The new Australian Curriculum (AC) aims to prepare school leavers for the twenty-first century and the development of critical and creative thinking in school leavers is seen as a key dimension in preparing “students to live and work in the twenty-first century” and “fundamental to effective learning”. More broadly, the AC is also envisioned as a curriculum that is inclusive and one which embraces learner diversity, especially in the context of increasing student diversity. However, an examination of the understandings of critical thinking in the AC suggests that they are underpinned by Western traditions and epistemologies. While such Western notions of critical thinking are common and prevalent in numerous global educational reforms, what would require further examination is how such Western understandings of critical thinking and their undergirding epistemologies might engender tensions in the Australian context of learners of increasing diverse epistemologies and cultures which evidently includes the non-Western. This paper explores these implications and tensions.
- Australian Curriculum
- critical and creative thinking
- learner epistemology
- student diversity