Australia's sustainability education curriculums
There is currently no single point of information available. on sustainability education curriculums in use across Australia’s states and territories. Information on Australian sustainability curricula--and related materials such as curricula frameworks and competence frameworks--is currently available (to the public) only in textual format distributed over multiple website; for instance, the more or less extensive curriculum websites at national and state level, such as The Australian Curriculum Sustainability, the NSW Sustainability Curriculum, or the Victorian Curriculum. This has number of disadvantages, such as:
- There are huge differences in granularity: Some curricular are accessible as interlinked web pages, others are PDF documents. In some cases, the two formats forms are combined: HTML up to a point, then PDF for more detail.
- The information in PDF format is usually not available to search engines.
- Curriculum documents make often use of graphical organisers (wheels, flowcharts etc.) that are not interpretable by search engines.
- None of the content formats (HTML, PDF, graphs, video, audio) is described in a systematic manner, ie., with a shared vocabulary. This lack of agreed metadata makes it difficult to find relevant information and to perform comparisons (e.g., across states).
We will improve upon this situation by
- Providing an index page with links to all relevant curriculums;
- Writing up an initial comparison of the curriculums;
- Developing an ontology for modelling sustainability curriculums;
- Describing the key information available on the curriculums formally in terms of the ontology and making this knoweldge base available on the web.
The main function of this service is to provide users with the capability to perform semantic searches and semantic browsing on resources related to all Australian sustainability curricula, a capacity that does not currently not exist. In addition, information contained in PDF documents will be made available for full-text search. These two functionalities are also enablers for the other services that we will provide.