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The centre is dead, long live the centre! Reflections on centre and periphery in Australian senior history curricula

The centre is dead, long live the centre! Reflections on centre and periphery in Australian... Purpose – By deconstructing centres and peripheries in Australian history curricula, the purpose of this paper is to establish in what ways these documents blended local, state‐specific concepts of major civilisations with trans‐local, and even global cultural assumptions about centre and periphery in world history. Design/methodology/approach – The paper identifies a specific idea of centres in the 2009 Shape of the Australian Curriculum published by the National Curriculum Board. It demanded that “(s)tudents should have an appreciation of the major civilisations of Europe, Asia, Africa, America and Australia”. The idea of five groups of “major civilisations” is used to frame an analysis of history curricula from Western Australia and New South Wales. Syllabi from these States are used as examples because they demonstrate oppositional positions, geographically and in their approach to history teaching. Only senior secondary syllabi exhibit a continuous development of the subject history in most Australian states and territories. Hence, the paper deconstructs history syllabi for Years 11 and 12 and discusses in what ways a discourse between centre and periphery can be identified. Findings – The author proposes a concept of a global centre in history curricula, which is found in multifaceted expressions at the peripheries. Originality/value – Fully acknowledging that syllabi emerge from a web of local influences, which include state‐specific social, political, economic, and administrative factors, the paper adds a global perspective to the understanding of Australian history curricula which draws on the idea of cultural power. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png History of Education Review Emerald Publishing

The centre is dead, long live the centre! Reflections on centre and periphery in Australian senior history curricula

History of Education Review , Volume 41 (2): 14 – Oct 12, 2012

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2012 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0819-8691
DOI
10.1108/08198691311269529
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – By deconstructing centres and peripheries in Australian history curricula, the purpose of this paper is to establish in what ways these documents blended local, state‐specific concepts of major civilisations with trans‐local, and even global cultural assumptions about centre and periphery in world history. Design/methodology/approach – The paper identifies a specific idea of centres in the 2009 Shape of the Australian Curriculum published by the National Curriculum Board. It demanded that “(s)tudents should have an appreciation of the major civilisations of Europe, Asia, Africa, America and Australia”. The idea of five groups of “major civilisations” is used to frame an analysis of history curricula from Western Australia and New South Wales. Syllabi from these States are used as examples because they demonstrate oppositional positions, geographically and in their approach to history teaching. Only senior secondary syllabi exhibit a continuous development of the subject history in most Australian states and territories. Hence, the paper deconstructs history syllabi for Years 11 and 12 and discusses in what ways a discourse between centre and periphery can be identified. Findings – The author proposes a concept of a global centre in history curricula, which is found in multifaceted expressions at the peripheries. Originality/value – Fully acknowledging that syllabi emerge from a web of local influences, which include state‐specific social, political, economic, and administrative factors, the paper adds a global perspective to the understanding of Australian history curricula which draws on the idea of cultural power.

Journal

History of Education ReviewEmerald Publishing

Published: Oct 12, 2012

Keywords: Australia; Secondary schools; Curricula; History; Teaching; Education; National curriculum; Study; Global

References