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Highlights on Ditchburn’s article
by Ferry Tanoto

Geraldine Ditchburn (2012) A national Australian curriculum: in whose
i...
Australian curriculum: Whose
interests are being served?

Gramsci’s cultural hegemony  applied by
critical theorists incl...
Australian curriculum is intentionally
positioned to primarily meet the needs of
global markets and the economy.
•
•
•
•
•...
The importance of national unity in
times of “crisis” (Giroux, 2010), or
curriculum consistency and
economies of scale tha...
How have neo-liberal interests been
validated and legitimated through
the idea of a national curriculum?
Melbourne Declara...
Curriculum provision such as
providing a meaningful curriculum
for diverse student populations or
multiple future life tra...
There has been little vehement, or
even subdued, opposition to the
idea of a national curriculum in
Australia. Opposition ...
Gramsci’s concept of cultural hegemony has
been described as “the nexus of material and
ideological instruments through wh...
ACARA has articulated the four stages
of the development of the
implementation of the Australian
curriculum:
• shaping (in...
It declared the two key goals of
schooling in terms of “equity and
excellence” and that students become
“successful learne...
Australia’s capacity to provide a high
quality of life for all will depend on the
ability to compete in the global
economy...
A national curriculum will have “many
benefits” including:
• giving young people the knowledge and skills
they need “to ef...
McGaw (2009) listed two key reasons
for a new curriculum.
• The impact of “globalization” where “international
comparisons...
The issues of equity are secondary to
the main game of improving Australia’s
overall international ranking – and to
be “wo...
PISA Effect (Programme for
International Student Achievement)
International measures of educational
attainment, like PISA,...
Klenowski and Adie’s (2009) argue that
“teachers and schools view them
[high-stakes tests] as accountability
measures” (p....
Economic competition within global
contexts is defining national
educational agendas and priorities and
alongside of this ...
A direct link between the economy
and schooling, where schools produce
skilled workers able to function within
a global co...
The provision of curriculum is more
than ensuring that young people leave
school with the necessary knowledge
and skills t...
Approaches to national curriculum
collaboration are doomed to fail unless
they are first thought about in
curriculum [rath...
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Highlights on Ditchburn's (2012) article

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Highlights on Ditchburn's article

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Highlights on Ditchburn's (2012) article

  1. 1. Highlights on Ditchburn’s article by Ferry Tanoto Geraldine Ditchburn (2012) A national Australian curriculum: in whose interests?, Asia Pacific Journal of Education, 32:3, 259-269, DOI: 10.1080/02188791.2012.711243
  2. 2. Australian curriculum: Whose interests are being served? Gramsci’s cultural hegemony  applied by critical theorists including Apple (1990, 2006), Giroux (2010),MacLaren and Kincheloe (2007).
  3. 3. Australian curriculum is intentionally positioned to primarily meet the needs of global markets and the economy. • • • • • Global neo-liberalism Economic interests under neoliberal conditions Sidelining the issues of diversity and local context Disconnected from local realities A decontextualized edifice (a complex system of beliefs), depersonalized and homogenized; • It has eschewed (to abstain or keep away from; shun; avoid) the celebration of difference and adopted a one-sizefits-all approach
  4. 4. The importance of national unity in times of “crisis” (Giroux, 2010), or curriculum consistency and economies of scale that a national curriculum might provide
  5. 5. How have neo-liberal interests been validated and legitimated through the idea of a national curriculum? Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians (Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs [MCEETYA], 2008)
  6. 6. Curriculum provision such as providing a meaningful curriculum for diverse student populations or multiple future life trajectories has not been the center of the discourse
  7. 7. There has been little vehement, or even subdued, opposition to the idea of a national curriculum in Australia. Opposition has taken the form of criticisms of the detail, not the idea of a national curriculum.
  8. 8. Gramsci’s concept of cultural hegemony has been described as “the nexus of material and ideological instruments through which the ruling class maintains power” (Hawkes, 2003, p. 114), or a dominant “worldview” that is “internalized” and “unchallengeable” so that it becomes part of the “natural order of things” (Boggs, 1976, p. 39).
  9. 9. ACARA has articulated the four stages of the development of the implementation of the Australian curriculum: • shaping (including a broad outline of the K–12 curriculum and curriculum design and advice), • writing, • implementation and • evaluation and review
  10. 10. It declared the two key goals of schooling in terms of “equity and excellence” and that students become “successful learners, confident and creative individuals and active and informed citizens” (MCEETYA, 2008)
  11. 11. Australia’s capacity to provide a high quality of life for all will depend on the ability to compete in the global economy on knowledge and innovation . . . [and that] . . . schools play a vital role . . . in ensuring the nation’s ongoing economic prosperity. (MCEETYA, 2008, pp. 7–8)
  12. 12. A national curriculum will have “many benefits” including: • giving young people the knowledge and skills they need “to effectively engage with and prosper in society and compete in a globalized world and thrive in the information-rich workplaces of the future”; • giving parents and teachers a “clear understanding of what needs to be covered at each year level” while also allowing for considerable “flexibility” for teachers; and, • “overcoming the barrier of curriculum variation” for mobile students and families(ACARA, n.d.)
  13. 13. McGaw (2009) listed two key reasons for a new curriculum. • The impact of “globalization” where “international comparisons are more important than intra-national comparisons” because “interstate competition has not yielded great benefits”. Referring to the fact that “a nation as a whole can do better than its parts”, McGaw alluded to the efficiencies brought about by “working together” as a nation rather than as a federation of states. • The international context to provide “clear evidence of *other+ countries on the move”. Using data from the PISA tests, he showed how Australia’s international ranking had been challenged by some other countries.
  14. 14. The issues of equity are secondary to the main game of improving Australia’s overall international ranking – and to be “world class” (McGaw, 2009).
  15. 15. PISA Effect (Programme for International Student Achievement) International measures of educational attainment, like PISA, has been increasingly used to measure, monitor, and even construct curriculum systems and their policies.
  16. 16. Klenowski and Adie’s (2009) argue that “teachers and schools view them [high-stakes tests] as accountability measures” (p. 11) rather than as a way to inform teaching and learning.
  17. 17. Economic competition within global contexts is defining national educational agendas and priorities and alongside of this is the importance of students developing necessary knowledge and skills to “compete” in this market-driven context.
  18. 18. A direct link between the economy and schooling, where schools produce skilled workers able to function within a global context, is acknowledged to be a central and an assumed priority and focus of schooling.
  19. 19. The provision of curriculum is more than ensuring that young people leave school with the necessary knowledge and skills to work in changing economic circumstances.
  20. 20. Approaches to national curriculum collaboration are doomed to fail unless they are first thought about in curriculum [rather than political or economic?] terms (Reid, 2005).

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