In modern democratic society school curriculum has become a prioritised concern for many citizens. It is a key factor in the shaping of future generations and the development of society. Decades have lapsed and numerous attempts have been made to produce a national curriculum for Australia. In 2008 it was announced that the Rudd government in collaboration with State and Territories would produce a plan to move towards a national curriculum (Brady & Kennedy, 2010). To date this has been realised in the deliverance of the Australian Curriculum v1.2 which will be examined in this paper.
Structure of The Australian Curriculum: Scope & Sequence
Delivered online, the Australian curriculum is dynamic and easily updated. Moving away from hard copy has diminished the notion of a “static two-dimensional subject-centred curriculum.” (Hill, 2010, para.17). Users now have the capacity to search its multidimensional structure according to their needs (Hill, 2010), making it accessible and extremely user friendly.
The Australian curriculum has been designed for children in their schooling years from foundation to year twelve. Currently the curriculum has covered four learning areas (English, Mathematics, Science and History) from kindergarten to year ten. “The Australian Curriculum describes knowledge, skills and understanding organised by learning areas.” (ACARA, 2010 d). Each learning area contains a: rationale – describing the nature of learning, aims – the intended result of learning from the curriculum, year level description, strands – interrelated broad organisers for the content in each learning area, content descriptions – describe what teachers are expected to teach, content elaborations – content description support, achievement standards – the quality of learning expected by students and an example of work. (DETNSW, 2010).
Discussion of appropriate curriculum models in the context of the Australian Curriculum
Descriptively the Australian curriculum has been constructed using Walker’s naturalistic modelled three step sequence of; platform, deliberation and design (Brady & Kennedy, 2010). The Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians 2008 published by the Ministerial Council for Education, Early Childhood Development and Youth Affairs (MCEEDYA 2008) is the basis of the Australian curriculum by being the ‘platform’ outlining the shared principles that evolved through the discussion of the Ministers of Education from each state. The declaration comprises the educational goals for young Australians, a commitment to action and plans to achieve these goals. The declaration fits the definition of Walker’s platform, as described by Brady & Kennedy (2010), as including; conceptions, theories, aims and procedures.
Following, the independent authority responsible for the development of the national curriculum: The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) released the ‘Curriculum...