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CURRICULUM Permeates Through Every Aspect Of Schooling

Keynote 2 | Professor Bob Lingard | Thursday 1 August, 11:15am | Grand Ballroom


This presentation will provide an example of what Bill Green calls ‘curriculum criticism’. Given the time constraints, I will provide a miscellany of factors and issues in respect of current curriculum in Australia and more broadly. Drawing on Green (2018, p. 265), I regard curriculum texts (e.g. the national curriculum, state syllabuses) as ‘(con)texts’ and these texts made up of ‘a range of other texts, related, similar, present, absent, actual, virtual’ and I would add today commercia and technological. For me, pedagogy is how schooling gets done and curriculum (intended and enacted, overt and hidden), what is done, while pedagogical content knowledge draws them together in respect of teachers as ‘curriculum workers’. My sociological approach is relational and thus I see the deep funding inequities in Australian schooling (re the school resource standard and capital) as a disaffecting unjust hidden curriculum structure affecting curriculum work of teachers in different schooling systems and schools. Additionally, the framing central messages systems of schooling in Bernstein’s terms of curriculum, pedagogy and evaluation have seen national testing and International Large Scale Assessments narrow curricula and pedagogy in some schools with social (in)justice effects and also constituted a mediatised trope of widespread school failure. The presentation will then consider the tension between an ‘ethics of possibilities’ and ‘an ethics of probabilities’ (Appadurai, 2006) that frames contemporary schooling, along with top-down, test-based datafied modes of accountability. Consideration will then be given to the commercialisation of curriculum, the place of AI, the (over)work of teachers and the one-size fits all proclivity of contemporary education policy and its deprofessionalising effects on teachers and their curriculum work (e.g. direct instruction, phonics approach, in teacher education). The presentation will conclude with some resources of hope using the 2021 UNESCO Report, Reimagining our Futures Together: A New Social Contract for Education in relation to the necessary prefigurative aspirational work of teachers and schools.

Professor Bob Lingard

Professorial Fellow, Australian Catholic University; Emeritus Professor, The University of Queensland

Professor Bob Lingard is a Professorial Fellow in The Institute for Learning Sciences and Teacher Education at Australian Catholic University and Emeritus Professor at The University of Queensland. He has also held the Andrew Bell Chair in Education at the University of Edinburgh (2006-2008) and was Research Professor at Sheffield University (2003-2006). He is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia and also a Fellow of the UK Academy of Social Sciences. He is a former President of the Australian Association for Research in Education and has been made a Life Member of that Association. He researches and publishes in the sociology of education, education policy and comparative education. His most recent books include, Exploring Education Policy through Newspapers and Social Media (Routledge, 2023), Reimagining Globalization and Education (Routledge, 2022), Global-National Networks in Education Policy: Primary Education, Social Enterprises and ‘Teach for Bangladesh’ (Bloomsbury, 2022), Digital Disruption in Teaching and Testing (Routledge, 2021), Globalisation and Education (Routledge, 2021), and Globalizing Educational Accountabilities (Routledge, 2016). He was for more than twenty years editor of the journal, Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education and is currently joint editor of the Routledge book series, Key Ideas and Education.

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