Progressive fads promote cultural illiteracy in schools

Progressive fads promote cultural illiteracy in schools, by Kevin Donnelly.

Based on national and international tests, standards [of Australian schools] are either flatlining or going backwards. ­Despite the additional billions invested in education over the past 20 to 30 years, our students are consistently outperformed by their peers in Singapore, Shanghai, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong and Finland. …

Teachers, instead of being in control and teaching, are described as facilitators and guides by the side, and students are now described as knowledge navigators and digital natives. Millions of dollars are being wasted on promoting laptops, computers and the internet on the mistaken belief that the most effective way to learn is to embrace the new technologies and go online.

Promoting students’ self-esteem on the basis that everyone must be a winner, and being competitive is elitist and unfair, is now considered more important than telling them they have failed. As a result, the first time students face a high-risk, challenging examination where they are ranked against other students is in Year 12.

Fads such as whole-language, child-centred and discovery learning, open classrooms, and ­restricting education to what is immediately relevant and contemporary, dominate our schools. More effective strategies such as phonics and phonemic awareness and explicit whole-class teaching are condemned as obsolete.

Instead of an academically rigorous and challenging curriculum, subjects such as English, history, mathematics and science have been dumbed down as teachers are forced to teach through a politically correct prism involving Asian, indigenous and sustainability perspectives.

In addition to falling standards, too many students leave school culturally illiterate, knowing more about contemporary affairs and their local community than the ­literary classics, the history of Australia as a nation and the vital importance of Western civilisation and our Judeo-Christian heritage. And when Western civilisation and Australia’s evolution as a ­nation are taught, students are indoctrinated with a rainbow alliance of ideologies including Marxism, neo-Marxism, postmodernism, deconstruction and feminist, gender, queer and postcolonial theories.

In addition to the curriculum being feminised, thus disadvantaging boys, schools are also being pressured to give priority to radical gender and sexuality programs such as Safe Schools, which claim gender is fluid and limitless, and teach primary school children to self-identify as whatever gender they desire.

A combination of misinformation, political ideology, dumbing down, and feminization — reducing competition, expecting everyone to behave like girls, boosting girls at the expensive of boys, etc.. All easily reversed if our current ruling class would get out of the way.

Alternatively, the situation could be remedied by bypassing the dead hands of the Marxist bureaucrats at the Department of Education — by introducing  school vouchers. Keep their hands off our kids. Let people choose their own education.

hat-tip Stephen Neil