The current situation… 

The Society and Culture Association understand that teachers, students and parents are concerned about learning at this time. Our NSW schools have done a tremendous job to swiftly move on online learning and we are really proud of the teachers who have adopted a solid approach. 

Recent news from NESA

For the most recent information about the Personal Interest Project submission and the HSC exams please see the NESA Website.

A short summary of the information:
– The PIP due date remains unchanged
– The HSC examinations are as scheduled

More detailed information and updates on other subjects can be found on the NESA website or click on the image.

Teacher Support Material

Personal Interest Project

The Personal Interest Project is an exciting challenge for students of Society and Culture. Teachers often advise and guide the PIP in various ways, some of these are – a students topic choice, research methods, project timeline and interpretation of primary data. The final drafting, editing and writing is also a time when the teacher is involved.

The Society and Culture Association has surveyed its members and can report that this is an area that many teachers request support. We have provided support in the resources section of the website. Click here to access these resources.

Student Support Material

Keep on PIPping!

PIP advice for students in the time of COVID-19

Currently, the requirements and submission of the Personal Interest Project 2020 remain unchanged. However, for those looking for up to date information, please visit: NESA: NOVEL CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)

Things to consider for submission: 3 August, 2020

Throughout the duration of your time learning remotely and as schools gradually transition back into the classroom, you will still be required to carry out a range of primary methods in order to meet the research requirements expected of the PIP. While the situation is not ideal, for many people this may give you access to people who otherwise might have been unavailable..most people are at home! If you haven’t already, reach out to potential research participants via social media, email and phone.

Interviews: These can be carried out via email, zoom, Microsoft teams or via another web based platform – this ensures we are supporting government regulations regarding social distancing and also fulfills the role of an ethical researcher. Make sure you ask all interviewees if they are available for potential follow up questions, as this is an important part of a face to face interview – the ability to ask questions based on a given response.

Focus Groups: These can also be carried out via a web based platform. Researchers may wish to use a platform like Zoom. This can accommodate up to 10 people (without the premium license) and will allow you to speak to all participants face to face. While the medium has obviously changed, reflecting on changes in the process should be integrated into your Log.

Questionnaires: The majority of students do these via social media and email. These should not be significantly impacted by remote learning.

Statistical analysis: If appropriate, you may consider utilising statistical analysis, especially if other research methods you were planning on using (such as observations) have been impacted by the current situation. On the SCANSW website, you will find a link to the resource “How to guide: Statistics and the PIP” which provides a very comprehensive overview on the use and application of statistical analysis in social research.

N.B. As an ethical researcher, and due to the wide variety of PIP topics currently in development, it is important that when conducting primary research online you take your role as an ethical researcher seriously. When conducting or participating in an interview or focus group participants (especially young children, who should be supervised by parents) should be appropriately dressed and in a common area of the home.

Looking at data, responses and ideas pre and post COVID-19

As you carry out your research, it will be important to reflect on and analyse changes in your primary responses that may be impacted by COVID-19. While this will not be relevant for all topics, for some, changing restrictions and limited social interaction might significantly alter your findings. THIS IS OK!

– Look for trends – what did the data say before and after significant lockdowns (23/3/20 – school shutdown)

-Use the changes in data to add another level of analysis to your PIP, or pair with secondary research to triangulate and synthesise information. COVID-19 is an unprecedented event, if it has impacted your topic, reflect on it as an instigator for change, how have people changed because of it.

-Time: A requirement of the PIP is the integration of change over time. Through an analysis of data collected before COVID-19 and throughout the ever changing regulations, this will give you a unique perspective into time as a concept and will inherently incorporate this requirement into your PIP.

Keeping on track

While you are working remotely it is important that you adhere to the timeline put in place by your teacher. Due to the range of students taking the course across full year and compressed courses, each student will be at a different place in their research, however, students are expected to continue all work remotely and should be meeting the expectations of their teachers.

Also on our website, you can find the video and accompanying student handbook from the PIP day HSC 2020 (held in November 2019) titled “Creating an analytical and synthesised PIP”.  This is an extremely useful resource to assist in writing and refining your PIP central material.

There are also some external student webinars and information that may be useful. The University of Wollongong is running a HSC Subject support series that covers a wide range of HSC subjects, including Society and Culture. The Society and Culture lecture looks at the PIP and study hints and tips and will be held on Thursday 7th May. Register here . Additionally, the University of Sydney (Gender Studies) is aiming to develop a series of webinars to assist you in finalising your PIP research. We will update students once we have more information about this. 

The Society and Culture Association: PIP advice and additional resources

Need some inspiration? Some extra help? Visit the Society and Culture Association website to access a range of videos and resources: 

– Video: Student perspective on the Personal Interest Project

– Video: Understanding the cross cultural comparison

– Additional video resources are available in the members section – member schools can use their logins to access these.

– Resource: Creating outstanding annotations (Maxine Johnson)

– Resource: Lachlan’s PIP (student excerpts)

– State Library of NSW: PIP excerpts and student perspectives

Dear Pippa

Questions about your PIP? Ask Pippa! Dear Pippa