Contested curriculum in Australian schooling: a global to local policy trajectory

Elizabeth Helen Criddle

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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[Truncated abstract] This study aimed to analyse radical curriculum policy reform in senior secondary schooling in Western Australia (WA) in the first decade of the 2000s, within a broader context of national developments and global trends. It captured the causes and consequences of State and Federal curriculum reform agendas, especially the impact on select non-government case study schools, during a critical era of curriculum policy change. The research focused primarily on curriculum policy reform in the State of WA. Using a 'policy trajectory' approach to analysis, the dynamic interrelationships between national, State, and local school levels of curriculum policy processes were revealed within an overarching context of global trends. While the policy trajectory is seen as continuous, separation into different contexts facilitated analysis. The four different contexts were: curriculum policy influences; policy text production; practices ensuing from the policy; and longer term outcomes of the policy. The research questions were framed around these four contexts and considered at each level (national, State and local) of the policy trajectory. A hybrid theoretical framework was employed. In this, critical theory provided a focus on the 'bigger picture' of power relationships and the empowerment or disempowerment of policy actors along the global to local policy trajectory. Poststructuralism enabled examination of the 'messiness' of educational policy processes and plurality of responses to curriculum policy at the local school level.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Publication statusUnpublished - 2013

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