History : Time and place where context matters

Year: 2012

Author: Green, Nicole, Reitano, Paul

Type of paper: Abstract refereed


Chair Julianne Moss

This paper presents an analysis of data collected during the stages of an ARC Linkage Grant exploring the teaching and the learning of History in early years and primary classrooms located in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria. Aoki (1991 in Berman) and other postmodern colleagues argue that school curriculum is not simply a technical document specifying content to be covered, outlining prescribed learning outcomes, detailing teaching strategies and stipulating assessment procedures. Curriculum is not static, not an unmoving form that teachers can systematically implement or students can passively receive. Curriculum is the lived experience of teachers and students as they engage together in the learning process. Aoki's work alerts us to our responsibility to ask questions and seek understanding about curriculum implementation and the nature of the educational experience for school communities. As curriculum inquirers, the research team is working within the many layers of the Australia Curriculum (History) context: across three States in urban, regional and remote locations, and among stakeholders - policy makers, professional association members, syllabus developers, school leadership and management, teachers and students.  The paper will first discuss the Framework for data collection and analysis. The Framework combines a stage theory of curriculum with Harré & van Langenhove (1999) Positioning Theory, which has been adapted by our colleagues Mary Dixon and Kim Senior. Data have been analysed individually and collectively by the research team. In drawing upon the Framework, we recognize our responsibility to uncover more experientially holistic and sophisticated theoretical understandings. The paper will then share a visual depiction of the findings to date as a way to emphasize the complexity of the many layers of the Australia curriculum (History) context,  and the ways in which the storylines and positioning of stakeholders cannot be understood in isolation from current curriculum development, implementation and enactment.

Berman L (1991), Toward curriculum for being: voices of educators / in conversation with Ted Aoki Albany: State University of New York Press

Harré, R. & van Langenhove, L. (1999), Positioning Theory. Oxford: Blackwell