Reconceptualising transnational perspectives within the Australian school curriculum: a prism for the future, not a mirror of the present

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    The phased introduction of a new national curriculum for Australian schools from 2010 was the educational substantiation of a national desire to create a foundation so that future generations of Australians could participate effectively and meaningfully in a changing world. In addition to the content and skills embedded in the learning area curricula themselves, the inclusion of general capabilities that are now widely designated as essential 21st-century ‘soft’ skills, such as critical and creative thinking, along with cross-curriculum priorities that included a focus on Australia’s engagement with Asia, were indicators of a wish by its designers to prepare young people for a highly globalised world, one very different from the one in which previous generations had grown up. However, the Australian Curriculum was not developed on modern conceptions of ideas such as intercultural understanding, thinking and globalisation, deriving its direction from understandings about thinking, culture and demographic transnationalism that dated back to the 1990s and longer, rather than being more reflective of the trends likely to emerge as the 21st century progressed. Using a critical analysis of the conceptual base of the Australian Curriculum, with reference to a range of learning areas, this chapter will argue that, in order to be fully effective as a prism of 21st-century learning, the Australian Curriculum needs to be reconfigured to encompass notions of transnationalism, thinking and culture that are more in tune with the reality of a highly mobile and diverse global society in which future Australians will live.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationTransnational Education and Curriculum Studies
    Subtitle of host publicationInternational Perspectives
    EditorsJohn Chi-Kin Lee, Noel Gough
    Place of PublicationAbingdon UK
    Number of pages16
    ISBN (Electronic)9781351061629
    ISBN (Print)9781138480889
    Publication statusPublished - 2021


    • Australian Curriculum
    • transnational education

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