Just to reinforce that we have not had any change of thinking with a new leader, Christopher Pyne rolled out his “new curriculum”, endorsed by state education ministers yesterday.
There is to be a greater focus on Western civilisation and our Christian heritage.
Indigenous issues have been cut from parts of the curriculum, and students will no longer be taught about Harmony Week, National Reconciliation Week, or NAIDOC (National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee) week.
It’s worth noting that, on the IPA’s 75 point wish list, number 73 is “Defund Harmony Day”.
Students will continue to learn about Australia Day, Anzac Day and National Sorry Day. The Year 6 study of the contribution of “individuals and groups” to Australian society will no longer include a reference to indigenous people or migrants, and will be confined to the post-Federation period.
The existing requirement to study Australia’s connection to Asia has been deleted from the new curriculum.
Federal Education Minister Christopher Pyne said the changes would resolve “overcrowding’’ in the primary school curriculum, boost the teaching of phonics and strengthen references to Western influences in Australia’s history.
The states and territories did not agree to make STEM subjects compulsory in high school, partly because they do not have the teachers to do it.
They also decided, on advice from The Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL), that from next year, new teaching graduates will not be allowed into classrooms until they pass a test ranking them in the top 30 per cent of the population for literacy and numeracy.
Wouldn’t it be better to do that sort of testing before they start their degree rather than when they have finished it? They are also going to make the students pay for the test themselves, and whilst imposing higher standards on trainee teachers, I have heard no mention of higher pay.
AITSL chairman John Hattie — who took part in the ministerial meeting — said the changes would bring teaching closer in line with professions such as engineering and medicine.
“We have to make it very clear to people considering a teaching career that if you’re dumb you can’t be a teacher,’’ he told The Weekend Australian. “We need to worry considerably about the students in the classroom and the quality of the person standing up in front of them.’’
To all you ‘dumb’ people who were aspiring to be teachers, might I suggest a career in politics instead – no such restrictions apply.