The miracle baby

Curriculum change and primary English: an Australian case study

Donna Gibbs*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The chequered history of the development of the primary English syllabus in the Australian state of New South Wales, which was released to schools in 1994, suggests that current theoretical assumptions about curriculum change may need further interrogation. Throughout its long period of gestation every 'rule' for successful curriculum development and implementation was either ignored, broken or rendered unattainable due to particular circumstances. The syllabus gained a degree of notoriety in the Australian context in that it acknowledged a controversial theoretical underpinning -a functional view of language -and was the first syllabus to incorporate national outcomes. This paper argues that many of the conditions advocated in current educational theory relating to curriculum change are unrealistic in the present political and economic climate and that the politicization of education, the role of the media, as well as subject-specific factors, deserve more attention as significant forces in curriculum change.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181-198
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Curriculum Studies
Volume30
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1998

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