“The spatial distribution of curriculum in (rural) schools: broadening access” ACSA Webinar

Phil Roberts is part of the SPERA Executive and a lecturer at the University of Canberra.

On Thursday 2 June 2016, 7-8pm AEST Phil will be presenting an Australian Curriculum Studies Association (ACSA) Webinar to discuss:

“The spatial distribution of curriculum in (rural) NSW schools”

            This webinar explores access to the senior secondary curriculum and approaches to broadening access, particularly in rural areas.


This webinar examines the existence of a curriculum hierarchy in the (NSW) senior secondary curriculum and examines its socio-spatial distribution.  The presentation then explores approaches to broadening access in rural areas, particularly enacting the curriculum with references to rural places.  While the initial data draws upon NSW the issues and examples are nationally relevant.

Building on previous work in Victoria by Teese and colleagues this paper extends the idea of the curriculum hierarchy to the NSW senior secondary curriculum and then moves to explicitly examine the hierarchy in non-metropolitan areas. In doing so the ideas of powerful knowledge encoded in the school curriculum and the selection of this knowledge is examined in relation to the diversity of communities and the inclusion of rural knowledges.

It extends previous work in this area by introducing spatial thinking from the social sciences to look at how this knowledge is spatially distributed, its relationship to communities and place, and the spatial influences on its selection and enactment in schools.

This webinar will be of relevance to those interested in understanding how the curriculum hierarchy favours high socioeconomic status (SES) metropolitan communities and that access to the curriculum is determined by SES and location.  Importantly approaches to place conscious pedagogies that disrupt this hierarchy, and approaches to enacting academically powerful subjects with reference to rural knowledge’s, will explored.

AITSL Australian Professional Standards for Teachers addressed in this webinar:

1.3 Students with diverse linguistic, cultural, religious and socioeconomic backgrounds
2.2 Content selection and organisation
2.3 Curriculum, assessment and reporting