23 SES 13 A, What Kind Of Curriculum Agendas Are Being Carried In Today’s Global Curriculum Movements?
Curriculum, as distinct from the narrower term learning, is concerned with forming the person (values, dispositions, social relationships) as well as building capacities, abilities, achievements. In the past half-century global developments have significantly influenced national and regional curriculum activities on both fronts: by Millennial Goals and projects related to a ‘global citizen’; and by the pervasive influence of OECD-led assessments and rankings promoted as authoritative measures of what is being achieved. Drawing on international accounts of contemporary curriculum re-working (Yates & Grumet 2011), this paper identifies issues that persist alongside these globalizing movements. On curriculum’s identity role, building national affiliations remains important, and internationally enhanced globalization has produced renewed attention to national stories and priorities in curriculum reform. And difference remains a problem in reproducing inequalities. In curriculum’s knowledge-building role, the desire for new global ‘21st century skills’, confronts problematic issues about what are necessary foundations in fields like science, and what concretely should be taught over 12 or 13 years of schooling, problems not solved by PISA assessments. The paper, will illustrate the tensions outlined by reference to the new national curriculum framework being developed in Australia.
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