Curriculum change in Australia

We had a great presentation today from May Sweeney and Alison Wishart about their recent visit to Victoria and Tasmania to explore emerging curriculum models.

I was particularly interested in the Victorian Essential Learning Standards which has three key strands: Physical, personal and social learning; Discipline based learning; and Interdisciplinary learning.

What captured my attention was the research which May referred to which reinforced the notion of disciplinary learning.

I believe that this remains one of the central challenges arising from A Curriculum for Excellence where in the drive to break down barriers between secondary school subjects we lose some of the existing strengths of the system.

As I’ve explored before on this blog we have a duty to parents, pupils and our profession to make sure that we don’t lose this opportunity presented by the ACfE. However, it was fascinating to learn how the Tasmanian public had responded to curriculum change in their state. The lesson for us in Scotland is to ensure that all stakeholders (jargon alert!!) are involved in the development of our curriculum and that we avoid jargon at all costs.

In line with this throught we explored the possibility of bringing together for a few days a head teacher, depute head teacher, principal teacher, teacher, student, parent and local empoyer from each of our secondary school communities to explore how we might move forwards our S1 – S3 curriculum in East Lothian.

1 thought on “Curriculum change in Australia

  1. Fascinating post Don. Looks like there was a major breakdown in communicating the changes to the wider public in Tasmania, definitely a lesson we need to learn from.

    The VELS model looks really interesting. I was intrigued by the interdisciplinary learning domain of Thinking Processes. I think explicitly defining and emphasising cognitive thinking skills in this way is an important and forward thinking decision. I hope we can be as bold with our curriculum design.

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