New Cur 16: The Decimation of ACARA’s Elaborations

One of the black humour aspects of ACARA’s promotion of its new curriculum, and the draft that preceded it, was ACARA declaring ad nauseum that the curriculum had been “refined” and “decluttered”. ACARA’s claim was then repeated ad more nauseum by education reporters stenographers.

ACARA’s wording of their proclamation is taken directly from the Terms of Reference for the curriculum review, in which explicit direction was given for ACARA to “refine” and “declutter” the curriculum. The ToR also included a very specific direction to “rationalise and improve content elaborations”. ACARA’s level of respect for these directions was demonstrated by their draft mathematics curriculum: the draft was double the length of the old curriculum, and the number of elaborations had been “rationalised” from 421 up to 1132.

When AMSI member representatives met with ACARA, it was explicitly noted that ACARA had a somewhat novel interpretation of “decluttering” the mathematics curriculum. In response, an ACARA representative bluntly declared,

“Declutter was much more relevant in other curriculum areas.”

This declaration not having then been backed up by reference to the ToR, or to anything, we assume the ACARA representative simply pulled the justification out of their ass.

But, credit where credit’s due. The new mathematics curriculum is still double the length of the old curriculum, but the number of elaborations has been reduced from the draft’s 1132 to the current 988. A genuine decimation.

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