Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Faculty of Education


Vocational education and training (VET) in Australia has been the focus of unparalleled attention for the past decade with the emergence of a new national vocational education and training system. Technical and Further Education in New South Wales (TAPE NSW), the major VET provider in New South Wales and the largest TAPE in Australia, has a crucial role in meeting industry and community needs across the state through relevant and current curriculum in this changing and dynamic VET environment. But at present there is no widely accepted model of TAPE NSW curriculum development which provides a sufficient framework for an understanding of the curriculum development process and its interrelationships in TAPE NSW and which can be used as a basis to improve the curriculum system. The thesis addresses this problem by constructing a comprehensive curriculum development model for TAPE NSW - which is likely to have relevance to other VET providers - portrayed in five integrated core diagrams constructed on a conceptual framework of six critical curriculum factors derived from an extensive review of literature and supported by research in TAPE NSW classrooms. The model, inter alia, illuminates the actual workings of TAPE NSW curriculum, provides greater transparency of its curriculum process and portrays the complexities of curriculum development, its diversity and interactions. TAPE NSW's curriculum development is characterised as an iterative and holistic process in which the TAPE NSW classroom is represented as a site of curriculum development, not just implementation, as much theory suggests. Teachers and students interact as the curriculum is experienced in the classroom setting in train a spiralling and looping process of continuous quality improvement at a number of levels over time, linking the planned and experienced curriculum.