Curriculum into the Classroom: the next step

In recent weeks, members have been grappling with the introduction of the Australian curriculum and the use of the Curriculum into the Classroom (C2C) resources.

Some of you have reported being left feeling frustrated when these C2C materials have been treated as the only form of planning in the school and the only authority on the Australian curriculum.

It is important that we remind ourselves of the clear understandings provided by DET:

  • 2012 is a transition year for Queensland in the use of the Australian curriculum.  We are not expected to have the curriculum implemented in total by the end of 2012, but rather to use the year to begin implementing the curriculum.
  • C2C is a set of resources designed to assist schools and teachers in the implementation of the Australian curriculum.  It should not be viewed as a substitute for the Australian curriculum.
  • The use of C2C in schools is not mandatory.

It is important that members understand and know their rights with respect to all aspects of their work.  Implementation of the Australian curriculum does not necessitate the full implementation of C2C.

Schools should adapt C2C to meet the abilities and needs of their students, and not compel students and teacher to work harder. C2C does not mandate “how” but provides a guide to how schools can ensure the Australian curriculum is implemented across each year in a logical sequence.  This does not remove a teacher’s ability to modify the resource to ensure that strategies, pedagogy and resources that have been successful in the past can still be used.

Despite these clear understandings, you may continue to find yourself frustrated by the use of C2C in your school.

The reasons for this may be:

  • the breadth of the material in the C2C resources – possibly an over zealous attempt to provide every example of how a unit/lesson may be taught
  • a view in some schools that C2C cannot be modified and assessment pieces cannot be adjusted
  • insufficient resourcing to implement some of the suggested activities
  • insufficient bandwidth to enable access/downloading of the material
  • an inability to download the C2C resources to school hard-drives
  • a lack of time available to review the C2C documents and either produce resources or adjust them based on the needs of the children we teach.

The response will need to be two fold.

Systemic response

The QTU is currently working with DET around a response to some of these issues.  This includes discussions around the provision of additional time to provide teachers with release so they can collaboratively review the C2C documents and adjust them for their students, the provision of C2C in a version that can be uploaded/downloaded to the school’s hard-drive and Computers for Teacher laptops, and protections for the school regarding TRS safety net access should it convert FTE to TRS for the purposes of curriculum implementation.

Local responses

If you continue to experience issues at the workplace with respect to the implementation of the Australian curriculum, you will need to take action at the school level.

The QTU has developed a module on Managing Curriculum Change for its Right to Teach/Right to Learn strategy.  This module provides you with additional resources and background information to support your local campaigns.  You are encouraged to utilise the resources provided on the QTU website and attend branch meetings.

QTU Organisers will be including the Australian curriculum as a special focus at the next round of branch meetings.  It is hoped that this will provide members with strategies to manage the implementation of the Australian curriculum at their local level.

Kate Seed
Deputy General Secretary

Queensland Teachers' Journal, Vol 117 No 2, 16 March 2012, p15