In order to become responsible citizens, it is important that young people learn about the world in which they live. Humanities subjects give students the opportunity to learn about political, legal and economic systems as well as environmental issues and historical perspectives on local, national and global levels.

Galen College teaches Humanities subjects through thematic units that link concepts to different historical periods and cultures. Current issues are also studied to ensure that the study of Humanities subjects at Galen are engaging and relevant to modern students.

In Year 7 students take part in a special program known as Integrated Studies. Integrated Studies combines the study of English, Information Technology, Geography, History and Commerce in a theme-based approach to learning, following the Victorian Essential Leaning Standards (VELS).  
Students have contact with one teacher for fifteen periods each fortnight in an effort to ease the transition from Primary to Secondary School and create a more personal environment for learning.
While there is a strong emphasis on the development of traditional English skills, students are also encouraged to use inquiry-based learning. Some of the topics investigated include: survival, ancient civilisations and our Asian neighbours.
Tasks such as analysing different survival scenarios, organising an Asian culture and food class, designing a city, participating in a class excursion to Melbourne and writing a newspaper are some of activities aimed at developing cooperation and thinking skills.

Year 8 Humanities aims to make students aware of the changing needs of our society and the implications these changes have for us now and in the future. Students develop their research, mapping and atlas skills as well as their ability to critically analyse and interpret a piece of writing. They are encouraged to follow current events and to be informed about important issues such as elections.

Humanities gives a basic knowledge of Australian society. It aims to develop students’ understanding of the society in which they live, by examining its key characteristics. Areas of study include a broad range of topics, enabling students to study the development of Australian society from prior to the first
white settlement to modern times. The course covers Australian Identity, Election Procedures, The Gold Rush, Race Relations, The Murray River and Crime and Punishment. This is an integrated course drawing on historical, environmental, economic, political and cultural aspects of Australian society. We use
themes to cross time periods from the past to present and to link areas of study.

Once students enter Year 10, Humanities subjects are individualised so that students can obtain a better understanding of the topics and concepts taught at VCE level. The Humanities core subject provides students with an awareness and understanding of their world. However, History, Legal Studies, Geography, and Economics are taught as separate units. Students study recent historical events, current concerns and likely future events that impact upon our lives. Our focus is to provide students with an understanding of how society works and how they can be active participants in it. The subject builds on skills from previous years as well as providing an introduction to some core areas of study that students can pursue in VCE such as:

During this hands on unit students participate in a number of field work activities in order to further understand their local area. Students will use handheld
GPS units, field testing equipment and computer mapping programs to evaluate field work sites and produce reports. This course focuses on developing the students’ knowledge of geographical concepts as well as presentation and research skills. The skills and knowledge developed during this unit are directly
linked to the skills and knowledge needed during VCE.

This course introduces students to concepts and skills related to understanding industry and the business world. It uses case studies in both small and large business operations to illustrate how businesses attempt to operate effectively in a changing environment. Areas studied include:
• Introduction to Business. An introduction to business characteristics, features of organisations, objectives of different types of organisations, the distinction between small and large businesses and the role of stakeholders in business.
• Economics.  Students learn about the basic economic principles related to business and the effect business can have on the economy.
• Accounting and financial management. Students learn to use appropriate accounting and financial management terms and are introduced to the role of ICT in business financial management.
• Business Management – large-scale organisations.  The nature of a large-scale organisations, their impact both socially and ethically on Australian society and the global environment and possible conflicts.

During this unit, students study Greek, Roman, Mayan and Assyrian Civilisations through examining primary sources, historical records, films and photographs. Studying Ancient Civilisations enhances our understanding of Western Tradition and the Modern World. Ancient societies made fundamental
contributions to the development of Western Civilisation, which have had profound effects on world history, both recent and contemporary.

This unit explores a number of contexts in which challenge and change have occurred during key periods of history and the people and groups who faced these challenges. The unit will focus on a selection of the following; the fall of the Roman empire, late Medieval England, Lutheran Reformation, slavery in the 19th century, South Africa under apartheid, Northern Ireland and the Civil Rights Movement in the USA. Students develop skills in examining original sources and documents, analytical skills and arriving at conclusions by studying the past.