The review of the Australian curriculum, due within a year, will focus on maths, English and science, says the head of the curriculum organisation, David de Carvalho, rejecting claims it risks creating an “amorphous collection of general capabilities and cross-curriculum priorities,” the Australian Financial Review reports.
Mr de Carvalho, chief executive of the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA), said the curriculum did include concepts called cross-curriculum priorities and general capabilities, but they were “not the main game” and teaching in key subject areas would get the priority.
He said cross-curriculum priorities – which included concepts such as Australia’s engagement with Asia – and general capabilities – which include critical and creative thinking and personal and social capability – are concepts that bind the learning areas together.
“The best way to teach cross-curriculum priorities and general capabilities is through literacy and numeracy,” he said.
“And for concepts like critical and creative thinking, you can’t teach them in a vacuum. You teach them through history and science. As kids are developing knowledge they know how pieces of history fit together.
“We don’t want teachers to think they have to tack on a box called cross-curriculum priorities or general capabilities.”
Then education minister Dan Tehan announced the review in 2019, noting concerns about falling results in maths and reading on NAPLAN and the Program for International Student Assessment.
Mr de Carvalho told The Australian Financial Review an intellectual framework document, “The Shape of the Australian Curriculum”, was published last year. It stated there were eight key areas of essential knowledge, including economics, geography and digital technologies, but the top three were English, maths and science.
English, maths and science will get priority in curriculum review (Australian Financial Review)