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National Curriculum
ACSA Curriculum Work

The Australian Curriculum Coalition (ACC) began in 2010, following on from the work of the Curriculum Standing Committee of National Education Professional Associations (CSCNEPA), which first met in February 2007.

The ACC is formed by representatives of national education professional associations, including:

Australian Curriculum Studies Association
Australian Primary Principals Association
Australian Secondary Principals Association
Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia
Association of Principals of Catholic Secondary Schools of Australia
Australian Principals Associations Professional Development Council
Australian Council for Educational Leaders
Australian College of Educators
Australian Education Union
Australian Independent Education Union
Australian Council of Deans of Education
Australian Joint Council of Professional Teaching Associations
Australian Association for Research in Education
National Education Forum

ACSA continues to take an active role in the work of the ACC, which meets to discuss and progress national curriculum issues.

On the 22 October 2010 ACC forwarded a paper, Australian Curriculum Coalition - Common View on Australian Curriculum, to all Australian Education Ministers and the media. The paper was drawn from the common elements of submissions made by member organisations of ACC to the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) on the first draft of the Australian Curriculum.


Background on the work of Curriculum Standing Committee of National Education Professional Associations (CSCNEPA)

ACSA convened the Curriculum Standing Committee of National Education Professional Associations (CSCNEPA), which first met in February 2007. CSCNEPA served to encourage a full, rigorous and wide ranging dialogue around the development and implementation of a twenty first century curriculum for Australian schools.The membership of CSCNEPA was made up of the Chairs and Directors of fourteen national professional associations. CSCNEPA Membership and Purposes.

In May 2007 CSCNEPA developed a statement on what a 21st century curriculum must achieve for all Australian students and how it can be achieved. Amongst the papers used to inform the group during the development of this statement were two discussion papers on School Curriculum for the 21st Century by Bruce Wilson and Peter Cole. These papers may be accessed at the links below.

Paper - School Curriculum for the 21st century by Bruce Wilson
Paper - School curriculum for the 21st Century: A Rough Guide to a National Curriculum by Peter Cole

At the ACSA Biennial Conference - July 2007, an exposure draft of What a 21st Century Curriculum must achieve for all Australian students and how we can achieve it, developed for CSCNEPA, was tested during a panel session with input from participants. As a result of this input and the work undertaken by CSCNEPA, a working paper - Developing a Twenty-first Century School Curriculum for All Australian Students was developed. The working paper, which can be accessed at the link below was intended to provide an informed basis for continued thinking and sharing of perspectives about what a 21st Century curriculum should achieve for all Australian students and how we should achieve it.

Working Paper - Developing a Twenty-first Century School Curriculum for All Australian Students.

In February 2008 Barry McGaw Chair, National Curriculum Board and Tom Bentley, Senior Advisor on Schools to the Minister attended to brief members on the then newly established National Curriculum Board and to hear members' views. Barry McGaw attended further CSCNEPA meetings to inform members on the work of the National Curriculum Board and to hear the views of CSCNEPA members.

Consistent with CSCNEPA's desire to appropriately include the voices of the subject associations that were essential to the first round of work by the National Curriculum Board, representatives of Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers, Australian Association for the Teaching of English, Australian Literacy Educators Association, e:lit, Australian Science Teachers Association and the History Teachers Association of Australia were invited to join CSCNEPA meetings.

In October 2008 CSCNEPA released a stimulus paper Aligning curriculum with the goals of schooling: developing a Twenty-first Century School Curriculum for All Australian Students which was written, for CSCNEPA, by Peter Cole. This paper takes a fresh look at the way that curriculum in the post-compulsory years (Years 10-12) is structured and delivered in schools. Its starting point is a concern about the apparent divide between the national goals for schooling in the 21st Century and the actual curriculum that schools are expected to deliver in the post-compulsory years. It does not address all learning that a student might choose to undertake in the post-compulsory years but focuses particularly on discipline based learning and how this might be reconceived so that all students can leave school with a broad understanding of core concepts and big ideas in the key discipline areas. It advocates alternative ways of packaging and delivering post-compulsory curriculum to those generally adopted in Australian jurisdictions and proposed in the national curriculum project, and where available references arrangements in jurisdictions nationally and internationally that illustrate the proposed alternative practice.

Stimulus Paper 2008 - Aligning curriculum with the goals of schooling by Peter Cole.

Late in 2009, it was agreed that CSCNEPA should reassess its direction in light of the progress that has been made towards a national curriculum and ACC resulted.