The Australian Curriculum

In 2008 all Australian governments agreed that a quality education for all young Australians is critical to maintaining Australia's productivity and quality of life. They agreed that a national curriculum would play a key role in delivering quality education and committed to the development of a K–12 national curriculum, initially in the areas of English, mathematics, science and history. For more information, go to the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) website at www.acara.edu.au/curriculum.html

The Australian Curriculum is currently in development. The first phase includes English, mathematics, science and history, and drafts have been released. The second phase will see the development of geography, arts and languages, followed by a third phase involving the rest of the curriculum.

An important feature of the Australian Curriculum is the ability for teachers to highlight sustainability aspects within the documents. These provide numerous links for using the Australian Greenhouse Calculator.

In science, there are numerous sustainability references in the three strands – Science Inquiry Skills, Science as a Human Endeavour and Science Understanding – to develop a program around the Australian Greenhouse Calculator. Importantly, the Achievement Standard for students by the end of year 10 includes the following:

  • Design and conduct investigations, showing an awareness of the need to minimise uncertainty in measurement, collecting and reporting data accurately.
  • Evaluate how advances in science and technology have impacted on society and the environment and use scientific knowledge across a range of sciences to critique claims and propose responses to contemporary issues, for example genetic engineering, biodiversity and sustainability.

In English, the Literacy strand offers opportunities for sustainability in Reflecting on Text, Creating Text and Organising Information.

With the release of the remaining curriculum documents more opportunities for utilising the Australian Greenhouse Calculator and the accompanying materials will undoubtedly arise.

The teaching and learning materials supporting the AGC are targeting students between years 7 and 9.