Teaching philosophies in curriculum transformation: International and comparative perspectives on the implementation of new syllabi in K-6 mathematics, language and social sciences from Sweden and Australia

Year: 2012

Author: Hellsten, Meeri, Prescott, Anne

Type of paper: Abstract refereed


Education is acknowledged as a function of cohesion in society. Societies enmeshed in uncertainty have historically responded through nationwide curriculum reforms. Many societies are currently undergoing such curriculum transformation endorsed by international organizations such as the OECD and the World Bank. Concurrently, globalization has brought unforeseen challenges to education in many western societies, causing significant effects at policy level and carrying repercussions for curriculum reform and renewal. Little is known comparatively about schooling implications of the processes employed in implementing new education curricula (Waks, 2003).

The aim of this presentation is to explore the processes of transition from 'old' education curricula to the new, in two western societies in which education reform is currently taking place. Of central interest is the comparative benefit available through a cross-culturally matched design using a triangulation method. The transition processes will be observed through a three-pronged approach across three main syllabus areas, namely maths, social sciences and languages (English), involving the inter-cultural comparison of ways of knowing and doing (Kalantzis & Cope, 2007).