ACARA news, February 2014

The cross-curriculum priorities explained


25 February 2014

Professor Barry McGaw, ACARA Chair, explains how the cross-curriculum priorities fit in the Australian Curriculum in an article published in the Canberra Times on 27 February 2014.

The cross-curriculum priorities in the Australian Curriculum are: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures, Asia and Australia’s engagement with Asia, and sustainability. Cross-curriculum priorities are taught through the subject disciplines, not as additional content or as a focus for learning. They are embedded where they naturally fit in the subject disciplines. Often they are contained in elaborations, which are ideas that teachers may or may not chose to use.

The article highlights the three-dimensional nature of the Australian Curriculum: subject disciplines, cross-curriculum priorities and general capabilities. Professor McGaw makes clear that the content descriptions of the subject disciplines are what all students learn about. There is no requirement that subjects be taught through the cross-curriculum priorities.

Professor McGaw identifies examples of the ways in which attention might be given to the cross-curriculum priority Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures through the elaborations.

The Australian Curriculum is published online. Readers can filter the content descriptions and content elaborations to show one or more of the cross-curriculum priorities.

Read Cross-curriculum priorities are options, not orders by Professor Barry McGaw.


Availability of the Australian Curriculum


25 February 2014
Curriculum for the arts, health and physical education, technologies, economics and business, and civics and citizenship for Foundation – Year 10 is now available on the Australian Curriculum website. This follows a decision by the Council of federal, state and territory education ministers in November 2013 that the health and physical education, technologies, economics and business, and civics and citizenship curriculum should be made available to states and territories for their use. The arts curriculum was formally endorsed in July 2013, subject to further consultation with Western Australia. Read the Australian Curriculum made available online media release (pdf 59 KB)