January 2008 – Rudd Government Announces Plan for national curriculum & appoints National Curriculum Board Chair
On 30 January the Prime Minister and Minister for Education announced the appointment of Professor Barry McGaw as Chair of the government’s new National Curriculum Board. The board, which will take some time to constitute, will oversee the development of national curriculum, K-12, in English, mathematics, the sciences and history.
Professor McGaw is currently the Director of the University of Melbourne’s new Melbourne Educational Research Institute, and formerly Director of Education in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development based in Paris.
The board will comprise representatives from each of the states and territories, and three representatives from the Catholic and Independent sectors.
While there is much speculation but little in the way of firm detail at the moment, two points could be highlighted:
- The establishment of a board and the long time frame involved suggests that this is a serious attempt to develop national curriculum.
- The scope of what is envisaged for history (addressing years K-12 and all history courses, not just Australian history in Years 9&10) is much more ambitious than what had been proposed by the previous federal government.