Subject-based Journal Contents
In order to develop further understanding about what has been happening within curriculum at the subject level, we have also reviewed the journals of four subject-based teaching associations at the ten year interval periods:
- Australian Association for the Teaching of English – English in Australia
- Australian Science Teachers Association – Teaching Science
- Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers – The Australian Mathematics Teacher, Australian Senior Mathematics Journal and Australian Primary Mathematics Classroom
- The History Teachers Association of NSW – Teaching History
As part of our analysis, we have developed lists of the journal indexes for the years 1975, 1985, 1995 and 2005, which can be accessed by clicking on the name of each journal at the top of the page. Some of these articles are also available in full-text on the teaching association websites. For more information please refer to the journal pages on each website which can be accessed by clicking on the above association names. Please note that some an index for the Teaching Science journal was not available in 1975 so we have only included lists for the other three years.
These lists offer some taste of the changing trends and interests within each subject area. Based on these snapshots of journal contents, there appears to have been a general shift from articles concentrating on knowledge within the actual subject area towards a greater focus on teaching and learning within the subject. This was seen in differing degrees between the journals. While the article titles in English in Australia suggested a strong focus on teaching and learning throughout the four years, the titles indexed in Teaching Science and Teaching History both demonstrated an emphasis on content based discussion which shifted only slightly towards a stronger emphasis on teaching and learning over the period. English in Australia also appeared to contain more articles relating to difference and disadvantage in learning, a matter which was little event in the other journals’ article titles, particularly within those for science and history.
In terms of the history journal, we elected to review the History Teachers Association of NSW journal as there is no national journal available from the nation-wide History Teachers Association of Australia and the other states who associations produce yearly journals (Victoria and Queensland) have not made the journal indexes available on their websites. This means that the material relating to history is more likely to reflect the specific curriculum policies of NSW than wider national trends.
We note that it is very difficult to assess trends based solely on a review of titles, as the focus and argument behind the article is often unclear. Despite this, we hope these lists offer a useful snapshot of the different curriculum trends in Australia from within a subject-specific perspective and, along with the other facets of our project, contribute towards broader understandings of Australia’s curriculum history.