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A national Australian curriculum: in whose interests?

Ditchburn, G. (2012) A national Australian curriculum: in whose interests? Asia Pacific Journal of Education, 32 (3). pp. 259-269.

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The introduction of an Australian curriculum is likely to have a widespread and long-term impact on schools, teachers and students, and yet there has been a swift and an almost unquestioning acceptance of its introduction by the Australian public and by educators. This paper will use theoretical frameworks informed by Gramsci's cultural hegemony and the discourses and concepts related to global neo-liberalism, to contribute to an understanding of the overwhelming acceptance of the idea of a national curriculum. The paper will refer to critiques of neo-liberalism that have shaped a range of educational priorities internationally and in Australia. Using a critical approach to sources from the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority and elsewhere, it will be argued that the introduction of an Australian curriculum is intentionally positioned to primarily meet the needs of global markets and the economy. The paper will conclude by suggesting that economic interests under neo-liberal conditions are driving and defining our approach to an Australian curriculum and that this agenda has the potential to sideline other important considerations, such as addressing issues of diversity and local contexts that must inhere in any curriculum provision.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Education
Publisher: Routledge
Copyright: © 2012 Copyright National Institute of Education, Singapore
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