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ERIC Number: EJ963149
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Dec
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 36
ISSN: ISSN-0004-9441
Building a Knowledge Structure for English: Reflections on the Challenges of Coherence, Cumulative Learning, Portability and Face Validity
Macken-Horarik, Mary
Australian Journal of Education, v55 n3 p197-213 Dec 2011
A curriculum is a knowledge structure outlining what is to be learned in what order. The Australian curriculum for English emphasises creation of a "coherent" and "cumulative" "body of knowledge about how the English language works", with learning that is "portable and applicable to new settings across the school years and beyond" (National Curriculum Board, 2009, p. 9, emphasis added). But what happens when those charged with implementing curriculum cannot agree on "what counts"? This article reflects on key differences between stakeholders about disciplinarity in English, drawing on sociological categories of Bernstein and Maton. The fourth challenge facing implementation is "face validity". The creation of a viable knowledge structure for English makes it crucial that teachers and professional bodies find it acceptable. The article concludes with a heuristic figure for representing key parameters of knowledge structure in English and a proposal for interrelating these so as to optimize implementation of the curriculum in Australian classrooms. (Contains 1 figure.)
Australian Council for Educational Research. 19 Prospect Hill Road, Camberwell, VIC 3124, Australia. Tel: +61-3-9277-5447; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia