Rethinking the notion of culture in the national history curriculum
Henderson, D. (2009). Rethinking the notion of culture in the national history curriculum. The Social Educator, 4-11. Australia: Social Educators Association of Australia.
Major global changes are placing new demands on the Australian education system. Recent statements by the Prime Minister, together with current education policy and national curriculum documents available in the public domain, look to education’s role in promoting economic prosperity and social cohesion. Collectively, they emphasise the need to equip young Australians with the knowledge, understandings and skills required to compete in the global economy and participate as engaged citizens in a culturally diverse world. However, the decision to prioritise discipline-based learning in the forthcoming Australian history curriculum without specifically encompassing culture as a referent, raises the following question. How will students acquire the cultural knowledge, understandings and skills necessary for this process? This paper addresses this question by situating the current push for a national history curriculum, with specific reference to the study of Indigenous history and the study of Asia in Australia.
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