Curriculum review ‘should focus on student needs’

This is the first review of NSW school curriculum since 1989 (Bigstock)

The review of the NSW curriculum needs to deliver a new vision to help the state’s young people confidently take their place in a constantly changing world, says Catholic Schools NSW. Source: Catholic Outlook.

The NSW Government is reviewing the curriculum for the first time since 1989, according to the review’s website.

Catholic Schools NSW chief Dallas McInerney said a new, longer-term vision for both curriculum design and content is needed to deliver more flexibility and autonomy for schools.

“The review must also examine the HSC’s objectives and the undue emphasis it often receives. We must examine whether the current distinction between vocational and other subjects is apt.”

Mr McInerney said curriculum design needs to be more flexible as the current approach is perceived to undermine the professional judgment and expertise of teachers.

“The curriculum, and potentially the structure of schooling, needs to adapt so that we can be more responsive to transformative change in the world and meet the needs of a new generation of learners.

“A more student-centred approach would shift the focus from the content to the student and support personalised learning, mapped on a scale that reflects each student’s progress rather than their age.

“It would take into account the diversity of students’ prior learning achievements and life experiences, empowering them to explore their interests and passions, and take ownership of their learning.

“Curriculum and assessment practices should be flexible, build on learners’ strengths, support academic and social capabilities and cater for each student’s learning needs. Teachers should be supported to differentiate the curriculum to meet the diverse learning needs of each student.”

Mr McInerney said the curriculum must be integrated with other elements of the education “eco-system” – pedagogy, assessment, credentialing, regulatory requirements and the structure of schooling.

Mr McInerney also said the NSW Education Act needed to be reviewed to rearticulate the purposes of schooling in NSW, given the changes over the past 20 years and the need for a future orientation.

“We encourage the reviewer, Geoff Masters, to take an expansive and visionary approach,” he said.


Curriculum needs to focus on student needs, not content (Catholic Outlook

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