Australian Curriculum Assessment and Review Authority fails Australian students

We made a submission to the Australian Curriculum Assessment and Review Authority Consultation on the new draft national curriculum. It convinced us that the curriculum is not fit for purpose, and if not, then neither is ACARA.

You can download the submission by clicking here.

If the first sign of madness is doing the same thing and expecting a different result, how are we to describe the state of mind that does the same failed policy twice as hard and expects an even better result?

Our results lag our competitors in South-East Asia, to the extent that a Year 9 student in Singapore or China will outperform a Year 12 student in Australia. How is doubling down on our current approach going to bridge this gap?

This abortive Curriculum Review must lead to a rethink of how we produce school curricula. The national approach is not working.

ACARA should be abolished and the education minister need to start again with a fresh approach.

Australia is one of the leading countries in the world for standard of living and quality of life.

Per capita we are one of the most desirable destinations for migrants, demonstrating this success. We also rate extremely well on a range of international comparisons including freedom, corruption and happiness.

We also find ourselves in the least secure international situation for three generations.

Our education system needs to reinforce our successful cultural values, and give our youngest generations the skill and knowledge they need to continue Australia’s success and security.

The current curriculum, and its proposed successor, do not fulfil these requirements.

The AIP submission to The Australian Curriculum Review Consultation makes a number of points including the following:

  1. Neither of the current nor proposed curricula fulfil the role of preparing good well-rounded citizens with basic academic and cultural knowledge, productive attitudes, and problem-solving skills.
  2. Both curricula tend to usurp the role of parents in providing children with moral and ethical direction, and that tendency is increasing.
  3. The cross-curricula priorities of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Culture; Asia and Australia’s engagement with Asia; and Sustainability are arbitrarily chosen, superfluous to most areas of study, and reinforce ideological, not educational, values.
  4. In particular the ATSI Histories and Culture takes up disproportionate space in already crowded curricula, imparts little useful knowledge, and leads to a treatment of, for example, Aboriginal writers, that is racist, characterising them with racial stereotypes.
  5. The change in teaching methods, particularly in English, where phonics and direct instruction are not accepted as the basis for teaching reading and writing; and in Mathematics, where problem solving is prioritised over number facts; will do nothing to cure the up to four year deficits in education of our students against our competitors in South-East Asia.
  6. Understanding of European, and in particular British, culture is marginalised in the curriculum, most glaringly in English Literature. Yet this culture permeates our legal, political, social, moral and ethical structures. These curricula are producing cultural orphans.

The submission can be downloaded by clicking here.