Changing the ways we work

Changing the way we work

The videos in our Workday Revolution module show the working conditions of labourers, such as stone masons, and child workers prior to the introduction of 8-hour workday law in 1856. The 8-hour workday provided Victorians a work-life balance based on the idea of 8 hours work, 8 hours recreation and 8 hours rest. But so much about the way we live and work has changed in the 165 years since the law was introduced. The activities in the ‘Changing the ways we work’ resource explore some of the ways life has changed since 1856, the impact of these changes on our work-life balance, and considers whether we need to amend our existing laws, or if it’s time for a new Workday Revolution.

The resource is based on the following key questions

  • How has the way we work changed since the 8-hour workday law was passed in 1856?
  • How have state laws changed in response to the changing work conditions of the Victorian people?
  • How might the current laws need to change to reflect the current ways Victorians work?
  • How can everyday Victorians influence the changes to laws through the law-making process in Parliament?

Changing the way we work includes teacher notes, activities, additional resources, and a detailed discussion of the curriculum links for both the Victorian Curriculum: Civics and Citizenship.

The resource connects to the Year 7 & 8 Victorian Curriculum: Civics and Citizenship, although the activities can be adapted for both Grades 5 & 6 and Years 9 & 10. There are several Victorian Curriculum areas, such as History and Economics and Business, for which these activities would also be relevant. This resource may also provide some useful background information for VCAL students, specifically in the Industry Specific Skills Strand and Work Related Skills Strand, especially when considering conditions of employment.

The activities have been designed to be adaptable to a range of classroom contexts and work flexibly, especially in terms of the amount of time spent and the depth of discussion.


Edu Cover Changing the ways we work

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