EDUC 5152 Critical Perspectives on Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment Assignment 1 : Workbook

Topic 4: What role does assessment and reporting play in the curriculum?

According to Earl (2006), there are three main roles and purposes of assessment in

schooling. Firstly, assessment for learning can be used by teacher to track on the learning

activities and processes of individual students as well as adjust the teaching plans (Earl

2006). This means that better understanding and the use of assessment may promote

more targeted teaching and learning activities and effective interactions between teachers

and students in the curriculum. Secondly, assessment as learning encourages students use

the assessment to develop critical thinking and foster their own learning (Earl 2006). This

may help students become more active and reflective in the educational environment and

curriculum. Thirdly, assessment of learning is used as a reflection of students' academic

achievements and a way to check the proficiency of knowledge which may lead to the

rational judgments and statements of students' learning (Earl 2006). This roles of

assessment may help educators evaluate the outcomes of implementing curriculum.

There are also other ways that assessment shapes the curriculum. Collins (2011) notes that

In the period of 1970s, the removal of external exams, which were aimed at select students

to enter universities, may result in the changes in hierarchy of subjects in secondary

education. Later, teachers tried to use formative assessment to examine the knowledge

that students have acquired and guide the next learning step (Collins 2011). This may have

impact on work of educators when they make the plan for learning activities and

implementing curriculum. Collins (2011) further states that in the period of 1990s, the

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EDUC 5152 Critical Perspectives on Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment Assignment 1 : Workbook

implementation of NAPLAN (the National Assessment Program: Literacy and Numeracy)

can be seen as a political tool that governments and market leaders use to adopt market

orientation into curriculum and shape competitions among schools.

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EDUC 5152 Critical Perspectives on Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment Assignment 1 : Workbook

Topic 5: In what ways can the curriculum be planned and represented?

Objectives model, Interaction model and Naturalistic models are three approaches to plan

curriculum discussed in the research of Brady and Kennedy (2007). Among three of them,

Objectives model is the classical and commonly used one which has profound influence on

curriculum development. Four main steps are involved in this approach: setting objectives,

designing and organizing learning activities, evaluating the learning results (Brady &

Kennedy 2007). From the perspective of Interaction model, different curriculum elements

are connected in an interactive and dynamic way so that the changes of one element may

have influence on the others and produce different outcomes (Brady & Kennedy 2007).

Different from the two models mentioned above, Naturalistic models which mainly

discussed as Walker's naturalistic model in the research of Brady and Kennedy (2007), put

emphasis on planners of curriculum and the process they design and create it (Brady &

Kennedy 2007). Walker (1971, cited in Brady & Kennedy 2007) divided the process into

three steps as the participants in curriculum design bring their different beliefs and ideas

into consensus through discussion and interaction. Moreover, Boomer (1992) shows

examples of Negotiated learning, in which the role of teachers are information provider and

to help or teach when it is needed. In negotiated curriculum, except the basic content and

core concepts, both teachers and students contribute to plan the activities and learning

process so that they have shared intent (Boomer 1992). Compare to the traditional

curriculum, this model allow students have broader and deeper understanding of the topic

and knowledge and this may produce more creative and reflective thinking. Sisson (2015)

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EDUC 5152 Critical Perspectives on Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment Assignment 1 : Workbook

discussed Inquiry based curriculum in her lecture, which states that knowledge should be

developed through finding the answers for questions or solutions of problems.

The ACARA website provides the curriculum for different years or levels of different subject.

When I look at the F-10 Language-Chinese curriculum, I found that the main purposes of

the course and their descriptions are on the top of the page. The description of sub strand,

thread, standards and intended outcomes for different level/ year can be seen in different

columns. It seems that this curriculum reflects the objectives model which shows the

objectives first and provide the standards for assessment. Teachers may refer to this

curriculum to not only have a overall view of the developing process of knowledge

throughout the years, but also have a explicit understanding of expected outcomes.

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EDUC 5152 Critical Perspectives on Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment Assignment 1 : Workbook


Boomer, G 1992, 'Negotiating the curriculum', in G Boomer, N Lester, C Onore & J Cook
(eds), Negotiating the curriculum: educating for the 21st century , The Falmer Press,
London, pp. 4-14.

Brady, L & Kennedy, K 2007, 'Curriculum planning models: theory and practice', Curriculum
Construction, Frenchs Forest, NSW, pp. 161-175.

Carter, J, Banfield, G, O'Donoghue, M & Brennan, M 2009, 'Orientations to Education and
Curriculum', draft course materials, University of South Australia, Adelaide.

Collins, C 2011, 'The tail wagging the dog? Assessment and reporting.' in L Yates, C Collins
& K O'Connor (eds), Australia's Curriculum Dilemmas: state cultures and the big issues,
Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, pp. 185-210.

Donnelly, K 2014, 'Education hijacked by PC Left', The Weekend Australian February 16-17
Inquirer, pp. 16.

Earl, L 2006, 'Assessment-a powerful lever for learning', Brock Education: a Journal of
Educational Research and Practice, vol. 16, no. 1, pp. 1-15.

Johnston, K & Hayes, D 2008, 'This is as good as it gets: classroom lessons and learning in
challenging circumstances', Australian Journal of Language and Literacy, vol. 31, no. 2, pp.

Lingard, B 2007, 'Pedagogies of indifference', International Journal of Inclusive Education,
vol. 11, no. 3, pp. 245-266.

Print, M 1993, 'Introducing curriculum', Curriculum Development and Design, Allen and
Unwin, Sydney, pp. 1-24.

Sisson, JH 2014, 'What is curriculum?', EDUC 4212, University of South Australia, Adelaide,
9 July.

Sisson, JH 2015, 'How might curriculum be planned and represented?', EDUC 4212,
University of South Australia, Adelaide, 13 July.

Teese, R & Polesel, J 2003, 'The hierarchy of the curriculum in historical perspective',
Undemocratic schooling: equity and mass secondary education in Australia, Melbourne
University Press, Melbourne, pp. 17-31.

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