The inherent vulnerability of the Australian curriculum’s cross-curriculum priorities

Article


Salter, Peta and Maxwell, Jacinta. 2016. "The inherent vulnerability of the Australian curriculum’s cross-curriculum priorities." Critical Studies in Education. 57 (3), pp. 296-312. https://doi.org/10.1080/17508487.2015.1070363
Article Title

The inherent vulnerability of the Australian curriculum’s cross-curriculum priorities

ERA Journal ID20125
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsSalter, Peta (Author) and Maxwell, Jacinta (Author)
Journal TitleCritical Studies in Education
Journal Citation57 (3), pp. 296-312
Number of Pages12
Year2016
Place of PublicationLondon, United Kingdom
ISSN0076-6275
1750-8487
1750-8495
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1080/17508487.2015.1070363
Web Address (URL)http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/17508487.2015.1070363#abstract
Abstract

National curriculum development is a complex and contested process. By its very function, a national curriculum serves to organise diverse interests into a common framework, a task fraught with cultural and political tensions and compromises. In the emergent Australian Curriculum these tensions are manifest in and around the cross-curriculum priorities (CCPs): sustainability, Asia and Australia’s engagement with Asia, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures. These priorities have been under fire since their introduction to the curriculum and the announcement of a review of the emerging curriculum prompted fears of a renewed attack. Studies from diverse fields of education research suggest that a lack of high-level institutional support for initiatives such as the CCPs places them in jeopardy. This paper focuses on two priorities: Asia and Australia’s engagement with Asia, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures. It employs interest convergence theory as a framework to understand connections between the intentions behind the inclusion of the CCPs and the outcomes of the Review of the Australian Curriculum. Furthermore, this paper draws on interview-based research that explores how the priorities are constructed by those who are expected to work with them, from pre-service through to experienced teachers. This theoretical framework provides an explanation for the perennially precarious nature of these kinds of curriculum initiatives.

KeywordsAustralian curriculum, cross-curriculum priorities, interest convergence, problem construction
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020390401. Comparative and cross-cultural education
390102. Curriculum and pedagogy theory and development
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Byline AffiliationsJames Cook University
School of Linguistics, Adult and Specialist Education
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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