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Curriculum reform in Asia

Curriculum reform in Asia

Research 3 minute read

ACER is working with partners in Indonesia to support effective curriculum reform.

A one-day international conference in Jakarta on 'Effective Practices for Curriculum Reform in Asia' was hosted by the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) and brought together international curriculum experts from the Philippines, India, and South Korea to share their experiences of curriculum reform and to reflect on the lessons learned with senior Indonesian policy makers.

The conference was part of several capacity development activities delivered by ACER for the Analytical and Capacity Development Partnership (ACDP), a facility that is supported by the Government of Australia, the European Union (EU), and the Asian Development Bank (ADB). ACDP project 051 on Curriculum Reform was conducted by ACER to build the capacity of Puskurbuk staff (Centre for Curriculum and Textbooks) at the Ministry of Education and Culture to monitor, evaluate and implement 2013 Kurikulum or K13 across Indonesia. The six-month project allowed ACER staff to provide capacity-building support to Puskurbuk staff through  tailored professional development workshops, regional study visits to the Ministries of Education in the Philippines and Singapore to investigate best practice in curriculum reform processes, and an education forum in Jakarta for key stakeholders involved in the implementation of K13.

The conference brought together more than 300 delegates from Puskurbuk, Puspendik (Indonesia’s Centre for Assessment), the Board for National Standards in Education, school principals, teachers and staff from District Education Offices involved in curriculum design, and a number of senior representatives from Indonesia’s Ministry of Education and Culture.

Conference delegates gained insight from curriculum experts from the Philippines, India and South Korea on the driving forces and challenges behind curriculum change in their region, as well as best practice approaches to facilitate change. Delegates were also encouraged to share their questions and thoughts with presenters and senior Indonesian policymakers during Q&A sessions.

Key characteristics of effective curriculum reform to emerge from the conference included the following.

  • Systematic approaches to reform through extensive consultation, research and planning
  • Effective use of monitoring and evaluation tools.
  • Collection and analysis of data to build evidence-based decision making, including student progress data during the piloting and implementation stage.
  • Collaborative expert working groups guided by designated educational leaders and involving a range of stakeholders including teachers, principals, teacher trainers, textbook writers, curriculum developers and assessment writers.
  • Professional development training to upskill key stakeholders involved in the delivery of any new curriculum, including providing support for teachers and principals to adapt to new pedagogies as well as providing school-based experiences to curriculum developers and textbook writers to build their awareness of classroom dynamics and learners needs.

The conference concluded with a panel of senior Indonesian leaders from the Ministry of Education, Dr Totok Suprayitno, Head of Balitbang, Dr Awaluddin Tjalla, Head of the Centre for Curriculum and Textbooks, Dr Nizam, Head of the Centre for Educational Assessment, and Dr Hendarman, Head of Education and Culture Policy Research, who reflected on approaches to curriculum reform undertaken by neighbouring countries and how these could be synthesised and adapted into possible actions for Indonesia.

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