Teachers' union backs call for comprehensive approach to education
This is another shot in the long war between those who want education to lead to jobs versus those who see education as a general cultural experience. It seems clear to me that if the taxpayer is paying for it, it should be useful in some way. I see only three options there: education for jobs, education for citizenship and English language education, where that includes instruction in reading and writing, which in turn includes spelling and grammar. Education for citizenship should cover primarily history and how the political system works.
I see no role for literary education or foreign language education. Literature and language can be left to adult education courses and other evening courses. There are already in the country people of many ethnic origins who grow up bilingual so foreign language education seems particularly useless
The Independent Education Union of Australia NSW/ACT Branch has welcomed comments from NSW Education Minister Rob Stokes calling for a balanced approach to education, with no extra emphasis on any one discipline.
Stokes said on Wednesday that STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects must not be preferred over the arts, sports or social sciences.
IEUA NSW/ACT Secretary John Quessy said providing a comprehensive education was the best strategy to create adaptable and employable adults.
“All disciplines, whether it be languages, sport, arts or science can and do contribute to greatness in Australian society,” Quessy said.
“It is important that teachers from all disciplines are supported and provided with professional development that enhances the education they can provide to students.
“While we totally support and understand the need to encourage the study of STEM subjects, students should never be discouraged from studying other disciplines.
“Everyone needs to be allowed to find their niche and be given a chance to shine.”
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