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It’s about the unification of knowledge
EQ Australia (2007)
  • Gabrielle Matters, ACER
Every year across Australia, seven different government authorities issue nine different senior certificates to students in Year 12 who meet eligibility requirements. A recent federally funded study into five senior subjects found however that there is at least 85 percent commonality in topics studied in chemistry, physics and advanced mathematics across States and Territories, and in the case of Australian history and English there was a high level of agreement on skills if not specific content. The author argues that the subject matter and skills of a core curriculum are becoming clearer, but that it is not yet clear whether senior secondary students in different parts of Australia are able to engage in a subject that has the same name across the country with similar conceptual depth and intellectual rigour. This brief article offers a basis for reflection and criticism of some of the possibilities for curriculum consistency. Seven principles for building curriculum are put forward: to be of its time yet also moderately futuristic; to be relevant yet rigorous; to be comprehensive yet appropriately demanding for all individuals; to be uncluttered yet specifying core content; to be of appropriate range and balance yet allowing relative emphases to change over time; to have clearly articulated curriculum intent that is managed digitally rather than by committee; and to be able to be assessed with validity and reliability yet effectively linked to pedagogy, equity and student diversity. The author argues for a curriculum that allows students to acquire higher-order skills, transferable skills, generic skills, repertoires of practice, key competencies and a love of learning.
Publication Date
Spring 2007
Citation Information
Gabrielle Matters. "It’s about the unification of knowledge" EQ Australia (2007)
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