Level Nine Sports, where families ski and ride...
 

 advertise with indeep media

Australia to Review National Curriculum

Posted: January 11th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Australia, Politics | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Australia to Review National Curriculum

Australia to Review National CurriculumAustralia’s Education Minister Christopher Pyne has announced a review of the nations school curriculum, he’s indicated he wants the curriculum to have a greater focus on the benefits of Western civilisation.

He has asked two critics of the current curriculum – former teacher and ex-Liberal Party staffer Kevin Donnelly, and University of Queensland Professor Ken Wiltshire – to review what is taught in Australian schools.

The Australian Education Union, which represents teachers, believes many of the minister’s concerns are unfounded, saying the national curriculum is already overseen by an independent body, which includes representatives of every state and territory education minister, as well as the private school sector.

Both of the men tasked with reviewing the curriculum have previously expressed concern at what is being taught in the nation’s schools. In July last year Professor Wiltshire wrote that the content of the curriculum was “poor and patchy”, adding that it “has been condemned by experts in just about every discipline, and there are no apparent values serving as its foundation”.

The other man tasked with reviewing Australia’s education curriculum, former teacher and ex-Liberal Party staffer Kevin Donnelly says Australian education has become too secular, and the nation’s Judeo-Christian heritage should be better reflected in the curriculum. Mr Donnelly says religion does not have enough of a presence in Australia’s “very secular curriculum”, and that it needs to be taught “more effectively” ::::

Australia to Review National Curriculum

“I’m not going to prejudge the outcome of the national curriculum [review], suffice to say there has been criticism of the national curriculum over a lengthy period of time,” The Education Minister told reporters in Adelaide. “What I want the curriculum to be is a robust and worthwhile document that embraces knowledge and doesn’t try and be all things to all people. I also want the curriculum to celebrate Australia, and for students, when they have finished school, to know where we’ve come from as a nation.”

Mr Pyne says he would like the changes implemented in 2015.

Teachers’ Union Warns Against Minister’s Fears Unfounded

The Australian Education Union – AEU – which represents teachers, believes many of the minister’s concerns are unfounded, and has warned that the review could put classrooms back on the political battlefield.

“We don’t want to see a return to the culture wars,” AEU federal president Angelo Gavrielatos said. “We certainly don’t want to see the politicisation of the national curriculum.”

He says the national curriculum is already overseen by an independent body, which includes representatives of every state and territory education minister, as well as the private school sector.

“Prior to the implementation of any curriculum development, it is signed off by every single state and territory minister – and that includes Coalition ministers,” Mr Gavrielatos said.

The Experts tasked with the curriculum review have been strident critics of present curriculum. The Coalition made a curriculum review one of its election promises, saying the school teaching material had become too politicised under Labor.

It argued at the time that the curriculum required students to learn about the day-to-day activities of the trade union movement, while making no explicit references to conservative achievements in politics.

Both of the men tasked with reviewing the curriculum have previously expressed concern at what is being taught in the nation’s schools.

In July last year Professor Wiltshire wrote that the content of the curriculum was “poor and patchy”, adding that it “has been condemned by experts in just about every discipline, and there are no apparent values serving as its foundation”.

When the curriculum was being developed in 2011, Dr Donnelly wrote: “Every subject in the proposed national curriculum has to embrace Indigenous, environmental and Asian perspectives and aspects of the compulsory history curriculum read more like a cultural-left manifesto than a balanced and rational view of history as a discipline.”

National Curriculum

  • The current curriculum was approved by federal, state and territory education ministers in December 2010.
  • Content was finalised in 2011.
  • Governs teaching in schools all the way up to year 12.
  • The curriculum is due to be adopted in New South Wales this year.
  • Other states, including South Australia and Queensland, have already adopted staged implementation.
  • The curriculum currently covers English, maths, science, geography and history.
  • Examples and more information can be found on the curriculum’s website.

Minister Pyne insists the review will be ‘balanced and fair’ Mr Pyne acknowledges that not everyone will be pleased with his choice of who will review the curriculum, but insists it will be “objective and fair”.

“It’s not possible to appoint anybody to review the national curriculum who doesn’t have a view on education,” Mr Pyne said. “The important point is to appoint people who are going to bring an intelligent and considered approach to the review, and both Kevin and Ken have a long history and experience in education.”

Dr Donnelly, the former chief of staff of then Liberal Party Minister Kevin Andrews, says he wants to look at successful education systems overseas – particularly in Asia – to try to improve Australia’s schools. He says the review will consult widely, with the aim of developing a “teacher-friendly” curriculum that is the world’s best.

But Opposition Leader Bill Shorten is concerned about the Coalition’s intentions. “What I would say to Mr Abbott is – please keep your hands off the school books of Australian children,” Mr Shorten said. “Please stop trying to put your version of politics in to the school books. Children’s education should be above politics.”

Education Reviewer Says More Religion Should be Taught

There should be more religious education in Australian schools, according to Kevin Donnelly, who says Australian education has become too secular, and the federation’s Judeo-Christian heritage should be better reflected in the curriculum. Mr Donnelly says religion does not have enough of a presence in Australia’s “very secular curriculum”, and that it needs to be taught “more effectively”.

“I’m not saying we should preach to everyone, but I would argue that the great religions of the world – whether it’s Islam, whether it’s Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism – they should be taught over the compulsory years of school,” Mr Donnelly said. “When you look at Parliaments around Australia – they all begin with the Lord’s prayer. If you look at our constitution, the preamble is about God. You can’t airbrush that from history – it has to be recognised.”

Mr Donnelly is also making the argument that Australian education has lurched to the “cultural left”.

“The curriculum, as with most of the Western nations – England, America, New Zealand, Australia, over the last 20 or so years – they’ve adopted a curriculum that I call progressive, new age. On the left side, if you like,” Mr Donnelly said. “I have argued in the past, as Minister Pyne has, that we need to get the balance right in terms of Asia, Indigenous, sustainability – that’s OK – but the pendulum has swung too far towards what I call a politically correct view.”

“So we do need to emphasise the fact that we are a Western, liberal, democratic nation.” Mr Donnelly said.

Religion Should be Left at Home

Parents’ and citizens’ associations are rejecting Mr Donnelly’s push for more religious education, saying religious studies belong in the home, not in public schools. Rachel Snowdon from the New South Wales Federation of Parents and Citizens says Australian public schools should be secular institutions.

“In a society where less than 30 per cent of members have a defined religion, it’s a little bit disingenuous to then make children learn religious studies in schools,” Ms Snowden said. “It should be a family decision and schools shouldn’t have that place.”

The Queensland Parents and Citizens’ Association says the decision on how much religion is taught in schools should not be made on a national level.

“Our position on teaching religion through religious instruction or religious education in school is one of making, or putting that decision in the hands of the local school, the local community and then also putting it in the hands of individuals to decide whether their children take part in those lessons,” said association chief executive Peter Levett.

Rationalist Society of Australia president Meredith Doig says a curriculum instructing a particular form of religion is indoctrination.

“Most people are in favour of general religious education,” Ms Doig said. “What we’re not in favour of is frankly the indoctrination of young children into a particular doctrine of religion and that’s what’s happening in a number of government schools in Victoria, but elsewhere as well.”

So is Mr Pyne putting ‘hard-right fingerprints’ all-over Australia’s education system? The Coalition promised a thorough review of the curriculum during the election campaign, arguing that Labor had politicised school teaching material to an unacceptable degree.

Mr Pyne has said he wants the curriculum review, which will also be undertaken by University of Queensland Professor Ken Wiltshire, to be “balanced and fair”.

However, the announcement has drawn widespread criticism and prompted warnings of a “return to the culture wars” in Australian education.

Tasmanian Education Minister Nick McKim has lashed out at the review, saying both Mr Donnelly and Professor Wiltshire are on the record as supporting compulsory religious education in schools.

Mr McKim says education is a state responsibility and he will fight any attempt from Mr Pyne to put his “hard-right fingerprints all over the curriculum”.

“We certainly reserve the right not to accept that curriculum because ultimately the states run education, not the feds,” he said.

Mr Pyne says he would like the changes implemented in 2015.

Mixed Reaction from Christian Groups

Mark Rix from the Catholic Education Office, the body that represents Catholic schools in New South Wales, says there is already a substantial focus on religion in the education system.

“We certainly have no objection to having a look at the way in which various religions and religious perspective have been part of a range of different subjects, outside of studies of religion itself, but it isn’t something which we looked in the first instance [and] we thought there was a dramatic need,” he said.

But Christian Schools Australia says Australia’s Judeo-Christian heritage cannot be ignored.

“We need to make sure that in telling the story of Australia through history and various other curricula, we’re not airbrushing the role Christians have played out of that story, it’s just anathema to the whole idea of history that you don’t tell part of the story in favour of another – that would be indoctrination,” he said.

@m_dangerfield

RELATED! Australian Government Considering Upfront Doctor Fee

Australian Government Considering Upfront Doctor FeeWe all new that Australia’s new – Liberal, conservative coalition – government was going to be tight-fisted. We’ve waited with baited breath, a little anticipation and slight trepidation at just what an Abbott government might do.

So far they’ve been busy doing, well, not much. They’ve gone all CIA on boat people, broken a couple of education promises and scoffed a bunch at the previous governments book keeping skills, no huge surprises.

It seems the surprise announcements have been reserved for 2014, and they’ve started trickling out.

Overnight the Commission of Audit setup by Mr Abbott has revealed it’s received a submission that would see Doctors charging patients $5 for visits. The Government has confirmed it is one of several new fees it’s currently considering :: Read the full article »»»»

RELATED! Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott Ratchets-up Pressure on Axing Carbon Price

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott Ratchets-up Pressure on Axing Carbon Price

Australian Prime Minister, Tony Abbott has ratcheted up the pressure on the Labor Party over axing the carbon pricing scheme, saying it would be the “best possible Christmas present” for Australians.

Legislation to repeal the scheme is set for debate in the Senate this week but the bills are headed for defeat at the hands of the Opposition and the Greens.

Parliament has resumed today for the final sitting of the year. In a youtube video statement posted today, Mr Abbott repeated his Government’s assertion that abolishing the price on carbon would save householders hundreds of dollars :: Read the full article »»»»

RELATED! GONEski! Australian Government Ditching Education Reforms

GONEski! Australian Government Ditching Education ReformsA turnaround in policy position isn’t a huge surprise straight after an election, it sought of goes with the the furniture. Except in this case, apparently, both sides of Australian politics were in FULL agreement prior to the last election?

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has denied that 10 weeks into governing, he’s breaking a pre-election promise –  to match Labor’s school funding model – saying that his government would “do a little bit better.”

However, promises to one side, Australia’s new Government has just announced it will scrap the previous – Labor – governments plan for school funding reform, and will instead renegotiate individual agreements with all states and territories within the next 12 months.

Education Minister Christopher Pyne says Labor’s arrangements will stay in place for the coming year and will then be overhauled. UPDATED! November 29, 2013: Gonski Co-Author Labels Pyne ‘L Plate ‘Minister.

A co-author of the Gonski report has labelled the new Federal Education Minister, Christopher Pyne, “a minister on L-plates” amid confusion over school funding. Mr Pyne has not yet announced a new funding model for schools after scrapping the Gonski plan that was introduced under the previous Labor government.

Today Mr Pyne met with his state and territory counterparts, who described the talks as “very heated” and said they fear public schools will be the big losers under the new model :: Read the full article »»»»

GIFTS.FOR.HER GIFTS.FOR.HIM

source: c.pyne
source: aph
source: abcnewsradio
source: reuters
image source: indeepmedia


Comments are closed.