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The miracle baby: curriculum change and primary English: an Australian case study

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The chequered history of the development of the primary English syllabus in the Australian state of New South Wales, which was released to schools in 1994, suggests that current theoretical assumptions about curriculum change may need further interrogation. Throughout its long period of gestation every 'rule' for successful curriculum development and implementation was either ignored, broken or rendered unattainable due to particular circumstances. T he syllabus gained a degree of notoriety in the Australian context in that it acknowledged a controversial theoretical underpinning- a functional view of language- and was the first syllabus to incorporate national outcomes. T his paper argues that many of the conditions advocated in current educational theory relating to curriculum change are unrealistic in the present political and economic climate and that the politicization of education, the role of the media, as well as subject-specific factors, deserve more attention as significant forces in curriculum change. Change is not made without inconvenience, even from worse to better. Richard Hooker (1594)
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1998-03-01

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