We need an education counter-revolution
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s plan to continue with the education revolution misses the point. Over the past 30 years, state Labor governments across Australia have been revolutionising education as part of the left’s long march through Australian academic, cultural and media institutions. What is needed is a counter-revolution to root out the left wing ideology that has been so successfully implanted in the education system. Rudd’s performance rating for schools, if successfully implemented, is a small step, but it ignores the real issues.
The problems with education have been well documented by education consultant and author Dr Kevin Donnelly. A blurb for his most recent book, Dumbing Down, summarises the problems:
“Facilitators; knowledge navigators; adaptive life long learners … Whatever happened to teachers, students and learning?
“For the past 30 years our schoolkids have been subjected to more experimentation than your average CSIRO lab rat. In classrooms all over the country, confused and frustrated teachers must adopt PC and new-age views on multiculturalism, the environment, the class war, peace studies, feminism and gender studies. Ultimately, our kids have little opportunity to study history or literature in any systematic or balanced way and, as a result, many leave school culturally illiterate.
“Dumbing Down exposes the damage the culture wars have wrought and how we’ve bred a generation of under-educated Australians. In this groundbreaking book, renowned education expert Kevin Donnelly gets to heart of the problem, debunking the current culture of narcissism and demonstrating the perils of noncompetitive assessment and the current anti-academic approach to the curriculum.”
In a 2007 interview, Dr Donnelly said:
“I have undertaken a number of international curriculum benchmarking projects, comparing Australian state and territory school intended curriculum documents against stronger performing overseas systems.
“I was struck by the fact that Australian curriculum, as a result of adopting an outcomes-based education model (otherwise known as OBE and drawing on the works of William Spady) emphasises teaching politically correct values, feelings and dispositions in opposition to traditional academic content, skills and understanding.
“At the same time as evaluating curriculum globally, I was the consultant to the Commonwealth Government’s Civics and Citizenship Programme (Discovering Democracy) and, on analysing how subjects like history, politics and geography are now taught in Australia (under the banner of Studies of Society and the Environment), I realised that the ‘cultural-left’ had taken hold of the curriculum. I have written the book to be a ‘wake up call’ to the Australian public and to help fashion the debate on education in what is to be an election year, 2007.”