What are the three most outstanding things you have learnt from your exploration of the Australian Curriculum?
Exploring the ACARA website was both overwhelming and amazing. Understanding the connection between the general capabilities, the cross-curriculum priorities and how they are interwoven with content in each learning area, is the most outstanding feature and thing I learnt.
I am impressed by the Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians (MCEETYA) 2008, that all young people in Australia should be supported to become successful learners, confident and creative individuals, and active and informed citizens, and how these three key dimensions play a significant role in realising the declaration’s goals.
It frames the curriculum with two goals:
- All young Australians become successful learners, confident and creative individuals and active and informed citizens.
- Australian schooling promotes equity and excellence.
Thus, the second important feature of the Australian Curriculum is the importance of diversity and the commitment to equity in education. According to ACARA website, “all students are entitled to rigorous, relevant and engaging learning programs drawn from a challenging curriculum that addresses their individual learning needs.” The importance of inclusion and differentiation includes attention to disability, culture and language, and all those students in between.
In Australia, the importance of inclusion and cultural understanding is also acknowledged in the National Framework for Values Education in Australian Schools and especially in Value 9. Understanding, Tolerance and Inclusion: “Be aware of others and their cultures, accept diversity within a democratic society, being included and including others.” (Commonwealth of Australia — DEST. 2005, p.4).
In practice, teachers can reflect on their own cultural identity, and how characteristics shape their schooling lives.
An Inclusive Curriculum Checklist, from Teaching Strategies for Active Learning: Five Essentials for Your Teaching Plan, will help unveil and keep tabs on the hidden curriculum and put the onus on the school structure to implement and support inclusive communication strategies.
On a day-to-day basis, there are many activities for building a sense of community in class. Taking time at the start of each semester to complete exercises will help students get to know each other. Four examples are: Name that Name, Question and Answer Profiles, A Funny Thing Happened on My Way to …, and Find Someone Who … Class expectations and rules and responsibilities will enhance and teach the students themselves how to respect diversity and learn from it.
An Inclusive Curriculum Checklist (pictured) will help unveil and keep tabs on the hidden curriculum and put the onus on the school structure to implement and support inclusive communication strategies.