Breaking and making curriculum from the inside out in an Australian pre-service teacher education course

    Activity: Community Talks, Presentations, Exhibitions and EventsPublic lecture/debate/seminar


    Designing pre-service teacher education courses within a climate of National curriculum reform presents both a unique opportunity for transforming curriculum from the inside out and a chance to reflect upon the everyday tensions associated with such an environment. With the support of a small teaching and learning grant my colleague and I reflected upon the design process of 4 units in a Bachelor of Education (Health and Physical Education) degree at Monash University, Australia with the aim of invigorating and infusing what we do and how we do it in alignment with recent curriculum reform. This paper shares this process and considers the role (possibilities and tensions) of Teacher Education in prompting shifts in pedagogical thinking and critical readings of Australian/State curriculum policy. In addressing both the interpretative (i.e. making sense of policy) and design (i.e. rationalizing course, unit, class structure) dimensions of teaching in Higher Education the paper seeks to disrupt existing cultural practices by prioritising coherency and connectedness within new course frameworks. It does this in two ways. Firstly, we ‘broke curriculum’ by exploring ways in which to counter the tendency for fragmented, ‘silo’ style unit development in Higher Education. We did this by deploying the Monash Academy Better Teaching Better Learning framework as a reflective lens, unit design/production tool, and pedagogy. We then ‘made curriculum’ by building another layer into the project (in our case the Australian/Victorian curricula in HPE) in order to transform our teaching from the inside out. This involved a shift from ‘content’ (the what) towards a more futures oriented and theoretically informed pedagogical approach to enhancing teaching, learning and assessment in HPE. We did this by deploying the five propositions (key philosophical concepts) advocated by HPE curriculum writers. By sharing our theoretical frameworks, research methods and findings we offer a model for engaging with unit/course design, content choice, teaching and learning strategies, and assessment in higher education at the same time as engaging with and deploying National curriculum policy directives.
    Event titleEuropean Conference for Curriculum Studies 2017: Theory, Policy, Practice
    Event typeConference
    Conference number3rd
    LocationStirling, United KingdomShow on map