Education ministers have agreed to the terms of reference for the long-awaited review of the Australian Curriculum.
On Friday, education authorities from all states and territories agreed to review the Foundation – Year 10 (F–10) Australian Curriculum, with the review to be completed by the start of 2022.
ACARA said the focus of the review will be on “content refinement within the existing structure and dimensions of the Australian Curriculum”.
The review will involve extensive consultation with the profession, and engagement with key stakeholders and responds to the needs and feedback of teachers, who will be “extensively involved” in the review process.
“We welcome the opportunity to ensure the national curriculum continues to meet the needs of students,” ACARA CEO, David de Carvalho, said.
“The Australian Curriculum is well regarded, however, as it has been in place for some years now, it is timely that it be reviewed”.
de Carvalho said teachers believe the Curriculum is “overcrowded” and does not allow enough time to teach for deep understanding of core concepts or application of knowledge in the learning areas – particularly in the primary years.
“Schools and teachers want a less crowded curriculum, one that provides flexibility and scope for greater depth of learning – and a more helpful curriculum, one that provides more meaningful connections within and across its three dimensions,” de Carvalho said.
ACARA said that in preparation for the review, it has been consulting with key education stakeholders to define the approach to, and scope of, the review.
Through its program of research, ACARA has benchmarked the Australian Curriculum against the curricula of Singapore, Finland, British Columbia and New Zealand, and sought feedback from states and territories on the effectiveness of the Australian Curriculum through its annual monitoring process.
This work has informed the terms of reference agreed by education ministers.
The overall finding from ACARA’s program of research is that there is no need, nor support for, a major overhaul of the F–10 Australian Curriculum, but there is broad-based recognition that the current curriculum needs refining, updating and ‘decluttering’ to better support teachers with implementation.
“Feedback strongly supports the need to balance curriculum stability for schools implementing the Australian Curriculum with the need to ensure the curriculum is kept up to date and fit for purpose,” de Carvalho said.