Leftist "educators" still doing their best to dumb down Australian education

Science curriculum 'an insult'. Knowledge is a threat to the Left so they replace it with propaganda. Populism, not knowledge, keeps the Left afloat

PRIMARY school principals have condemned the national science curriculum for failing to focus on scientific knowledge and skills, describing its low expectations of primary teachers and students as insulting. In a scathing submission to the National Curriculum Board, the Australian Primary Principals Association says the science curriculum is overly concerned with teaching methods and too little with scientific content. "The aims are unbalanced in being too focused on active citizenship and the social outcomes of science at the expense of scientific knowledge and skills," the submission says. "The focus is on the uses of science and on matters which cluster around science, such as values, attitudes, approaches, rather than on science itself."

The association, which represents principals in government, Catholic and independent schools, says the curriculum largely ignores how little science is taught in primary schools, and particularly the lack of teachers with specialist science training and the resulting reluctance to teach science. The national curriculum is a chance to address this shortfall, but the proposed framework fails to take the opportunity, the submission says.

When the curriculum does address primary students, the APPA says it "seriously underestimates" the ability of children in the early years of school to work with real science content, and that it fails to outline a science program. "The suggestion that topics and major concepts could include 'block play and structures' and movement, as if these were substantially scientific in nature, is insulting to primary teachers," the submission says. "The suggestion that the world may well seem complex and complicated to children at this stage is likewise insulting."

On the English curriculum, the association welcomes the proposal to teach grammar and spelling explicitly and strongly supports the focus on teaching the basics, such as phonics, in reading and writing. While the principals agree that non-print texts should be studied in the English course, they say print literature should be the main medium studied -- putting the APPA at odds with the professional association representing English teachers.

The Australian Association for the Teaching of English says in its submission to the board that the amount of traditional literature taught will have to be reduced to allow room for the study of other forms of texts. However, the APPA criticises the jargonistic language used in the English curriculum, arguing that the terms are in "unnecessarily complex and specialised language".

"Language such as 'oriented to colonial agenda' (which seems to mean about Australia's past), 'authoritative teaching' (which seems to mean explicit teaching), 'disciplinarity' (which may mean the practice of English teaching) and 'modalities' (ways of communicating) seem to be either neologisms or terms drawn from academic discourse," it says. The principals would prefer the curriculum to be written in language familiar to primary teachers and others "not engaged in the academic study of subject English".

APPA president Leonie Trimper said the principals' overriding concern was that each subject was making an ambit claim for lesson time and risked further overcrowding the primary school timetable.


Posted by John Ray. For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. For a daily survey of Australian politics, see AUSTRALIAN POLITICS Also, don't forget your daily roundup of pro-environment but anti-Greenie news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH . Email me (John Ray) here

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