JoNova

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Australian Science Curriculum over run with green politics. Help them fix it!

The Labor Party pushed and got a National Australian Curriculum. Now instead of the states separately mucking up parts of kid’s education, we’ve achieved a monoculture — an entire generation spoon-fed the same flaws. At least with the state systems — for all their imperfections, some states would do better than others, and we’d get a generation of Australians with different strengths and weaknesses.

Three sacred topics?

Get the Pillars of Political Correctness out of our curriculum

The new Australian Curriculum insists that three areas were so important they must be taught in every subject. So, if you are a maths teacher or a French teacher or any other teacher of K – 10, you’ll need to consider how to embed these “Cross Curriculum Priorities” in your subject.

You and I might, in our naivety, think that the pillars of Western Civilization might be the sacred keys — perhaps we ought teach how free speech influenced maths, science and social studies? Maybe the idea of equality before the law, the Magna Carta, or property rights and liberty, the political foundations of our society’s success, ought influence every subject? Or how about the idea that science is a philosophy like no other — a way of knowing and understanding that depends on observations and not opinions — the most egalitarian of philosophies where gurus can be proven wrong, and favoured dictums can be overturned.

But instead of three pillars of Western Civilization, we’ve got three pillars of  political correctness:

Did anyone ask future employers whether they want maths graduates who understand calculus, or maths graduates who understand that good citizens reuse shopping bags?

For each cross-curriculum priority, a set of organising ideas reflects the essential knowledge, understandings and skills for the priority. The organizing ideas are embedded in the content descriptions and elaborations of each learning area as appropriate.

For example, figure out how you would teach the periodic table with reference to organizing idea 4:  “OI.4 The arts and literature of Asia influence aesthetic and creative pursuits within Australia, the region and globally.” Mendeleev, eat your heart out. Shall we stir-fry some Strontium? This is not simplifying and clarifying our curriculum, it’s a bonfire of clutter and complexification. These are disorganizing ideas. These are politicizing where politics does not belong, a la the Soviets, with every teacher a potential political indoctrinator, comrade.

To be sure, an excellent teacher can still be excellent even within this politicized curriculum, but for teachers who are taught by this system, and with the same philosophy in university, what chance do they have?

Turn these tables around. Rather than have social, political, and historical themes all through maths and science, shouldn’t we make sure the logic of maths and science are taught through every other subject. Get the humanities out of science, and put some science and reasoning into the humanities and we will all be better off.

“Sustainability” doesn’t mean sustainable. It means Green politics

I want sustainability – I want sustainable civilizations.

It would be fine it sustainability meant sustainability — but it doesn’t, it’s a coded, loaded word for sustaining Green philosophies. Consider that the new curriculum aims to sustain the biosphere, the ecosystem, and the environment, but not our lifestyle, our living standards, our productivity, liberties, or our budget. This is not a philosophy that cares about sustaining the workforce, our health, or our legal system. Real sustainability would be concerned with sustaining The Scientific Method. Green political sustainability does the opposite.

In the disorganizing idea of sustainability, the word environment appears six times, the word global — three times, but spending, budget, debt, or balance sheet don’t get a single mention.

I want sustainability – I want sustainable civilizations. What makes human cultures rise and fall, why have some countries prospered or conquered and others collapsed? What is it about the West, or the Anglosphere, that extends lifespans, increases wealth, discovery, productivity and means we look after our environments so much better than poorer civilizations? What is it about the West that means people from most other cultures want to move here, but few of us want to leave? (Pace Daniel Hannan, UK MEP that I was lucky enough to meet at the CIS event in Perth – book here for Melbourne.)

 A racist curriculum?

I’ll probably be called a racist for protesting that Aboriginal or Asian culture, beliefs and spirituality should not be a key part of our maths and science curriculum, but note that it is not me, but the curriculum that is making race an issue. Maths has no race. Science is not about skin color but about universal truths. Which part of trigonometry do we leave out in order to add Cambodian counting systems? Isn’t it odd that introducing race where it does not belong and treating subjects differently by race is not considered racist by you-know-who, but protesting that probably is. Orwellian.

Not to put too fine a point on it, Chinese, Korean and Japanese kids outscore ours in maths. Perhaps we should  teach maths in our maths class instead of teaching ours how to save the spotted quoll? I’ll bet the Korean curriculum does not insist kids engage with westerners and Christianity in their maths plan.

 Please send a submission to the review today or tomorrow.

 Terms of Reference

To read the Australian curriculum visit the ACARA website.

The people who created the curriculum don’t understand maths and science

Consider the  rationale for science. The whole topic is damned with faint praise. This is not about a philosophy that gave life to billions of people — that feeds the world, moves the food, cools it, warms it and cured diphtheria. This is not what keeps 10,000 planes in the sky continuously day in and day out.

“Science provides an empirical way of answering interesting and important questions about the biological, physical and technological world. The knowledge it produces has proved to be a reliable basis for action in our personal, social and economic lives. Science is a dynamic, collaborative and creative human endeavour arising from our desire to make sense of our world through exploring the unknown, investigating universal mysteries, making predictions and solving problems. “

Likewise the team which wrote the rationale for Maths seems to find maths a bore  — and we wonder why kids switch off? There is no passion, no concept of what maths means. They say “Learning mathematics creates opportunities for and enriches the lives of all Australians”... but we could say the same about golf. The discipline of numbers and quantifying our lives is the difference between phoning your friend or sending a carrier pigeon. It’s about having enough food to eat, or the right dose of medicine. Our quality of life depends on our ability to quantify our needs and meet them. The plane flies or it doesn’t; it is not about a spiritual connection, a diversity of people, or the uniqueness of an environment. Is the national curriculum more class warfare by the postmodern arts graduates who run our society against people who actually know what they are doing, or what?

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310 comments to Australian Science Curriculum over run with green politics. Help them fix it!

  • #
    Truthseeker

    Unlike the previous government’s submission conduct with the Carbon Tax, this government has seen fit to respond to public demand …

    Please note that the public consultation period of the review has been extended for a further two weeks due to the high level of demand to make submissions. Members of the public can make a submission to the review by completing the submission form by Friday 14 March 2014.


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    • #
      Truthseeker

      Jo, given that they have made the amendment as I have quoted above, you may want to correct this …”But it closes this Friday (tomorrow).


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      • #

        From the web page, it is open until tomorrow:

        Members of the public can make a submission to the review by completing the submission form by Friday 28 February 2014.

        Am I missing something?


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        Diogenes

        Excellent, the Technology & creative arts were only released last week, and given the awful way they are laid on the website ,makes them hard to read. The artsy folks who occupy the staff room blow mine are whingeing that their new curriculum is a return to one they moved away from in 2004 (and is filled with the same cruft).

        My syllabus (Digital Technologies) is an unteachable mess. I was a Software Engineer for for nearly 3 decades before switching to teaching, every teaching objective starts off sensibly then degenerates in drivel eg from stage 4 (years 7 & 8) “use structured data to model objects and events that shape the communities they actively engage with.” . Up to & including events is sensible & teachable. I have absolutely no idea what the rest of the sentence actually means & how it modifies the sensible stuff.

        It seems like IT experts/teachers wrote the first parts & then the secretariat went and added “sustainable”, “indigenous” or “community” to the second parts.

        Actually I love this one
        “Students explore how bias can impact the results and value of data collection methods and they use structured data to analyse, visualise, model and evaluate objects and events.” – its my chance to actually discuss models & 3 guesses I which I will use :-)


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    • #
      steve

      “In a time of universal deceit – telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”

      George Orwell , “1984″


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  • #
    Kevin Lohse

    “This is not what keeps 10,000 thousand planes in the sky continuously day in and day out.” Really ten thousand thousand lumps of metal winging around? This is the problem when writing with passion to a deadline. Good post though, Jo.


    Thanks for the proof-reading. Fixed. H/t to you. Jo


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    • #
      Joe V.

      The combining of number formats reminds me of when I was working with joiners kn the 80s, when metrication was new and still trying to find its feet. Measurements would sometimes be given in all seriousness as like 3 metres 2 1/2 inches for example
      Metres being the length of the rule but the inch gradations being so much easier to read.
      I still have my 2-sided rule.


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      • #
        Matty

        Is that like a socialist rule Joe ?
        Same rules for everyone butyou need to be either part of the bureaucracy to understand and apply them or to know someone who is.


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      • #
        JoKaH

        I still remember going to the timber yard for 2.4metres of 3×2 hardwood just after our change to metrics.
        I also remember a local paper noting that a young lad had fallen into a 0.9144 metre diameter hole in the ground at that time.
        I can still/and still do work in inches occasionaly if that is the only measuring device I can lay my hands on and don’t have to draw on my knowledge of our local “original owners” to get it right.


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        The Griss

        Building measurements are now done in mm..

        Being hit by a piece of 4 be 2 really doesn’t hurt that much any more.


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        MudCrab

        The engineering design theory for modifying existing equipment is to do your new designs in the units the orginal was designed to. So if the equipment was built in inches, you design your mods to inches.

        Of course all good in theory, until you are trying to fit a 2000′s era piece of equipment made in Europe with a 1960s piece of US made hardware. Tons of fun. You end up spending hours trying to work out if the 38.1823mm dimension is something logical in inches or just sloppy drafting.

        Or both.

        Trying to do tolerence stack calcs in mixed units (off third gen copies of 1960s drawings) is always a giggle…


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  • #
    Peter Miller

    This is a super bureaucracy sham love in.

    Good luck, if you think any of these career bureaucrats will listen to either reason or common sense. By asking for submissions,they are only going through the motions for the sake of appearing open and reasonable.


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    • #

      Peter, the two people assigned to this review are

      Bio – Professor Ken Wiltshire
      Bio – Dr Kevin Donnelly

      Donnelly is the author of Why our schools are failing, Dumbing Down, Australia’s Education Revolution and Educating your child: it’s not rocket science.

      He wrote:

      The most recent manifestation of education lite – in which, as argued in Shelley Gare’s recent book The Triumph of the Airheads and the Retreat from Commonsense, “two generations of experimented-upon young Australians have emerged unable to read, write and think” – is Australia’s adoption of outcomes-based education and the vague, generalised way the curriculum is written. Instead of being given a clear, concise road map of what is to be taught, teachers are told that students, in the words of the West Australian curriculum, must be able to “describe and explain lasting and changing aspects of Australian society and environments”, “construct a sequence of some major periods and events” and “categorise different types of historical change”

      see also http://newsweekly.com.au/article.php?id=4301

      Donnolley at least does not seem impressed with political correctness. Let’s give the review a chance…


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      • #

        independent and free thinking Donnelly is. He’ll look at both sides without fear.

        What is driving your sudden evangelism on this I wonder


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        • #

          What is driving your sudden evangelism on this I wonder

          You’re kidding aren’t you Aye? Jo has been at “our education system” for as long as I can remember.


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          Rereke Whakaaro

          What is driving your sudden evangelism on this I wonder

          As Donnolley point out, quoting Shelley Gare, “… two generations of experimented-upon young Australians have emerged unable to read, write and think”.

          Thank you for providing such an eloquent example of this important point.


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      • #
        Steve

        I for one will refuse to retreat from the proper use of language
        Instead drumming into our children the proper use of the Queens English. Likewise, this green politics will be exposed and shredded with the same ruthlessness as they would treat us to ram their Commisar driven Eco-drivel down our throats.

        The Eco nonsense is groupthink/communism.

        As such IMHO we need to do the following for our kids:

        - teach our kids to question EVERYTHING. Commies hate being challenged.
        - spend the time with them to explain what the Cagw lie is all about
        - develop in our kids a desire to think outside the square
        - teach them that teachers are not perfect and are forced to teach Eco-communism
        - teach them to dissect arguments
        - teach them to challenge the status quo

        An unthinking child is canon fodder for the morally bankrupt Left


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      • #
        Peter Miller

        Jo

        Please don’t get my wrong. ‘Progressive’ thinkers have ruined so much of western education. Trendy ideas, possibly the worst being the discouragement of competition in schools in case little Johnny gets upset at coming 4th or 22nd, have caused so much damage. There is a real world out there, education is supposed to prepare children for the real world.

        We should demand the best for our children, we should not make the education process easy and boring.

        In my opinion, much of the problem is that teaching is no longer really a profession in many western countries – it is just a job and teachers are all too often represented by radical left wing unions, demanding ‘progressive’ and politically correct policies.

        Then there is the education bureaucracy, which sucks in financial resources and gives little in return. In some instances in left wing (Labour controlled) councils in the UK, the waste is so gross and obvious that 15% of the funds earmarked specifically for schools was hijacked and paid out as salaries to bloated council bureaucracies.

        I hope I am wrong and you are right in my view of this process. Anyhow, you will know if the right thing is being done by the amount of screams of outrage emanating from the teaching unions and bureaucrats. The greater the outrage, the greater the amount of good which is going to be done.


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        • #
          Rereke Whakaaro

          A breakfast cereal company started using packaging promoting a “tryathalon” for children below high school age, where all of the activities of a triathlon were undertaken, but everybody got a prize for “trying”.

          That was a pity. I quite liked the cereal, but could not stomach the blatant propaganda message that mediocracy is good enough, as long as you are following the herd.


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          • #
            Manfred

            RW. Definitely healthier off the progressive cereal! The more progressive the cereal, the more the company has to add in the way of vitamins and supportive nutrients.


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            • #
              steve

              At my daughters school ( private ) they still hand out 1st, 2nd & 3rd ribbons of athletics & swimming carnivals.

              I never used to be big into competition – it interfered with my “mucking about pulling stuff apart” time as a kid. Pick the Engineer.

              Anyway, *now* I can see why its important to teach kids there are winners and losers , not “tryers”. I used to say to our child it was just important to try hard ( not just try ) , but now I’ll have to get a bit tougher and start pushing for results, not just effort.

              As mediocracy takes hold, those who are achievers will stand out.

              One thing I dont like, the tall poppy syndrome, is still alive and well and the Left will exploit it.

              While I recognise anzac as part of our history, it celebrates failure. I still never get that…..is this perhaps why anzac is being pushed hard?


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              • #
                Pete of Perth

                Steve,

                It’s not that the ANZACS lost that battle but that they still gave it their all despite the overwhelming odds against them.


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              • #
                Rereke Whakaaro

                Steve,

                I agree with Pete. The actual fighting soldiers showed “grit and determination”, and had a bloody minded attitude to get the job done and get it over with, so they could go back to their lives. That determination to see things through, in spite of the atrocious conditions they had to endure, was recognised by those they were fighting, and earned them considerable respect. That sort of courage is something I can respect, and I want my kids to understand it as well.

                I will add that the ANZACs lost battle(s) because the senior commanding officers were ideologically wedded to old and outmoded techniques, and were unable or unwilling to admit that they were the problem, and were therefore resistant to change. This is also a lesson that the next generation needs to learn. Just because somebody in authority says it is so, and there is a consensus, doesn’t necessarily mean it is must be so.


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              • #
                Steve

                Well then could you argue that anzacs and sceptics have a fair bit in common, albeit we seem to be winning this stoush?


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      • #
        Andrew Griffiths

        I think some historical context should be taught within the maths and science curriculum,when I studied geometry Euclid was a brand of earth moving truck, I had no clue that he was a Greek mathematician from the 3rd C BC. Also I’ve just reread Watson’s Double Helix,what a great story ,better than reading novels. I understand we need to roll back political correctness and green ideology,but can’t we include some of the romance and excitement to be found in the progress of science and technology?


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        • #
          Rereke Whakaaro

          That depends …

          Don’t some labs have rules about romance and excitement during work hours?


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          • #
            Andrew Griffiths

            Touche,James Watson spent a lot of time finding out where the parties with the prettiest girls happened to be on in Cambridge in !951-2,no doubt the pretty girls could help out with some tips on the structure of DNA. Schrodinger was no slouch with the young girls,he liked au pairs and fathered several children out of wedlock,one of these produced a son who is now a leading quantum physicist.


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  • #

    1. Teach the difference Natural and psudo rights?
    2. Teach the difference between discimination by choice and behaivour by coercian?
    Values to go with 1 & 2

    And they don’t graduate/pass untill they can define and explain free will and free thought or they reach 15 Which ever comes first! (Think about the implications of that one) 1st implication? Those that are not acedemically capable? Will leave! Get jobs or a trade and have money by the time they’re 18.

    But lets start with teaching 1+1=2 and work from there shall we? We’ve abandoned the fundamentals for more technical garbage.

    Teaching is like learning to play Golf. Unless you have the basics? No quantity (or quality) of technical knowledge will get you to the point of being self sufficient.

    AAhhh, and there’s the rub “Self Sufficient”. Education of the State, By the State, For the state! Sorry your kids brains are toast! They’re not going to get an education that will leave them able to rely on their thought processes, processing of logic and decisions! The state can’t have that! The bureacracy would be gone or reduced to negligable (and hence power) in 1.5 generations.

    The state has a vested interest in not having your kids independent and capable of “not needing the state”. Where will future customers come from if we teach people how to look after themselves and each other?


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    • #
      Rick Bradford

      “Progressives” actively seek to dumb down education since it eliminates what they regard as a great evil — the ability to discriminate between correct and incorrect, successful and unsuccessful, smart and stupid.

      The motto of the “progressives” is that discrimination and judgement of any sort is a thought crime and that indiscrimination is a moral imperative.

      So subjects such as maths and science are appalling bastions of judgement and reason and must be smothered with political correctness. (“If a nuclear bomb costs $1 billion, and an African can be fed for $1 per day, how many Africans can we feed by not building one nuclear bomb?”)

      It’s no surprise that one of the most successful “progressive” books ever, was called “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten” by Robert Fulghum.


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      • #
        Peter Miller

        Dumbing down = ‘Progressive’ Education.

        Or maybe it is the other way round: ‘Progressive’ Education = Dumbing Down.

        In many places, such as China, where the downtrodden live, ‘progressive’ education is banned and just look what happens there.


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      • #
        steve

        Yeah but on the flip side, some of the extreme left would say a bomb was cheap coz you remove 1 billion africans…..

        I have heard similar comments from the eugenicists that seem to infect the left. Why else do they agressively push abortion and euthanasia? Its a similar mindset that fosters the demented population control / overpopulation mindset

        Animal Farm was a comment on thinking such as this.

        FYI http://overpopulationisamyth.com


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      • #
        Vic G Gallus

        “Progressives” actively seek to dumb down education since it eliminates what they regard as a great evil.

        I don’t know if the teachers at the coal face get it. For them, the curriculum is dumbed down so that it can be taught in a rote learning way, even if the kids are not writing down notes.

        I know of three PhD students who quit and went on to become successful science teachers. I did my Dip Ed with three other PhDs in chemistry and we sucked! This is not a large enough sample size to insist on correlation but there is an obvious cause. The ones who couldn’t finish their PhD just wanted to get things right. The ones who did finish could cope with realising that they were wrong and having to start over again.

        I eventually cottoned on and developed a way to get students to see the light. I used puzzles to help teenage students to mature – to get use to the idea that the really hard things take few attempts and continually restarting from scratch is higher thinking. When done well, they appreciate what you have done for them and you get a good reputation.

        Leading teachers just put it down to students like puzzles. When they tried it, it didn’t work for them, therefore, it doesn’t work and I was still a useless teacher. These are the sort of teachers who give out photocopies of the seven steps to higher thinking.

        The “natural” teacher has classroom control because they appreciate that a child (and many adults) see taking two attempts to get something right as a fail. Right/wrong is the same as good/bad and that pretty much needs to be the case for early to late primary school kids. The “natural” teacher wants this to continue till year 12 because of classroom control.

        Your guess is as good as mine for why the education departments and teachers unions want it to continue.


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        • #
          Safetyguy66

          Again we have this non thinking (no offense to anyone) use of the words left and progressive in relation to labour and the greens.

          Neither party is either left or progressive. As I have pointed out about the greens, they are ultra conservative and regressive. The term progressives was used routinely in relation to left politics in the past, but it simply no longer applies now. These parties are not progressive in any way.

          Man emerged from a life largely controlled by the whims of nature through progress, early inventions being fire and wooden or stone tools. The greens seek the regression of society back toward that origin, this is not progressive it is regressive. They are not liberal with our resources, they are conservative. They are true conservatives in every sense of the word, except of course when it comes to spending tax payers money.

          Modern green ideology stems directly from here http://www.artsci.wustl.edu/~anthro/courses/361/MalthusianIdeology.html
          But modern greens have no idea of the origins of their own thinking, so they describe themselves as revolutionaries and progressives when they are just Luddites and regressives.

          Original left politics was indeed progressive http://politicsreport.com/article/what-origin-political-left-and-right it advocated free markets and free movement of capital, beliefs now considered to be right wing (wrongly). The whole idea of left politics was empower individuals and improve the general conditions of people in the bottom and the middle of society.

          With the modern left aligning with the modern greens, you have nothing short of a horrific mutation. The party that sands for conserving the environment at all costs including genocide in the 3rd world, aligned with the party who should be supporting workers by creating market conditions for the expansion of industrial growth, not pricing electricity out of the reach of both business and individuals.

          Sorry for the rant but I just think half the problem we have in modern politics, especially for young people, is they have no conception of the historical positions or often the modern positions of the parties they claim to support. They are tossed words like green, left and progressive and believe they know how those word interrelate and what they mean in real terms.

          The modern PC curriculum is just a bastard child of moronically mixed idea sets created by a failed university education that taught nothing but thoughtless regurgitation of the same crap spewed by the idiot at the front of the lecture hall in a tweed jacket with leather elbow pads. If political reality was taught in high school, we might actually see some young folk now who do in fact understand where their chosen belief sets emerged from, instead of the rebels without a friggin clue we get instead.


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        • #
          Safetyguy66

          Manfred had a better link to make my point.

          http://quadrant.org.au/magazine/2011/01-02/the-greens-agenda-in-their-own-words/

          Well worth a read if you want to understand the greens.


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  • #
    Geoff Sherrington

    C. R. A. P.
    Compulsory Ratting of Australian Parenting.


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  • #
    john karajas

    There’s no doubt about it. “Progressivism” can really end up in some intellectual dead-ends.

    Keep up the good work of defending our civilisation, Jo.


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    The Griss

    Without a solid grounding for at least some students in maths and science…. who is going to maintain the progress of society?

    Who is going to design the roads, design the buildings, design the transport systems for an ever-increasing and seemingly dumber society.

    The numbies are taking over…. god help the world !!!!!


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  • #
    Ron Cook

    Just maybe, an ex-Labor premier of Victoria, one Joan Kirner, was one of the initial proponents of this when she well and truly ‘stuffed’ Victoria’s education system. Stopped the technical school system and introduced “Australian Studies” which was OBVIOUSLY left wing ideology. Trades, technology, science and mathematics were doomed.

    Victoria’s school system is one big Marxist/Green learning centre.

    The whole thing reeks of the UN’s Agenda 21.

    Ron Cook.


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    • #
      Shane

      Actually she did a lot more than that. It was her who stood up in front of the Fabian Society and delivered a lecture stating that “education has to be coopted as part of the socialist struggle.” I’ve long argued that our schools no longer teach our children how to think. Instead the focus is on teaching children what to think. Our education system has been completely derailed.

      I hope that eventually, this situation is resolved and all those who had a part in it are charged with about 5 million cases of child abuse as a result.


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        edwina

        The academics view teaching 2+2=4 as not thinking. It is seen as mere rote or parrot fashion teaching. Yet such basics do require much thought as maths and literature in their basic forms are intricate inventions of only a very few civilizations. The West attaained simpler and better examples. But the aforesaid academics view basics as old fashioned and forever seek different ways to change curricula in order to appear clever and retain tenure.

        P.S. (I find it almost amusing that an Islamic terrorist gang murdered over 50 school children 2 days ago in Nigeria. The terrorist motto is to ban Western education. Yet their weapons looked like AK 47s which are a result of modern technology. They ought to return to mere swords.)


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    • #
      DT

      Known at the time as “Madame Russia” premier of “the rust belt” economy of Victoria.


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  • #
    The Griss

    My conclusion…

    In the medium to long term…

    THIS CURRICULLUM IS NOT SUSTAINABLE


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  • #
    Markus Frank

    Dear Jo
    I taught English in High school for the first half of the last decade. Before that I taught Sociology and Critical thinking at a provincial Uni for almost a decade.
    My main area of interest is the Philosophy of science. No, i do not write papers, i am too busy paying taxes.
    I despair at the curriculum.
    You leave out a major reason when proposing the superiority of state-based diversity. Surely the element of competition must be allowed to play a role in a healthy education system.
    Education unions are terrified of competition, and represent a major obstacle to any change mooted.
    Competition is the only driver in the quest for quality.
    State controlled East Germany produced the Traband as an excuse for a car.
    The proposed curriculum will do something similar.
    This monstrosity is dumbing down writ large. What will be produced are people with the same commitment to reason as, for example, the laeder of the Greens.
    God help us all when the Banbi syndrome is the basis for all subjects taught in schools.


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    • #

      Markus, indeed you are right. I had a line in about competition, and took it out, perhaps unwisely — I figured it was a tad esoteric for a country so large and spread out that realistically families won’t move to another state to access a better curriculum.

      But I do want competition, absolutely. I would rather there was not even State mandated curriculums. I want competition within states — let the schools decide and the parents choose.


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        Winston

        My daughter has nearly completed her teaching degree. It has been a sight to behold the absolute garbage she has been force-fed just to become a teacher, where Marxist doctrine is front and centre in their curriculum, with teaching academics despising so called “meritocracies” where people achieve due to such mundane things as talent and intellect. The theories taught to prospective teachers are purely on the basis of quoting the holy writ of academic readings from certain preferred educational theorists, thereby in essence what that produces is a perpetuation of fallacies through slavishly adherence and uncritical repetition. No attempt is ever made to reconcile theory with something so esoteric as results, nor to apply any scientific rigour to the success or otherwise of any alternate educational approach. Mediocrity is the aim, and the lowest common denominator teaching is the result. States adopting their best curriculum options in competition with each other threatens this ambition to produce generation after generation of illiterates.

        So, to paraphrase Hayek, the road to “serf-dumb” involves breaking down tried and tested methods of instilling knowledge, replacing them with untried and often untested superficially feel good alternatives, and then to never submit them to any competitive interrogation of their worth or apply any objective scrutiny of its success or failure. University lecturers then attempt to instil uniformly left wing revisionist history on their pupils, who graduate from university not only with little factual knowledge or understanding of the events and personalities that actually shaped civilisation, but actually have a distorted politically oriented perspective on the limited knowledge they do have.

        It is pathetic, and is no wonder we are fast becoming the “poor white trash” of Asia. To put the icing on this cake, most young people these days are completely obsessed with Facebook statuses, bullying others on the internet, and selfies on Instagram to worry about actually knowing anything, or to be interested in their future, or more especially the future of society as a whole and how it might be kept afloat, let alone allowed to flourish. Those few who do have any knowledge courtesy of their parents’ influence are fighting the entrenched stupidity of their peers, and that is a lonely battle at odds with societal norms. By defying this trend, you merely become a pariah, a lonely alternative most moderns find unpalatable.


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          Spetzer86

          It’s the coming thing in the US as well. Our Common Core curriculum sounds like it was lifted wholesale from your description. Not many people really thinking about it or paying attention to the changes, but there are a few: http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/


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          PeterK

          The communists, socialists, greenies, liberals and progressives are not only dumbing down all of western civilizations but are now trying (at least here in Canada) to get rid of competition. I recently heard that when it comes to sports and in particular soccer, the progressives do not want to keep score. This means when a group of kids go out to play a game against each other (2-teams), they will no longer keep track of who scores because everyone is a winner. I am just dumbfounded with the continual garbage that keeps appearing within our society. I hate to say it, but we need an armed revolution to get rid of this cancer. When the rot in a society starts from the inside, it only takes a generation or two before the particular civilization in question collapses. GOD HELP US!!!


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            Manfred

            Fear not, the kids (some of them) will probably keep the score.
            Competition is inherent within H sapiens sapiens. It is a biological constant born of the the necessity to survive. Ideologically absenting competition is as cripplingly stupid as pretending we are born the same and are committed to the Institute of Level Playing Fields in perpetuity.
            Human nature, gender, aspiration, creativity, intelligence, ability, physicality break all the rules of ideological imposed equality. Difference is the norm and demanding of celebration.

            The repeated endeavours toward the forcible inposition of equality whether on the basis of government redistribution or by playground edict merely creates new elites and serfdoms. It represents to me, the province of the truly stupid, the cunning and the ideologically greedy. It t is also of itself, another form of vicious, unintelligent competition The result is unsustainable chaos aka. N.Korea


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              Rereke Whakaaro

              The rest of the world will know we have lost, when the Glorious Leader introduces a system of Mandatory Winter Military Training, into the list of “rights” of every male citizen of Australia.


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                Kevin Lohse

                PC dictates that every woman will be included also, but do you really think that the Left really want young people to be trained in the use of weapons and able to work together and use their initiative in a task-orientated manner walking the streets?


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                steve

                I think teaching kids to realise they are constantly lied to by the Left is a good start.

                Also teaching children history, especially about what Communism is and why its so awful is essential for kids.

                Also, teaching kdis to have back bone, be an individual, and stand up for themselves and to be self sufficient is critical, and to NOT rely on the state for anything.


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                Rereke Whakaaro

                … the Left really want young people to be trained in the use of weapons and able to work together and use their initiative in a task-orientated manner …

                Well, it seems to work in the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea. And they do it on half a bowl of rice a day. The rice is renewable, as well.


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            Vic G Gallus

            Training and park soccer is always ‘next goal wins’. Kids wouldn’t care if the ref screamed that out a minute from time. They might ape their misguided parents but they’ll forget pretty quickly.

            They do, though, need to appreciate that winners are those who achieve an objective. Something that can’t be faked. They can cope with not being a winner as long as they tried and get some encouragement from the coach, especially if it is sincere.


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          Safetyguy66

          Given the sheer length of time the regressives agenda has been dominating Western education systems, its a true testament to the power of the human mind that any progressive libertarians emerge from the group think indoctrination, that is secondary and tertiary education.


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          Sean McHugh

          Excellent Comment, Winston, but depressing. I just reinforces what I said a few weeks ago in this blog. The Conservatives are now in government, but the Left are still in control.


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      James Bradley

      There is no competition in a culture that demands everyone wins a prize. No hurt feelings, no sense of achievement, no striving for improvement, just a self satisfied mediocrity. Our current education system turned students of today into victims of tomorrow. Why was’t there a ‘B’ Ark two generations ago to offload the dead weights dragging us back into the dark ages.

      Geez that feels better.


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      Vic G Gallus

      I might get chewed out for criticising your proof reading eg. pot calling the kettle black, but you really do need to proof read thoroughly when you claim that you are an English teacher.

      Otherwise, I agree that the Left is all about mediocrity, except for the descendents of those pissing in the ear of the Left. They will be taught properly.

      (Stuff the red squiggle. I’m not writing ‘criticizing’.)


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    graphicconception

    I agree with Ron Cook.

    “Sustainability” is code for Agenda21: Natural News


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    pat

    when this is the standard of debate in the British Parliament, why wouldn’t politicians prefer a dumb populace:

    26 Feb: UK Express: Owen Bennett: Man-made climate change is one of the world’s biggest threats, says David Cameron in PMQs
    MAN-MADE climate change “is one of the most serious threats” the world faces, Prime Minister David Cameron said today.
    Mr Miliband pressed the Prime Minister on why he was happy to have “climate change deniers” in his Cabinet, echoing the call from the Green Party earlier this month to have purge of disbelievers at the top of Government.
    After Mr Miliband asked the Prime Minister for his views on man-made climate change, Mr Cameron said: “I believe man-made climate change is one of the most serious threats this country and this world faces – that is why we have the world’s first green investment bank here in Britain.
    “That is why, unlike 13 wasted years of Labour, we are building the first nuclear power station for 30 years.
    “That is why we have cut carbon emissions emitted by the Government 14 per cent since we came to office. That is why we have set out year after year carbon budgets in this country…
    Mr Miliband claimed the pair were “getting somewhere” in their exchanges, before quoting Government ministers who appeared sceptical about man-made climate change.
    He said: “There are people in the most important positions in your Government going around questioning climate change.
    “This is what the Environment Secretary (Owen Paterson) says: ‘People get very emotional about this. People should just accept the climate has been changing for centuries’, and he refuses to be briefed on climate change.
    “The energy minister (Michael Fallon), when asked about climate change said, ‘You’re not going to draw me on that – I haven’t had time to get into the climate change debate’. He’s the Energy Minister.
    “So, will you now clarify: are you happy to have climate change deniers in your Government?”…
    Mr Miliband said: “The whole country will have heard you cannot answer the question about whether you need to believe in man-made climate change to be part of your Government.
    “You have gone from thinking it was a basic part of your credo to being a matter of individual conscience – it used to be the thing you claimed was your passion above all else.
    “If we are to properly protect the British people against the threats they face, we cannot have doubt and confusion from your Government on the issue of climate change. Don’t you need to rediscover the courage of your past convictions and tell your party to get real on climate change?”
    Green Party leader Natalie Bennett welcomed the exchange, saying she was “pleased” Mr Miliband was questioning members of the government who challenge the “reality of climate change”…
    She said: “Cameron wouldn’t tolerate any member of the government questioning the giving of aid to flood victims. He also shouldn’t tolerate those who deny the threat of climate change.”…
    http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/461955/Man-made-climate-change-is-one-of-the-world-s-biggest-threats-says-David-Cameron-in-PMQs

    40 comments & not a one that believes it’s anything but a scam.


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    Yonniestone

    Kudos to Jo for pointing this education masquerading as indoctrination rubbish, even the selling of these “systems” uses the same strong PC emotive leverage that they’re actually pushing such as Gonski which had parents lamenting over their children’s futures without understanding what was being suggested.
    For anyone with kids from Childcare and up be aware and cautious of anything labelled “Framework” or Council backed early learning criteria as it’s a careful launch pad for Agenda 21 “Values” and implementation, arm yourselves first with knowledge then back it up with actions.


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    scaper...

    Not really qualified to make such a submission.

    Just a parent and an account of the experience to the relevant minister is the best one could do.


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      scaper, not at all. Any member of the public can put in a submission. If there is a desire in the Abbott government to get rid of the politically correct directives, then it can only help if more public submissions ask for it.

      Remember GetUp uses tick-a-box autoforms to get mass submissions for topics they want action on.

      Don’t underestimate how much it helps if hundreds of separate individuals each write their own paragraph expressing their views.

      If we don’t speak up, we can hardly complain… (and you certainly have a story to tell).


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        Debbie

        Well said Jo,
        Now is definitely the right time to make the effort.
        You can’t complain later if you didn’t ask.
        You don’t get anything if you don’t ask :-)


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          scaper...

          I have spoken up. Wrote a chronological account of my daughter’s education and sent it to a Federal Minister to be passed on confidentially to Christopher Pyne. That was in late November.

          Didn’t ask for anything, as by the account it is quite clear what needs to be done.

          Since the closing of submissions has been extended I will put something together.


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    The Griss

    I hate to break it to the do-gooders, the politically correct alternativers etc.

    But the world cannot survive on “feel good”


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    University Academics in education don’t want the review:

    Education Minister Christopher Pyne announced on Friday that two outspoken critics of the curriculum – former teacher and Coalition adviser Kevin Donnelly and academic Ken Wiltshire – would lead the review, which is due to report back by midyear.

    The deputy dean of Monash University’s education faculty, Deborah Corrigan, said the move appeared to be motivated by politics.

    ”It’s definitely a political appointment, given that the curriculum that’s been developed hasn’t even been implemented yet,” she said. ”There’s nothing to indicate it warrants a review at this stage.”

    Associate Professor Corrigan was a senior adviser for the national senior science curriculum that will soon be introduced. Another review could undermine teachers’ confidence in the curriculum.

    In his blog Dr Donnelly has previously criticised history teaching in Australian schools.

    ”The fact that the only perspectives through which every subject, including history, must be taught are indigenous, Asian and environmental reveals an ideological slant,” he wrote last year. But on Friday he said he would conduct a ”consultative” review.

    Meredith Peace, Victorian branch president of the Australian Education Union, said the review was an unnecessary return to the culture wars.

    Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/educators-baffled-by-christopher-pynes-plan-to-review-new-national-curriculum-20140110-30mkk.html#ixzz2uWBzmADK


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      The Griss

      They now have their far-left ideology in place thanks to blatant political interference in the past.

      Of course they don’t want it changed.


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      Rereke Whakaaro

      You can almost hear the squawking of the chooks, running in circles.

      … given that the curriculum that’s been developed hasn’t even been implemented yet … [Deborah Corrigan]

      Would somebody explain to this person, the practice of quality assurance, based on the principle of fitness for purpose?

      Would the deputy dean of Monash University’s education facility be prepared to fly in a prototype aircraft that had not been thoroughly, and independently, inspected?

      In both education and flying, the quality of people’s lives are at risk, albeit in different ways, and over different time periods.


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      The Griss

      “University Academics in education don’t want the review:”

      University academics in any of the science, maths, engineering subjects want students who have a good solid grounding and understanding of maths and science.

      They want students who are capable of logical rational thought.

      From what I have seen and read of this new curriculum, I really don’t think that it will be able to provide this for students.

      I am concerned at the seeming “dumbing-down” of the more academic courses in high school.

      I am concerned that it will not provide the more capable students of the foundations needed to achieve their best ability.


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      Andrew McRae

      >> ”The fact that the only perspectives through which every subject, including history, must be taught are indigenous, Asian and environmental reveals an ideological slant,” he wrote last year.

      heh, reminds me of the original Blues Brothers movie…
      Q: What kind of mathematics do you have in Australia?
      A: Oh we got both kinds, indigenous and Asian!

      Of course it’s not biased, it’s multicultural isn’t it?
      He doesn’t say anything about how mathematics could be Asianised, but presumably he’s not making polemic undeserved generalisations when he says “every subject”.


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    PeterS

    It’s not so much the curriculum or even most of the teachers that’s the problem, although they do have to share some of the blame. It’s more to do with the distractions a kid and parents alike have to suffer under the decadent Western civilization, and it’s getting worse. If we simply stopped much of the rubbish shown on TV these days things would be much better. It’s not surprising that overall the best schools are Christian and other private schools. The focus on good education in maths and other subjects appear to be stronger, and the students are not allowed to run rampant over the teachers anywhere near as they are in public schools. I’m not rubbishing all public schools though. My kids went to them and they did very well. However, that was many years ago. Today I would definitely put them through a private school. It’s the best environment for a good education. Not perfect but then nothing is.


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  • #

    This looks like an important opportunity to raise objections to the imposition of political views on children through the use of ‘sustainability’. The concept is usually deployed as if it were not disputable, and therefore reflects the similar arrogance that can be readily encountered in the promotion of alarm over CO2 in the atmosphere. I have been compiling links on school curricula and climate matters for a few years. I hope some of your readers may find them useful for insights ahead of submitting their views: http://climatelessons.blogspot.co.uk/p/climate-curricula-school-curricula.html


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    • #

      The problem is that “sustainability” literally is a good idea – but it is never applied to every part of life. It’s one dimensional and there is no tension, no conflict between competing aims of sustainable budgets, sustainable lifestyles, sustainable ecology, and sustaining all the rest.

      As usual Green control of the national dialogue is through the cheap trick of taking a word we all know and then using it in a different way.

      The real question is why they get away with it so easily?


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        Mattb

        Jo is this true or just what you reckon. I’ve actually worked in sustainability for about 15 years and I can assure there is tension, competing budgets, and all that. That is EXACTLY what it is.


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          The Griss

          Poor Mattb, has to struggle to sustain his budget from the tax-payer trough.


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          Maverick

          That’s funny. After 15 years working in “sustainability” Mattb thinks it is a government job with tension and competing budgets. I hope you get that new coffee machine this year and Carole in the cubicle next door talks to you at this years Christmas party.

          Nothing is “sustainable”. All forests get bigger then die, all rivers dry up or get bigger wiping out forests in their path, all things mined come from the earth and go back to the earth albeit in a different form, all petroleum pulled from the earth goes back to the earth albeit in a different form. Nobody or no thing lives for eternity. They are born, they consume, they die, and rot back into the earth. No Earth resource stays in its current form for eternity.

          The only thing that is sustainable is eternity itself.


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        ‘Literally’ is far too strong. A great many people have lives such that the last thing I imagine they want is for ‘nasty, brutish, and short’ to be ‘sustained’. Even those with satisfactory lives may not wish for the inertia, and detailed control of their lives by an elite that some prescriptions for ‘sustainability’ seem to require. So, for rich or poor, happy or wretched, the term is not automatically, nor literally, referring to something good.


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        Yonniestone

        Yes even Lord Monckton agrees about sustainability but not in the flawed format being rammed down peoples throats, as Jo says above we are a part of nature and shouldn’t be considered some sort of invasive horrible species on Earth, the extreme Green ideals makes Humans the Cane Toads of the planet.


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        Rereke Whakaaro

        It is an old and proven propaganda technique to take a normal word, that most people would think was positive, and repurpose it around a negative connotation.


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        Greg Cavanagh

        I’ve had training in sustainability at my work place. It doesn’t mean what it says it means. It is indeed a code word for anything else, whoever is in charge wants you believe. Much like the Delphi Principle, it is a form of thought control, nothing more. And it has nothing to do with environment or resources.


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        Steve

        Jo,

        Could we set up the CAGW Sceptics Council of Australia?

        One comment an ex-hack made on here a few topics back, was that sceptics were “individuals” and therefore lacked cred ( and harder to be “authorative” ) , wehereas the CAGW groupies had many orgainisations to choose from.

        With a proper constitution and membership rules it could be useful perhaps?

        Perhaps it might harnass their groupthink BS and turn it against them?

        Thoughts?


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          Andrew McRae

          Look at the poll results that the No Carbon Tax Climate Sceptics got in the last State and Federal elections; virtually nothing. Why would a special interest group opposed to “climate action” succeed where a special interest group opposed to “climate action” failed? You have to figure out some advantage or edge that the new group would have over the NCTCS Party.
          I think to gain credibility you would have to broaden the scope and show how a fact-based approach could lead to differently policy results (and money saved) in a bunch of other problem and policy areas. An Australian Policy Skeptics Council. When you can show that the skeptical approach has credibility on other issues then people might be more willing to accept its advice on “Climate Change”.


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            Rereke Whakaaro

            Andrew,

            I would substitute the word “Review” for “Skeptics”, to give “The Australian Policy Review Council”. The Alarmists have been working hard, for a considerable time, to discredit skeptical thought. We need to go around that. Also, nobody can claim that any such an organisation, is focused on a single issue.

            OK, you can now tell me that there already is such a beast, for I haven’t checked, because I knew you would. ;-)


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              Andrew McRae

              Reckers, I have no idea what you are implying. I know of no such organisation, either APRC or APSC, and just now a quick DDG for either one finds nothing.

              There is a web site calling itself “australiansceptics . com” (I refuse to hyperlink to them) but they are actually a front for the crackpot anti-vaccination crowd AVN. Not the best of bedfellows to keep.

              No I was just imagining a slightly evolved version of Steve’s idea. I don’t know if a similar organisation exists already. It’s difficult to be entirely unbiased because you can’t investigate every claim underpinning every single bill and subsection that passes through parliament, so the group’s choice of what to investigate will mirror their members’ interests. The council would have to commit to a uniform process and evidential standard, rather than be issue specific, and would have to disclose the communications and payments of externally sponsored projects.


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                Rereke Whakaaro

                Andrew,

                Oops, sorry. I was actually agreeing with you in the principle of what you were proposing, regarding a Council. I think that is a great idea (except I would make it Australasian, for obvious reasons). I was only suggesting that the name be more generic to remove any suggestion of ideation preconception.


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          Greg Cavanagh

          Interesting point Steve.

          At its heart such a statement identifies the difference betweeeen group think and individual thought.


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          Kevin Lohse

          I suspect that most of the folks posting here are not herd animals. I certainly tend towards a herd of one in most things, only joining blogs like this to graze in the company of like minds. I am not comfortable being told what to believe and no longer need the approval of others to give my life meaning. Not good Lefty material. It’s quite obvious to me that most on this blog are the same sort of people.


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  • #

    Somewhat relevant from Dr Dennis Jensen’s speech in Parliament yesterday:

    In Australia science is in crisis. We need to look at a holistic solution. Professor Geoff Masters, chief executive of the Australian Council for Educational Research, in a media release describes the PISA results as ‘disappointing’. Indeed, the trends in the International Mathematics and Science Study of 2011 show that between 1995 and 2011, with the exception of an improvement in year 4 mathematics performances, Australian students’ performances in mathematics and science stagnated. During the same period, a number of other countries either dramatically improved their performances—including Singapore, Hong Kong and Chinese Taipei—or showed steady improvements in performance—including Korea and the United States. Professor Masters said:

    It is difficult to see how Australia will be in the top five countries by 2025 if we continue on our current path. We need to look carefully at what improving countries are doing to see what lessons there are for Australia.

    I have been looking at this issue and consulting widely. For secondary schools, I very much support the review of the curriculum as announced by Minister Pyne.

    I would like to broach a few issues concerning improving science. Some of them will probably prove quite controversial, including the first one I mention—that is, subject-matter expertise is more important than a teaching diploma. In other words, if we have the option of having people who have worked in the field as engineers or in the hard sciences wanting to teach, we should not bog them down by saying they need to do a full year’s teacher-training diploma in order to teach. We should expedite the process and make it very quick. Perhaps we should have mentors, but we should get those people teaching. In other words, we need to fast-track them.

    We need to pay hard sciences and maths teachers more, simply reflecting market reality. There is a greater demand for people in the hard sciences and maths, so we need to pay them more to get good students to do teaching. This is even, potentially, at the expense of class size. I would rather see an expert teacher teaching a larger class than a teacher who is struggling with the subject matter themselves teaching a smaller class.

    Dennis identifies one of the main problems in education; that of educators who have little interest and perhaps no aptitude at all in what they are supposed to be teaching. Which of course washes off on their students. He suggests a solution. But perhaps it’s too simplistic because the clash of cultures in the staff rooms would lead to open revolt.

    Personally, I understand the better option than a national curriculum is to have objectives for secondary education set by the institutions/colleges/trades which the individuals choose to continue their personal development. A national curriculum, dictated by government or even a national body of tertiary institutions, cannot fill that highly diverse requirement.


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      Rereke Whakaaro

      Bernd,

      I understand, that in some asian countries, schools employ retired scientists and engineers, on a part time basis, to teach mathematics and basic science subjects. Not only do they possess knowledge of the subject matter, they can also use real-world examples to make science appear a lot more relevant to the students.


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    mc

    we’ve achieved a monoculture — an entire generation spoon-fed the same flaws.

    The new egalitarianism.

    These are disorganizing ideas.

    Exactly what they are meant to be.

    Consider that the new curriculum aims to sustain the biosphere, the ecosystem, and the environment, but not our lifestyle, our living standards, our productivity, liberties, or our budget.

    And most particularly not our capacity to think rationally and independently because those qualities in a population reduce the power and importance of the authoritarians running the nanny state and that is just out of the question.

    Likewise the team which wrote the rationale for Maths seems to find maths a bore — and we wonder why kids switch off? There is no passion, no concept of what maths means.

    Well, teaching kids Pythagoras’ theorem is so cruel and oppressive; better to teach them Magic Dragonometry if you want to see their little faces light up.

    “Learning mathematics creates opportunities for and enriches the lives of all Australians”…

    Oh the yawning, mind sapping tedium, being beaten to death with a golf club would be easier to take than having to listen to this drivel.

    it is not about a spiritual connection, a diversity of people,

    Spiritualism is fantastic as long as it’s not traditional western spiritualism, and how can it be about diversity of people when it is creating an intellectual monoculture; diversity of people in this context means diversity of race and cultural background not diversity of personality,interest and talent.


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    Mattb

    when I learned maths and science I can assure you I learned about Newton, Galileo, Da Vinci etc and the role they played. Is it so unreasonable to also learn about great chinese science breakthroughs? How Indigenous people used and observed weather?

    You are right Jo… it does come across as pretty racist, given we do learn about the european context for science history. I am more than happy for my kids to learn about science without some enforced focus on western science. Sounds great to me.

    to quote wikipedia:
    “he Four Great Inventions: the compass, gunpowder, papermaking, and printing, were among the most important technological advances, only known in Europe by the end of the Middle Ages 1000 years later. The Tang Dynasty (AD 618 – 906) in particular, was a time of great innovation.[1] A good deal of exchange occurred between Western and Chinese discoveries up to the Qing Dynasty.
    The Jesuit China missions of the 16th and 17th centuries introduced Western science and astronomy, then undergoing its own revolution, to China, and knowledge of Chinese technology was brought to Europe.[2][3] In the 19th and 20th century the introduction of Western technology was a major factor in the modernization of China. Much of the early Western work in the history of science in China was done by Joseph Needham.”

    why would my kids not learn about such things? In science I learned about Guy Fawkes. It makes it interesting. live with it.


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      Mark D.

      So you learned that the Chinese not the Greeks were first to use magnetism to navigate? Hmmm.

      Wiki also says:

      Among the first references to lodestone’s magnetic properties is by 6th century BCE Greek philosopher Thales of Miletus,[9] whom the ancient Greeks credited with discovering lodestone’s attraction to iron and other lodestones.[10] The name “magnet” may come from lodestones found in Magnesia.[11]

      The earliest Chinese literary reference to magnetism is in a 4th-century BC book called Book of the Devil Valley Master (鬼谷子): “The lodestone makes iron come or it attracts it.”[12] The earliest mention of a needle’s attraction appears in a work composed between 20 and 100 AD (論衡): “A lodestone attracts a needle.”[12] Medieval Chinese navigators were by the 12th century using lodestone compasses.

      The American astronomer John Carlson based on his finding an Olmec hematite artifact in Central America suggests that “the Olmec may have discovered and used the geomagnetic lodestone compass earlier than 1000 BC,” thereby predating “the Chinese discovery of the geomagnetic lodestone compass by more than a millennium”.[13][14] Carlson speculates that the Olmecs for astrological or geomantic purposes used similar artifacts as a directional device, or to orientate their temples, the dwellings of the living, or the interments of the dead.

      But then this whole bit of whinging of yours is a strawman isn’t it Mattb?


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      Sean McHugh

      You are right Jo… it does come across as pretty racist, given we do learn about the european context for science history.

      Sounds to me like you are talking more about learning the history of science than about learning science. But even with that, most of modern science has come from the west. To deny that and to try to make it about eastern cultures or about green power, makes it more to do with politics (specifically, leftist political correctness) than it does science or maths.

      I am more than happy for my kids to learn about science without some enforced focus on western science. Sounds great to me.

      No one here would doubt for a second that you would advocate that political correctness provides the best value for the educational dollar.


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        Mattb

        “most of modern science has come from the west”

        lol I call b****** here. I’d wager quite a few soviets and east germans would be interested discussing this with you.


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          Sean McHugh

          “most of modern science has come from the west”

          lol I call b****** here. I’d wager quite a few soviets and east germans would be interested discussing this with you.

          If your kids are bringing you better information, why don’t YOU discuss it with me?

          I am currently reading a book on Special Relativity. You can start by showing me how the east dominated in its discovery and development. Perhaps you’ll tell me that Michelson and Morley, Fitzgerald, Maxwell, Lorentz, Poincaré, Minkowski and Einstein were form the east.


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          Rereke Whakaaro

          It depends on how you define, “West”. Before the mid 19th century, science and technology could only come to Australia from the west, irrespective of which country in originated in.

          The fact that you distinguish the Soviet Union and East Germany (formed 1946), from places further west, indicates a western european bias in your thinking.


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      Mattb — firstly thanks. You proved me right with the words “pretty racist”. Like I said… ;-)

      Secondly — I would be delighted to hear that kids were learning about Maths concepts developed by anyone, anywhere of any color or creed if it helps them understand maths. (And what have you got against American Indians, Africans or Aztecs?)

      But the aim of those sacred topics was not to teach science or maths better – it has nothing to do with them. The sacred “threads” were imposed across all subjects and used words like ecology, the environment, arts, belief and spirituality.

      The point of a maths class is To Learn Maths.

      Why convert rare maths teachers into pseudo social/political/history teachers?


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        Mattb

        it’s about trying to make maths appeal to more than just those who will go on to become nuclear physicists.


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          Sean McHugh

          I too became interested in learning about early counting systems and counting systems from other cultures. But that is not a replacement for maths (ditto science). In any case, my investigations showed that the other systems were either deficient or seriously deficient. Usually they are fascinating for the terminally curious, but that’s usually where the usefulness ends. We definitely owe India, that gave us zero (not a slur), but it’s more important to use it competently than to get all warm and fuzzy about it.

          Here is a page on primitive counting systems. Included is our Australian indigenous. It’s interesting but doesn’t require the lighting of PC candles or the singing of Cumbaya.


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            Winston

            Obviously in Matt’s mind, the Walpiri counting system of “one”, “two” and “mob” is of equal importance to, and more “appealing” than algebra, trigonometry and calculus.

            I think we may have hit upon the problem with modern education right there. The input of people like Matt into curriculum choices will certainly “incorporate values and cross cultural engagement to equip students of tomorrow for a brave new world of global citizenship”, or some other such sh#!t for brains exercise in futility.

            Note to Matt: YOU ARE THE PROBLEM.


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        • #

          Where does it say that Matt? I don’t see anything about using indigenous history, or asian engagement or sustainable ecosystems as tools to “entertain” and “appeal” to teenagers or K- 6 kids. I can’t see these topics being hot sellers on itunes.

          Here’s what ACARA says about the need for the sacred topics:

          The Australian Curriculum has been written to equip young Australians with the skills, knowledge and understanding that will enable them to engage effectively with and prosper in a globalised world. Students will gain personal and social benefits, be better equipped to make sense of the world in which they live and make an important contribution to building the social, intellectual and creative capital of our nation.

          Accordingly, the Australian Curriculum must be both relevant to the lives of students and address the contemporary issues they face. With these considerations and the Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians in mind, the curriculum gives special attention to these three priorities:

          In other words, the curriculum developers think that asian/aboriginal/green themes will be more useful than science and maths, so they should cross all subjects, while logic, reason, evidence and numbers should not.


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            Diogenes

            Jo ,
            you’ve got that slightly wrong – the key here is Melborne Declaration on Education Goals – this is a political statement from ALL the Education ministers back in 2008 (the MCEECDYA ) and all stems back to it PDF available from
            Melbourne Declaration
            We need to watch these declarations as ACARA & State Education ministries take their marching orders from these declarations (eg the 1998 Hobart Declaration on Disability was quoted at me when I was fighting to retain a Special School for students with life limiting illnesses in Qld)

            Who are MCEECDYA
            from the website

            The Ministerial Council for Education, Early Childhood Development and Youth Affairs (MCEECDYA) was established on 1 July 2009 following agreement of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) to a realignment of the roles and responsibilities of two previously existing councils—the Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs (MCEETYA) and the Ministerial Council for Vocational and Technical Education (MCVTE).

            This decision has resulted in the formation of two new Councils—MCEECDYA and the Ministerial Council for Tertiary Education and Employment (MCTEE).

            Membership
            Membership of the Council comprises State, Territory, Australian Government and New Zealand Ministers with responsibility for the portfolios of school education, early childhood development and youth affairs, with Papua New Guinea, Norfolk Island and East Timor having observer status. View list of members.
            Responsibilities and Functions

            The areas of responsibility covered by the Council are:

            • primary and secondary education
            • youth affairs and youth policy relating to schooling
            • cross-sectoral matters including transitions and careers
            • early childhood development including early childhood education and care
            • international education (school education)


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          James Bradley

          It sounds more like legitimising the pseudo sciences – not sure if civilisations that embrace the humanities will survive much past the first coup.


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          Kevin Lohse

          There are plenty of maths-orientated task to do that. I ran a class introducing letters as numbers in simple formulae by comparing different cans of baked beans to find the best value. Mothers were cursing my name as their children raided the larder armed with their calculators (I know) to work out if mum was being penny-wise. I had a maths teacher who was a sailing nut. He taught trigonometry with reference to different rigs and points of sail. Another teacher used working out betting odds to teach simple logic and arithmetic That should go down well in a gambling nation1 I devised a way to teach multiplication tables using a pack of playing cards, which went down a bomb and meant that children could use thinking time for more important things than working out what 7 x 7 was.
          The main aim of a Maths lesson should be to teach Maths. All my examples are of interesting ways to teach the subject while remaining focussed on Maths. if you must include social sciences, then how about using the maths used to build the Pyramids?


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            John F. Hultquist

            What’s really fun is to have the young’uns carefully peel the labels from the cans and bring said labels to the classroom for analyses. They then should take as many home as the brought – not necessarily the same ones. Makes me smile just to think about it.


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          The Griss

          “maths appeal to more than just those who will go on to become nuclear physicists”

          Mattb just wants to be able to add up his shopping list.. strive and you may succeed, small minded one.


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          The Griss

          Maths and science already appeal to those who wish to strive to achieve something.

          Mattb obviously never got to that stage.


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      The Griss

      ” In science I learned about Guy Fawkes”

      Yep.. that’ll help the socialist agenda.

      Pity it is all you learnt.

      The history of maths is just a very small part. What should be concentrated on is the actual maths itself.

      Maths and science do not have any racist bent.

      There should not be any racial focus or any other agenda driven focus at all.


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      Angry

      idiot comments from the peanut gallery from Mattb…..
      What a surprise !
      Obviously a prime example of the failure of the Curriculum !!


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      Vic G Gallus

      I learnt very little about historical discoveries in Maths and not much more in Science when I was at school. When I taught, I found that these were good distractions for when you find that the students brains are at their limit and they need a break. They shouldn’t be part of the curriculum.

      I know in SA that one key outcome for every year from Year 5 is that the students understand the use of an equal sign. Then I found out that there is hardly a year 11 who did.

      Ask a high school kid to write out the how to calculate the area of a rectangle one metre by two metres. You get
      A=LxW
      =1×2
      =2
      =2 m2

      instead of
      A=LxW
      =1m x 2m
      =2m2

      I wouldn’t ask them to use the units in calculations when doing exercises or in test (maybe for a project report) but what was the point of all those key outcomes?


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      Safetyguy66

      Matt if you watch or listen to any debate or conversation where there is a mention of a race or culture other than that of the person who first raises the topic, then the raiser will be called a racist by someone.

      The accusation of racism is simply a reactionary reflex of the respondent, who immediately senses they have nothing to add to the topic. Its exactly the same as violence, the perpetrator always claims provocation, but reacts violently due to an inability to communicate their position when a proposition is made to them.

      Your response is not only beneath you, its boringly predictable.

      Discussing other races and cultures is a path of conversation that happens in life. Sometimes people wilfully make statements attacking or demeaning other races, we all know that, but to simply mention a particular race, culture or nationality, does not of itself constitute racism.

      Also I think its worth remembering that racism is a very natural and “in-grained” “emotion/reaction”. In times past being able to quickly recognise someone not of your race/tribe/group would be highly advantageous for survival. Some of us are more hampered by our genetic baggage than others it would seem. Personally I regard the subject matter and ignore the race, I am discomforted by those that seem to continually do the opposite because I regard it as saying a lot more about their mindset in terms of a fixation on race difference.

      Ive also noticed anyone mentioning Aboriginals seems to conjure your appearance, what’s up with that ?

      And yes now I have used a word associated with another race, you can call me racist too, if it makes you feel better.


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    Anton

    “These are politicizing where politics does not belong, a la the Soviets”

    Disagree for once Jo. The Soviets never let this crap into their maths, physics and chemistry schoolrooms – and Soviet-era Russia was consistently good at those subjects.


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      Andrew Griffiths

      Maybe ,but the Soviets purged scientists practising genetics and agriculture ,favouring nuts like Lysenko who unfortunately have their equivalents in the current climate change scam.


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    hunter

    Lefties and big green hijacking education has been going on in many countries for far too long. They have damaged our societies by abusing the trust and resources given to them.
    America is deeply injured by this, as is much of the West.


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      Mattb

      blah blah blah blah blah blah blah what a croc you raving loony. (THis pretty much goes for most of this thread TBH sorry to singe you out huntah.


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        Sean McHugh

        MattB said:

        Your two sneering sentences right there provide a good example of why more of the three R’s are required in the classrooms.

        I can understand why PC would be attractive to kids, being spared the tedium of actually having to learn something. Even better when they are being told that their tutored lazy groupthink makes them morally and intellectually superior.


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        Yonniestone

        hunter must be shattered with such a blistering tirade /sarc.
        Mattb the bird dropping on the windscreen of reason about to enter the carwash LOL.


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        PeterK

        Is there anything in your head??? It sounds empty to me…is your operating IQ -37???


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        bullocky

        Mattb:
        -..”blah blah blah blah blah blah blah what a croc you raving loony.”
        -
        Spelling mistake, Matt: it should be……. ‘Lewny’


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        David Smith

        Sorry MattB, it’s not ‘a crock’ of sh!t. Hunter is right.
        As a teacher working in the UK I can assure you that our education system was hijacked by the left decades ago. I’m going to make my own post further down once I have read all the fascinating comments. You might want to read it and get a real education about schooling in the West (and yes I include Australia as part of the West).


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      Mark D.

      Hunter, don’t let Mattb bother you he’s having a bad day month year life.


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      James Bradley

      The political agenda of socialist education is to encourage a small, elite group while discouraging a large proletariat – hence the number of law qualified non-workers that walk from blue collar union official into into government office then getting caught with their hand in the workers purse.


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      DT

      It was reported in The Australian newspaper last year that former treasurer Peter Costello had recently returned from an overseas trip. In Germany he met a former German minister for foreign affairs (I cannot recall his name) who is also a Green, he described Australian Greens as being way off to the left of international Greens.

      We can refer to them as the Australian Green extremists.


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        PeterS

        I like to refer to the whole Greens movement of today as a stealth cousin to the neo-Nazi (aka neo-Nationalist Socialist) movement that’s growing in some parts of the world. One may ask then why did the Greens in Australia form an alliance of sorts with the communist socialist ALP given neo-Nazis hate communists? Out of political expediency not principle of course. Just goes to show how very hypocritical the Greens can be.


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    Edward

    Sustainability has a particular leftist flavour in the proposed Australian Curriculum. It, along with the cross curricula Aboriginal perspective , are guilt ridden and backward looking. Man is the problem, the cancer, particularly those who originate from western civilisations. It is about less, rationing, going without, demonising ‘unnatural’ technologies such as Nuclear power. Indeed, it is about shutting down rational debate about these ideas.
    I believe that many see sustainability through another lens. It is about innovation, scientific advancement, problem solving, where the solution is Science. It is forward looking, optimistic, entrepreneurial and values the creation of wealth as the lubricant for progress. (Wealthy societies depopulate and their environments are more pristine than developing nations. ) As a 30 year veteran of teaching Mathematics, I’m not at all happy with the prospect of pushing the lefts version of the sustainability barrow.


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    • #

      Nuclear is a natural technology. viz Oklo. ;-)

      And all the time; radioactive decay is keeping us alive by keeping metallic magma molten, allowing the planet’s core to spin, producing a giant magnetic field strong enough to e.g. protect our atmosphere from being stripped away quickly by solar winds.


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    Tim

    To check out the politicisation of the word: ‘Sustainability’, one only needs to go to Google.

    Enter ‘sustainability and global governance’ to get the twin terms into their relationship perspective.


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  • #

    Sustainability in UN parlance actually means Marx’s vision of a human development society where capitalism has produced sufficient riches and a level of sophisticated technology (ICT is said to be it) to shift to a needs economy.

    Australia is actually involved in the global redesign of the very nature of curriculum. It is being pushed by the tech companies like IBM, Microsoft, Intel, Google, the OECD and UNESCO, and it’s physically centered at Harvard in the US. http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/drawing-back-the-standards-curtain-to-discover-the-global-coordination-to-redesign-the-very-nature-of-curriculum/ lays that out.

    The UN and OECD are coordinating around what they call the Great Transition vision grounded in ICT and using education that works like what used to be called outcomes based education, to alter values, attitudes, feelings, and beliefs so that students cease to think of themselves as a me and form their self-concept around ‘We.’

    Also centered in Australia is ATC21S, with the significance of that globally laid out in my book Credentialed to Destroy: How and Why Education Became a Weapon. Available down under via Kindle.


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    Oksanna

    I just wonder about the accuracy of a portrayal of the reddening of our curriculum as a gloss or veneer. I think the rot goes much deeper. My understanding of it is that for decades socialists have been at work on both mathematics and English. Benjamin Bloom’s “Mastery Learning”, inspired by the work of the Marxist/Freudian Frankfurt School, was tried and failed in Texas, but William Spady picked it out of the dustbin of failed theories and renamed it Outcomes Based Education. An instant hit with the Left in the early 1990s.

    Combined with a rigid interpretation of Piaget’s stages of cognitive development, it meant that the curriculum could be dumbed down because stuff like long division was considered too abstract for primary school kids. And that made it easier for everyone to “succeed”.

    The links between the globe-trotting, evangelizing neo-Marxist luminaries of Birmingham Polytechnic and Australian Universities such as Murdoch University, in the early 1990s, were the start of the spread of a new gospel, “Cultural Studies” which was cunningly named to sound like an anthropological adventure but was simply a mish-mash of Neo-Marxism, critical theory, man-hating essentialist feminism dolled-up as gender studies, and colonial studies – a hand-wringing, guilt-inducing look at how all white people have persecuted all other people all of the time. Cultural Studies was invented to replace English, and in all Australian high school English classrooms, it is now the norm. Students use the above-mentioned ideologies to analyse (deconstruct) “texts”. Oh, almost forgot, there are some things which are verboten, never analysed. They are, of course, the above-mentioned sacred Marxism, feminism etc.

    Maths was gutted by the US National Council of Teachers of Mathematics in 1989 and 1991 in the name of “equity”. Australian curriculum designers (always call them “educators”, they prefer it) found the NCTM guidelines a useful template (cough), if you get my drift.

    Outcomes Based Education may have been scrapped in WA, but that scrapping only refers to the final assessments in Year Twelve. The anti-OBE groups like PLATO packed up and went home, because as teachers that victory was enough. However, the foundation of OBE, the massive ripping of the heart out of Primary School maths and High School maths was never, ever addressed. That’s why Shanghai garbage collector’s kids do better than our elite children. Their Primary School maths is content rich.

    Some of the same “educators” that crafted the WA curriculum, scurried from the sinking ship of the WA Curriculum Council to join the task force working on the National Curriculum. I am not surprised it’s got everything bar “The Internationale” as our country’s anthem.

    I found all this out as a concerned parent looking at the flaky homework my child was bringing home. I joined MAWA (the maths teachers association, though in fact controlled by the Ed Dept) as a student member, so I could more clearly see the politics of what was going on, and give my kids extra work and tuition to compensate for our watered-down syllabus. Well worth the money and a real eye-opener.


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      Len

      The Mastery System, as explaine to me, was the teaching of a subject in class, the homework would be he same and the exam wuold be similar. This was responsible for a much greater learning capacity and better exam results. It alleviated the problem of being asked in exams questions that were never taught in class. The opposite of the Mastery System was the Failure System. The failure system required the student to pass 50% of the exam, whereas using the Mastery System much higher grades were being achieved. The idea of a plumber only knowing 50% of his trade was contrasted. It was said, it is easier and more efficient to teach someone to fly a 747 than learn by trial and error.


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    Roy Hogue

    Help them fix it!

    You might say, “Help them fix it… …if you can!”

    In this country racist is the accusation du jour, the made for the moment retort to any critic. And many who say it couldn’t even define the word if you challenged them on it. So what can you do? There’s no fighting it. It has to play out and die of its own dead weight, if indeed that can ever happen. And experience says it’s getting worse, not better.

    Sorry, I’m a skeptic and a cynic as well about this one. And we may all have to endure and outlive this, at least as a recognizable group if not individuals, or go down under its weight.


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    Roy Hogue

    By the way, when I was teaching, come accreditation time, the cross curriculum thing was diversity. Diversity had about as much relevance as sustainability, aboriginal history and a whole lot of other things to any course, much less computer science. But I had to describe how my course furthered the objectives of diversity all the same.

    All I can say is welcome to the club and I’m glad I quit teaching when I did because it’s no doubt worse now.


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    Angry

    An interesting article from Andrew Bolt today.

    Even the greenpeace founder is questioning the global warming RELIGION now.

    Ex-Greenpeace founder: where’s the proof of man-made warming?

    http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/ex_greenpeace_founder_wheres_the_proof_of_man_made_warming/


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  • #

    Everyone can put in as many submissions as they please, but the fact remains that a national curriculum is doomed from the outset. No matter its form or content, it will be hijacked by the left. There is nothing that can be done about that certainty. You could design the best national curriculum in the history of the world, the universe, and everything, and it will inevitably be hijacked by the left. The left must hijack everything because they know that if it were a level playing field then they would be written off within a generation.

    The most important thing is to give schools the option of opting out of this curriculum. In other words, let parents decide where they want to send their kids to learn and what they want their kids to learn. The millions of parents around Australia who are capable of sniffing out a leftist rat in their midst are much more powerful than any national curriculum no matter how well worded.


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    BilB

    Yes lets have those pillars of Western Culture as interpreted by our Catholic political conclave.

    Our kids really need to be learning that having babies, and as many as possible, is the highest priority for all young people. We need productivity, reproductivity, and over productivity. After all, the economic benefit achieved from the manufacture of condoms and pills is negligible to that from the manufacture of mountains of disposable nappies. And the key word there is disposable, you just chuck them away and they are gone.

    Another Pillar of Western Culture is that God made everything in seven days, and he did this just ten thousand years ago. Darwin was a conspiratorial propagandist intent on undermining the power and prestige of the Pope, and all that he stood for. There really was a garden of Eden and it was somewhere in the Sinai Desert. Our kids need to be learning this in Science. Creationism. Learn all about it.

    The other and most important pillar of Western Culture is wealth creation, and particularly it is vital to understand that the more one has the more one deserves. And it is all about the “one”. It does not matter how one gains one’s wealth. All of the Earth’s resources are available for the pursuit of wealth. If one could extract and control everything that there is in their lifetime, then that would be good as it would demonstrate a successful life.

    Our preteens need to be learning all there is to know about these things while their minds are still in their moldable state. It is time to change that curriculum to reflect the world as Tony Abbott would like it to be.


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      Angry

      “BilB”, if you hate Western Culture so much then why not move to Communist North Korea instead of being miserable?


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        bullocky

        BilB:……”It is time to change that curriculum to reflect the world as Tony Abbott would like it to be.”
        -
        Urgency dictates there isn’t enough time to elect Clive Hamilton!


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      James Bradley

      And while your at it – CO2 is a toxic pollutant, the sea level is rising, the globe is warming, the climate is changing and the sky is falling…


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      The Griss

      What an unbelievably puerile rant you have spewed forth this time.

      You really are a complete and absolute loonie !!

      How do you function in society at all. ???????


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        Angry

        “BilB” is more than likely [snip baseless insult - Jo]


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          BilB

          I’m impressed Angry that you could concentrate long enough to put 12 words together in one, though incomplete, sentence.

          Actually I am a product designer and manufacturer of an electronic product predominately for export. I don’t smoke and have never used pot or any other hallucinogen in my life.

          I’m not so much dissatisfied with western culture as I am distressed when religion,ideology and politics get together and attempt to pollute young minds, which is exactly what is behind this ridiculous move by Abbott’s yappy little henchman, Pyne.


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            The Griss

            No, Mr Pyne is trying to REMOVE all the leftist propaganda bull***t from the curriculum.

            All the moronic stuff put there by the feel-good ignoramuses of the heavily far-left stacked committees appointed by the likes of Gillard and her worthless troop of socialist totalitarian ideologists.


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            Rereke Whakaaro

            … religion,ideology and politics get together and attempt to pollute young minds, which is exactly what is behind this ridiculous move …

            You have evidence of this? Do share. Who are your sources? No, sorry, I forgot. You have to protect them, don’t you, silly me for asking.

            But I am really intrigued by what you wrote, really I am. Because very few people here would disagree that the current schools curriculum is ideologically based, and predicated by a political philosophy, albeit from a socialist perspective, so that leaves religion.

            Are you against Catholicism in particular, or religion in general? Do you consider that policy and legislation should not be grounded upon a philosophical basis, and if not, what should it be grounded upon?

            These are really interesting questions, don’t you agree?


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            James Bradley

            BilB, so “… I am distressed when religion,ideology and politics get together and attempt to pollute young minds, which is exactly what is behind this ridiculous move by Abbott’s yappy little henchman, Pyne.”

            … and the fervent belief with rabid indoctrination of Climatology on impressionable young minds isn’t?


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              BilB

              You’re making the assumption James Bradley that kids only think the things that they are taught in class. Kids these days are totally connected and accept the notion of sustainability simply because it makes good sense. There are of course many kinds of kids and there are a good share of petrol heads who see drag racing and street burnouts as good fun. At the end of the day when “life” is applied, most people understand that waste is just that, a waste, particularly when they have to pay for it with their time and money.

              As for climatology, it is the reality that we have to live with with ever greater concern. It may mean nothing to you, but then you are likely to be one of the minority skeptics. Eventually you will understand.


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                The Griss

                You are a waste of space.. but you haven’t realised that yet.

                Obviously your education is lacking.

                Back to primary school, little boy.


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                James Bradley

                BilB, “You’re making the assumption James Bradley that kids only think the things that they are taught in class.”

                1. Why the need then for the heavy indoctrination of left wing beliefs for false science and false history.

                2.You make ‘petrol heads’ sound like a bad thing and is stereotyping – you are a product designer in electronic component manufacturing/export and should appreciate engineering. I certainly appreciate the ’69 Triumph Bonneville my son and I rebuilt into a rather nice little ‘bobber’ last year along with the engineering that went into the rigid frame design, gearing ratios, engine and exhaust specs. I also appreciate the blown 5litre holden ute we are currently engineering.

                3. At the end of the day “… when life is applied most people understand that waste is just that, a waste, particularly when they have to pay for it with their time and money”
                Reading you there – particularly waste of my hard earned coin in money redistribution rackets like Carbon Tax and Renewable Energy Targets that will make absolutely no difference in the way the humans must adapt as the world evolves and certainly not in Flannery’s 1,000 year time-frame.

                3. Finally – like you I have a pen name to protect another life or two – one of which is firmly rooted in gathering, analysing and reporting factual intelligence and the other as a published author of speculative fiction. I can tell you now that one of my favourite authors was Ron L Hubbard and it never ceased to amaze me how many people he duped and continues to dupe long after his death with Scientology. I see a very clear correlation between that and Climatology in the layers of pseudo scientific misdirection, the attitudes and actions of adherents against any who question the faith, indoctrination of impressionable and susceptible minds and the propaganda delivery systems.


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                bullocky

                BilB:
                “As for climatology, it is the reality that we have to live with with ever greater concern. It may mean nothing to you, but then you are likely to be one of the minority skeptics. Eventually you will understand.”
                -
                Scary, Bil, really scary that we ‘will’ achieve your level of divine understanding.


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            bullocky

            -
            BilB:
            “I’m not so much dissatisfied with western culture as I am distressed when religion,ideology and politics get together and attempt to pollute young minds, which is exactly what is behind this ridiculous move by Abbott’s yappy little henchman, Pyne.”
            -
            ‘Conspiracy Ideation, thy name is BilB’
            -
            (with apologies to BilS and marsupial omnivores)


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      Heywood

      [Snip insult]

      Is there any actual discussion of the subject in your little leftard diatribe?

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        BilB

        Ah! Heywood, there you are.

        What is there in the thread to discuss? That sustainability is all about recycling shopping bags? Every comment in the “ideological slants” link was saying “leave the curriculum as it is”. Nothing to discuss there.

        The only thing here really worth discussing is why does a three neuron politician, such a Pyne” feel a need to dictate what our kids are being taught in schools. That is the question. Not that a “never gets past the front gate” cat such as yourself will have any appreciation of such things.


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        • #

          Why indeed should any politicians dictate what our kids are taught? Great question. Let’s do school vouchers and let the parents and teachers decide.

          Careful Bil, your bias is showing. You didn’t object when a politician known to shamelessly lie got control of our curriculum, yet you object when a politician from a different team suggests removing some of that control?


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            BilB

            For starters Julia Gillard is nothing of a liar beside Abbott. That did not see a need to rebuild the education system yet again.

            The main thing that our education system needs is for philosophy to be introduced into primary schools as has been very successfully implemented in some Queensland schools. This is philosophy in the sense of learning to ask questions, evaluate information and options, and which leads to the ability to self teach. This approach also builds understanding of others and empathy for other people.

            UNSW has a program to develop the resources for this purpose.

            http://www.abc.net.au/local/stories/2009/03/12/2514378.htm

            The last thing that schools need is a self promoting ideologue scrapping everything that had gone before simply because he doesn’t like it and it does not have his name on it.


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            • #

              Julia there-will-be-no-carbon-tax, is the worst liar the Australian parliament has seen. Combet obviously supports lies, since he won’t remove the legislation, even though the public voted it down twice. Bilb the anonymous thinks that is good “politics”.

              So your reasoning on education is that we should leave unnecessary political unscientific junk in the curriculum because you think Pyne is a “self promoting ideologue” whose motivation is “not right” according to Bilb. Plus you can think of some other things that the national curriculum should include which contradicts your last point.

              And you wonder why you fail to convince us about the climate.


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              bullocky

              -
              BilB:….”This approach also builds understanding of others and empathy for other people.”
              and
              …..”.. Abbott’s yappy little henchman, Pyne.”
              -
              No political content then?


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              The Griss

              “The last thing that schools need is a self promoting ideologue scrapping everything that had gone before simply because he doesn’t like it and it does not have his name on it’

              But that is EXACTLY what they have had over the period that Labor has been in power at state and federal levels.
              The destruction of the learning system by far left egotistical airy-fairy ideologies.
              The destruction of rigour, common sense and self-achievement in favour of a feel-good egalitarian mess.

              That is EXACTLY what Mr Pyne needs to get rid of, for the sake of a rational society, one which you obviously do not and never can belong to.


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          The Griss

          No, Mr Pyne is trying to remove all the leftist propaganda bull***t from the curriculum.

          To make it NON-POLITICAL, like it was before the left got their slimy hands on it.

          To remove all the moronic stuff put there by the feel-good ignoramuses of the heavily far-left stacked committees appointed by the likes of Gillard and her worthless troop of socialist totalitarian ideologists.


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        • #
          Winston

          BilB,

          It is readily apparent to anyone over the age of 50 that education standards have fallen dramatically, whether by accident or design is irrelevant to the need for a review. If something is failing, it needs oversight, particularly if the teachers are unwilling to hold themselves to rigorous account.

          I was a product of Turramurra High, and state schools all the way along, albeit in an affluent area (even though my family were not especially affluent, btw). But a better guide to how standards have slipped would be my brother-in-law, 10 years my senior (61yo) and a product of Chester Hill High. This is a state school in a working class western suburbs locale, struggle street par excellence, and in the 60′s incorporated children of those at Villawood migrant hostel (now a detention centre).

          Where nowadays it is commonplace for year 12 graduates from this area to be functionally illiterate, many unable to read and/or write, and many leaving school lacking even the most rudimentary skills necessary to be functional members of the community (let alone employable), it was unheard of in that era for anyone to lack basic skills to this degree, even the most knockabout “tear away” was given sufficient education to be able to add, subtract, divide and multiply, and to write with basic grammar and sentence construction, while at the same time those without academic aptitude were given encouragement to pursue a trade suitable to their abilities and strengths so they could become functional and practical members of the community. His teachers were trained in teacher’s colleges, and many or most had life experiences outside the school and university environment, some had fought in wartime, some served in the armed services or worked in journalism or other fields unrelated to purely teaching, all of which fitted them to give a rounded educational experience to their students. They maintained discipline, but were generally fair minded and respected by the kids, and they often had a broad knowledge afforded them by a “classical” western education to discuss on a broad range of topics not necessarily directly related to curriculum. Even the aforementioned migrant children who had barely arrived in the country were given expert tuition and no one was “left behind”. This is in stark contrast to the current status, where everyone is “left behind”.

          I don’t know what age group you represent, but I asked a group of 5 current university students in their early 20′s who Napoleon was, and not one knew who he was, let alone his importance in global history. I then asked who Alexander the Great was, again no one knew. Now, I know that the vast majority of students at Chester Hill High in the 1960s knew at least something about these historical figures, and even the least of them had have at least heard of them. When I asked these same students what they were taught about the First Fleet, they stated they were told that merely that the arrival of the First Fleet dispossessed the Aborigines. That’s it. Not a cracker about anything else was taught or retained. Genius.


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            BilB

            Winston remember the generation gap?

            You asked some kids about things that meant something to you, and because they could not elaborate to your satisfaction about those specific things you are declaring the school system a failure.

            My second daughter is in senior high school and my first is in her final masters degree year. They both went through public primary and high schools and I have seen an excellent standard of teaching in these schools. The nature and intensity of the work is way beyond what I experienced in the fifties and sixties. I was very impressed with the curriculum that was put to my kids.

            For all of that the most important thing beyond maths, science and communication that people need to learn is to think, to be able to evaluate, and to draw meaningful conclusions. In the past this was a feature of university education. This has now been brought forward to high school education. When our primary schools are building these understandings we will see a massive improvement in our educational outcomes, and the rest of the curriculum substance will be arbitrary as students will actively draw in the knowledge they need. I am not expecting any such educational improvements from the likes of Pyne.


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            • #

              Universities have become sink-holes of unreason and ill-logic. Look at Stephan Lewandowsky. Not one university has spoken out.

              Not one university said it was not scientifically OK to use tricks to hide declines.

              Not one university has punished any professor for using the fallacy of argument from authority.

              I could go on…


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            • #
              The Griss

              Arts degrees? Right!


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            • #
              Winston

              It is not what is important to me at all, but rather something fairly basic and rudimentary to expect, especially from university educated people (but even for anyone in the general population), yet somehow sorely lacking for all but a minority. I asked a few salient questions about other subjects and the superficiality of their understanding about WW1, the Great depression, WW2, Federation, the First Fleet, Henry Parkes, Bligh and the Rum rebellion- you name it. I didn’t do history in high school at all (more’s the pity- 4 unit Maths and 4 units of science) yet know a fair bit about all those subjects and so how do you suppose that happened? Head injury? Possessed by evil spirits? No, my teachers instilled in me a desire to know things- a lot of things as it happens- the more the better, to know facts not feelings, to understand the connections of the past events to help understand the formation of the present, as well as providing me with the foundations to build upon for adequate comprehension of what I’d learned.

              One has to ask then, what did the current crop of students study throughout those 12 years at school? From evidence of my daughter’s generation, a very restricted palate indeed, without the perspective I was lucky enough to gain from my schooling. The difference I noted was stark, so much so that one would have to be blind not to see it.

              “Generation gap”, please spare me BilB. A lame hand waving excuse for the inadequacies of which we are speaking.


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      Bill, #34 a complete strawman. None of these points are being suggested by anyone connected with the governments curriculum review.


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        BilB

        I’m looking at where the motivation is coming from, the method applied and the people selected. There is certainly a Tea Party flavour to this. I think that an attempt to introduce creationism is a medium term objective. We’ll see in due course.


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        • #

          Yes, basically, you are making it up. You fight an imaginary monster. (I think there is a pattern here…)


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          The Griss

          “There is certainly a Tea Party flavour to this”

          You mean as opposed to a far left wishy-washy feel-good far left w***er agenda?


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          bullocky

          BilB:…..”For all of that the most important thing beyond maths, science and communication that people need to learn is to think..”
          and,
          …..”… I think that an attempt to introduce creationism is a medium term objective.”
          -
          Ah! THAT sort of ‘thinking’.


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        • #
          James Bradley

          You certainly have a closed mind BilB and your continued references to creationism seems discrimmination of those who have specific Judao/Christian beliefs – beliefs upon which our current system of law, government and education was built on. Evolution did explain many things that discoveries by archaeologists and geologists could not, but what came first – the chicken or the egg.


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  • #

    This new curriculum is being pushed all over the world. Do everything you can to fight it. It is all connected to Agenda 21, and the “dumbing down” of society. Intelligent people will not be led blindly, by the nose. Our children deserve better, than this new system of brainwashing our future generations. In the US, it is called Common Core, and people are outlawing it, in their communities. You must fight against the travesty of Agenda 21.


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    Olaf Koenders

    Ow, ow.. and ow!

    I’m just nitpicking and I know that “math” and “maths” are abbreviations of “mathematics”. I also know that “maths” is used as a singular noun and “math” as a mass (plural) noun.

    However, can we stick to using “math” to mean both singular and plural? It just sounds so much better – especially when used so many times in one article.

    Feel free to lambast and say “no” ;)


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    • #
      The Griss

      “math” is an Americanism, and to my ears sounds rather odd. I will keep using “maths”

      How often have you ever heard anyone use the “mathematic”, its always ‘mathematics” ie the “s” belongs there. :-)


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        Rereke Whakaaro

        I sometimes use the phrase, “it is very mathematickle”, when talking to my god children about useful things involving maths, like how to construct a farm fence that is at right angles to another one.


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      Angry

      Mate, Americans use the term “math”.
      Here in Australia we say “maths”.


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      Joe V.

      Yes, what happened to the American, “why use a shorter word when a longer word will do ”
      maxim ?


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      Kevin Lohse

      I’m lambasting and saying, “No”. In the UK, “Maths” is the abbreviation used in all cases, always has been, though cross-pond creep makes Math understandable.


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    Alaric Maude

    The claim that “The new Australian Curriculum insists that three areas were so important they must be taught in every subject. So, if you are a maths teacher or a French teacher or any other teacher of K – 10, you’ll need to consider how to embed these “Cross Curriculum Priorities” in your subject” is incorrect.

    The only content that the Australian curriculum requires teachers to teach is whatever is specified in a content description. There is no content description in either Maths or science that mentions sustainability, Asia or Aboriginal, which are the three cross curriculum priorities.


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    • #

      That is not what ACARA says. They are “embedded” and teachers “need” to address them:

      “Cross-curriculum priorities are embedded in all learning areas. They will have a strong but varying presence depending on their relevance to the learning areas.”

      http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/CrossCurriculumPriorities

      The message to teachers is clear –

      “The content descriptions that support the knowledge, understanding and skills of the cross-curriculum priorities are tagged with icons. The tagging brings to the attention of teachers the need and opportunity to address the cross-curriculum priorities at this time. Elaborations will provide further advice on how this can be done, or teachers can click on the hyperlink which will provide further links to more detailed information on each priority.”

      So, No. You can’t get out of it that easily.


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      • #

        Jo-the cross-curriculum priorities come from UNESCO’s curriculum to be used everywhere. I got it from UNESCO’s website, which says it was created in 2002. It specifically used that cross-curricular language.

        Also in global ed reform, knowledge does not mean facts. It either means the knowledge of how to perform a desired skill or, it means a conceptual understanding supplied to students. It comes from Evald Ilyenkov’s political theories and Piotr Galperin’s instructional theories from the USSR. It is designed to get at what will be perceived from daily experiences. It helps make future behavior quite predictable.


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      • #
        Diogenes

        According tio head of ACARA not so – Options Not orders

        However our unit plans at school have been modified to include boxes to indicate how we are adressing the three sacred subjects in that unit of work (even for subjects that don’t yet have a published National Curriculum – ours is “available but not yet endorsed”), the AEO is going to vet the Indigenous bit and while ACARA says it ain’t holy writ – the school is interpreting it as if it is. Also there is an Australian National Teaching Standard soley relates to one of the holy trinity – 2.4
        Understand and respect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to promote reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians (the next one is 2.5 Literacy & Numeracy)


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        Alaric Maude

        Joanne
        Despite what ACARA says in the passages you have quoted, the writers of the maths, English and science curriculums had the good sense not to include the cross-curriculum priorities in the content descriptions, apart from one mention of Aboriginal texts in English. The writers were properly focused on the teaching of maths, English and science, as you would want them to be. The priorities are mentioned in some of the elaborations, but these are only suggestions to teachers, not material that they are required to teach. To evaluate the curriculum that students will be taught you have to focus on the content descriptions, and ignore the often meaningless preliminary pages. I suspect that teachers will also ignore them, along with the icons. You should also look at the achievement standards, which describe what students should have learned from each year. I don’t think you will find the priorities mentioned in them. I am told that the maths curriculum has required two states to raise the level of the maths they teach by a whole year compared with the previous state curriculum, so perhaps progress is being made.


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        • #

          If these cross curriculum priorities are useless and have little effect, I take it you’ll be joining us in asking that they be removed? It will make no difference, you argue, whether they are there or not.

          But we wouldn’t want young new graduates to mistakenly think that the curriculum was carefully made by wise men and they have to waste time pandering to it.

          Hear hear I say.


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            Alaric Maude

            Joanne
            Sorry, but I won’t be joining you in asking that the priorities be removed. What I have tried to show you is that they are of little relevance to science and maths, which are the focus of your comments. The priorities are of much more, but varying, relevance to history, geography and civics. However, it would not bother me if Asia and sustainability were removed, but it would bother me if the Aboriginal priority was deleted. In my subject, geography, the priority has made people think hard about how to use Aboriginal experience and knowledge to teach geographical concepts and understandings. I think the result will be good geography, but without the priority I don’t think people would have made the same effort. Removing the Aboriginal priority would send the message that Australia does not consider that Aboriginal experience and knowledge has any relevance to the education of young Australians. That would be very sad, and demonstrate a lack of understanding of that experience and knowledge.


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            • #

              So add special indigenous emphasis and units to geography. Seems like an excellent idea.

              Get the pillars of political correctness (which by definition is not scientific correctness) out of science and maths.

              Will you join me in suggesting that logic and reason be made a cross curriculum priority, so that students of English, History and Social Studies can see flawed arguments in texts and learn to recognize con artists, name-calling, argument from authority, argument from ignorance, and argument from popularity.

              Future Australian voters need to learn to judge the persuasive arguments of activists and politicians. We should raise standards of national debate.


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              • #
                Alaric Maude

                Yes, I would join you in supporting logic and reason. It is perhaps already there, as one of the general capabilities that all subjects should develop is critical and creative thinking. This described as:

                In the Australian Curriculum, students develop capability in critical and creative thinking as they learn to generate and evaluate knowledge, clarify concepts and ideas, seek possibilities, consider alternatives and solve problems. Critical and creative thinking are integral to activities that require students to think broadly and deeply using skills, behaviours and dispositions such as reason, logic, resourcefulness, imagination and innovation in all learning areas at school and in their lives beyond school.

                How well this is done is another matter. Maybe someone expert in logic and reason should look at all the curriculums and see how they could be improved. The general capabilities are probably a more important component of the Australian curriculum than the cross-curriculum priorities.


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              • #

                Mouthing nice generalist words in the curriculum is not enough. If teachers are not taught the basics of Aristotelian or formal logic and rhetoric in their Dip Ed, how would they teach critical thinking.

                As long as politicians impress the public with namecalling or ad hom attacks, or use argument from authority then the education system is failing our children.


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          Andrew McRae

          There is no content description in either Maths or science that mentions sustainability, Asia or Aboriginal, which are the three cross curriculum priorities.

          But the point of the cross-curriculum priorities is that they aren’t written in the content descriptions because that would only be repeating elements that apply to every subject area. The fact these three political priorities don’t appear in the content descriptions is therefore, logically, non informative – it is what you would expect to find if they are indeed supposed to be taught everywhere possible.

          http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/mathematics/cross-curriculum-priorities :

          Students will explore connections between representations of number and pattern and how they relate to aspects of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures. They will investigate time, place, relationships and measurement concepts in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander contexts

          It would seem to be “worse than first thought”.

          If I give you benefit of the doubt and assume your teacher’s interpretation of this curriculum is more accurate than how any other normal outsider would interpret it, the superfluousness of the 3 PC priorities gives rise to another analogy: Perhaps this new curriculum document really is like the Bible of education, because different cults will choose which parts to enforce and which parts to ignore. The value of the whole kit and caboodle is questionable when it includes “shoulds” and “maybes” that nobody takes seriously.
          Perhaps they aim to start small and turn up the nonsense knob slowly.


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            The Griss

            “Students will explore connections between representations of number and pattern and how they relate to aspects of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures. They will investigate time, place, relationships and measurement concepts in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander contexts”

            That’s like 10 minutes of class time.. if that!

            Let’s be totally real about this. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures really do not have much to offer in terms of modern day mathematics.


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            • #
              Kevin Lohse

              The point is that a seemingly innocuous sentence is placed in policy by the Left. Over time,the Left establishment make sure that sentence becomes emphasised and ultimately the focus of effort in pursuance of the Left’s vision of Utopia. Seen it happen many times.


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          • #
            Alaric Maude

            Andrew McRae
            Who are the ‘they’ in your last sentence? The curriculum is being separately implemented by each of the states and territories, most of which have Ministers of Education from Coalition governments. They are the ones in control. Do you really think they are ‘going to turn up the nonsense knob slowly’?


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              bullocky

              “have Ministers of Education from Coalition governments. They are the ones in control.”
              -
              Ministers in the classroom? Not since Christian Knowledge was compulsory, surely!


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    STJOHNOFGRAFTON

    Politically correct gimmickry wasn’t around when I did high school in the sixties. The majority of students entered high school competently literate and numerate and usually with a rounded general knowledge. High school amplified that. The three term year provided rigorous training in Maths, Science, English, Metalwork, Woodwork, Art, Tech. drawing and Music. After the Intermediate many students left to get apprenticeships.Those that went on could do Honours subjects for the Leaving certificate. After many years in industry I became a teacher and was appalled at the way in which the various curricula had been watered down so that everyone could pass. Maybe my opinion comes across as a “good old days” sentimental rant. But, in reality, education was eminently more effective then without the politically correct sanitisation it has suffered today.


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      AndyG55

      Yep, the old style of teaching and a solid curriculum. That is what is required. What us old guys did way back then :-)

      I was a maths teacher of 20 years, and I watched as the “grunt” was taken out of what was expected from students.

      I don’t know how many students take the old 4 unit math or 4 unit science courses nowadays.
      I did a thing called 4 unit multi-strand science in high school (physics/chemistry), we had 8 in the class.
      We had 15 in our 4 unit maths class. (medium size high school)

      In all the schools I taught at, I only recall ever seeing classes of maybe 1 or 2, 4 unit students, if any at all, and 3 unit classes were not much bigger.

      It nice to see that the maths syllabi are still referred to as 3 unit and 4 unit, and that the content seems mostly unchanged (it has been 17 or years since I looked at a 4 unit syllabus, though)


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  • #

    CARBON TAX ALERT

    Look, I know this is way off topic, but have a look at this.

    We all know now that QANTAS is having the problems it is, announcing yesterday a loss of $252 Million.

    The TV was just full of it last night, 7.30 foremost among those reports.

    I’m linking into the 7.30 site, not their main site as that would take you to the current default each time, and so I’ll link to the specific article. It was the first item on the program, and the short video runs for a little more than 7 minutes. There’s no need to watch it all, so just skip to the relevant part starting at the 4.03 mark.

    Here, Sabra Lane speaks with the Deputy Chair of regional airline REX, John Sharp, the former Howard Government minister for Transport. The video is at top of screen and the full text for the article is written below the video.

    In that short burst, Sharp mentions that there are things QANTAS has no control over, like the Carbon Tax, and in the case of QANTAS, this comes in at ….. and wait for it ….. $100 Million.

    $100 Million.

    No wonder Companies are shutting up shop all over Australia.

    Link to Video – skip to the 4.03 mark.

    Tony.


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    • #
      Louis Hissink

      Tony,

      Amazing this fact is under the MSM radar at present in the current Qantas debate. Amazing – Labor/Greens kill it via the trade-unions AND the carbon tax.


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      • #
        bullocky

        Amazing indeed Louis.
        =
        However, any inappropriate interpretation of these facts is covered in the peer-reviewed literature by papers authored by the likes of Professor Stephan Lewandowsky.


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      Long Distance Voyager

      In that short burst, Sharp mentions that there are things QANTAS has no control over, like the Carbon Tax, and in the case of QANTAS, this comes in at ….. and wait for it ….. $100 Million.

      The Carbon Tax does not apply to International flights.

      Domestically Qantas still operate at a profit although reduced, primarily due to providing too many seats in a declining market, with increasing competition.


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      • #
        The Griss

        So, you won’t mind when they take $100 million from your swill trough ?


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          Long Distance Voyager

          Qantas added a small surcharge to each ticket to cover the cost of the Carbon Tax as would have other domestic airlines. The cost was therefore borne by the consumer.

          When the carbon price was introduced, Qantas added a small surcharge to domestic fares to reflect the impact on our cost base and attempt to recover some of that cost. Since 1 July 2012, this cost recovery has been unsustainable due to the challenging conditions in the Australian aviation industry.

          You can read it all here: http://www.qantas.com.au/travel/airlines/carbon-pricing/global/en

          All airlines were undercutting each other to gain market share: it was that competition plus an oversupply of seats in a declining market which caused them all problems. Also the declining Australian Dollar increased fuel prices.


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        • #
          The Griss

          Question evasion.

          Well let’s just hope that your trough is one of the first hit.


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            Long Distance Voyager

            Well let’s just hope that your trough is one of the first hit.

            Hmmmm. Provide some factual information and look what you get.

            Thanks for your kind thoughts but maybe one day you will realise there are more important things to life than money.

            But if it’s the sole reason for your existence then good for you.

            Otherwise, “Up yours, Buster”.


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      Rereke Whakaaro

      They need to bring back those old fashioned planes with the windmills on the front, then the can get all their power for free.


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    pat

    27 Feb: Education Week: Liana Heitin: Surveys Differ on Teacher Preparedness for Common Core
    The results from two studies that examine teachers’ perceptions on the Common Core State Standards were released this week, and they come to some markedly different conclusions on how ready teachers are for implementation…
    Preliminary results from the other study, by Scholastic and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, were released four months ago and found, most notably, that three-quarters of teachers said they were enthusiastic about common-core implementation. This week, the organizations released the full 216-page report based on a national online survey of 20,000 teachers pre-K-12 public school teachers conducted over the summer. ***(Education Week receives support from the Gates Foundation for coverage of business and innovation topics.)…
    Preparedness: NCLE found that 44 percent of teachers said they are well-prepared to implement the new standards (4 or 5 on a 5-point scale, with 5 being “very prepared”). According to Scholastic/Gates, on the other hand, 75 percent of teachers are “somewhat” or “very” prepared to teach the new standards. (Note that the wording here is likely to have made a difference—”somewhat” is a pretty soft benchmark. And NCLE used a 5-point rating scale while Scholastic/Gates used a 4-point.)…
    more to mine from both reports (head to Teacher Beat as well for more on the Scholastic/Gates survey.) But in doing so, please keep in mind that these survey results are best viewed in context—and with a healthy dose of skepticism.
    http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/curriculum/2014/02/surveys_differ_on_teacher_prep.html


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    pat

    27 Feb: Reuters: Ben Garside: EU manufacturers resume fight for carbon market shake-up
    (additional reporting by Barbara Lewis in Brussels)
    European manufacturers’ lobby IFIEC Europe on Thursday launched an attack on the EU’s Emissions Trading System (ETS), opposing current reform plans and calling for drastic changes to prevent a flight of investment abroad…
    Manufacturers have long lobbied against measures to strengthen the system while countries outside the European Union are not adopting comparable policies to tackle climate change.
    IFIEC’s latest criticism is a sign that a proposal published last month by the European Commission to establish a reserve of carbon permits to curb supply in the ETS will face strong opposition to becoming law amid heightened concerns from politicians about derailing the EU’s economic recovery…
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/02/27/industry-carbon-idUSL6N0LW4U420140227


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    Truthseeker

    Jo, OT but Andrew Bolt is highlighting the following IPA climate fact effort …

    http://thefacts2014.ipa.org.au/


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    pat

    lengthy, read all. is the UK taking note?

    27 Feb: Bloomberg: Asjylyn Loder: Dream of US Oil Independence Slams Against Shale Costs
    Just a few of the roadblocks: Independent producers will spend $1.50 drilling this year for every dollar they get back. Shale output drops faster than production from conventional methods. It will take 2,500 new wells a year just to sustain output of 1 million barrels a day in North Dakota’s Bakken shale, according to the Paris-based International Energy Agency. Iraq could do the same with 60.
    Consider Sanchez Energy Corp. The Houston-based company plans to spend as much as $600 million this year, almost double its estimated 2013 revenue, on the Eagle Ford shale formation in south Texas, which along with North Dakota is one of the hotbeds of a drilling frenzy that’s pushed U.S. crude output to the highest in almost 26 years. Its Sante North 1H oil well pumped five times more water than crude, Sanchez Energy said in a Feb. 17 regulatory filing. Shares sank 7 percent…
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-02-27/dream-of-u-s-oil-independence-slams-against-shale-costs.html


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    Pete of Perth

    Recommended reading; The Smartest Kids in the World by Amanda Ripely (2013). Amanda investigates why children in some countries top the list when bench-marked using PINAS.


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    MadJak

    Could I suggest a few items to include

    1) Humans worked very hard to be on the top of the food chain. Don’t be the village idiot undermining this.
    2) Why making something fairer is an oxymoron
    3) No, the world doesn’t owe you or anyone else a living
    4) How to listen and understand other peoples perspectives
    5) Why the Greens don’t give a damn about you
    6) Why Ideology is for idiots
    7) Communism -why it has never worked in large communities and why it never will
    8) Why – the most important word in the english dictionary
    9) The Guilleard government – How it illegitimately held onto power by protecting and sheltering a criminal known to have committed many acts of fraud
    10) Kiwis – lifters, not leaners since well before 2001.

    Have I missed anything?


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    pat

    27 Feb: Bloomberg: Saleha Mohsin: Norway Oil Fund Ban Proves No Hurdle for Arctic Coal Mining
    As lawmakers in Oslo debate whether to ban their $840 billion sovereign wealth fund from investing in coal companies, the country has opened a new coal mine in the Arctic Svalbard archipelago.
    Mining for coal in the northernmost reaches of the globe helps Western Europe’s biggest oil producer keep a presence in the fossil-fuel rich region as nations, including Russia and the U.S., jockey for power there.
    Norway is fighting for a claim to the Arctic as its North Sea oil and gas reserves start to run out after more than 40 years of production.
    ““It’s a very clear sign that coal mining in Svalbard is a desperate act to try to maintain Norwegian activity that they believe is necessary to maintain sovereignty over the island group,” said Truls Gulowsen, director for Greenpeace in Norway, by phone. “It’s not making money, it’s not necessary and it’s extremely bad for the climate.”…
    The plan to crack down on investment in coal was proposed last year by the Labor Party, just months after they lost an election to the Conservative-led coalition of Prime Minister Erna Solberg.
    Torstein Tvedt Solberg, a Labor member on the parliament’s finance committee, said banning the wealth fund from buying coal stocks shouldn’t be lumped together with mining in Svalbard .
    “These are two different issues, at the current time there is no issue presented to parliament to debate if we’re going to change our policies in Svalbard,” he said. “The presence we have in Svalbard isn’t just for environmental reasons but also national security reasons.”…
    So far the Norwegian government has signaled it won’t ban coal stocks for the wealth fund, which is built on oil and gas income…
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-02-26/norway-wealth-fund-ban-proves-no-hurdle-for-arctic-coal-mining.html


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    handjive

    On the original Gold Coast, a local paper had this ‘brief’ (no link):

    Tweed Sun, Thursday 20 February, pg 6

    Environmental Grants
    Member for Tweed, Geoff Provest has congratulated students and educators at Tweed Heads Public School for their successful Environmental Trust grant application.
    Tweed Heads Public School recieved a grant for $2500 to go towards educating students, families and community members in waste reduction, as well helping to establish a school recycling program.
    “First, students will focus on reducing, reusing and recycling paper, then they’ll work work to recycle cardboard, plastics, glass, aluminium, and other materials,” Mr Provest said.
    . . .
    If schools spent this time & money on reading, writing and arithmetic, instead of reducing, reusing and recycling, then there would be kids who can read, write, spell & add, subtract, multiply …


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    MudCrab

    Do we get to have a crack at higher education as well?

    There needs I feel to be some serious discussion into the role of higher education in Australia. The cliche is having people go to Uni makes us the ‘Clever Country(tm)’, where in reality going to Uni makes you ‘qualified’. What ‘qualified’ actually means of course is open to discussion.

    To my eye, there exists the ‘hard’ technical qualifications of Engineering, Medicine et al that do require tertiary education for the more advanced skills and knowledge that secondary education cannot provide. Everything else however can neatly be summariesed as glorified hobbies.

    I, within my social circles, run into younger people of uni age. They happily tell me how they are studying ‘Languages’. I nod, remove my eyes from their clevage, and politely ask ‘Why?’

    When the answer isn’t ‘My face is up HERE!’, 90% of the replies fail in rise confidence levels. A vast majority do not seem to have any objective directly related to their study, they are just studying because, it seems, someone has spent 12 years telling them they MUST finish Year 12 and get into Uni.

    Which wouldn’t be a bad thing if the Unis themself didn’t then lord over us with their elitism.


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    • #

      Mike Rowe is a living legend. His website says:

      PROFOUNDLY DISCONNECTED?
      A trillion dollars in student loans. Record high unemployment. Three million good jobs that no one seems to want. The goal of Profoundly Disconnected is to challenge the absurd belief that a four-year degree is the only path to success. The Skills Gap is here, and if we don’t close it, it’ll swallow us all. Which is a long way of saying, we could use your help…


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    Bones

    Is it so hard to teach children the three ‘R’s,then let them save the planet after they get edumacated,if they are gullible enough.Maybe an educated mind is harder to sway to the gangreen way of thinking.


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    Bones

    JO,here is a little something to show how things have changed.

    SCHOOL – 1957 vs. 2012

    Scenario :
    Johnny and Mark get into a fight after school.

    1957 – Crowd gathers. Mark wins. Johnny and Mark shake hands and end up best friends.

    2012 – Police called, and they arrest Johnny and Mark. Charge them with assault, both expelled even though Johnny started it. Both children go to anger management programmes for 3 months. School governors hold meeting to implement bullying prevention programmes.

    Scenario :
    Robbie won’t be still in class, disrupts other students.

    1957 – Robbie sent to the office and given six of the best by the Principal. Returns to class, sits still and does not disrupt class again.

    2012 – Robbie given huge doses of Ritalin. Becomes a zombie. Tested for ADHD – result deemed to be positive. Robbie’s parents get fortnightly disability payments and school gets extra funding from government because Robbie has a disability.

    Scenario :
    Billy breaks a window in his neighbour’s car and his Dad gives him a whipping with his belt.

    1957 – Billy is more careful next time, grows up normal, goes to college, and becomes a successful businessman.

    2012 – Billy’s dad is arrested for child abuse. Billy removed to foster care; joins a gang; ends up in jail.

    Scenario :
    Mark gets a headache and takes some aspirin to school.

    1957 – Mark gets glass of water from Principal to take aspirin with. Passes exams, becomes a solicitor.

    2012 – Police called, car searched for drugs and weapons. Mark expelled from school for drug taking. Ends up as a drop out.

    Scenario :
    Johnny takes apart leftover fireworks from Guy Fawkes night, puts them in a paint tin & blows up a wasp’s nest.

    1957 – Wasps die.

    2012 – Police & Anti-Terrorism Squad called. Johnny charged with domestic terrorism, investigate parents, siblings removed from home, computers confiscated. Johnny’s Dad goes on a terror watch list and is never allowed to fly in an airplane again.

    Scenario :
    Johnny falls over while running during morning break and scrapes his knee. He is found crying by his teacher, Mary. She hugs him to comfort him.

    1957 – In a short time, Johnny feels better and goes on playing footie. No damage done.

    2012 – Mary is accused of being a sexual predator and loses her job. She faces 3 years in prison. Johnny undergoes 5 years of therapy and ends up gay.


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      The Griss

      Bones, that would be funny…

      If it weren’t so darn close to reality.


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      Kevin Lohse

      Bones, that is universal across Western civilisation, Is it all yours or did you lift it from somewhere?


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      Vic G Gallus

      1995 – You’re a single male in his 20s sitting in the back row of a Jumbo behind a young family on a 13 hour flight to LA. Their 8-9 year old daughter sits by herself next to you (I’m guessing from her doll). You wake up from your sleep to find that she is asleep with her head on your lap. You feel uncomfortable but don’t have the heart to wake her up so you go back to sleep.

      2005 – The same thing happens but you feel really uncomfortable and wake her up, telling her to stay on her own side of the bloody arm rest.

      2015 – You wake up to a hostess screaming and bolt down the aisle to cower under the pilots seat, while the whole flight screams to throw you out at 30 000 feet, except for one luvvie who says “No, we must talk to him and explain to him what he has done wrong.” You decide to jump out rather than to listen to her any more.


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      Joe V.

      LOL :-)
      They just get better & better.
      I was in near hysterics and gasping for air by the masterful understatement of :-

      1957 – Wasps die.

      which just tipped me over the edge.

      Oh stop it, please.


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    scaper...

    OT, if one wants to donate to the cause.

    Some very heavy hitters are contributing to the book, including our host.

    The push is on!


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    Ian Bock

    The form for submissions requires specification of the state of residence – seems you have to live in Australia to make a submission, even though we products of the Australian (in my case Queensland) education systems may well have comments to offer.


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    pat

    i’ve got a comment in moderation at Bolt, asking that Jo come on his tv program regularly on carbon tax/RET/ETS, but i despair when i then come across something like this in The Australian:

    28 Feb: Australian: Global carbon market to reach record volumes by 2016
    In 2014, the value of the globally-traded carbon market will rise by two thirds from 2013 reach $US88bn, ($US53bn in 2013), with volume increasing by 3 per cent to 9.6 Gt CO2e, according to analysis by Thomson Reuters Point Carbon.
    Most of this year’s growth by value is expected to come from the 8.3 Gt EU Allowances (EUAs) that will change hands.
    This 3 per cent volume increase (up from 8 Gt last year) will produce value growth of 70 per cent; generating both the largest volumes and value globally.
    Emil Dimantchev, analyst at Thomson Reuters Point Carbon, anticipates that such significant growth will be driven by “expectations that after imminent backloading is implemented early in 2014, EUA prices could rise to €7.5/t, increasing over-the-counter and exchange traded liquidity. This would lead to an astounding increase in value, up by more than two thirds to €61bn ($US84bn) from €36bn ($US49bn) in 2013”…
    He added that even though the volume growth is minimal year-on-year, and the auction volume will actually decrease as a result of backloading, market confidence is expected to improve so much that it would drive the EUA price up by 35 percent per tonne – an increase substantial enough to create a surge in the EU ETS value without a correspondingly large increase in volume…
    Olga Chistyakova, senior analyst and author of the report concluded, “We expect the WCI and RGGI to generate €2.7bn ($US3.7bn) in value this year, up 22 per cent from last year. However, the WCI will account for two thirds of their combined volume, contributing 272 million tonnes”. Chistyakova added that the North American markets are here to stay, continuing to drive volume and value growth in the future.
    Maria Kolos, analyst at Thomson Reuters Point Carbon highlighted that, “We expect the primary and secondary Certified Emission Reduction (CER) market to remain strong, holding on to its position as the second largest market by volume at 703 million tonnes, albeit at a low value of €236 million ($US324 million)…”…
    China’s seven provincial emissions trading pilot (ETS) schemes could seize the emerging market spotlight from South Korea, where preparations are far from over for its national ETS launch in 2015. Hongliang Chai, analyst at Thomson Reuters Point Carbon commented, “China’s pilots are a breath of fresh air and expected to generate 24 million tonnes in trading this year from auctions as well as post-CDM salvaged offsets. Looking ahead to 2015, volume of Chinese pilots is projected to grow tenfold to about 227 million tonnes, as CER credits are remanufactured into ones eligible for domestic use to help offset the seven compliance markets”…
    AND ON AND ON…
    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/latest/global-carbon-market-to-reach-record-volumes-by-2016/story-e6frg90f-1226840364879


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    pat

    more proof Big Oil is a friend of CAGW:

    28 Feb: Business Spectator: Daniel Palmer: BP chief: renewables won’t cut it, need carbon price
    The latest BP Energy Market Outlook, which looks ahead to 2035, offers a sombre outlook on man-made climate change as renewables likely fail to gain the traction needed to bring emissions down. But a carbon price could change that, according to BP’s general manager of global energy markets and US economics, Mark Finley.
    A rare positive is the oil giant’s view that renewable energy will be the fastest growing energy source over the next two decades, but even BP acknowledges that will do little to curb emissions.
    “Manifestly (we are) not on a sustainable trajectory, at least in the dimension of CO2 emissions,” Finley admitted during a speech at Columbia University in New York…
    “There is some positive news in the United States and in Europe, in that we expect emissions to go down. However, it is a global problem and globally emissions are going up.”
    Renewables will top nuclear and rise above 10 per cent of global energy supplies by 2035, but it’s a minor victory as carbon emissions are forecast to lift 30 per cent, just shy of the 41 per cent lift in energy…
    The distance between energy growth and emissions simply isn’t widening fast enough, with Finley confident carbon pricing is the answer.
    “There is a real incentive to (become more energy efficient) because energy is expensive,” he explained.
    “Whereas there’s not a real incentive to do (reduce emissions) because carbon, by and large, is not expensive.
    “Market forces can be a powerful ally for tackling these challenges.”
    Finley doesn’t anticipate a global carbon price within the two decade-long forecast period, though he expects several countries and regions to have their own market schemes. Still, that doesn’t mean a global carbon price should not be pursued.
    “Markets work,” he concluded. “If you want to (reduce emissions), put a price on carbon.”
    http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2014/2/28/energy-markets/bp-chief-renewables-dont-cut-it-need-carbon-price


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    pat

    whatever:

    28 Feb: International Business Times: Investments in Renewable Energy Being Questioned Following Hiatus of Global Warming
    by Esther Tanquintic-Misa:
    With the world now experiencing a slowing global warming, sceptics have started questioning the importance and necessity of the investments made into renewable energy by all member nations of planet Earth. But science bodies in the U.S. and UK assured the investments remain well in track as the warming hiatus is just temporary…
    While there has been a short-term slowdown in the warming of Earth’s surface since the exceptionally warm 1998, that “does not invalidate our understanding of long-term changes in global temperature arising from human-induced changes in greenhouse gases,” according to a report by Britain’s Royal Society and the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.
    Scientists continue to find the case for the warming hiatus. Some attributed it to the shifts in the oceans that are absorbing more heat from the atmosphere. Others suggested the sun-dimming volcanic eruptions or a lower output from the sun contribute to the slowdown.
    If the Pacific winds were to be believed, the current hiatus could persist until nearly 2020…
    Thirteen out of the 14 warmest years on record had been since 2000.
    “I would not call that a pause in global temperature increases,” Michel Jarraud, head of the WMO, said.
    http://au.ibtimes.com/articles/541008/20140228/renewable-energy-hiatus-global-warming-climate-change.htm


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    pat

    note the Disclosure:

    27 Feb: NYT Dot Earth: Andrew C. Revkin: Global Warming Basics from the U.S. and British Science Academies
    The National Academy of Sciences and its British counterpart, the Royal Society, have published “Climate Change: Evidence and Causes,” a fresh primer on greenhouse-driven global warming that is a useful update on past reports from both organizations. You can find helpful summaries of the findings on the National Academy of Sciences website…
    Disclosure | I’ve been working with the National Academies Press to develop an online primer on global warming, similar to the “What You Need to Know About Energy” website. That work is unrelated to today’s events.
    http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/02/27/global-warming-basics-from-the-u-s-and-british-science-academies/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0


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    pat

    ***nice timing!

    27 Feb: UK Daily Mail: Ted Thornhill: Humans are NOT to blame for global warming, says Greenpeace co-founder, as he insists there is ‘no scientific proof’ climate change is manmade
    Patrick Moore has poured cold water on manmade global warming theories
    The Canadian said that a hotter earth would actually be better for humans
    He said that there’s ‘no actual proof’ of manmade global warming
    Moore was a member of campaign group Greenpeace for 15 years
    ***His latest comments came as two of the world’s leading scientific organisations warned that man-made global warming is worsening and will disrupt both the natural world and human society.
    The U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the Royal Society, which is the national scientific academy of the United Kingdom, are releasing an unusual plain language report on climate change that addressed 20 issues in a question-and-answer format.
    ‘People do have persistent questions all about climate change,’ said study author Ben Santer of the Lawrence Livermore National Lab in California. ‘This is a one-stop shop for many of those questions.’ …
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2569215/Humans-not-blame-global-warming-says-Greenpeace-founder-Patrick-Moore.html


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    pat

    The Australian needs to publish this:

    27 Feb: Wall St. Journal: Pete Du Pont: Global Warming Heats Up

    The public could use an honest debate.

    Global warming is back. Not actual global warming, as the decade-long trend of little to no increase in temperatures continues. But the topic of global warming is back in the news. From Secretary of State John Kerry’s recent climate comments in Jakarta to the White House’s 2014 “year of action” plan on carbon emissions, global warming has garnered more ink and pixels than we’ve seen in a while.

    It’s an open question whether this renewed emphasis reflects sincere concern about global warming or is just the Obama administration playing to part of its base prior to the midterm elections. Either way, the White House and the eco-left must be disappointed by polls that continue to show Americans do not share their sense of urgency. Even though many believe some warming exists and is at least partly anthropogenic, the vast majority consider it a low priority…

    The warming alarmists might earn more support if they acted less like they had something to hide and actually allowed open debate. Perhaps they could respond to their critics rationally instead of reflexively branding them heretics, suitable for whatever is the modern university and research center equivalent of burning at the stake. Real science does not fear those who challenge it, does not work to have challengers’ articles banned from science journals, and does not compare skeptics to Holocaust deniers or, as Mr. Kerry did in Jakarta, members of the “Flat Earth Society.” …

    A movement with confidence in its scientific theories would be able to admit there are many climate factors beyond carbon dioxide that are not yet well understood, and that some climate models have been shown to be unreliable. Such a movement would not downplay or whitewash leaked emails evincing the possibility of massaged data. When it criticizes its skeptics as hired guns of the fossil-fuel industry who are influenced by money, it would be willing to acknowledge that it thrives on government and private funding that would shrink if its research did not continue to say warming is here and getting worse. And there would be more confessions such as Al Gore’s belated acknowledgment that his support for ethanol was misguided…

    All that might not be easy, but what comes next would be downright difficult. The alarmists must admit that every policy decision involves an equation and that polices directed at reducing carbon emissions come with costs. Robert Bryce, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, just issued a study that points to European Union climate polices (renewable energy subsidies and mandates, as well as a carbon cap-and-trade scheme) as a significant reason the 27 EU nations pay on average more than twice what we pay in the U.S. per residential kilowatt-hour of electricity, with Germany paying three times as much. Following such policies in the U.S. would shrink our economy as it would cost more not just to run our homes, but to power our offices and factories and operate our schools and hospitals. It’s fine if the alarmists feel these higher costs and the impact on jobs and our economy are worth bearing, but they need to admit these negative impacts and justify them to the public…

    Finally, the alarmists must admit that it is not certain their policies would significantly reduce the rising temperatures they predict. They need to admit that, for some of them, their policy prescriptions are really about control of our economy. Many want government control of the energy sector because they ideologically prefer it to free markets. Some want to stifle economic growth in America in a foolish and counterproductive attempt at achieving global economic equality…

    The alarmists need to acknowledge their policies would sentence more of our world’s poor to poverty, disease and premature death.
    To be sure, the science is not settled. The alarmists may be correct about projected warming. They may be correct that the costs of their proposed policies would be worth it if those policies avoid some of the negative impacts of that projected warming. If they truly feel they are right, they have an even greater responsibility to drop their insular and defensive attitude and debate these issues openly.
    http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304709904579408950141040072?mg=reno64-wsj&url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Farticle%2FSB10001424052702304709904579408950141040072.html


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    Ceetee

    This Mattb is an interesting character. I’ve watched him and his efforts here for a while now and can only assume that he is either a masochist or is so surrounded by like minded souls who coo positive affirmation of his worldview at him that he is completely deluded. He gets paddled backwards and forwards like a ping pong ball and cares not a jot.
    Good article though. You just know that when they are gunning for our kids that its either long term planning, exasperation or both.


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    pat

    5:12 Youtube: .Hannity Patrick Moore Greenpeace Co Founder. NO EVIDENCE Climate Change Caused By Humans .
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t7dsIzYyvlg


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    Krudd Gillard of the Commondebt of Australia

    We find that increasingly we have to teach our children at home to make up for all the deficits at their primary school.

    What is wrong with learning multiplication and division by memorising the times tables?

    Why isn’t handwriting taught any more? Spelling?

    How about the days of the week, the names of the months of the year and how many days there are in each?

    Instead they are getting “climate change.” All the time. To say nothing of the constant promotion of certain paleolithic cultures as being superior to ours.

    Awards for nothing are handed out on mass every week. Everyone gets one. A lot of the awards are literally for attending school.


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      Krudd Gillard of the Commondebt of Australia

      No one fails. Everyone passes.

      Computer games are inculcated into nearly every session.

      Brilliant!


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      Kevin Lohse

      “What is wrong with learning multiplication and division by memorising the times tables?”

      Absolutely nothing. As well as freeing young minds for more advanced mathematical thinking, a certain amount of rote learning teaches memory skills and gives confidence to a child to trust their own mind. What is learning a part in a school play but rote learning? once the words are learnt, the actor can concentrate on performance. The same applies to playing musical instruments. Once how to make the notes becomes a matter of trained muscle memory, the aspiring performer can give attention to interpreting the music. When driving a car, very few people pull out a. “How to Drive” manual and start from scratch. There you are, bags of cross-curricular activity to satisfy the Matt B’s of this world. Trouble for the Left is, such skills breed independence, not dependence, and we can’t have that, can we?


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        Vic G Gallus

        The modern approach is for it not to look like rote learning but to be even easier to learn by rote. I was asked to watch a leading maths teacher’s lesson. They did a discovery activity outdoors where she gave explicit instructions and also did it for them. One girl in the class said “and now what miss?” then giggled and the rest daydreamed.

        When I finally figured out teaching, I realised that the rote learning was the time out that the students needed from thinking hard. You had to design the class with short activities where they worked things out for themselves, then a bit of rote learning or contributing to a table on the board to eventually copy down neatly. Very old school.


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    Justin Jefferson

    My two bobs worth. I followed Jo’s suggestion and made a submission to the Review, the summary of which is this:

    • All of the assumptions on which the Australian curriculum are based are false
    • The federal government does not know, and is not capable of knowing what the best processes or outcomes are or should be, for determining what should be taught to the millions of people who would be affected by the national curriculum.
    • It is not legitimate to conduct the review on the unspoken unchallenged assumption that the federal government knows best; the very fact they adopted this approach shows that they are unsuitable for the task.
    • The ACARA should be abolished
    • The proposed curriculum should be abrogated
    • The core curriculum priorities cannot be justified
    • The best result the federal government can achieve as concerns schooling is only to withdraw from any intervention in schooling and reduce taxes accordingly.


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    michael hart

    Well, I’m not Australian, so I probably don’t get to make submissions.

    But I think “Chinese, Korean and Japanese kids outscore ours in maths” is also true here. Poor mathematical skills inhibits development of an ability to ask good skeptical questions in many walks of life. Probably a significant contribution to the growth of ‘cAGW’. Now there’s a real research question for Lew to flush out some answers.


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    jim2

    I don’t understand how not even one major country has been able to escape this leftist takeover. How the heck did it happen? In the US, where I live, it was achieved by the Democrats (socialists) promising more welfare, health care, day care, and other welfare measures. Now 40% of babies here are born to single mothers and I consider that a measure of the breakdown of society here. I’m very sad over all this and fear that life for my son is going to be a much bigger struggle than it was for me.

    From the article:
    The rate of single motherhood, which has been steadily increasing since the 1940s, has skyrocketed in recent years, according to a report by the U.S. Census Bureau released on May 1st.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/01/single-motherhood-increases-census-report_n_3195455.html


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    Sean

    “Cross Curriculum Priorities” = indoctrination goals for social engineering

    This is not education. It is propaganda. Any teacher or administrator who re[presents it otherwise should be terminated and never hired again within the education system.


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    There is only one question that needs answering here: why have the Liberal state governments and Liberal federal governments allowed the Left to poison children’s minds and ruin their prospects for the future?

    Why haven’t O’Farrell, Newman, Barnett and Abbott (and Howard before him) done something about this? (Note that the federal government provides a significant percentage of the funding for education and therefore has to power to influence the states)

    All conservative commentators MUST use their power and influence to shame the Liberals into reforming education. The Liberals, whether it is through stupidity or cowardice, should not be allowed to get away with this.

    This is why our society is in decline. It is not because the Left are vandalising it, because that goes without saying; it is because the Liberals won’t do anything about it.

    And this is not just about job prospects. It is a much bigger issue. It also involves crime, violence, anti-social behaviour and inter-generational welfare dependency. Thanks to the Left using the education system to deliberately corrupt and warp children’s minds, we now have a burgeoning underclass of underachievers who know no constraints, do not know right from wrong, do not have a proper set of social skills, are unable to build self-esteem through career achievements, and whose only source of social power comes from socially destructive behaviour, such as one-punch random attacks, to give just one example.

    It is a DISGRACE that the gutless Liberal premiers have allowed this to continue.

    Christopher Pyne, you can start this off by reforming the national curriculum. Or are you, too, going to be intimidated out of it by the Left, just as your colleagues were intimidated out of abolishing the AHRC and 18C and reforming all of the other public institutions and agencies that the Left infest. Have you got the courage and integrity to do it, Christopher Pyne, or are you going to cower from the Left and thus become truly deserving of Julia Gillard’s ‘mincing poodle’ epithet?


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    Eliza

    What hawkins and Keating did to Australian Education is unforgivable. Basically they have destroyed Australian Universities reputation and produced a whole generation of cretins like Lewanski (well employ people like him), Flannery, ect…


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    Owen

    Jo Nova: thanks so much for a terrific blog. I read you almost daily along with Watts Up. Your no-BS Oz approach, and your very clear and literate/numerate viewpoint, are very effective. Increasingly I think the defeat of Green Craziness will come from work by folks like you. Thanks.


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    Rick Bradford

    From The Naked Communist by Cleon Skousen (1958):

    #17. Get control of the schools. Use them as transmission belts for socialism and current Communist propaganda. Soften the curriculum. Get control of teachers’ associations. Put the party line in textbooks.

    You can tick that one off as achieved.


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      James Bradley

      Thereby creating a sub-cultural group of drones subservient to a chosen elite class. Almost achieved Huxley’s Brave New World.


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    David Smith

    I’ve posted before on Jo’s blog about why I use a pseudonym, as in the past commenters on other blogs have tried to search out the school I was working at in an attempt to jeopardise my employment because of my sceptical views. However, the curse of CAGW mania is not what I’m commenting on today. Instead I want to talk about the socialist propaganda that is forced upon kids in the UK education sector:

    A typical example is ‘Black History Month’. It is a month spent telling kids all about the history of black people. I find the whole thing to be patronising and unnecessary – do black people need their very own month? Are children unaware that black people have a history too? What would the socialist zealots say if we proposed a ‘White History Month’? All it does is help to marginalise black people in children’s eyes.
    Predictably, most of the month is spent discussing the slave trade and fostering a sense of modern-day white guilt. When I suggested that it should also be mentioned that the slave trade is still alive in Africa I was told that was ‘not appropriate’.

    A history teacher at a school I once taught at was commendably passionate about her subject, but unfortunately taught the whole subject from a socialist point of view (she admitted to being a ‘marxist’, despite rather hypocritically teaching children in a private fee-paying school). She didn’t seem to realise that it is essential for school history to be taught from a politically neutral point of view so that children can make up their own minds about what were the political successes and mistakes of the past.

    Whenever I brought my daily copy of the politically conservative Daily Telegraph newspaper into school I would get reactions from other teachers such as, “that’s such a silly paper”, “I can’t stand what they write in there”, and even “you can’t bring that into school”. I also heard a Head of Drama describe the conservative Daily Mail newspaper as “evil”. You might disagree with the views of the Daily Mail (and I often do), put you can’t describe it as ‘evil’ to a bunch of school kids. There is an overwhelming assumption amongst the UK teaching profession that the only way is Socialism, and pupils are never taught to consider anything from a politically different slant. It is unfair and irresponsible to push such a narrow viewpoint upon children, as it gives them no chance to make up their own minds.

    Kids often ask me for my opinions on subjects, and I whilst I will tell them what I believe is right and true, I will always tell them about other points of view, and encourage them to go find more out for themselves before they make their own mind up. This is not something I have ever seen another teacher do, apart from a man who held the same libertarian views as myself.


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      If you have any comments, insights, or illustrative materials on what is being taught in schools in the UK on and around climate change or sustainability, I would very much like to know about them. Jsclimatelessons[a]gmail.


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        David Smith

        Hi John,

        I’ll get in touch over the next couple of days.

        Cheers,

        David
        dsm24627[a]yahoo.co.uk


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          Oksanna

          The Orwellian Black History Month that David refers to, is none other than the “post-colonial studies” component of Cultural Studies a la Birmingham University as applied to high school curricula in the UK and Australia alike. Modern African slavery sans the white oppressor of course was not acceptable.

          Similarly, in Australia, the “Rabbit Proof Fence” controversy became a lightning rod for postcolonial debate, as Andrew Bolt has noted: http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/opinion/schools-must-mend-fences/story-e6frfhqf-1225810741893
          It is a reminder how our contemporary English classrooms inculcate socialist values in impressionable minds at the same time occluding inconvenient historical facts which are at odds with the polemic.

          Stuart Hall (definitely not to be confused with the infamous BBC announcer) very recently passed away, and his life story (e.g as can be found on Wikipedia) gives an interesting snapshot of how Cultural Studies evolved from Frankfurt School “Critical Theory” (itself a “code-word” used by European emigrees to the US around WWII, for Neo-Marxism). In a nutshell, Birmingham Cultural Studies dumps Marx’s proletariat and instead borrows the concept of “hegemony” from Gramsci. There is an emphasis on “power” not just on class.

          A tip for parents is to look out for these key-words: “higher-order thinking”, “meta-cognitive skills”, “discovery-learning”, “deep understanding” and “real problem-solving skills”. Also “academic rigour” is spat out in desperation from time-to-time the way a fighter plane shoots a flare to deflect a heat-seeking missile. These code-words have special meanings in Neo-Marxian pedagogy which differ from the usual everyday sense. They are a flashing red light on the dash warning you of leftist gremlins and a damaged curriculum.

          In ending, I apologize for two errors in my previous post (#29): (i) Birmingham Polytechnic should read University of Birmingham, (ii) it was in Chicago that Bloom’s Mastery Learning was tried and then scrapped in 1982, not Texas. It was in Utah in 1984-86 that ML was resurrected as OBE and then gained federal funding, before finally spreading across the Western world (and to us here in Australia).

          It is amazing how these essentially Soviet philosophies have obstinately contrived to infiltrate our children’s development in the West, both in the education system and in environmentalism.


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    Mervyn

    So, the Australian science curriculum has been over run with green politics. I honestly think there is not much that can be done about it for now, when we have a Climate Change MInister who, last year on national TV, could not or would not answer a very simple question – “Do you believe CO2 is pollution?”

    Greg Hunt, who presumably drinks soft drinks and beer containing CO2, and who is quite healthy despite all the CO2 in his bloodstream and his lungs, should have stated without hesitation, “Of course CO2 is not pollution.”

    He didn’t do that. And guess why?


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