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ACSA Papers
Curriculum Principles

ACSA principles for Australian curriculum

The Australian Curriculum Studies Association was established in 1983, providing a national forum for dialogue between those engaged in curriculum work. The purpose of the Association is to:

  • provide curriculum leadership across the nation
  • develop curriculum resources
  • stimulate curriculum conversations
  • encourage critical and reflective curriculum practices
  • engage in curriculum research

Curriculum involves what is taught (knowledge, understandings, skills, values); how it is taught (pedagogy, teaching style); and how it is assessed (assessment, testing, reporting). Curriculum shapes and is shaped by social, political, economic and historical forces. It involves the selection, interpretation and implementation of culturally-based knowledge, skills, values and beliefs.

ACSA believes that curriculum should:

  • be of current and enduring personal and social value
  • be constructed from a balanced and explicit selection from key areas of human inquiry and endeavour
  • develop deep disciplinary and interdisciplinary learning
  • prepare people to be creative and effective life-long learners
  • provide people with the necessary knowledge, understandings, values and skills to be active, informed and productive citizens in a democratic society
  • encourage global perspectives and promote responsible, just and sustainable global citizenship
  • be inclusive in recognising and representing the cultural, political and economic contribution of the range of groups in the community
  • be based on cooperation and success for all learners
  • be responsive to the experience of learners
  • embody participatory, collective and empowering approaches to teaching and learning
  • engage people in authentic tasks.

ACSA believes curriculum work should:

  • be informed by political, social, economic and historical analysis
  • involve explicit identification and evaluation of the values and beliefs on which it is based
  • involve critical reflection
  • acknowledge that individuals will experience the same learning activity in different ways
  • strive to expose and eliminate inequality experienced by individuals or groups
  • promote quality at the individual, school, community, system, national and global level
  • be a collaborative experience, resourced to ensure active participation by teachers, other education professionals, students and parents.

This policy statement was adopted by ACSA in 2009.