What is it?
The Board’s purpose
To develop a single, world-class A National Curriculum for:
Australian curriculum for all English
students from Kindergarten to
Year 12, starting with English, History
mathematics, the sciences and Mathematics
history. The development of
continua of learning in literacy Sciences
and numeracy will be a then
foundation for this work.
Who is running it?
(Council of Australian Governments)
Chair: Prime Minister
(Interim National Curriculum Board) Statutory Authority
Chair: Professor Barry McGaw reporting to both
to be replaced by … State Ministers
Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority
VCAA and equivalent State and Territory VCAA State Reference Group
Statutory Authorities Chair: Terry Hayes
What is the policy basis?
a solid foundation in skills and knowledge on
which further learning and adult life can be built
deep knowledge and skills that will enable
advanced learning and an ability to create new
ideas and translate them into practical
general capabilities that underpin flexible and
critical thinking, a capacity to work with others and
an ability to move across subject disciplines to
develop new expertise
What is the legislative basis?
What is the conceptual framework?
• Content at each year level
• Structure of achievement
standards still under discussion –
one option to be set out as a
continuum of achievement (similar
to current NAPLAN), not necessarily
linked to year levels
•Expected standards as key stages
likely to be specified (paras 15 – 19
What are some key issues?
•Equity and inclusivity (para 11) – what
does a national curriculum actually mean in
contemporary diverse Australia?
•Comprehensiveness (para 12) – how does
the National Curriculum connect with the
rest of the curriculum?
•Focus on content and subject specific
processes rather than generic processes
e.g. enquiry skills (paras 22 – 29)
• Interdisciplinary skills recognised but not
defined separately (paras 33 – 42)
What about assessment?
• Qualifications to remain
responsibility of each state/territory
• VET, VCAL and IB can continue to
• NAPLAN testing to continue
• End-of-school assessment remains
responsibility of each state/territory
• Current VCE assessment structures
likely to continue (para 51)
What does it mean for Victoria?
•No change until 2011
•Potential changes to content
of English, Mathematics,
Sciences and History
•Little change to assessment
•Opportunity to revisit and
review current Victorian
So why bother?
1. To make sure what we value is
Curriculum is maintained in the National
a particular, historically formed Curriculum – and the opposite
knowledge that inscribes rules and 2. National curriculum has quickly
standards by which we “reason” become the new site for
about the world and our “self” as a reaching a new settlement on
productive member of that world … questions related both to
Curriculum is a disciplining curriculum and national identity
technology that directs how the
individual is to act, feel, talk and 3. Curriculum matters, both as an
“see” the world and “self’. As such, enabler and a constraint
curriculum is a form of social
(Popkewitz,1997 p. 132).
Will it make much difference?
The Board‟s curriculum can •Curriculum a necessary but
address the three goals for not sufficient condition for
young Australians directly. In the pursuit and achievement
pursuing the goal of a more of equity and excellence
equitable education system, •As a necessary condition it
curriculum can make some makes a difference
contribution but success will
depend more on substantial
action by education
authorities funding and
running schools (para 10)
What are the timelines?
1. Initial proposal published – 6. Writing commences March
2. Draft Advice papers for four 7. Writing and trialling completed
subjects published and 2010
consultation meetings held 8. Implementation from 2011 –
13 – 17 October states and territories likely to
3. Redrafted Advice papers determine staging
published early November 9. Geography and LOTE
4. 3 months consultation 10. Other subjects?
5. Advice papers redrafted as
How do we participate?
1. Participate in this forum:
Report forwarded to VCAA
State Reference Group to
STATE REFERENCE GROUP inform Minister and to Interim
Terry Hayes Former teacher NCB
Peter McPhee VCAA Chair
Esme Bamblett Indigenous Communities 2. Respond via website
Debra Punton CEO (www.ncb.org.au)
Jack Keating Higher Education 3. Respond via subject
Keith Gove VET associations
Bruce Armstrong Balwyn High School
Carolyn Grantskalis Lowther Hall P-12 4. Participate in VCAA
Diane Peck DEECD consultation forums through
next year as drafts are
5. Volunteer your school as a
pilot in 2010
Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority
General Manager, Curriculum
ph: (03) 9651 4524
Science – What is YOUR view?
Key features of the Initial Advice for science
• Suggests elements of National Statements of Learning for
Science to inform development of curriculum statements
• Considers purpose of school science education
• Identifies attributes of „scientifically knowledgeable‟ people
• Considers science curriculum issues
• Provides a proposed structure for science curriculum
Initial advice: Science curriculum issues
Selection of science content
Currently: knowledge-heavy alienating
Future: science competencies big ideas context relevance flexibility
core knowledge choice time allocation inquiry
General capabilities and science education
science-specific general capabilities to be included
intended, taught and assessed dimensions of curriculum in harmony
Structure of the curriculum
early childhood primary junior secondary senior secondary
Initial advice: Possible curriculum structure
curiosity exploration investigation purposeful play observation
trial-and-error „fair tests‟ and variables measurement
science for living + science inquiry + contemporary science/research
Senior secondary = physics, chemistry, biology
? an applications-based multi-disciplinary science course?
? other specialised courses?
? adoption of existing state/territory courses?
Issues arising from the 13 October national science forum,
• Big ideas - should be „big ideas‟ for all levels
• Curriculum design
- alignment across subjects e.g. graphs in maths and science
- specific, but allowing flexibility
- content-specific topics should not be limited by traditional ideas of
curriculum design; integrate attitudes, ethics, human endeavour
• Professional learning - need significant teacher PL
• Compulsory science? - Grade 1? senior secondary?
- enacted curriculum probably driven by assessment
- assess concepts and competencies
Discussion questions for Victorian VCAA/STAV science forum
• What is an appropriate approach as an organiser for a national science
curriculum? “Big ideas”? The traditional disciplines? National Statements of Learning for
Science (way of knowing through inquiry/human endeavour/knowledge)? Other?
• What cross-curriculum knowledge and skills should be taught explicitly
within the science curriculum?
• Senior: How many science subjects, and which ones, should be included
in the senior years of schooling?
• Primary: From what year level should science be compulsory in the early
years? Generalist primary teachers or specialist teachers?
• What should be the links across primary, secondary and tertiary science?
• Other issues – what would YOU like to recommend to the NCB?