The inclusion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander content in the Australian National Curriculum: A cultural, cognitive and socio-political evaluation

Kevin Lowe, Tyson Yunkaporta

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58 Citations (Scopus)


The analysis presented in this paper is an evaluation of the specific tagged ‘Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander’ content as described in course Content Descriptions and Elaborations in each of the first four ACARA curriculum documents. The analysis is in three forms: 1) a multilayered cultural analysis based on work by Grant and Yunkaporta; 2) an analysis based on Bloom’s revised taxonomy of the cognitive expectations of student learning embedded within each curriculum document; and 3) an analysis of the learning opportunities provided to students across a range of significant socio-political issues. The findings of this initial analysis raises serious questions about ACARA’s assertion that they intend to provide all students with the opportunities to develop a deep understanding of the histories and cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The paper argues that there appears to be a clear lack of intention on ACARA’s part to engage fully with the potential of the Australian Curriculum to integrate high-quality learning around the histories and
cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages14
JournalCurriculum Perspectives
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • National Curriculum
  • Indigenous Education
  • Pedagogy

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