Curriculum for Australia: Shaping the narrative

Published: Wednesday 4th March 2015

Curriculum has been described as the set of stories one generation chooses to tell the next, and the recent publication of the Review of the Australian Curriculum Final Report has further fixed the spotlight on how Australia approaches curriculum-making.

Indeed, debate around the development and implementation of a national curriculum has continued to pervade public discourse. The seminar, Curriculum for Australia: Stories for the next Generations, held last week at ACU’s North Sydney Campus, was a timely contribution helping to shape the public narrative.

Hosted by the Learning Sciences Institute Australia (LSIA), with the National Centre for Teacher Quality and Leadership (NCTQL), Curriculum for Australia examined the impact of curriculum-making on schools, children and young people. Particularly, it explored the practical implications of policy development and implementation.

Panellists Dr Kevin Donnelly, Lila Mularczyk, Gregory Whitby, Dr Anne Looney and Phillip Heath presented a range of contributions and perspectives. The need to support educators to translate policy into schools, as well as strong leadership to sustain; the balance of social justice and equity in education; and need for local, school level curriculum reviews, were key themes that were explored by the panellists.

LSIA Director Professor Claire Wyatt-Smith, who moderated the panel discussion, reflected on the importance of the seminar in helping to shape the national discussion.

Professor Wyatt-Smith said, "The panellists were insightful, challenging our thinking about the purpose and delivery of education, both locally, nationally and internationally."

"A focal point in the discussion was student voice and the priority of students' taking agency in their learning, both the what and how of learning. It was an important conversation that explored, and indeed contested, many key policy issues."

NCTQL Director Professor Kathryn Brennan opened the seminar. She said, "Strong leadership is paramount to the success of a national curriculum throughout each stage of the process."

"Given the wide ranging contributions to this debate across the spectrum of policy and decision makers, as well as locally across schools and within the educational system, it is important for us to continue to dissect and have robust discussions about the key factors at play."

For more information about LSIA, NCTQL and their programs, please visit their websites: