Implementation of national History and Geography curriculum initiatives by a regional Queensland secondary social science department: actants, agency, and curriculum change

Biancotti, Stefanie Joy (2018) Implementation of national History and Geography curriculum initiatives by a regional Queensland secondary social science department: actants, agency, and curriculum change. PhD thesis, James Cook University.

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View at Publisher Website: https://doi.org/10.4225/28/5b19b1f403e1f
 
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Abstract

Schools are currently experiencing a dynamic period of curriculum change as a result of the transition to the Australian Curriculum. This study investigates the implementation of the Australian Curriculum History and Geography by a junior secondary school department (Years 7–10) in regional Far North Queensland. It explores the Australian Curriculum implementation processes and outcomes within one Social Science department, through a case study methodology (Yin, 2003). Actor Network Theory (Fenwick & Edwards, 2010) was utilised as the theoretical framework for this research. The Actor Network theoretical framework identified the human actants (including lead researcher, teachers, and administrators) and non-human actants (such as textbooks and timetables) in the curriculum translation network, and how the interactions between them shape the network and its processes. This thesis explores the historical context of curriculum change, maps the network of curriculum actants, and the enabling and constraining factors in actants' engagement and agency during the implementation. The researcher, who was also the Social Science Subject Area Coordinator, utilised observations, interview and survey data to provide insights into the ways in which teachers shape their own professional practices in response to curriculum change. The thesis highlights how the agency and engagement of various actants (whether human or non-human) can fluctuate at times within the network. It also highlights how curriculum change is a messy and complex process that is ubiquitous in nature. The ubiquitous nature can be identified in its pervasiveness into networks (human and non-human), and is continual across teacher years. The thesis concludes by discussing some of the implications for discrete History and Geography disciplines, support of teachers during curriculum change, the role of teacher agency in such change, and the way forward for teacher professional development.

Item ID: 53675
Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Australian curriculum, curriculum change, Far North Queensland, Geography curriculum, History curriculum, secondary school, social sciences
Date Deposited: 07 Jun 2018 22:53
FoR Codes: 13 EDUCATION > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy > 130205 Humanities and Social Sciences Curriculum and Pedagogy (excl Economics, Business and Management) @ 70%
13 EDUCATION > 1301 Education Systems > 130106 Secondary Education @ 30%
SEO Codes: 93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9303 Curriculum > 930302 Syllabus and Curriculum Development @ 50%
93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9302 Teaching and Instruction > 930201 Pedagogy @ 50%
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