This paper focuses on the ‘problem’ of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education represented in the Australian Curriculum’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures cross-curriculum priority. Looking beyond particular curriculum content, we uncover the policy discourses that construct (and reconstruct) the cross-curriculum priority. In the years after the Australian Curriculum’s creation, curriculum authors have moulded the priority from an initiative without a clear purpose into a purported solution to the ‘Indigenous problem’ of educational underachievement, student resistance and disengagement. As the cross-curriculum priority was created and subsequently reframed, the ‘problem’ of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education has thereby been manifested in policy, strategised as curriculum content and precipitated in the cross-curriculum priority. These policy problematisations perpetuate contemporary racialisation and actively construct Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, histories and knowledges as deficient.
- policy problematisation
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education
- Indigenous education
- Australian curriculum
- cross-curriculum priority