Victorian MLC Moira Deeming: the pretty face of…

“I can’t wait until I’m legally able to hunt you down.” This curse…

Science & Technology Australia welcomes National Reconstruction Fund

Science & Technology Australia Media Release The nation’s peak body representing 115,000 Australian…

Calculated Exoneration: Command Responsibility and War Crimes in…

Being the scapegoat of tribal lore cast out with the heavy weight…

The Voice: Remember When The Liberals Were Still…

At the moment we're witnessing the Liberal Party at their absurd best.…

Nazis on our streets: don't judge protesters by…

On some level, it is straightforward for a Neo-Nazi protest to be…

Whither Constitutional Change?

Within a very short space of time, we are going to be…

A Hazardous Decision: Supplying Ukraine with Depleted Uranium…

Should they be taking them? Ukraine is desperate for any bit of…

Murdoch's Zero Sum games: divisive propaganda meant to…

The Murdoch media drives resentment with propaganda as constant as drums of…


Conservatives are a product of Direct Instruction

It’s not surprising that conservatives are fans of Direct Instruction. It’s their whole life.

Many of them are religious. They do not/cannot question the belief drilled into them from birth for fear of being labelled an heretic or being excommunicated or at least having to do penance.

Many conservatives are fans of more standardised tests for children. They have even suggested that a teacher’s pay should be dependent on the results of such tests – which will inevitably lead to teachers teaching to a test with parents employing tutors to help their child get good marks, as already happens in too many private schools. Inquiry-based learning has no place in this system.

These conservatives keep saying “phonics”. As they don’t ever explain further, I assume they think it is far more important to be able to say and spell a word than to understand and use it.

Some conservatives receive their Direct Instruction from their parents. “We always vote National because they look after country people” or “We always vote Liberal because they are better for the economy.” These are accepted truths that are never questioned, even for a lifetime. (I saw examples of this whilst standing in the very long queue at my local polling booth as parents accompanying their first time voting children were instructing them to vote Liberal.)

Some young people join conservative movements like the Young Liberals who heroically fight against the “nanny state” and “socialism.” They want “small government” and “free markets” and “free speech” and “individual reward for effort.” Yet ask them if we should stop funding private schools or cut tax rebates for private health insurance and they will usually launch into a tirade about entitlements and how much tax their father is forced to pay. Any talk of reining in tax concessions will be labelled “class envy”. They repeat the ideological phrases but rarely have any depth of understanding – just slogans.

Other people who vote conservative get their Direct Instruction from shock jocks, Murdoch minions, and conspiracy theorists. These people are fired up to always look for something or someone to blame and are encouraged to do so by both the media and ambitious politicians who see votes in the blame game.

Conservatives have been taught to assess things on the basis of “How will it benefit me?” but their greed needs instant gratification. Discussions about long term social benefits fall on deaf ears. Empathy is not in the vocabulary.

So is it any wonder that our conservative politicians, having come from this background of Direct Instruction, are so incapable of listening to advice. They have been bred to be certain, to unquestioningly accept the mantra – they know what is right.

The mass of evidence of the illegality and inhumanity of the torture we are inflicting on detainees on Manus and Nauru is ignored because Direct Instruction says STOP THE BOATS. No discretion. No initiative. No compassion. No questions.

Despite the evidence of past privatisations and free trade agreements not working out well for us, Direct Instruction says FREE MARKET. No protection. No assistance. No consultation.

(I note Scott Morrison is belatedly realising it may not be a good idea to sell our vital infrastructure to foreign governments, much to the chagrin of Mike Baird.}

We seemed to be making an outward display of reversing some of the more ridiculous decisions regarding renewable energy and sacking climate scientists, and then we elected the ultra-right wing loons from One Nation just to add their special brand of Direct Instruction.

Turnbull talks about agility and flexibility but his mindset is that you pay someone to do that. (At university, he even paid someone to take notes for him so he didn’t have to turn up to lectures. He was already disseminating his Direct Instruction via his writing.)

This government cannot show initiative. They cannot come up with creative solutions. They can’t tolerate questions or alternative ideas because that’s not how it works. They tell you what is happening, not why. (Their ‘how’ also needs a lot of work.)

Inquiry-based learning is most definitely not a conservative trait.

 528 total views,  2 views today


Login here Register here
  1. Miriam English

    Good points, Kaye. It’s hard to know what to do about it though. When you get apparently left-wing people sucked in by the “free speech” trap, others snared by the “free market” lie, yet others taken in by racism and hate spewed by influential halfwits, and more fecal matter than you can poke a stick at saturating the mainstream media, with even the ABC at times becoming fouled with it… well, it sometimes seems hopeless.

    I tend to think it will sort itself out in the long run. The worry is the problems such intentional ignorance will create in the near term.

    There are signs people are catching on… AGL has been caught out creating electricity shortages in South Australia so that they can raise prices and blame renewable energy (shades of Enron!). The Queensland Labor government has apparently been taking dirty money from mining companies. Large parts of the population now see the LNP as having no plan beyond giving their corporate masters whatever they want.

  2. auntyuta

    “Inquiry-based learning has no place in this system.”
    So: “Inquiry-based learning is most definitely not a conservative trait.”
    Kaye, you explain it very well, how this system works. Thanks for this article!

  3. Terry2

    Having seen Dutton on 7.30 it confirms what you are saying, Kaye. The man has lost whatever objectivity he ever had, he is totally indoctrinated with conservative slogans, he is entirely out of ideas having squandered $55 million on the failed Cambodia solution, all he has left is sniping at Labor, deaths at sea, border security and the conspiracy he sees against him from the left : the man is delusional.

    Turnbull should be alarmed that he has in his ranks this buffoon. He should immediately be sacked and somebody with some ability put in charge of resettling these people and closing sown these island prisons.

  4. paulwalter

    In the end it is not dissimilar to nazism (godwinned).

    Enjoyed Terry 2’s comments re
    Dutton, watched that for a little while last night and moved on, wondering about fantasists.

  5. Freethinker

    Terry2August 12, 2016 at 7:30 am
    Having seen Dutton on 7.30 it confirms what you are saying, Kaye. The man has lost whatever objectivity he ever had, he is totally indoctrinated with conservative slogans, he is entirely out of ideas having squandered $55 million on the failed Cambodia solution, all he has left is sniping at Labor, deaths at sea, border security and the conspiracy he sees against him from the left : the man is delusional.
    Turnbull should be alarmed that he has in his ranks this buffoon. He should immediately be sacked and somebody with some ability put in charge of resettling these people and closing sown these island prisons. end of quote

    Terry, Dutton has more power within the party that Malcolm Turnbull
    Also Turnbull agree with this, he was and is part of the senior group in the party.

  6. Adrianne Haddow

    So correct, Kaye Lee. Inquiry based learning is not on these neo-liberal’s agenda.
    That’s why they had their right wing, conservative, religious flunkies rewrite the National Curriculum.
    You can’t have the plebs asking questions or inquiring into the rotten practices of this shambolic government.

    You only have to look at what has happened to journalism in this country. They report what they are told to report.
    Even ‘our’ ABC has fallen to become their propaganda machine.

  7. Sir Scotchmistery

    I can’t see Malcolm being terribly confronted by the Dutton buffoonery. He already has Eric Abetz and George Brandis.

  8. helvityni

    They don’t value arts or creativity for obvious reasons. They must be buying those colouring books for adults that are selling like hot cakes, yet I don’t know any Left -Wingers painting by numbers; we are the creative and innovative ones… 🙂

    They also like all things past, like girls wearing long pleated checked Jane Austen skirts to school in Aussie heat…

    Keating’s witticism make us laugh, even today; the mean-hearted Liberal leaders make us cry…

  9. helvityni

    Sir Scotch,

    …and Abbott, Michaelia,Morrison, and, and,and….

  10. Douglas Pye

    Thank you Kaye for your simple appraisal, – the diagram header tells the whole Conservative story succinctly !

    In particular, their “reward for effort” ethos, strikes a ‘universal ‘chord ….in the general sense, we all believe this to be fair …. however, when this ‘reward’ comes at the direct disadvantage of another, the ‘fair’ aspect is virtually negated!

    Life conducted as a ‘business’ has to lack compassion! … ‘Business’ expresses ‘competition’ ….. where basic truth and ethics are direct casualties, and over time pale into insignificance!

    I’m placing this article ‘on file’ for future reference, for your diagram in particular, which lays out the neocon way of life …..

  11. helvityni

    Missed 7.30 last night, just watched it; DUTTON believes in treating people, asylum seekers, with respect…. the words fail me.

  12. Kaye Lee


    As a teacher, that diagram horrified me. I once had some Japanese teachers come to observe my maths class. In the plenary session afterwards they were very surprised at how many questions the students asked as asking questions in their schools was seen as disrespectful to the teacher and a shameful admission that you didn’t understand.

    Morrison and Dutton et al seem to work on the same idea. Don’t question me. I am not interested in your ideas. We won the election and we don’t have to listen to you.

  13. Matters Not

    Not only the ‘process’ but also the ‘content’. Only ‘truth’ to be ‘transmitted’. No ‘doubts’. No ‘discussion’. Everything ‘premasticated’. Keep them as ‘dependent’ beings. No ‘critical consciousness’. No ‘architects’ just ‘worker bees’. ‘Inherit’ the world. Accept this ‘reality’.

  14. helvityni

    Mal was very smug when talking about finally doing something about our ex-army people retuning home traumatized by war.

    Very good indeed, but what about the rest of the population; are they supposed to be happy with the mere phone-numbers of helplines they see at end of TV programs or online articles.

    We need those under-water-boats, submarines, sooo badly, don’t we. There’s never any money left for anything else…

  15. Kaye Lee

    The diagram comes from “Saskatchewan Education, “Instructional Approaches: A Framework for Professional Practice.” 1991

    “Direct instruction is usually deductive. That is, the rule or generalization is presented and then illustrated with examples. While this strategy may be considered among the easier to plan and to use, it is clear that effective direct instruction is often more complex than it would first appear.

    The predominant use of direct instruction methods needs to be evaluated, and educators need to recognize the limitation of these methods for developing the abilities, processes, and attitudes required for critical thinking, and for interpersonal or group learning. Student understanding of affective and higher level cognitive objectives may require the use of instructional methods associated with other strategies.”

    They recognised the limitations of direct instruction 25 years ago. Employers want creative thinkers and critical evaluation and people management skills – all the things that Direct Instruction suppress.

  16. Kaye Lee


    The sudden compassion for veterans is no doubt sparked by the desire to win over a few crossbenchers, notably Lambie, who have made it their special crusade.

    “Abbott stood by his government’s decision to reduce benefits to children of soldiers killed or seriously injured in service as part of the mining tax repeal package, saying he had been upfront with voters before the election.

    “There are tens of thousands of people who will lose the income support bonus and I don’t suppose any of them will be very happy to lose it … but this idea that the children of veterans are somehow being singled out for mistreatment by government is simply false. It’s an outrageous smear.”

    The veterans affairs minister, Michael Ronaldson, said the payment, which costs about $260,000 per year and began in March 2013, would be scrapped “as a necessary consequence” of the changes.

    “The government considers that it is not in the interests of the general welfare to continue such bonus payments in the absence of the resources necessary to do so,” Ronaldson said.

  17. wam

    Sadly the fear of faith makes questioning out of bounds. The bible under the chair, euthanasia, abortion, equality of gender and lifestyle all present a problem for a conservative boys because discussion risks challenging beliefs.
    Still the labor leader boys have the same problem.
    Leaving the women???

  18. Douglas Pye


    Thank you for your comments relative to the ‘diagram’.

    Whilst the following link … ( if it works .. 🙂 …. ) relates to Chinese University students , the pic of their living conditions tells graphically of ‘production line’ education. / lifestyle. My apologies,there’s around ten pics in all, and offered with the best intent,

    ……………… National Geographic Travel Photographs of the Year 2016 (photos) ……. (Short list Daily)

    Oh yes, and I agree with your take on the Veterans comment ….. the story behind the story! ….. and ‘soft soap’ !

  19. Steve Laing -

    Another insightful article Kaye.

    Dutton’s ongoing position in the cabinet is an interesting one. A right winger, but not good enough for the Abbott/Abetz/Andrews trifecta who demand another right-winger to represent them. Clearly even they recognise that Dutton is a potato and not quite smart enough to fight their good fight. Personally I think he is there as the fall guy. A bit like Murdoch putting people between him and the phone tapping debacle so he can claim innocence. Dutton is the PMs personal firewall, both Abbott and now Turnbull. And of course Morrison is totally in on that game too – he will of course claim that none of it happened on his watch, despite being the one who set up the institutionalised secrecy.

    In regards to education, I have also heard that it is quite common at catholic schools for the kids to be told that they are superior to others, based on their religion. Given the attitude that many of our catholic taught politicians have, this doesn’t surprise me one jot. And whilst they preach discipline, they are also very good at turning a blind eye to the misbehaviour of their flock. I’ve witnessed that one personally.

    There is absolutely no surprise when you see the vacuousness of their policies. Ill thought out, uncompromising and generally over simplistic. This type of learning would perfectly explain it.

  20. helvityni

    Steve Laing, well said : Dutton is the PMs personal firewall.

  21. Anomander

    I watched the evil influence of the shock jocks upon my own parents. Both were solid, hard-working people, who grew-up and working-class suburbs, did ordinary low-paid jobs, were union members most of their lives, who believed in fairness for all and who always voted for the ALP.

    However, in their retirement they got all their news from commercial TV and the Daily Terrorgraph. They started listening to the radio shock-jocks, Ray Hadley / Alan Jones, etc. and watching shows like A Current Affair.

    Insidiously, their opinions began to change..

    They started to mouth the abusing lines against Asians (event though they had worked alongside Asian people most of their lives.

    They lived in fear of Muslims (even though no Muslims lived anywhere near their suburb).

    They started disparaging single-mothers, students, aboriginals and dole bludgers as sponges, sucking on their hard earned tax dollars.

    They would complain loudly about Australia being flooded with refugees, coming over here and taking our jobs (despite the fact my father was a 10-pound Pom).

    They parroted the conservative’s lines around climate change. They firmly believed the unions had destroyed the place and that the UN was trying to take control of our country.

    The Greens were job-destroying extremist loonies who wanted to take us back to the dark ages, and those bloody gays were against nature (despite the fact neither of them were particularly religious). The carbon tax was going to destroy the economy and Gillard was to blame for everything.

    Worst of all – they both started voting for the Liberals.

    In the last few years, we would often get into heated arguments at family gatherings. No matter what I said, their opinions could not be swayed – so persuasive and pervasive was the propaganda, their entire ideology had been reshaped, and they just couldn’t understand how I could possibly think differently, despite the fact they had raised me to think independently, to question everything, to love science and the environment and to have a conscience and empathy.

    They both passed away in the last 12 months and it is a major regret that we had so many arguments in the final stages of their lives – over politics. But it is also a source of great anger – that the propaganda and lies peddled by the conservative forces could so radically change their opinions so thoroughly away from their core values.

  22. Jack Straw

    Dutton is really a Robot like Hymie in Get Smart. He’s there secret weapon. He’s not very smart but he’s infatigable.

  23. Beth

    I do support Alan Jones in regards to his protest regarding foreigners buying up our strategic and prime agricultural land.

  24. firefly3.1

    I’m studying a masters of primary teaching and working in schools that use direct instruction. I wouldn’t let my own kids go to a school that only uses direct instruction but I can see why our government is so keen to have DI as the go to teaching method. Aldous Huxley clearly had a neo-liberal society in mind when he wrote Brave New World. Epsilons are essential for a practical neo-liberism and they should make up the bulk of the population. The brightest students will succeed regardless of which teaching model is used, but a biddable and compliant workforce requires the average worker not to question anything. If we want to continue raising the Gini Coefficient without triggering a revolution or economic collapse then Direct Instruction is essential.

  25. wam

    how sad aomander your parents left high and dry by laboe. You could have concentrated on menzies’ and howard’s strategic lying, to set their memory, then moved to embracing. either the loonies view that lab and lib have the same views on these topics as shown by gillard’s malaysian solution and point out the religious connection in the lack of opposition. Or just agree and point out the loonies were part of the lnp attacks on the poor, the old and the sick. So labor was the only alternative to control the boats and look after the economy. Therefore NOT arguing with those who are vulnerable to the slogans.
    sadly i find it awful that you recognise asians muslims greens but not Aborigines. Still that fits the lord’s view.

  26. susan

    Good article. I had always just dismissed Liberal or National voters as lacking intelligence.

  27. guest

    Anomander’s experience with the indoctrination of parents is an interesting one. There are those who say that young people are socialist but as they grow older they become more conservative, Well, maybe. But there is no doubt the conservative media sets out to indoctrinate with Right-wing propaganda.

    An example of that appeared in the WE Australian 6-/8/16. It was by Paul Kelly when he set out to justify the cartoons of Bill Leak by blaming “identity politics'” for befuddling the understanding of critics of Leaks cartoons. They just did not get it. They did not get what Leak was saying about the ‘real’ reasons for the treatment of teenage boys in Don Dale.

    Identity politics stifles debate, says Kelly – but it does not stifle him. He is in full flight:

    “A powerful movement with deep cultural roots, it testifies to the evolution within leftist and progressive politics since the failure of Soviet communism and the supplementation of class consciousness with identity based on race, sex, gender and ethnicity. This is fused by historic grievance suffered by such identities and their contemporary demand for redress.”

    So there we have it; a Direct Instruction short history of “identity politics”.

    Kelly goes on to attack the ABC, Racial Discrimination Act, Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion, Race Discrimination Commissioner Tim Soutphommasane, social media, Nova Peris, Bill Shorten…

    Kelly’s argument is based on the need for debate, even if it offends. It seems for Kelly it is not possible to debate without offending. He claims Australia was “once famous for its straight talking”, which apparently means that it was perfectly permissible for us to have opinions about things we know nothing about. But now, he claims, “honest talk” is too risky. Debate is stifled. We are drowning in a “sea of politically correct approval”.

    Kelly seeks support for his argument by referring to an article about “identity politics” published in ‘The New Yorker” in May. It refers to one college but Kelly expands the concept to all colleges and even the Democratic National Convention. A Student union board chairman says:
    “People are so amazed that other people could have a different opinion from them that they don’t want to hear it.”

    Such lovely irony. For the conservatives behave exactly like that. Any opinion contrary to their ideology and they set about stifling it or totally ignoring it. Kelly’s piece is one of those stifling pieces. He cannot distinguish between debate and offensive ignorant opinion. He files it all under the notion of “free speech”. Such pompous and pretentious Direct Instruction scribbling.

  28. Alltherage

    Studies show a physiological difference between the brains of conservatives and liberals.
    It seems we may be captives of our basic biology.
    Where propaganda and conditioning fits into that, with its ability to change political views and allegiances as per Anomander’s experience is unknown by me. Perhaps there are some studies about that.

  29. Dan Henson

    This is a fairly absurd article for anyone who knows about Direct Instruction and its results. Direct Instruction is specifically an elementary curriculum, designed to maximize a student’s success. It has been shown repeatedly to increase self-esteem, creativity, and academic results. To claim that Direct Instruction creates an individual who is unable to engage in classically liberal thought is ridiculous, there’s absolutely no evidence to support that assertion and a multitude of evidence to support the contrary. Direct Instruction is not appropriate for secondary school, and that’s why it isn’t used there, anywhere.

  30. Janita

    Hear, hear, Dan Henson! I have been (actively) on the left all my life and was so convinced by “naturalist” ideas about education that in the sixties I helped found a progressive school. Experience taught me how deluded I was. The article by Kaye Lee struck me as a crude polemic, appealing to prejudice rather than evidence and reason. But this is where postmodernism takes us — into reliance on stereotypes and posturing attacks on people. Propaganda, in other words. Let’s have some genuine analysis of ideas, please!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The maximum upload file size: 2 MB. You can upload: image, audio, video, document, spreadsheet, interactive, text, archive, code, other. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded. Drop file here

Return to home page
%d bloggers like this: