Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Type: Theses
Title: The Australian national curriculum: perspectives of teachers and school administrators on issues and concerns surrounding implementation
Author: Rose, John Robert
Issue Date: 2016
School/Discipline: School of Education
Abstract: The creation and implementation of the Australian National Curriculum placed Australia as the first federation in the world to implement a national curriculum. Thus it was a major and significant curriculum reform and provided the impetus for this study. As such it was deemed important to investigate teachers’ perspectives on the ways in which the reform would influence their professional practices. It was considered that unless data were captured, analysed and reviewed during the introduction of the Australian Curriculum a significant opportunity for analysis and review would have been lost to Australian education. Thus, working from the assumption that it was imperative that researchers capture the essence of the newly released Australian Curriculum from a schools’ and teachers’ perspective, this thesis critiques the implementation of the Australian Curriculum, in particular, the four Phase 1 subjects of English, Mathematics, Science and History. Further, teachers were asked as to whether they felt well prepared to implement a new Australian curriculum. Such a perspective, it is argued, should ensure that any required curriculum renewal in higher education teacher education programs are aligned with the reform and are authentic and reliable. The study begins with an examination of the curriculum conceptualisations on which the current Australian Curriculum is founded. In the absence of any official theoretical model of the curriculum reform, a model is presented which argues that the Australian Curriculum is a hybrid curriculum predominately reflecting a duality of a Reconstructionist curriculum conceptualisation along with a Third Way political ideological influence in its underlying philosophy, but with a reflection of essentialism in its design and development. The model proposed is thus presented as a complementary pluralistic model. The development of the model provides a conceptual framing of the study. Past attempts at national curricula collaboration in Australia are then reviewed including an examination of the backgrounds to these attempts; followed by an examination of the justifications and processes surrounding the current initiative. Using a survey (N=235) to gather data from teachers in Independent Schools throughout Australia perspectives, issues and teacher concerns surrounding the implementation of the Australian Curriculum were determined. Five major interrelated propositions emerged from the analysis of the data. The first was that teachers of History and Science in Independent Schools in Australia in the main are not confident that their training enables them to integrate the literacy and numeracy capabilities of the Australian Curriculum into their teaching to the level required by the Australian Curriculum. Secondly, the inadequate preparation of teachers in Independent Schools in Australia for the inclusion of each of the three cross-curriculum priorities into their disciplines was identified by teachers as problematic. Thirdly, that teachers in Independent Schools in Australia rate the knowledge and associated pedagogy they received in their Pre-Service Education much lower for the Phase 1 subjects of History (in particular) and Science than they did for Mathematics and English. The lack of alignment between teachers’ perceived needs and the Pre-Service Education in History methodology has been noted and discussed. Fourthly, that teachers in Independent Schools in Australia overwhelmingly endorsed inquiry learning as the optimal pedagogy for implementation of the reformed Australian Curriculum. The final proposition was that teachers indicated, that while the ability to teach differentially is being addressed to some degree in on-going professional development and through post graduate studies, it is not being addressed to the same extent in pre-service education courses. In the closing sections of the thesis recommendations are presented. These included those related to the minimum standards for teachers of History; a review of pre-service programs in Science; the need for an explicit focus on pedagogy to support differentiated teaching; the application of numeracy, literacy and ICT capabilities across all subject areas; and the support required to implement the Asia cross curriculum priority successfully.
Advisor: Aspland, Tania Ly
Tuovinen, Juhani
Dissertation Note: Thesis (Ph.D.) -- University of Adelaide, School of Education, 2016.
Keywords: curriculum
teacher education
Provenance: This electronic version is made publicly available by the University of Adelaide in accordance with its open access policy for student theses. Copyright in this thesis remains with the author. This thesis may incorporate third party material which has been used by the author pursuant to Fair Dealing exceptions. If you are the owner of any included third party copyright material you wish to be removed from this electronic version, please complete the take down form located at:
Appears in Collections:Research Theses

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
01front.pdf87.02 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
02whole.pdf8.84 MBAdobe PDFView/Open
  Restricted Access
Library staff access only191.55 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
  Restricted Access
Library staff access only8.84 MBAdobe PDFView/Open

Items in DSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.