It's a bit hard to tell isn't it: identifying and analysing intentions behind a cross-curriculum priority

Article


Maxwell, Jacinta. 2014. "It's a bit hard to tell isn't it: identifying and analysing intentions behind a cross-curriculum priority." Curriculum Perspectives. 34 (3), pp. 27-38.
Article Title

It's a bit hard to tell isn't it: identifying and analysing intentions behind a cross-curriculum priority

ERA Journal ID20579
Article CategoryArticle
Authors
AuthorMaxwell, Jacinta
Journal TitleCurriculum Perspectives
Journal Citation34 (3), pp. 27-38
Number of Pages12
Year2014
PublisherSpringer
Place of PublicationCanberra, Australia
ISSN0159-7868
Abstract

The inclusion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures within the Australian Curriculum should not have been a surprise to anyone with even a passing interest in education policy. It is now an expectation that such content will be included in curricula, but the degree to which histories and cultures are accepted as relevant across the curriculum is a matter of current debate. Interviews with final year pre-service teachers were conducted for a major research project upon which this paper is based. Those responses suggested that the intentions behind the inclusion of this content are often taken for granted and tend to revolve around notions of inclusion and social justice. This paper examines these and other findings from that research project, working backwards from the interviews, through an examination of the Australian Curriculum, a visual analysis of components of the Australian Curriculum website, and a summary of a critical analysis of documents closely associated with the development of this curriculum. When compared with the text of the curriculum itself, these analyses uncover motivations significantly out of line with the interviewed pre-service teachers' expectations. Finally, a critical race theory lens is applied to the results in order to illuminate aspects of the curriculum that often go unnoticed, and to offer an alternative perspective on the intentions behind the cross-curriculum priority.

KeywordsAustralian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders; school curriculum; inclusion; social justice
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020390102. Curriculum and pedagogy theory and development
390304. Primary education
390306. Secondary education
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Byline AffiliationsSchool of Linguistics, Adult and Specialist Education
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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