The Australian Curriculum Assessment And Reporting Authority Education Essay

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The curriculum has a measureless range of definitions. The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority describes curriculum as "a learning entitlement for each Australian student that provides a foundation for successful, lifelong learning and participation in the Australian community" (ACARA, 2009). In addition, Brady & Kennedy, describe the curriculum by stating "The school curriculum is a document prepared by an education system outlining what students should learn in a particular subject through the years of schooling" (2010, p. 11). Also, the curriculum can be portrayed as a preparation for learning, as suggested by Harold Rugg (2009). He describes the curriculum as an organised and guided program and/or project in which the education department relies on (Rugg, 2009). ACARA also defines the concept curriculum as a document that "sets out what young Australians are to be taught, and the expected quality of that learning as they progress through schooling" (2009). Noting that the definition of curriculum is immeasurable and has various meaning, the definitions mentioned only contains a general sight of what it comprises (Brady & Kennedy, 2010). However, some definitions are similar in various ways. Marsh (2010) defines curriculum as "an interrelated set of plans and experiences which students complete under the guidance of the school". He organises the curriculum into three divided phases. The first phase is the planned curriculum. This consists of the goals and objectives of the curriculum. The second phase is the enacted curriculum that contract with specialised judgements about the most appropriate techniques and assessments to put into practice, and finally, the experimental curriculum which refers to what occurs in the classroom, such as connection of teachers and students in activities (Marsh, 2010).

The New South Wales Quality teaching model and the Interaction model by Taba (1962) are both similar in a way that the Interaction Model allows for change, like the Quality-teaching model allows for teachers to modify learning activities, assessments and teaching (Taba, 1962). They have similarities although they are not the same. This is because the NSW curriculum is a fixed content of objectives and the Interaction model allows for change and modification (Brady & Kennedy, 2010). The quality teaching model is designed to allow any alterations to be performed in order to adapt the lesson and teacher not entire change as the Interaction model presents. The Interaction model permits teachers to skip to evaluation, selecting and organising learning experiences (Brady & Kennedy, 2010). A common similarity is the ability allowed for NSW teachers to select when and how to estimate students (Brady & Kennedy, 2010). The Tyler model somewhat relates and connects to the NSW curriculum in a way that it allows alterations of development to the system of education. 'Formative evaluation' is known to be created by Tyler (Brady & Kennedy, 2010). This allocates students to be examined throughout the curriculum, not just at the end of a topic (Cronbach, 1986). The two concepts are very common due to the flexibility of alteration to the NSW curriculum. There are four important stages of the Tyler model that consists of: having to state the objectives, selecting learning experiences, organisation of experiences and finally, the evaluation (Brady & Kennedy, 2010). Stating the objectives help provide a guide just like the curriculum (Brady & Kennedy, 2010).

The society has an impact on how the curriculum may be structured (Brady & Kennedy, 2010). The vast definitions of the term curriculum have some commonality that all link to each other (Brady & Kennedy, 2010). Mentioned previously, curriculum is the information that is or will be taught. The interests of the students can also have an effect on how the curriculum is set up. Therefore, it is important to take into consideration their way of learning and understanding (Marsh, 2010). By doing this, it is essential to make continuous evaluation and alterations to the curriculum in order to keep up to date with world advancements and issues (Marsh, 2010). Curriculum is designed carefully to make sure it includes most aspects of life. The NSW primary curriculum is structured into diverse stages; early stage: kindergarten, stages 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6. The NSW primary curriculum includes subjects of mathematics, science, English, arts, human society and its environment and personal development health and physical education (ACARA, 2009). English is an essential learning area in the syllabus as we use it to learn and communicate in Australia and in most countries. Listening and talking is being educated during English classes as this allows individuals to be socially active. Mathematics is the second most vital core subject in the curriculum (ACARA, 2009). Mathematics involves space, and the many uses of numbers which expands children's knowledge, creativity and logical thinking of equations and problem solving. Science and Technology educates children about technology, inventions, human body, solar system and environments, therefore, it is an obligatory subject to study. This subject provides human skills and knowledge (ACARA, 2009). PDHPE provides valuable information on development, health and physical education and activities. Healthy nutrition and eating as well as being active are encouraged through the learning of PDHPE. The subject of art allows creativity, and is mainly an enjoyable subject that includes painting, drawing, dancing, and so on. This creativity enhances the cognitive development (ACARA, 2009). There are three segments that the curriculum is developed into. Phase 1 being English, Mathematics, Science and History, phase 2 is the Geography, Languages and the Arts subjects and phase 3, Early Childhood Development and Youth Affairs (ACARA, 2009). Marsh (2010), evidently states that the curriculum contains specified information about objectives, goals, evaluation and content and others that continue a successful plan. ACARA supports these elements to be specified in the curriculum of these three phases and are organised in a fluent approach across all areas and grades in schooling (ACARA, 2009). They contain: a rationale, explanation of purpose of area of learning, aims of learning outcomes and an overview, informing how the learning area will be organised, content descriptions which explain the precise details of what teachers need to teach, general capabilities that mention a set of skills, behaviours and dispositions that apply across subject-based content, and finally, cross-curriculum priorities that ensure the curriculum is applicable to the students and the issues they face (ACARA, 2009).

Teaching, learning and assessment are the prime roles of a teacher. A key element to being a teacher is to be organised and teaching effectively (Brady & Kennedy, 2010). Students are expected to learn, if not all then most of the topics recommended in the curriculum. Equal time and information must be given to each student to be fair (Brady & Kennedy, 2010). Group work must be organised for students so they can interact, learn and associate with each other. During assessment time, all students must be given proper chance to display success (Brady & Kennedy, 2010). Giving equal opportunity to all students is essential. This is maintained by the assessment strategies provided by the curriculum (NSW Schools, 2009). Achievements of students' progress can be monitored by the comparison with the syllabus outcome framework, prior self and peer assessment (NSW, 2009).

The curriculum is able to be adapted in many ways to cater and interest the 21st century students through lessons. The ACARA (2009) states, "A curriculum for the 21st century will reflect on understanding and acknowledgement of the changing nature of young people", therefore, the Australian curriculum is using this information in their plans. In addition, the alterations and diversity in the society of Australia has been taken into account and considered by the Australian curriculum, for example the amount of Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal studies (ACARA, 2009). The Council for Education, Early Childhood Development and Youth Affairs assigns to "supporting all young Australians to become successful learners, confident individuals and Active and informed citizens (Council for Education, Early Childhood Development and Youth Affairs, p.5, 2008). This statement is essential in identifying youth as an active society, not those who are in wait. For this reason, both arrangement and accomplishment of the objectives need to be divided amongst young people (CEECDYA, 2008). In today's century, it is essential for students to participate and contribute to community activities and gatherings because of the variations of understanding and level of knowledge available in the present society in comparison to the life experiences of older generations and communities, such as parents (Brady & Kennedy, 2010). The active participation of students to today's society allows those who organise the curriculum to take ideas of their interests and ways of obtaining knowledge in order to design a suitable program and policy for 21st century learners (Brady & Kennedy, 2010). Authors such as Kennedy (2009), argue, in his point of view that the society should acquire a large amount of interdisciplinary understandings that are outside the limits, maintain a assurance for environmental care, protection and sustainability and be cautious of their global community role. In addition, citizens may need to be innovative and creative, have a critical mind and able to solve problems have well-developed interpersonal skills and the ability to work as a team member or alone. It is also suggested and encouraged that they complete and continue some sort of study throughout their lives (Brady & Kennedy, 2010).The NSW curriculum is using the quality-teaching model, which is based on the latest research both internationally and nationally (Brady & Kennedy, 2010). Intellectual quality, significance and quality learning environments are the three educational elements that the NSW model is based on. These elements give permission for teachers to alter and adjust lessons in the classroom according to appropriate and satisfactory needs and interests of the students and teacher (Brady & Kennedy, 2010).

The NSW curriculum can be compared to the national Curriculum in Victoria. Comparing the national curriculums, NSW and Victoria have similar goals of education. However, it seems that the Australian Curriculum does not replace the Victorian curriculum. Suggested by the VELS (2009) website, the framework and content of subjects of English, Mathematics, History and Science will be continuously revised and there will be a chosen replacement of four subjects in the Australian curriculum. The Australian curriculum as well as the Victorian extremely comparable in their goals, they cover all core subjects and essential learning areas; and they both have a strong importance on equity for all students, furthermore, both curriculums value and respect cultural diversity. Each curriculum has set learning levels, (Victorian Essential Learning Standards, 2009).

In conclusion, it is evident that rationale of the Australian Curriculum provides guides and strategies of what is obligatory and important to teach in educational institutions and what the objectives and final outcomes at the end of the chapter or module is meant to be achieved (Brady & Kennedy, 2010). There are many professional models that are used in curriculum development, however, the most commonly preferred and used model is Tyler's (Cronbach, 1986). Each model contains its' own useful approach and fundamentals according to the needs of the basis of the curriculum. An important part of a teacher's job is to continuously design the curriculum by adjusting and improving it according to the values and needs of the students, and their opinions, especially of today's century of constant changing society (Brady & Kennedy, 2010). Each student learns according to their pace and capability and this must be deeply considered by teachers and apply strategies in order to fit them into the curriculum (Brady & Kennedy, 2010).