Implementing the general capabilities in New South Wales government primary schools

Springer Science and Business Media LLC
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Curriculum Perspectives, 2022, 42, (2), pp. 145-156
Issue Date:
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This paper reports on the findings of a research project which investigated how a sample of New South Wales government primary schools understand and implement the Australian Curriculum’s general capabilities. The project sought to identify specific factors which facilitated or hindered the degree to which primary school teachers implemented the GCs in their classrooms. Data were collected and analysed in the period leading up to the current COVID-19 pandemic and as such, do not address current contextual factors at play in schools such as remote teaching and learning. The project’s mixed method approach employed an online survey which attracted responses from 185 primary teachers and included an invitation to provide brief written responses. Further data were assembled through 36 interviews undertaken with teachers in 12 primary schools in both metropolitan and rural NSW. Analysis of the interview data was undertaken by using Biesta’s (2010) three functions of education — qualification, socialisation and subjectification — as an interpretive lens. This enabled the researchers to identify, categorise and accord meaning to participant responses and consequently draw conclusions. The analysis of both the online survey and the teacher interviews revealed four main findings and shed light on individual teacher commitment to the general capabilities and associated classroom implementation issues.
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