For many reasons educators in this century are increasingly concerned about how to imagine and enact successful secondary education (Fullen, 2007; Good, Brophy, Good, Brophy, 2008). This is partly due to broad recognition that education systems play a key role in enabling or constraining individual, subgroup and national capabilities (Hallinger, 2009; OECD, 2009, 2012). Another contributor to this concern is the rise of comparative accounts of educational success within and between nations in high stakes subjects such as science and mathematics, leading to calls for new approaches for under-performing cohorts (PISA, 2012; Tienken, 2013). At the same time, multiple uncertainties and contested views about what knowledge, skills and values might count as evidence of success now and in the future influence curricular prescriptions. This is evident in debates about appropriate topics and sequences in national curriculum documents on compulsory subjects, such as mathematics and literacy (Green; Oates, 2011).
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