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Proposed ETAQ submission to national curriculum review

Posted by Garry Collins, ETAQ President on 14 February 2014

At its recent February meeting, the ETAQ Management Committee decided that there was insufficient time to prepare a detailed response to the review of the Australian Curriculum that would sound significantly different from the submission that AATE intends to make. Instead, ETAQ will make use of the 400 word text box available on the review submission site to submit the following or something very like it. Amendments may be made before the submission is made in the last week of February. Members' comments are invited and should be sent to me at gazco48@bigpond.net.au.

Draft Submission

ETAQ endorses the detailed submission made by our affiliated national body, the Australian Association for the Teaching of English (AATE). The following points are emphasised:

1. Queensland schools started planning for the introduction of the F-10 Australian Curriculum: English (AC:E) in 2011 and most schools started teaching it in 2012. This means that, for over two years, significant amounts of teacher time and effort have been invested in amending teaching programs to accommodate the document in the best interests of student learning. Major changes to the curriculum at this still relatively early stage in its implementation would risk squandering the work already done. In addition, the disruption in schools must be expected to adversely affect both student learning and teacher morale.

2. Like any curriculum document, the AC:E is not perfect but it contains much of value. The detailed content descriptions in the Language strand constitute one particular aspect of the strength of the document. In due course, changes to the curriculum will be warranted, but, at this point, more time needs to be allowed for the strengths of the AC:E to be fully translated into productive student learning in the classroom.

3. The three strands of the AC:E give it the necessary balance.

4. Provided a sensible approach is adopted at school level, both the Cross Curriculum Priorities and the General Capabilities can be readily incorporated into teaching and learning programs in English without any adverse effect on the essence of the subject.

5. Since the four English subject options for Years 11 and 12 have yet to be put into full implementation anywhere in the country, it is premature to be contemplating any significant changes.

6. Like other stakeholders, ETAQ participated in ACARA’s extensive consultation exercises that contributed to the production of both the F-10 and Years 11 & 12 components of the curriculum. While the ACARA document does not represent everything that we would have wished, we believe that the AC:E and the associated Cross Curriculum Priorities and the General Capabilities have much of value and more time needs to be allowed for that potential to be translated into productive student learning before any substantial changes are made.

Author: Garry Collins, ETAQ President
Tags: Curriculum matters

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