this area of study students examine how our understanding of brain structure and function has changed over time and how the brain enables us to interact with the external world around us. They analyse the roles of specific areas of the brain and the interactions between different areas of the brain that enable complex cognitive tasks to be performed. Students explore how brain plasticity and brain damage can affect a person’s functioning.


Outcome 1

On completion of this unit the student should be able to describe how understanding of brain structure and function has changed over time, explain how different areas of the brain coordinate different functions, and explain how brain plasticity and brain damage can change psychological functioning.
Area of Study 2

What influences psychological development?

The psychological development of an individual involves complex interactions between biological, psychological and social factors. In this area of study students explore how these factors influence different aspects of a person’s psychological development. They consider the interactive nature of hereditary and environmental factors and investigate specific factors that may lead to a person’s emotional, cognitive and social development and the development of psychological disorders.


Outcome 2

On completion of this unit the student should be able to identify the varying influences of nature and nurture on a person’s psychological development, and explain different factors that may lead to typical or atypical psychological development.
Area of Study 3

Student-directed research investigation

In this area of study students investigate a question related to brain function and/or psychological development. Students analyse the scientific evidence that underpins the research in response to a question of interest. They then communicate the findings of their research investigation and explain the psychological concepts, outline contemporary research and present conclusions based on the evidence.


Assessment tasks

For outcomes 1 and 2 may include;

• a report of a practical activity involving the collection of primary data

• a research investigation involving the collection of secondary data

• a brain structure modelling activity

• a logbook of practical activities

• analysis of data/results including generalisations/conclusions

• media analysis/response

• problem solving involving psychological concepts, skills and/or issues

• a test comprising multiple choice and/or short answer and/or extended response

• a reflective learning journal/blog related to selected activities or in response to an issue


and for outcome 3

A report of an investigation into brain function and/or development that can be presented in various formats, for example digital presentation, oral presentation, or written report.




Unit 2: How do external factors influence behaviour and mental processes?

A person’s thoughts, feelings and behaviours are influenced by a variety of biological, psychological and social factors. In this unit students investigate how perception of stimuli enables a person to interact with the world around them and how their perception of stimuli can be distorted. They evaluate the role social cognition plays in a person’s attitudes, perception of themselves and relationships with others. Students explore factors and contexts that can influence the behaivour of an individual and groups. They examine the contribution that classical and contemporary research has made to the understanding of human perception and why individuals and groups behave in specific ways.


Area of Study 1



What influences a person’s perception of the world?

Human perception of internal and external stimuli is influenced by a variety of biological, psychological and social factors. In this area of study students explore two aspects of human perception – vision and taste – and analyse the relationship between sensation and perception of stimuli. They consider how biological, psychological and social factors can influence a person’s perception of visual and taste stimuli, and explore circumstances where


perceptual distortions of vision and taste may occur.

Outcome 1



On completion of this unit the student should be able to compare the sensations and perceptions of vision and taste, and analyse factors that may lead to the occurrence of perceptual distortions.
Assessment tasks.

The assessment tasks for Units 1 and 2 are selected from the following:

 Research investigation

 Annotated folio of practical activities

 Media response

 Oral presentation using two or more data types

 Visual presentation

 Test

 Essay


 Debate

 Data analysis

 Evaluation of research

Area of Study 2



How are people influenced to behave in particular ways?

A person’s social cognition and behaviour influence the way they view themselves and the way they relate to others. In this area of study students explore the interplay of biological, psychological and social factors that shape the behaviour of individuals and groups. They consider how these factors can be used to explain the cause and dynamics of particular individual and group behaviours, including attitude formation, prejudice, discrimination, helping behaviour and bullying. Students examine the findings of classical and contemporary research as a way of theorising and explaining individual and group behaviour.


Outcome 2



On completion of this unit the student should be able to identify factors that influence individuals to behave in specific ways, and analyse ways in which others can influence individuals to behave differently.
Assessment tasks

The assessment tasks for Units 1 and 2 are selected from the following:

 Research investigation

 Annotated folio of practical activities

 Media response

 Oral presentation using two or more data types

 Visual presentation

 Test

 Essay


 Debate

 Data analysis

 Evaluation of research
Area of Study 3

Student-directed practical investigation

In this area of study students design and conduct a practical investigation related to external influences on behaviour.


The investigation requires the student to develop a question, plan a course of action to answer the question, undertake an investigation to collect the appropriate primary qualitative and/or quantitative data, organise and interpret the data and reach a conclusion in response to the question. The investigation is undertaken by the student using a range of methods, including experiments, surveys, questionnaires, observational studies and/or rating scales.

Outcome 3

On completion of this unit the student should be able to design and undertake a practical investigation related to external influences on behaviour, and draw conclusions based on evidence from collected data.
Assessment task

A report of an investigation into internal and/or external influences on behaviour that can be presented in various formats, for example digital presentation, oral presentation, scientific poster or written report.






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