What does the Australian National Curriculum Review mean for parents?

National Curriculum review

Our children’s education is something that all parents have a vested interest in and it therefore becomes one of the most hotly debated topics in the news, online and in the playground.

Changes to the curriculum

Education and its delivery is an organic beast. It continuously transforms thanks to studies into teaching techniques, changes in government, cultural shifts and events in history. Keeping up with not only what is being taught in school, but the intended results can be tricky and at times even a minefield area for parents to navigate.

Teachers are often eager for parent involvement in their classrooms and with support at home. But this can become quite confusing and difficult for parents when they do not have a clear understanding of the curriculum requirements.

The National Curriculum Review 2014

There has been a lot of discussion lately around the recently released National Curriculum Review by the Australian Government. This review resulted in a total of 30 recommendations. While all of these are important, they take a fair bit of reading, interpreting and then reading again to make sense of them. The convoluted nature of the review is itself testament to how hard it can be as a parent to really understand what our children are meant to be learning in each year level of school. This leads to one recommendation standing out above all others.

The review states:

Parental engagement with the education of their children is crucial and curriculum documents should facilitate their understanding of the knowledge their children are gaining and the capabilities they are acquiring. A smaller, parent-friendly version of the Australian Curriculum should be produced immediately and be made available to the parents of all Australian children.

Engaging parents in their child’s schooling

Reading the words “parent-friendly version” in any Government document is always cause for celebration but even more so when it is to do with understanding our children’s education. This leads to Recommendation Number 4, which is:

Education authorities and schools devote greater attention to engaging parents in understanding what the intended curriculum is for the child each year they are at school.

Equipping parents with the knowledge and understanding of the intended curriculum for each school year can only have a positive impact. It can assist parents in engaging more in their children’s education in a positive and appropriate way and help create consistency for each child.

A world-class national curriculum for Australian students

The review was born as a result of the Australian Government’s commitment to implementing a world-class national curriculum that accounts for its robustness, independence and balance. Having a world-class national curriculum is a significant accomplishment, but can only be as strong as the understanding of those who are able to support it.

Thank you National Curriculum Review for recognising the crucial component in our children’s education – parental engagement and understanding of the knowledge and capabilities their children are acquiring.

If you feel like reading the complete National Curriculum Review you can find it here: www.docs.education.gov.au/system/files/doc/other/review_of_the_national_curriculum_final_report.pdf

What are your thoughts on the National Curriculum Review? Do you believe that the recommendations made will turn into formal curriculum changes?

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