Publication Date



Academic achievement, Curriculum development, Educational change, Learning experience, Models, Student assessment, Teaching innovations, Primary education, Secondary education


The thesis of this essay is that the schooling paradigm is in need of review and that the answer may lie in a shift in how we think about teaching and learning. Under the prevailing paradigm, the role of teachers is to deliver the year-level curriculum to all students in a year level. This mismatch has unfortunate consequences for both teaching and learning. Currently, many students are not ready for their year-level curriculum because they lack prerequisite knowledge, skills and understandings. The basis for an alternative paradigm and a 'new normal' is presented. The essay addresses concerns raised about changes to curriculum, including that: changing the structure of the curriculum will mean abandoning year levels; teachers will be unable to manage classrooms in which students are not all working on the same content at the same time; some students will be disadvantaged if students are not all taught the same content at the same time; a restructured curriculum will result in ‘streaming’ and/or require the development of individual learning plans; a restructured curriculum will lower educational standards; and it will not be possible to do this in some subjects.

Place of Publication

Camberwell, Victoria


Australian Council for Educational Research