Higham J, Sharp P & Priestley M (2000) Developing diversity through specialisation in secondary education: comparing approaches in New Zealand and England. Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education, 30 (2), pp. 145-162. https://doi.org/10.1080/713657461
The paper compares approaches to curriculum specialisation in secondary education in New Zealand and England. In both countries there have been movements towards increased specialisation, though these have been quite different in form and scope. In both countries specialisation cannot be divorced from broader education policies designed to increase devolution and choice and the paper discusses these contexts before analysing the different approaches to specialisation and attempting an explanation. The authors of the paper draw on findings from research undertaken in New Zealand schools. The paper identifies three dimensions that have played a part in influencing curriculum specialisation in both countries. These are opportunity, source of impetus and support. It is argued that while local initiative is possible in New Zealand, central planning and guidance is inadequate. In England while central planning is strong and support is available, it is far from clear that real specialisation is encouraged by existing curriculum and assessment frameworks. In these circumstances in both countries it seems likely that vertical, rather than horizontal, diversity will continue to hold sway.
; Education, Secondary Curricula England; Education, Secondary Curricula New Zealand; Curriculum planning England; Curriculum planning New Zealand
Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education: Volume 30, Issue 2