Researching Curriculum Renewal

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This research explores the process (Phase 1) and outcomes (Phase 2) associated with the renewal of a Health and Physical Education (HPE) curriculum, pedagogy and assessment within a suburban secondary college. A team of 5 staff from within the HPE domain at Elisabeth Murdoch College are embarking on a complete re-write of the HPE program in order to exemplify best practice. This research tracks their progress from planning to implementation (Phase 1) and ultimately, the impact on student learning (Phase 2) over a two-year period.

Phase 1: The team comprising the domain leader and 4 staff, have voluntarily invited Monash University researchers to be partners in the process as co-producers of curriculum and assessment planning materials and researchers of the initial developmental process. The project is expected to reveal significant insights into the process of curriculum renewal within health and physical education and the types of innovation that can happen given in planning given adequate support and resourcing. In response to recent policy shifts in education, including the introduction of the Australian Curriculum and its adoption within Victoria, research that explores how schools are responding to policy is timely and significant. Results are expected to provide evidence to support school-based, mentor-supported and team focused approaches to develop innovate curriculum and assessment within HPE and offer guidance for other schools to adopt or adapt approaches.

Phase 2: Researchers from Monash work closely with the domain leader and 4 staff to explore the enactment and impact of innovative HPE curriculum and assessment materials developed from phase 1. Researchers will collect independent data as well as serve to verify teacher collected data to present an evaluation of the enactment and impact of Phase 1 planning. A group receiving traditional HPE content will serve as a point of comparison. This research aims to: 1. Understand how schools and more specifically teaching teams, in partnership with an educational institution, undertake a process of curriculum renewal and enactment and; 2. Determine the impact of curriculum, pedagogy and assessment renewal on staff practice, student learning and the school culture.



Laura Alfrey, Justen O'Connor & Ruth Jeanes (2017) Teachers as policy actors: co-creating and enacting critical inquiry in secondary health and physical education, Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, 22:2, 107-120.

Laura Alfrey & Justen O’Connor (2020) Critical pedagogy and curriculum transformation in Secondary Health and Physical Education, Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, 25:3, 288-302.