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The National Curriculum

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Ricky Lee

on 11 September 2013

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Transcript of The National Curriculum

Socio-historical context
The National


- First school in Australia 1700, run by The
Church of England
- The First Teachers actually were convicts
- In 1830, people believed education would
decrease crime
- "...education is to prepare the students to participate
in political democracy, as well as teach them the basic
laws of today’s society." - Sadovnik

- The ADCS state that the government has too much
control over the curriculum and that schooling is
becoming more like a government dependent franchise
rather than a place of practice for individuality in the
teaching profession.
- "For Australia to succeed in a highly competitive global
economy our children need to have the best education
possible. Better education outcomes deliver a real and
tangible benefit to our nation's economy..."
- However, the cross-curricula dimensions aim to uphold
and expand the commercial links between Asia and
Australia as well as pursue fiscal responsibility.
Teese Potsel (2003) state that the implementation of a National Curriculum will create a knowledge of hierarchy, as evidenced by some subjects being 'core' 's' and subjects such as HPE being branded as 'others'
Analysis of Functionalism and Conflict Theory withing the National Curriculum

As per Functionalist Theorem, we see ever evolving slow change, the reason the talk of a National Curriculum has been around for more than 25 years!!
- Subjects are social constructions and their creation and maintenance is a political process that reflects values, beliefs and ideology.

The Melbourne Deceleration has strong links to functionalism in regards to The National Curriculum, stating that...
- All students should be provided with the opportunities to develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes to lead healthy and active lives. Further to this they should also be given the knowledge and skills to make informed decisions.
“What gives you the edge in participation and productivity? It’s your investment in human capital” - P.M. Gillard 10-8-2010
- The focus of physical education has changed somewhat over the years....
- The National Curriculum integrates global education into school curricula to prepare students for the new challenges of the twenty-first century
Goals of the Melbourne Declaration
Intercultural Understanding
- Recognising and appreciating differences between people

- Respecting others' points of view
- Under the U.k National Curriculum, Sex Ed. is compulsory, with or without parent consent.
- The National Curriculum is supposed to cater for Australia’s diverse population to provide equity in learning. Dragging children out of classes recognizes and appreciates differences between people and respects others’ points of view however it is not an example of equal learning, so where do we draw the line?
The Australian Curriculum was first brought into place in the 1970’s, segregated by each state.
In 2008, Julia Gillard announced the Federal Government’s intention to bring Australia to a national curriculum by 2014. This included four key areas of study: Math, Science, English, and History.
The main reason the Federal Government is introducing the National Curriculum is that given the changed global context, Australia needed to develop a world class curriculum for all young Australians (Brennan, 2011).
This supports the functionalist view of having our country work as one
There are seven general capabilities enforced in the latest draft of the National Curriculum in each learning area to assist students to live and work successfully in the twenty-first century
ACARA. (2012). General Capabilities. The Health and Physical Education Curriculum F-10 Draft, 19.

Gilmore, H. (2009). Row Over Sex Education, The Sydney Morning Herald.
Drabsch, T. (2013). The Australian Curriculum Briefing Paper No 1/2013. NSW Parlimentary Research service.

Agreements of The National Curriculum
- Functionalism is a system that must coordinate all parts for survival, thus it is evident as to why a National Curriculum is vital for the Education System in Australia

- 3% of families are required to move across state borders annually in Australia. Students who are required to move across states will no longer be disadvantaged and fall behind.
However it's important to keep in mind that having national consistency is not a national curriculum.

Disagreements of The National Curriculum
- Certain states more than others are forced to adapt and change their current ways of teaching in order for an equal playing field.

- Conflict has already arisen due to disagreements regarding subjects.
Example: History is being accused of being "Un-Australian" in its construction

- Not a good time for a federated country to undertake national curriculum planning. It does not allow for appropriate teacher judgement nor does it allow for student, parent and community input.
- Teachers are able to teach across all of Australia as their qualifications won’t simply be valid in one state and find themselves having to adapt to an entirely new syllabus.
Additional Questions
What impact will the integration of a national curriculum have on local communities?
Is the development and implementation of a new national curriculum based on the needs and wants of the teachers who deliver content to children? And will the formation of a completely new curriculum have the ability to be taught to children effectively by an aging teaching population?
Does the political war and debate govern what will be put in the curriculum? Will the content be thrown back and forth constantly to mirror changes in government?
Reid, P. E. A. (2011). HPE and Capabilities: Towards an Active National Curriculum. Asia-Pacific Journal of Health, Sport & Physical Education, 2(2), 14-79.
Brennan, M. (2011). National curriculum: A political-educational tangle. Australian Journal of Education: Vol. 55: Iss. 3, Article 7.
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