My next question about the National Curriculum

This modifies the first question perhaps.

How much is actually going to change?

I ask this after reading Syllabus makeover spells danger for HSC in today’s Sydney Morning Herald.

…A spokesman for the federal Education Minister, Julia Gillard, said yesterday a draft curriculum for senior years for science, English, maths and history would be released within months.

Science would include physics, chemistry and biology, and history would be broken into ancient and modern strands.

”The implementation timeframes for the senior years will be determined during this year,” the spokesman said…

He said state and federal education ministers would decide later in the year when the senior curriculum would be introduced.

”Implementation for senior years is much more problematic than for K to 10 [kindergarten to year 10],” Mr Hill said.

He rejected claims that a national curriculum in years 11 and 12 signalled the end of the HSC in NSW, and said the national curriculum subjects would be incorporated into the existing HSC credential.

”It will only affect some subjects, not all,” he said. ”We are developing content and achievement standards and how they will be reported. It will be worked out over the next few years in consultation and collaboration with state examination boards.”

Certainly in English K-10 the current NSW syllabuses could absorb the National Curriculum without too much difficulty – including the much vaunted “back to basics” in grammar. Anyone who thinks that means we’ll be doing parsing and analysis again is dreaming. I am pleased, I must say, that attention is paid to the history of English at Year Nine level, as I’d been doing just that around that level for decades! I find it easy to make interesting and invaluable for students. I even make sure ESL students learn about it, often by finding out also what they know about the way their mother tongues have changed over time. Speaking a bit of Old English has been one of my teaching party tricks since 1966!

Not a bad article the other day by Tim Hawkes from The King’s School.

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