ACARA introduces new professional development site for teachers - Education Matters Magazine
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ACARA introduces new professional development site for teachers

ACARA CEO David de Carvalho outlines the rollout of launch plans for ACARA’s new online professional learning hub that will support teachers and schools with implementing version 9.0 of the new Australian Curriculum.

It is hard to believe that it has been over a year now since the Australian Curriculum Version 9.0 was endorsed by education ministers and the new curriculum website published. Since that time, the focus of ACARA’s hard-working curriculum team has turned to supporting the implementation of the Version 9.0 curriculum.

As state and territory jurisdictions are implementing the Version 9.0 curriculum in different ways, it is imperative that ACARA’s team adopts a flexible approach in developing and publishing our new curriculum support resources. Teachers and educators need to access and use the resources in a way that suits their individual needs but will also work with the different jurisdictional timelines for implementation.

That’s why we have ensured that flexibility is the cornerstone of our Professional Learning Hub – a new professional learning resource for teachers, educators and schools which we launched at the end of April 2023.

This online portal hosts professional learning content that supports teachers in understanding and teaching the new Australian Curriculum. Our intention is to provide an indispensable, ongoing professional learning forum across the three dimensions of the new curriculum. It will help teachers and educators to build deep familiarity with the curriculum and support high-quality curriculum planning.

We believe it is important for us to avoid a ‘one-size-fits-all’ professional learning approach. That is why our Professional Learning Hub is a self-directed learning tool that is designed to allow teachers and educators to undertake ongoing professional development at their own pace. Teachers can log into the Hub and choose the course most relevant for them as they make individual preparations for implementing the new curriculum.

Another key design consideration was helping teachers to understand the main changes in the curriculum, especially the new, refined and deleted content and the related changes in the achievement standards.

However, as the changes between the Version 8.4 and Version 9.0 curricula vary considerably between learning areas, we’ve taken a flexible approach to developing each individual module so that the changes in each specific learning area and their implications on the planning of teaching and learning activities and assessment practices are clearly explained.

The development and rollout of the Professional Learning Hub is being done in stages. The first set of courses provide an overview of how the Professional Learning Hub works, and a summary of the Australian Curriculum review process as well as the content and functionality of the Version 9.0 curriculum website. The second set of courses explain the more detailed changes to the content, content descriptions and achievement standards in the learning areas, general capabilities and cross-curriculum priorities. The future courses under development will offer detailed explanations of the relationships between strands and sub-strands within the learning areas and the connections across the curriculum. They will also provide ideas to support the planning of teaching and learning activities and related assessments to progress learning.

As well as focusing on developing these new curriculum resources, work continues on the final stages of the Australian Curriculum Review: Languages. The public consultation period for Arabic, Hindi, Turkish and Vietnamese closed in April and we’re aiming to have these language curricula endorsed by education ministers in the middle of the year.

The final four languages and language frameworks – Chinese, Classical Languages Framework and Classical Greek and Latin, Auslan and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Framework curricula – will be released for public consultation later in the year with the aim of having them endorsed and published in early 2024.

Once this review process is over, we will have the entire new Australian Curriculum available on the website. In the meantime, teachers and educators can sign up to the ACARA Professional learning hub at: learning.acara.edu.au

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