Implementing the Australian Curriculum:
Explicit teaching and engaged learning of
subjects and capabilities
Acknowledgment
The Smarter Schools National Partnership (on Literacy and Numeracy/for low SES School Communities/on Improving Teacher Quality) is a
joint initiative of the Australian Government and the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority, the Department of Education and Early
Childhood Development, the Catholic Education Commission Victoria and Independent Schools Victoria.
Aims of program
1. Explore the key role principals will play in
determining school-based approaches to the
implementation of the Australian Curriculum
2. Define the dual implementation drivers of
compliance and
creativity/flexibility/personalised learning
3. Provide a tool-kit of resources to support
principals lead the implementation of the
Australian Curriculum in schools.
Structure of program
1. Introduction to and outline of the Australian Curriculum and
Victoria’s approach to implementation
o Research and theoretical basis to support Victoria’s
approach.
o Victoria’s implementation requirements.
2. Curriculum planning to effectively implement the first four
Australian Curriculum subjects of English, Mathematics,
Science and History.
3. Planning the explicit teaching of the general capabilities.
4. Curriculum planning informed by the cross-curriculum
priorities.
5. Whole school curriculum planning.
Introduction
Research by Nuthall, 2005, shows half (and perhaps
more) of all material taught in any class is
already known by the students.
(Nuthall, The cultural myths and realities of classroom teaching and learning:
a personal journey? in Teachers College Record, 107 (5), 902-903)
Pre-test activity…
Why this matters
Refer Reading 1
Two of the findings that surprised researchers involved Australian history. Only 16 per
cent of Year 6 students and 23 per cent of Year 10 students could correctly name the
event commemorated on Australia Day. Further, only 17 per cent of Year 6 and 27 per
cent of Year 10 students could articulate why Australia Day was sometimes called
Invasion Day.
Students also notably struggled with the concept of "the common good" – strategies
that refer to how individuals can influence systems for the benefit of society. They
either didn't understand it, didn't believe in it, or couldn't see how they could exercise
it.
Curriculum is …
[Curriculum is] a particular, historically formed
knowledge that inscribes rules and standards by which
we ‘reason’ about the world and our ‘self’ as a
productive member of that world …
Curriculum is a disciplining technology that directs
how the individual is to act, feel, talk and ‘see’ the
world and ‘self’. As such, curriculum is a form of social
regulation.
Popkewitz, T. (1997). The production of reason and power:
curriculum history and intellectual traditions. Journal of
Curriculum Studies, 29(2), 132.
The matter of definitions…
Curriculum …
o All the structures, organisation and activities
of a school.
o Intended, enacted, experienced.
o Syllabus as the structure, curriculum as the
teaching program.
o Imposed vs student-led.
A working definition
The curriculum is the defined and mandated set
of knowledge and skills that schools are required
to teach and assess.
o A democratic entitlement rather than
individual determination of what is required
for effective, participatory citizenship.
Tensions
Compliance
Creativity/flexibility
Implementation approaches
Centralised
authority
Hybrid
model
School
autonomy
Basis of national curriculum
Promoting world-class curriculum and
assessment:
o a solid foundation in skills and knowledge on
which further learning and adult life can be
built
o deep knowledge and skills that will enable
advanced learning and an ability to create
new ideas and translate them into practical
applications
o general capabilities that underpin flexible
and critical thinking, a capacity to work with
others and an ability to move across subject
disciplines to develop new expertise.
http://www.curriculum.edu.au/mceetya/melbourne_d
eclaration,25979.html
Whatisisthe
theAustralian
Australian Curriculum?
What
Curriculum?
LEARNING AREAS/ SUBJECT
DISCIPLINES
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
English
Mathematics
Science
Health and physical
education
Languages
Humanities and social
sciences
(History, Geography, Civics
and citizenship, Business
and economics)
The Arts
Technologies (Design and
Digital technologies)
GENERAL CAPABILITIES
o Critical and creative
thinking
o Personal and social
capability
o Intercultural
understanding
o Ethical behaviour
o Literacy
o Numeracy
o ICT
CROSS-CURRICULUM
PRIORITIES
o Aboriginal and Torres
Strait Islander histories
and cultures
o Asia and Australia’s
engagement with Asia
o Sustainability
Current status
Australian Curriculum
Another historic milestone towards implementation of Australia’s first
national school curriculum was reached with Ministers endorsing the
achievement standards for Foundation to Year 10 Australian Curriculum in
English, mathematics, science and history. Following Ministers’ endorsement
of the curriculum content for these first four learning areas in December last
year, (2010) the achievement standards were refined after a validation
process ....
ACARA will provide student work samples that illustrate achievement against
each standard in the four learning areas in 2011 and during 2012 to enable
the standards to be consistently interpreted and assessed across the nation.
MCEEYDYA Communiqué 14 October 2011
Victorian timelines Phase 1: F-10
English, Mathematics, History and Science
o Professional development F-10
o School-based planning and trialling F-10
o ACARA drafting of Years 11-12 curriculum
o Implementation of English, Mathematics, History and Science F – 10
2012
2013
Victorian timelines – all domains
2013
2014
2015
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
English
Science
Humanities - History
Mathematics
Humanities - Geography
The Arts
Languages?
•
•
•
•
Health and PE?
Technologies, including ICT?
Business and economics?
Civics and citizenship?
AusVELS
AusVELS
Refer Readings 7, 8, 9, 10
o Current VELS structure
o Conceptualisation of Interdisciplinary Learning/Physical, Personal
and Social Learning/General Capabilities
o As is the case with learning in subject areas, the learning associated
with the general capabilities does not always happen by osmosis
Digital literacy does need to be taught: young people have usually
acquired some knowledge of computer systems, but their knowledge is
patchy. The idea that teaching this is unnecessary because of the sheer
ubiquity of technology that surrounds young people as they are growing
up – the ‘digital native’ – should be treated with great caution.
Shut down or restart? The way forward for computing in UK schools, January
2012, p 21
AusVELS – key features
o Learning Focus and Standards for English,
Mathematics, Science and History replaced with
Australian Curriculum content descriptions and
achievement standards.
o Move from six to eleven levels (Year Level X).
o VELS domains: ‘odd’ number levels ‘working
towards level X’.
o Emphasis on curriculum as developmental
continuum not separate ‘blocks’ of knowledge.
AusVELS
Nominal school
level/grade
VELS Level
AusVELS Level
Prep/Foundation
1
Foundation
1
2
1
2
3
2
3
4
5
4
4
6
7
10
5
6
5
8
9
3
7
8
6
9
10
AusVELS
Grade 3
Level 4
Level 3
Level 2
AusVELS
An example from The Arts domain
Learning focus
As students work towards the achievement of Level 4 standards
in the Arts, they apply and develop their arts knowledge by
exploring arts processes and ways to communicate concepts
arising from their personal experiences and from the world
around them.…
Standards
At Level 3, students are working toward the Level 4 standards.
Refer
http://ausvels.vcaa.vic.edu.au/The-Arts/Curriculum#level=3
AusVELS - English
Modes
ENGLISH CONTENT STRANDS
(Content descriptions)
Level
Language
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
Writing
2
Reading and viewing
1
Speaking and listening
F
Literature
Literacy
ACHIEVEMENT
STANDARDS
PROFICIENCY
AusVELS - Mathematics
STRANDS
MATHEMATICS CONTENT STRANDS
(Content descriptions)
(indicated in level
descriptions)
Level
F
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
10A
Number and
algebra
Measurement
and geometry
Statistics and
probability
•
•
•
•
Understanding
Fluency
Problem solving
Reasoning
ACHIEVEMENT
STANDARDS
AusVELS - History
CONTENT DESCRIPTIONS
Level
F
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
Historical
knowledge and
understanding
Historical skills
ACHIEVEMENT
STANDARDS
AusVELS – Science proposal
CONTENT DESCRIPTIONS
Level
Science
understanding
Science as a
human
endeavour
ACHIEVEMENT
STANDARDS
Science inquiry
skills
F
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
26
Key differences - English
AusVELS viewed through the language
modes of:
o Reading and viewing
o Speaking and listening
o Writing
Key differences - English
o AC curriculum viewed by:
Language
Literature
Literacy
Language variation
and change
Literature and context
Texts in context
Language for
interaction
Responding to
literature
Interacting with
others
Text structure and
organisation
Examining literature
Interpreting, analysing
and evaluating
Expressing and
developing ideas
Creating literature
Creating texts
Sound and letter
knowledge
o VELS viewed by Reading, Writing, Speaking and
listening
Key differences - Mathematics
o The AC and VELS have much in common
o Four proficiency strands, similar in purpose to
current VELS Maths Working mathematically
dimension.
o Achievement standards are written for each
level however in AusVELS they will be
organised around each content strand.
29
AusVELS - History
o Two strands:
• Historical knowledge and understanding
• Historical skills
o Content descriptions and Achievement standards
included for F - 3
o History includes Depth studies for Levels 7 to 10
o Content descriptions for each level for Historical
knowledge and understanding but across band levels
for Historical skills
o Achievement standards written for each level F-10
30
AusVELS - Science
o Three strands:
• Science understanding
• Science as a human endeavour
• Science inquiry skills
o Content descriptions and achievement standards included for
F – 10.
o Content descriptions for each level for Science understanding
but across band levels for Science as a human endeavour and
Science inquiry skills.
o Currently achievement standards written for each level F-10,
but will be rewritten mainly in two-level intervals.
31
Assessment and reporting
See circular to schools 62/2012
http://www.vcaa.vic.edu.au/correspondence/notices/2012/62.ht
ml
Key reporting message:
For 2013 the current reporting requirements will continue to
apply.
o Specific information for student reporting of Phase 1 studies
o Reporting of remaining VELS domains
Assessment and reporting: Phase 1, 2013
Foundation
English
Mathematics
History
Science
No reporting
Level 1
English
Mathematics
History
Science
No reporting
Level 2
English
Mathematics
History
Science
No reporting
Level 3
English
Mathematics
History
Science
Assessment and reporting
Remaining VELS domains
Student reporting will continue as per current
arrangements for the remaining VELS discipline
domains and the Interdisciplinary Learning and
Physical, Personal and Social Learning strands.
Student reports for Years Prep/Foundation to 2 will
continue as per current arrangements for English,
Mathematics, Health and Physical Education, The
Arts and Interpersonal Development.
Victorian approach
o No mandated time allocations (except HPE, Languages)
o Maintain school-based responsibility for design of learning
programs
o Respect for professional autonomy/responsibility balance
with accountability
o Schools should be able to demonstrate how the Australian
Curriculum is being delivered
o It is expected all domains will be made available to all
students
o VCE/VET programs will continue to be available in Year 10
Senior secondary
o National agreement to
develop 14 senior
secondary subjects (plus
Geography) in four
learning areas.
o No national agreement
yet on development of
further subjects in these
or other learning areas.
Learning area
Subject
English
o English
o English as an Additional language or
dialict (EAL/D)
o Essential English
o Literature
Mathematics
o
o
o
o
Essential Mathematics
General Mathematics
Mathematical methods
Specialist Mathematics
Science
o
o
o
o
Chemistry
Biology
Earth and Environmental Science
Physics
History
o Ancient History
o Modern History
Geography
o Geography
Victorian timelines Phase 1: senior secondary
English, Mathematics, History and Science
o ACARA drafting of Years 11-12 curriculum
2012
o Implementation of English, Mathematics, History and Science F – 10
o ‘Packaging’ of agreed Years 11-12 curriculum into VCE study designs
2013
o Implementation workshops for ‘new’ study designs in English,
Mathematics, History and Science
2014
o New study designs introduced for Units 1 and 2 English,
Mathematics, History and Science
2015?
o New study designs introduced for Units 3 and 4 English,
Mathematics, History and Science
2016?
o Accreditation period of new study designs
20152020
Senior secondary
Process
o Agreed content to be ‘packaged’ into VCE
study designs:
•
•
•
•
•
•
Rationale
Areas of study
Outcomes
Key knowledge
Key skills
Assessment
Other VCE studies?
o All other current VCE studies will continue to
be offered as per existing arrangements.
o New subjects (e.g. Extended Investigation) will
continue to be introduced.
VET and VCAL
o Current VET arrangements
will continue
o VCAL will continue to be
offered
Resources
o http://www.vcaa.vic.edu.au/foundation10/curriculum/index.h
tml
o Overview and comparison documents (AC with VELS)
o Scope and sequence
o PowerPoint presentation with speaker notes for curriculum
leaders
o Portfolios of annotated student work samples for AC
Resources – Early years
o Charts that indicate linkages and continuity
between the VEYLDF and the VELS have been
developed and can be found at:
http://www.vcaa.vic.edu.au/earlyyears/vfldoutco
mes/index.html
o Government and Catholic schools will be required
to report student achievement in F-2 against the
AusVELS standards. However the VEYLDF
outcomes can be used as curriculum organisers at
F-2.
o The VCAA is currently working with five schools to
develop case studies on this use of the VEYLDF
outcomes.
Resources
http://www.scootle.edu.au/ec/p/home
Catholic schools in Victoria contact:
[email protected]
Key issues
How much time will we allocate to each learning
domain?
Australian Curriculum should take up no more than
80% of teaching time [69(d)]
http://www.acara.edu.au/verve/_resources/The_Shape_of_the_Australian_Curriculum_V3.pdf ,
What else/more/deeper/broader do we want to
teach?
Refer Reading 3
Teaching content does not necessarily mean teaching a
timetabled subject
How will we structure learning?
Refer Template Bank
General capabilities
o Literacy
o Numeracy
o ICT
o Personal and social
capability
o Critical and creative
thinking
o Intercultural
understanding
o Ethical behaviour
general capabilities that underpin flexible and critical thinking, a capacity to work
with others and an ability to move across subject disciplines to develop new
expertise.
Personal and social capability - Perseverance
Confidence, resilience and adaptability
By the end of Year 2 students:
By the end of Year 6 students:
By the end of Year 10 students:
Build confidence and
resilience, being willing to
undertake and persist with
short tasks, and acknowledging
successes
Demonstrate confidence in
themselves, showing
persistence and adaptability in
completing challenging tasks
Demonstrate motivation,
confidence and commitment
when faced with new or
difficult situations, and
acknowledging progress and
accomplishments
Key questions
o How and when will we intentionally teach the qualities and dispositions associated
with perseverance?
o How will we capture evidence of students’ developing capacity to persevere?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pBBngsAvafQ
Refer Readings 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10
Refer Template Bank
Empirical research
“Students in the lower 50% of their class in reading achievement
who received the AB4L program showed statistically significant
improvement in their reading comprehension performance”.
“Those students who received the AB4L program and who
showed improvements in their behaviours for learning
demonstrated statistically significant improvements in their
reading comprehension performance.”
Report on the Attitudes and Behaviours for Learning program(AB4L), 2011
Professor Michael Bernard, University of Melbourne
http://www.youcandoit.com.au/Assets/Files/Helping_great_teachers_make_great_stu
dents_Full_Final[1].pdf
Empirical research
o The Arts and Achievement in At-Risk
Youth: Findings from Four
Longitudinal Studies
http://www.arts.gov/research/Arts-At-RiskYouth.pdf
o Teenagers and young adults of low
socioeconomic status (SES) who have
a history of in-depth arts involvement
show better academic outcomes than
do low-SES youth who have less arts
involvement.
o Among low-SES students … Eighth
graders who had high levels of arts
engagement from kindergarten
through elementary school showed
higher test scores in science and
writing than did students who had
lower levels of arts engagement over
the same period.
Cross-curriculum
priorities
Cross curriculum priorities
The Australian Curriculum identifies three cross
curriculum priorities:
o Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures
o Asia and Australia’s engagement with Asia
http://dl.nfsa.gov.au/clip/cuclamss/
o Sustainability
These are not separate, perpetual areas of learning but
rather illustrate how learning can be integrated across the
subjects and general capabilities to enable students to
engage with current issues in contemporary society.
Refer Template bank
FAQ
Will we have to report on History and Science in Prep?
o For government and Catholic sector schools, reporting and
assessment requirements will remain unchanged in 2013. Any
changes to assessment and reporting requirements will be
informed by consultation with schools, parents and
communities.
o Independent schools will be required to comply with national
guidelines – substantial implementation of phase 1 of
Australian Curriculum by 2013.
o See circular to schools 62/2012
o http://www.vcaa.vic.edu.au/correspondence/notices/2012/62
.html
FAQ
Do students in Years 9-10 all have to do the Australian
Curriculum subjects?
o It is expected that the learning program available for all
students will draw on each of the eight learning areas.
o Schools retain the final responsibility for design to
appropriate student learning programs.
o Schools will continue to be able to offer VCE and VET
subjects to students in Years 9 and 10.
o Schools need to ensure that students are appropriately
advised about the level of knowledge and skill required
to successfully undertake VCE and VET studies.
FAQ
Does the curriculum content set for a particular year level by
the Australian Curriculum have to be taught to all students in
that year level? What about multi-grade classrooms?
o The Australian Curriculum sets out a nationally-agreed
sequence of learning, both in terms of content and
achievement standards.
o However, teachers and schools retain the flexibility to tailor
teaching and learning programs according to local
circumstances while reporting against common standards.
FAQ
What about EAL/D students?
o ACARA is developing teaching resources to
support the teaching of EAL/D students.
o Government and Catholic schools in Victoria
should continue to use the ESL scales for
curriculum planning and assessment.
56
FAQ
FAQ
What about students with Additional Learning
Needs?
o Continue to use current Victorian approach of
matching student with appropriate levels
o Working Towards Level 1 of VELS to continue
to be made available
o ACARA developing support materials
57
Contact details
Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority
(VCAA)
email: [email protected]
www.vcaa.vic.edu.au
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Implementing the Australian Curriculum: Explicit teaching