Skip to content

Confirmation of Candidature - Candidate : Daniel Barker

The Practice of Enacting the General Capabilities Within Special School Classrooms
17 NOV 2022
12.00 PM - 1.30 PM

The general capabilities are one of three dimensions of the Australian Curriculum (AC) that teachers can use to support student diversity in the classroom. General capabilities are described in the AC as the skills dispositions and behaviours required of individuals to live and work successfully in the 21st century. These skills dispositions and behaviours are developed when students engage with the content of the learning areas at appropriate instructional levels.

Within the current literature, descriptions and teacher perceptions of the general capabilities are well documented. This literature heavily focuses on mainstream school teachers and settings with little research conducted that explores the way in which the general capabilities are enacted within special school settings or classrooms. Furthermore, current literature from the Australian education sector suggests that special school teacher's knowledge, understanding and enactment of the general capabilities should be further explored along with how this group of teachers are influenced in their curriculum decisions in the classroom. The purpose of the proposed research is to explore how special school teachers are enacting the general capabilities within the classroom and what influences their decisions. 

A qualitative case study design has been selected as the methodology to explore the research question as it allows for a focused in-depth exploration of a multi-faceted phenomena within a natural setting. The conceptual framework for the proposed research includes Pierre Bourdieu's concepts of capital, habitus, field, practice, and reflexivity. These concepts support the researcher to articulate the case study design, interpret and analysis data and present findings that situate the phenomena within context.

Data for the proposed research will be collected through semi-structured interviews and analysed alongside school based and systemic curriculum documents. Thematic analysis will be used to identify themes within the data that reflect a practical but detailed description of current classroom practice related to enactment of the general capabilities. Concerns of trustworthiness, bias and transferability within the case study design will be addressed through reflexivity, a documented chain of evidence, triangulation of data using multiple sources of evidence and comparison of findings to the national AC framework. On the completion of the proposed research the current practices of special school teachers at the classroom level should be highlighted and inform the current literature related to the enactment of the AC in special school settings. It is proposed that the findings of the research are submitted for publication within peer reviewed journals and used to inform professional learning in order to enhance practice when enacting general capabilities in special school settings.

For more information or zoom link, please email the Graduate Research School or phone (07) 4631 1088.  The zoom links are included in the ReDTrain Bulletin.