A decade ago Lawton (1979) addressed the issue of the politics of the curriculum in a lecture entitled "The End of the Secret Garden". This phrase was taken from a British Minister for Education, David Eccles, who called (in 1960) for greater government influence over the curriculum which he saw as an important public arena closed to scrutiny and discussion. Certainly the issue of who controls curriculum remains pertinent today with every state in Australia undergoing major reviews of curriculum. In most cases, as in New South Wales, the conclusion has been to re-assert centralised bureaucratic and party political control over what has come to be perceived by sections of the community as a failed educational system. While acknowledging that greater centralised control might be warranted, one would also wish to protect the achievements gained over the last decade through school-based curriculum development. It is thus time to be pragmatic in the development of what those at the school level understand to be appropriate curricula for secondary schools, in the hope that those at other levels will listen. This article will present the findings of three years of action research on the formation of curricular problems and solutions.
Curriculum Perspectives Vol. 10, Issue 2, p. 35-43