Illusions of consensus : New South Wales stakeholders' constructions of the identity of history

Simpson, Ian and Halse, Christine 2006, Illusions of consensus : New South Wales stakeholders' constructions of the identity of history, Curriculum journal, vol. 17, no. 4, pp. 351-366, doi: 10.1080/09585170601072577.

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Title Illusions of consensus : New South Wales stakeholders' constructions of the identity of history
Author(s) Simpson, Ian
Halse, Christine
Journal name Curriculum journal
Volume number 17
Issue number 4
Start page 351
End page 366
Publisher Routledge
Place of publication Abingdon, England
Publication date 2006
ISSN 0958-5176
Keyword(s) history
New South Wales
qualitative research
secondary schooling
syllabus design
Summary This article analyses the relationships between the perspectives of stakeholders involved in the development of the 1998 New South Wales Stages 4–5 history syllabus. It examined four key issues that emerged in the debates about history education during the review and found that stakeholders' views diverged significantly on three of these issues. While loose coalitions formed around particular issues, stakeholders provided different rationales for their positions, and coalitions re-formed on other debates. The analysis highlights the divergence between stakeholders and between the Commonwealth and state governments and stakeholders on the desirable content and goals of history education. The findings indicate that consultation might not produce consensus, and that even the appearance of consensus can be grounded in substantively and philosophically different premises. In practical terms, the findings suggest that if the purpose of consultation as a method of curriculum development is to produce a syllabus that reflects the diverse perspectives held by stakeholders, then the syllabus structure needs to make provision for content options as well as common core areas of study.
Language eng
DOI 10.1080/09585170601072577
Field of Research 130205 Humanities and Social Sciences Curriculum and Pedagogy (excl Economics, Business and Management)
Socio Economic Objective 970113 Expanding Knowledge in Education
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2006, Taylor & Francis
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