Australia’s curriculum developers have emphasised in a submission to an independent review the large amount of consulting and the lengthy time taken to create subjects to be taught.
The Australian Curriculum and Reporting Authority notes that ministers from every state and territory and the Commonwealth have to endorse each subject before it can be published.
The authority’s statement outlines the process the authority has gone through during the past five years to develop the national curriculum.
It published 30 subjects, ranging from foundation or kindergarten to Year 12.
Each subject takes two to three years to develop and almost 17,000 submissions have been considered in their formation.
The authority decided that the topics of indigenous history and culture, engagement with Asia and sustainability could be taught under other relevant subjects rather than being subjects in themselves, chairman Barry McGaw said on Monday.
For example, under the maths curriculum, Year 10 students studying statistics can compare data for the entire Australian population with data for indigenous people.
Professor McGaw says there is international interest in ACARA’s work and Australia is recognised as a world leader.
“We have not yet seen the true benefits of a national curriculum,” he said.
While change would always be debated, the imperative was for any revisions to be evidence-based and focused on achieving the best possible education outcomes.
Reviewers Kevin Donnelly and Ken Wiltshire will report to the government by the end of July.