International Education Journal

Special SACE Issue


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Research and national debate on Australian schooling

John P. Keeves
School of Education, Flinders University

David D. Curtis
Senior Research Fellow (ACER)


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This paper is a response to the paper prepared by Masters that is titled 'The case for an Australian Certificate of Education'. It argues that a national debate is needed urgently on the many issues that have arisen in Australian education. These issues include not only the curriculum provided for students at the final stages of secondary schooling, and the certification of attainment of educational outcomes on completion of 12 years of schooling, but also the curriculum of schools across Australia, particularly at the lower and middle secondary school levels. In addition, there are related issues associated with participation in higher education and the completion of a first degree at an Australian university. All too often, decisions are made at all levels of education on ideological grounds and without consideration of the body of research findings that are available to guide the making of decisions and the monitoring of development and change. This paper draws on readily available research to show the similarities and differences between the state education systems to argue a case for informed debate that draws on the large body of evidence that is available.

Retention rates, participation rates, educational research, research-based evidence, school curriculum, senior secondary schooling, secondary school curriculum


Keeves, J.P. and Curtis, D.D. (2006). Research and national debate on Australian schooling. International Education Journal, 7 (6), 801-813.

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