Dr Jacinta Maxwell1

1University Of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba, Australia

Curriculum development in Australia and around the world is increasingly focused on skills and knowledge intended to enable students to succeed in a globalised world. In Australia, this internationalisation of education has developed alongside deployment of a national curriculum for consistency of content and pedagogy across the country. This embedded consistency is expected to be balanced by inbuilt flexibility that enhances the relevance of the curriculum when delivered in diverse contexts. Decisions about building relevance into a curriculum are made by school staff who take on the significant responsibility of knowing their students, the communities, and potential futures of all stakeholders. This process is particularly interesting when considered in the context of multiple social and cultural influences on curriculum adopters in schools that are licensed to use the Australian and State curriculums outside Australia, in other countries.

This paper presents findings from research into curriculum interpretation, decisions and pedagogy in offshore schools that are licensed to use the Australian and Queensland curriculums. Based on interviews with Department of Education staff, teachers, and curriculum and school leaders in one offshore school, the paper provides insight into factors that influence curriculum decisions in an offshore context. Given an increasing focus on internationalisation in national schools and the worldwide increase in international schools, the findings of this research will be of interest to anyone curious about ways in which national and international cultures have potential for positively influencing our practice as educators.


Dr Jacinta Maxwell is a senior lecturer at the School of Linguistics, Adult and Specialist Education at the Toowoomba campus of the University of Southern Queensland. She is a former secondary teacher and was a state panel member for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander studies. Dr Maxwell’s research is focussed on culture and curriculum, and how educators interpret and work with these key components of their practice.

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