The structure of the Australian curriculum | Homework Helpers


The structure of the Australian curriculum

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Discuss the following aspects of curriculum:

-The structure of the Australian curriculum:

– How is it organized? i.e.: Scope, sequence of levels, learning areas etc. (Topic 1 and, )

– How is it related to the various models of curriculum that have been discussed in your texts and readings? (refer Topic 2) Rubric: Discussion of appropriate curriculum models in the context of the Australian curriculum

� How the Australian Curriculum relates to various definitions of curriculum i.e. does it encompass a broad view or a very specific view of curriculum? (Topics 12, 2 & 4) Rubric: Identification of the definition of curriculum the Australian curriculum documents represent.

� What view is promoted about the purpose or goal of education? (Topics 1 &4) Rubric: Discussion of purpose or goal of education supported by Australian curriculum.

� What view does it have about the learner? i.e. How the curriculum is informed by factors such as learning theory, philosophy and human development. (Topics 2, 3 &4) Rubric: Discussion of learning theories and the extent of their influence on the curriculum/view of the learner.

� What are the processes of teaching, learning and assessment that are valued? (Topic 2 & 4) Rubric: Discussion of how the curriculum informs the learning, teaching and assessment process.

� To what extent does the Australian Curriculum cater for the needs of 21st Century learners? Refer to the Australian Curriculum for this point as this essay is all about the Australian Curriculum. (Topics 4 & 5) Rubric: The extent to which curriculum caters for the needs of 21st Century learners.


The structure of the Australian curriculum is designed to set the core knowledge, skills, understanding and the capabilities that are important to all learners in Australia. This essay describes how the Australian curriculum supports the product and process curriculum models. The Australian curriculum has also been reviewed in the context of the various definitions of a curriculum. Moreover, this assay explains the education goals supported by the curriculum and the influence of the learning theories on the Australian curriculum. Moreover, the essay also discusses how the Australian curriculum informs teaching, learning and assessment and the extent to which it meets the needs of the learners in the 21st century.


Curriculum Models and the Australian Curriculum

The product model or the behavioral objectives model is interested in the product of the curriculum in terms of its aims and objectives, learning experiences, organization and evaluation of the success of the learning objectives. The advantages of the product model include making evaluation of the curriculum precise, helping in the selection of the structure and content of the curriculum and acts as a guide to teachers and learners of the skills to be mastered, (Cotgrave & Kokkarinen, 2010). The Australian curriculum is related to the product model because each learning area in the curriculum includes a statement of rationale and a set of aims. There is also an overview of how the learning area is organized.

The process curriculum model focuses on the role and activities of the teacher, the activities of learners and the conditions in which the learning process takes place. The Australian curriculum contains content that describes knowledge, understanding and skills that specify what teachers are expected to teach. The advantage of application of this model by the Australian curriculum is that it puts emphasis on the role of teachers and students in the learning process and the learning skills that should be obtained.


Australian Curriculum in the Context of Curriculum Definitions

The view of a curriculum as a plan that consists of learning opportunities for a specific time frame and place is illustrated in the Australian curriculum that provides opportunities for growth of knowledge and tools that seek to bring about behavior changes in students as a result of planned activities such as learning experiences. The curriculum accords students with an opportunity to develop skills, dispositions, behaviors and general capabilities that apply across discipline content, (Cranston, Mulford, Keating & Reid, 2010). This is aimed at equipping learners to be able to operate with confidence in an information rich, complex and globalized world.

A curriculum can be defined by the questions it answers. The questions about the most worthwhile skills, knowledge and values, the reasons why they are most worthwhile and how learners should effectively acquire them are answered by a well designed curriculum, (Brown, Watson & Wright, 2011). The Australian curriculum provides general capabilities as a key dimension of the curriculum design. The general capabilities encompass the skills, dispositions and behaviors that are worthwhile to be developed by students. These capabilities will help learners to become successful, creative, confident, informed and active citizens. The curriculum provides the most worthwhile capabilities as numeracy, literacy, creative thinking, personal and social competence, intercultural understanding and competence in information and communication technology. These competencies would be developed through specification of curriculum content and the standards for achievement.

A curriculum can be also be defined as a written document that systematically describes goals, planned objectives, content, learning activities and evaluation procedures, (Allison, 2011). The Australian curriculum is being developed progressively and it contains the aims, rationale, the achievement standards and content descriptions that provide a guideline for the education processes.


Education Goals Supported by the Australian Curriculum

The Australian curriculum is designed to meet the goal of the education system of achieving high standards in learning. The curriculum is designed to describe the quality of learning in terms of the level of skill sophistication, the depth of understanding and the extent of knowledge that is acquired by learners, (Allison, 2011). The curriculum sets high standard in education by providing the expected performance of students at various levels of their schooling. The curriculum also provides annotated student work samples that aims at illustrating the achievement standards at each year level.

The goal of Australian education is to promote information communication technology (ICT) based teaching and learning in all schools, an initiative that will support students to acquire knowledge and skills that will enable them to participate in society and get employment in the modern digital world. ICT competency is provided in the Australian curriculum in all learning areas. Literacy in English is promoted by the application of ICT in learning processes, (Cotgrave & Kokkarinen, 2010). In aIDition technology is applied in mathematics to promote numeracy among students in Australia. The curriculum provides for the use ICT across all learning areas as a tool for effective teaching and learning.

The purpose of the Australian education is to prepare learners for the globalized world by enabling them to acquire personal and social skills that would help them to interact effectively in social settings. The Australian curriculum has been written to help students get social benefits out of the learning process. This is made possible through an interactive learning process in all schools in Australia where students are given the opportunity to interact with each other and their teachers hence help them improve their social skills.

The Australian education system aims at promoting cross curriculum priorities in learning. The Australian curriculum is designed in a way that it is relevant to the lives of students. The curriculum also aIDresses the contemporary issues faced by various students.  The curriculum considers the Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians and thus gives attention to the histories and cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, (Cranston, Mulford, Keating & Reid, 2010). In aIDition the curriculum pays attention to sustainability in education. These cross curriculum priorities are embeIDed in all learning areas depending on their relevance. The curriculum brings attention to teachers so that they aIDress the cross curriculum priorities during the teaching process.


Influence of Learning Theories on the Curriculum

The behaviorism learning theory assumes that learning is manifested by change of behavior, the environment contributes to the shaping of an individual€™s behavior and that contiguity and reinforcement explains the learning process. The cross curriculum priorities provided by the curriculum on the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and the Australia€™s engagement with Asia shows that the Australian curriculum considers the environment as influential to the learning process. The curriculum also provides for development of capabilities that are designed to help students perform well in co-curricular programs and their lives outside school. This shows how change in social behavior is supported by the Australian curriculum which is in line with the behaviorism learning theory.

The cognitive theory of learning assumes that the memory system processes information in an organized way and prior knowledge contributes to learning. This theory looks beyond behavior and explains learning based on brain activity. The Australian curriculum provides various key learning areas such as science, English, mathematics, arts, technology, social studies health and physical education. These areas are designed to suit the varying cognitive capabilities of students, (Wheelahan & Carter, 2001). For example students with a memory system that processes numerical information efficiently will prefer mathematics and therefore prepare them for tertiary education.

The constructivist theory of learning views learning as a process in which a learner constructs or builds new ideas based on current and past experiences. The Australian curriculum is developed in a way that various levels of learning have different objectives and goals. According to the curriculum, the higher a student goes in the education system, the more the expectations. The knowledge and experiences acquired by students in the lower levels of learning such as language skills are used in the higher levels. The design of the Australian curriculum goes hand in hand with the constructivist theory of learning because students develop skills and knowledge based on their past experiences in the lower levels of education system.


How the Curriculum Informs Learning, Teaching and Assessment Process.

The Australian Curriculum provides a framework that informs teachers and students for effective teaching and learning. This is through provision of a common frame of reference to teachers and students that reflects the ideal processes of teaching and learning. The curriculum provides domains that describe the work of teachers. The domains also create safe conditions for rigorous learning. In aIDition the curriculum provides domains for personalizing and connecting students in order to develop expert learners. Furthermore, the curriculum provides leadership for quality teaching and learning. This is made possible through guidelines for the school teachers to help them work with school staff in creating learning opportunities for students, (Cranston, Mulford, Keating & Reid, 2010).

The Australian curriculum informs the assessment process by providing standards that measure the quality of learning in terms of depth of knowledge and skills. The expectations of students as they progress through schooling are also provided in the curriculum. The sequence of achievement standards from student reception up to year ten is given in the curriculum. The achievement standards support summative and formative assessment practices. Therefore the curriculum gives a basis for consistency in assessment and reporting. In Australia, schools are responsible for assessing their students and reporting their progress using A to E grading standards as provided by the curriculum.


How the Curriculum Caters for the Needs of 21st Century Learners.

The level to which the Australian curriculum meets the needs of learners of the 21st century is determined by the development of the curriculum, the manner in which it is being conceptualized, access and use by teachers and the support given to the teachers. The development of the curriculum has been supported by the government through adequate funding of the development of a world class national curriculum. The curriculum is conceptualized into standards that students are expected to achieve at various levels of schooling, (Brown, Watson & Wright, 2011).  Teachers are now able to access the curriculum in electronic format via the internet. The support given to teachers in Australia includes change in management and good remuneration packages.

Central to the Australian curriculum€™s approach to education is the Education Revolution that started in 2008.  The design of the curriculum was meant to meet the needs of the 21st century learners. The curriculum focuses on starting with students in the earliest years and moving into a training system that will partner with parents, employers and the government. In aIDition the curriculum was written to implement the Trades Training Centers in the School programs. The curriculum aIDresses the Australian skill needs by learners and provides secondary students with opportunities to participate in vocation training and education while in school.

Through implementation of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in all learning areas, the Australian curriculum supports the needs of the 21st century learners. The modern society is able to communicate through the internet and the needs of the 21st learners are to exchange information materials via the web. Application of ICT in schools as required by the curriculum has enabled students to acquire skills of using various hardware and software application packages to access online information materials and thus promote learning. Through technology the needs of students for social interaction have been met through the online social communities, (Cranston, Mulford, Keating & Reid, 2010).

The Australian curriculum provides programs that promote development of ethical behavior, personal and social competence among learners. Through these provisions of the curriculum, learners are enabled to have an intercultural understanding which focuses on the way of acting and living with others, (Allison, 2011). This is important to the 21st century learners because they need to know how to live well in the modern globalized society.



The acquisition of knowledge, skills and capabilities by learners is made possible through a well designed curriculum that follows the curriculum models and supports the learning theories to ensure effectiveness and efficiency in the learning process. The Australian curriculum provides a guideline for expected standards of the teaching and learning. The curriculum also supports the goals of the Australian system that aim at achieving quality education. The curriculum also provides students with an opportunity to acquire skills that will enable them survive in the working environment. Moreover, social skills are cultivated by the Australian education system through interactive learning programs that are provided for in the curriculum. Finally, the Australian curriculum promotes the use of ICT in learning to enable students meet their needs that result from globalization and the increasing use of technology in all sectors of the economy.



Allison, D. (2011). Learning our Literacy Lessons: EAL/D Students, Critical Literacy, and the

National Curriculum. Australian Journal of Language & Literacy, 34(2), 181-201

Brown, N., Watson, J., & Wright, S. (2011). Science and Numeracy in the Australian

Curriculum: Measurement activities for the miIDle years. Teaching Science €“ the Journal of the Australian Science Teachers Association, 57(1), 50-58.

Cranston, N., Mulford, B., Keating, J., & Reid, A. (2010). Primary school principals and the

purposes of education in Australia. Journal of Educational Administration, 48(4), 517-517-539

Cotgrave, A. J., & Kokkarinen, N. (2010). Developing a model promoting sustainability literacy

through construction curriculum design. Structural Survey, 28(4), 266-266-280

Wheelahan, L., & Carter, R. (2001). National training packages: A new curriculum framework

for vocational education and training in Australia. Education & Training, 43(6), 303-303-


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