A Curriculum for the country: The absence of the rural in a national curriculum

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On most indicators of social and educational achievement, rural schools tend to lag behind their metropolitan counterparts. Overcoming these disadvantages through a common curriculum throughout Australia has been one of the aims of the development of the Australian Curriculum. However, will the Australian Curriculum achieve this goal? Any conclusion of disadvantage implies a comparison to some ‘norm’ or advantaged location. In educational achievement terms, this is usually against a form of standardised measure within a common statebased, or soon to be national, curriculum. The tacit implication therein that the same knowledge is necessary and desirable for all students fails to recognise that place renders some kinds of knowledge more valuable and useful than others. Consequently rural student dis-engagement and under-achievement can often be a function of a perceived lack of relevance or due recognition of the nature and value of place-based knowledge. This paper explores how a national approach to curriculum may in fact entrench rural educational disadvantage by positioning rural knowledges in an eternal binary with dominant metropolitan knowledges.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-60
Number of pages10
JournalCurriculum Perspectives
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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