June 1, 2010
At The Drum Kevin Donnelly explores the Left’s new national history curriculum:
Julia Gillard, the Commonwealth Minister for Education, and Stuart Macintyre, an academic from the University of Melbourne, argue that the new national history curriculum is balanced and that critics are wrong to label it left-wing.
They're wrong. Anyone reading the two syllabus documents, covering kindergarten to year 10 and years 11 and 12, can be left in no doubt that schools across Australia will soon be forced to teach a new-age and politically correct view of history and Australia's place in the world.
History, like every other subject in the national curriculum, has to be taught through the politically correct prism of Aboriginal, Asian and environmental perspectives. Forget the importance of Australia's Western heritage or the impact of science, technology and industry in overcoming poverty and eradicating disease.
In the years K-10 curriculum students are told to study the "contribution of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to the Australian nation", the "significance of Dreaming and the perspectives and meaning in Dreaming stories" and to "explain the key features of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander societies".
In the 29 pages of the K-10 syllabus, 'Christendom' is mentioned once and 'Christian' also once, but only in the context of studying other religions, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Shinto, Judaism and Islam.
After reading the history curriculum, you'd be forgiven for thinking that mainstream Australians are simply one ethnic group amongst many and that celebrating difference and diversity is more important than acknowledging what we hold in common.
That the history curriculum appears to have been written by cultural warriors of the left most likely explains why, on studying the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union, that McCarthyism is mentioned, but not Stalin's purges or the role of Ronald Reagan in defeating what he termed the evil empire.
The unit 'Recognition and equality' reads like a beginner's guide to left-wing political indoctrination. Under the heading "the struggles of oppressed and disadvantaged peoples", the topics listed are 'women's struggle for equality', 'First Nations and the struggle for recognition and equality', 'apartheid in South Africa' and 'Civil rights movement in the USA.
Source: The Drum
The Quadrant Book of Poetry: 2001 - 2010
edited by Les Murray