The review of the literature, which constitutes the first two chapters of the study, traces the movement towards the development of an autonomous ACT education system and the development within that movement of a philosophy of devolution of decision-making to individual schools within the larger ACT system. In particular the Currie, Neal-Radford, Campbell and Hughes Reports have been drawn upon rather extensively to illustrate, not only the arguments being put forward for the adoption of a philosophy of school-based curriculum development, but also the rather strong proposals for extensive systemic support services for schools, especially in the early years of the new system. The second part of the literature survey discusses the possible problems associated with the implementation of school-based curriculum development. These problems are mostly associated with five interrelated elements within curriculum development; manpower, activity, materials, finance and time. Finally the literature review discusses feelings of discontent with school-based curriculum development that have surfaced at various parts of the system in recent times. Ensuing chapters of the study describe the survey and discuss the findings. The survey, which involved the completion of a questionnaire consisting of four parts, was designed to provide information regarding the extent to which the philosophies of school-based curriculum development have been adopted, the effectiveness of school and systemic support, the extent to which teachers have coped with associated problems and to identify areas of need within the ACT education system with regard to school-based curriculum development. The concluding section discusses the implications of these findings and suggests a number of areas of need within the primary sector of the ACT Educational System that will have to be satisfied if it is not to suffer by comparison with Australian state primary education systems in the future. Possible areas for future research were then suggested and the future of school-based curriculum development in ACT primary schools was discussed.
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