Who owns the curricula of Australia's schools?

Year: 1994

Author: Clements, M. A. (Ken), Ellerton, Nerida F.

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

The authors have only recently completed a book on attempts to develop a national curriculum in Australia. In this paper they will discuss the issue of curriculum ownership, which is one of the major themes in their book. They will argue: (a) that the nationally developed, outcomes-based curriculum profiles are derived from neo-behaviourist principles which, for at least some curriculum areas, are not in accord with findings of research; (b) that the State, Territory, and Federal Ministers of Education, and Directors of Curriculum, do not own the curricula of schools; (c) that in any proposed changes to curriculum, all major stakeholders should be involved at all stages of the curriculum development process, including the policy formation stage; (d) that the consultative processes adopted, over the period 1988-1993, in the national curriculum development exercise were inadequate; and (d) the model for the national curriculum development exercise in Australia was the now discredited United Kingdom national curriculum.