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The future of diversity and difference : can the national curriculum for English be hospitable?

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posted on 2011-01-01, 00:00 authored by Alex Kostogriz
This chapter explores the context of constructing the Australian Curriculum: English and how it represents and responds to the diversity of students. It starts with the brief genealogy of neoliberal standards-based reforms as a way of managing differences. In doing so, the chapter situates the national agenda of curriculum reforms in the semiotic order of ‘risk societies’ (Beck, 1992) through which various risks are both manufactured and managed. The semiotic order of managing educational risks through reforms is presented as a discursive force-field that both creates ‘moral panics’ and provides solutions, thereby appealing to the broader public and securing its consent. This discussion prepares the ground for the reading of texts produced in the lead-up to the actual release of the national curriculum for English and statements about diversity in these documents as well as in the curriculum itself. The chapter then goes on to explore what might be possible in the process of the curriculum implementation, by drawing on ideas of hospitality, responsibility and dialogism. In conclusion, this essay argues that no national curriculum can be successfully implemented unless it is sensitive to the textual and cultural practices of other groups and unless it wins their political consent. Equally, no national curriculum can be ethically implemented unless it recognises and responds to difference and unless it creates a possibility of transcending the logic of the Same.

History

Title of book

Creating an Australian curriculum for English

Chapter number

14

Pagination

201 - 214

Publisher

Phoenix Education

Place of publication

Putney, NSW

ISBN-13

9781921586538

ISBN-10

1921586532

Language

eng

Publication classification

B1 Book chapter

Copyright notice

2011, Phoenix Education

Extent

16

Editor/Contributor(s)

B Doecke, G Parr, W Sawyer

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