Implementing the Australian Curriculum in rural schools

Aaron Drummond, Robert Halsey, Marja van Breda

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    5 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    IMPLEMENTATION OF THE AUSTRALIAN CURRICULUM will bring the standardisation of schooling across all Australian states and territories signifi cantly closer than at any other time in Australia's history of education. In 2010, 44 rural, regional, remote and distance education school leaders (of the 233 invited to participate) responded to a survey relating to the new Australian Curriculum and its implementation. While respondents recognised some benefi ts in having an Australian Curriculum, many expressed concerns about how they will lead and manage this reform. Analysis indicated that on seven point Likert-type scales participants were undecided as to how worthwhile an Australian Curriculum was (M = 4.4, SD = 0.9), believed they did not have enough resources and consultation (M = 3.2, SD = 1.0), and believed that rural teachers and parents did not have a full understanding of the implications (M = 3.0, SD = 1.5) of the Australian Curriculum for their workload and children's learning. Essentially leaders want more information about the Australian Curriculum and suffi cient resources to successfully implement it. They want support which is responsive to the contexts in which they work. This means, amongst other things, designing professional development which recognises that rural and remote schools do not have a large pool of relief teachers who can release permanent staff for specialised training. In addition, distance education schools have materials, production timelines and processes which need to be factored into the implementation timeline of the Australian Curriculum. In this article, the results of the survey are documented and discussed with some comparative references to the implementation of the National Curriculum in the United Kingdom which also had particular impacts on small and rural schools. The article concludes by advocating what needs to be done to enhance the success of the Australian Curriculum initiative in non-urban areas.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)34-44
    Number of pages11
    JournalCurriculum Perspectives
    Volume32
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2012

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