Historical representation of Gallipoli in the Australian curriculum


Sharp, H. L. (2014). Historical representation of Gallipoli in the Australian curriculum, Agora [Sungraphô], 49(2), 49-23.

History curriculum has in recent years been the topic of much public interest, from debates within the history wars to issues related to content and pedagogical approaches within the new Australian Curriculum. This, in turn, has had an impact on History teaching within the school context, and is arguably a leading reason for the decision to incorporate History into the first phase of the Australian Curriculum (alongside other curriculum areas of Science, Maths and English).

Textbooks, as a curriculum tool that constructs history in particular ways, are used widely by teachers and can provide a historical insight into what History is currently taught to school students. This paper analyses textbooks produced by major publishing companies for the Australian Curriculum in order to ascertain how the Gallipoli campaign is represented, including the ideological understandings of history communicated to students and teachers through content. Apple’s concepts of official knowledge and ‘mentioning’ are applied to the analysis. The Gallipoli campaign is a significant historical event in the mythologising of Australia’s national story, and with its centenary to be commemorated in 2015, it has attracted widespread public and political interest. With a world history approach being a significant focus of the Australian Curriculum, it is timely to analyse the representations of Gallipoli in both the official curriculum documents and textbooks to determine whether this culturally and historically-significant international event is framed within a world history approach.
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