Breeding ignorance

There are lots of ways to assess a civilisation, but there is no denying that the one we live in here in Australia is the most successful so far as economic prosperity and personal freedom are concerned. We in the West have also done quite a bit to uncover the nature of scientific truth (e.g. how do we know that our bodies are made up of trillions of cells? btw what’s a cell and how do we know?) which has led to Western medicines being the standard across the world. We have also had our disasters, such as the incubation of Marxist/Socialist thought which continues to ruin many nations, and remains a predator even within our own societies, threatening to plunge us into some new form of feudal serfdom. Speaking of which, just what is “feudal serfdom”? Not sure we are up to teaching it any longer. Not sure anyone any longer knows much about history. Many of the same people who now teach our children about Nazis also think Donald Trump was a Nazi. How do we deal with such fools in such strategic places in our society?

There is an idiocy about that suggests that Western Civilisation was built on plunder and the subjugation of others. I don’t see it that way, but some do. Nevertheless, at the present moment, our way of life seems about as good as it gets across the planet. Global migration are efforts to enter our societies, not to leave them. Which brings me to How the West was airbrushed from history by Nick Cater in today’s Oz. He begins:

The proposed revisions to the national curriculum do less than we might have hoped to banish the scourge of woolly thinking from the classroom.

Spare a thought for the teachers who are expected to navigate their way through this murky document to work out what they should be teaching. Or, indeed, whether they should be teaching at all, since the verb “to teach” hardly appears in the draft curriculum.

Numeracy is not so much to be taught as absorbed by giving students “opportunities to build and refine a robust knowledge and understanding of mathematical concepts”. Children should not be instructed to read but rather encouraged “to engage with, analyse, interpret, evaluate and create spoken, print, visual and multimodal texts”.

The muddled approach to literacy is matched by a downgrading of the English language itself. The first thing foundation students are expected to learn is that “English is one of many languages spoken in Australia” and should be taught alongside the “oral narrative” traditions of Australia’s First Nations peoples and Asian texts.

This pained effort to be inclusive means the curriculum hesitates to prioritise anything at all. Among the dozens of things about language children are supposed to absorb by the end of Year 3, for example, are the power relationships reflected in camera angles in advertisements and film segments. They must understand the phoneme–grapheme relationships that apply to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander language words. The requirement to write using “joined-up letters of consistent size” is number 33 on the list.

The March Through the Institutions has been a march of folly. A “teacher” who has never read Shakespeare or any of our classic literature, who knows nothing of our history or the stages through which we progressed, who understands little of our philosophical origins in our Biblical traditions, is about as ignorant as it is possible to be. We pass on idiotic nonsense about equity and equality without the slightest notion of how loaves of bread reliably end up in our bakeries every morning (along with iPhones and central heating). We teach our students about plastic in the ocean, while never explaining how plastic is made (I once asked each of my classes one year, around 300 students, where plastic came from and not one knew!).

I hope somewhere in this teaching mess the 3R’s are still around.

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34 Responses to Breeding ignorance

  1. Mark M says:

    The 3 ‘R’s?

    Reduce
    Re-use
    Recycle

    At least they can grow plants from kindergarten, and pick up rubbish off beaches.
    The future’s so bright, they gotta wear shades.

  2. sfw says:

    If our idiot PM pushed for a voucher system for education and allowing private ‘charter?’ schools to be setup then I reckon lots of parents would look for an alternative to the state or catholic systems. Catholic schools used to be an alternative to the education establishment but no longer, now they’re just players in the same system with much the same values and teachings. So how do we get a voucher/charter system? Is there another way?

  3. rickw says:

    We need to fire the idiots generating this shit and re-issue the 3R’s text books and teaching guides from the 1950’s. Based on my personal experience, these books were still in use in the mid 1970’s.

    Teaching of the 3R’s required no new material for 25 years, then…..

  4. Lutz says:

    But who are the actual bureaucrats behind this rubbish? Can we have some names who is generating and signing off these idiotic plans?

  5. Bruce of Newcastle says:

    Many of the same people who now teach our children about Nazis also think Donald Trump was a Nazi.

    They have an incentive to, since if they didn’t someone might notice that, on standard definitions, the teachers are actual fascists.

    Forcing the Dems to steal the election has had the benefit (if you could call it that) of removing the mask from the US Left. Even some of the lefties in the US are becoming disturbed by the fascism of the woke Biden regime.

  6. Hasbeen says:

    Yes the old fashioned learning was a pretty good system. Even the much maligned system of learning by rote had a lot going for it. Now 74 years later I still know what 9 8s are, or 12 12s. No thinking, the knowledge is there. The kids now well into their 30s & 40s are still amazed that when I am supposed to be going senile, I can still give them the answer to a mathematical problem from my head, quicker than they can get the calculator on their phone out & running.

    Not so sure that the catholic system is not better. Don’t know about the 3 Rs, but they do have real discipline, & instill some self discipline in most of the kids. As a kid who’s only contact with catholic schools was playing sport against them, I think they would be my first choice today.

  7. Faye says:

    We ache over the breakdown of OUR society. Our “leaders” don’t do anything about it. The “education system” is the worst part of our destruction. It’s not as if we don’t know it’s happening so why the hell is nothing being done about it??? We know who write the curricula so why the hell aren’t they sacked??? There is no one to vote for. Can’t see why today’s politicians don’t want to get their teeth into the unnecessary problems holding back Australia from education to infrastructure to industrial relations and that’s just for starters.
    Everyday Australians aren’t ready protesters but watching America being ruled by Marxists plus China’s audacity should scare us all to go out and protest.

  8. JohnJJJ says:

    Perhaps one of the more interesting aspects of the ‘modern condition’ is the internet. With the promise to empower every individual in the world and decentralize knowledge, it has done the opposite. This distributed network with all its nodes has centralised power and propaganda in a way that the national socialist could only dream of. It is certainly a web or a net, but not in the way it is described.

  9. max says:

    Choice of school is critical. I haven’t looked at these proposals in detail but am wondering if they do what similar reforms and rejigs did decades ago. In English e.g. there was a choice – Macbeth or Sally Morgan’s My Place, Thomas Hardy or a collection of multi-culti poems and stories from ESL speakers. Teachers decided what to give their students. High road or low. Same with Maths.
    Check the gritty details.

  10. Justinian the Great says:

    Steve, I think you are wrong about children not knowing about loaves of bread. They are reliably taught from Bruce Pascoe’s Dark Emu that aboriginals invented baking.

  11. Blair says:

    “Reference to “Indigenous” and “Aboriginal” people are now out because these are seen as “imposed terms”; replaced by “Australian First Nations Peoples”.
    Who were the leaders of “Australian First Nations Peoples” when Captain Phillip raised the flag at Sydney Cove in 1788?

  12. Damon says:

    Bruce Pascoe should visit Azerbajayan, and compare its cultural prehistory with that of the aborigines.

  13. Eyrie says:

    Teaching of the 3R’s required no new material for 25 years, then…..

    We’ve known how to do that effectively for over 100 years, rickw.
    Sit in rows, discipline, some rote learning, frequent mini tests. Encourage reading. Preferably something they are interested in.

  14. Old School Conservative says:

    Catholic schools (and other private schools) used to be an alternative to the education establishment

    Only for the quality of teaching, religious education, and discipline.
    The national curriculum applies to all schools.
    So if Western civilisation is airbrushed from the curriculum, no school is safe from leftist indoctrination.

  15. Vicki says:

    But who are the actual bureaucrats behind this rubbish? Can we have some names who is generating and signing off these idiotic plans?

    The march through our educational institutions was a long one – but the Left has certainly achieved ascendancy by the look of it.

    Seemingly a lifetime ago (it was!) I was on the NSW Syllabus Committee for Ancient History. We were fighting a determined push by reps of Teachers Federation to have Aboriginal Studies introduced into the senior curriculum. My position was that Ab Studies was Anthropology (that was currently where it was taught at tertiary level) – not “history” in the way it was then(properly) perceived.

    That was in the mid 1990s, as I recall. Well, they have well & truly won a quarter of a century later – when, I suppose – us old stalwarts have faded into obscurity.

    It is intellectual obscurantism of the highest order. These people are carefully dismantling the tenets of our civilisation.

  16. Vicki says:

    BTW those reps from the Teachers Federation who were attempting to restructure the curriculum were among the most unpleasant people I have ever encountered. Manners and respect were not in their armoury. They were full on attack dogs.

    In the same vein, during my teaching career in adult education I found Teachers Fed doctrinaires (not all, but many) were by and large resentful of the promotion of colleagues and seemed to lack the fulfilment that the job brought to those who loved their work.

  17. Shy Ted says:

    Racism.
    Rape culture.
    Reparations.
    The 3 aahs.

  18. Old Lefty says:

    The reassurance that this drivel was prepared in consultation with ‘curriculum experts’ should be enough to warn you.

    The response to declining levels of numeracy: de-emphasize times tables. FMD.

  19. Ceres says:

    This “murky proposal sounds like teaching by osmosis. Not much structure more “self discovery”.
    Bring back streaming with classes according to ability like we do with sporting activities where teams are graded. Makes it easier for teachers and kids always know where they are in the pecking order anyway. No need to reinvent the wheel just to keep people in jobs with the curriculum, and stop trying to incorporate trendy indigenous matters into fields like mathematics, English and science. Phonics was on the nose which left many students behind. It’s now back but should never have gone away. Tried and true wins every time.

  20. Graham says:

    The “3 R’s” should in fact be the ” 3 Rs” – there being 3 of them rather than a singular R.
    There is no possessive apostrophe required.
    If our education system was ever to return to concentrating on the basic then grammar would be one of those things worth covering.

  21. gardez bien says:

    Australia is indeed lucky to have been bequeathed Western civilisation by the British, and it is to their credit they haven’t fucked it up. Yet. Since Federation or whatever, what has Australia contributed to western civilization? Well, allegedly fridges and penicillin, Skippy the Bush Kangaroo and Rolf Harris. Maybe Neighbours and Men at Work.

    What does Australia export to the world? Some live sheep, wine, wheat, beef….. But overwhelming coal, iron ore, copper, uranium. That’s it, and a good thing too. Where would Australia be without coal and iron ore?

    Where are the world leading Australian architects, fashion houses, car manufacturers, submarine builders? I must have missed it all.

    When the mines are banned and flying ist verboten, how will Australia earn a living? Or bring in taxes?

    Sorry, I was forgetting Cate Blanchet and Our Nicole. Carry on, as you were.

    ,

  22. Kneel says:

    “…I can still give them the answer to a mathematical problem from my head, quicker than they can get the calculator on their phone out & running.”

    Got my old boss with that – in a taxi with him going to a training course, talking about how much he’d save on electricity from the deal he just made. I said “That’s over half a million”, then he pressed “=” and said “534,963 – did you do that in your head?” From then on, any time he wanted a rough ballpark he’d ask me and get things like “2 and a half grand is 10-15% low, so 2800 ish”, followed several seconds later by “2863” from someone who got the calculator out. They stopped bothering pretty quick. 🙂

    Most amusing to keep a running total of what you spend in the supermarket in your head, get the correct change out while you are waiting, then watch the “check-out chick” go “How’d ya do dat?” when you hand them the exact amount while they are still reading you the total.

  23. Kneel says:

    “It’s not as if we don’t know it’s happening so why the hell is nothing being done about it??? “

    The same reason Homer Simpson won an election on the slogan “Can’t somebody else do it?” Well, that and “I asked an expert, and they said…”

  24. Tel says:

    Forcing the Dems to steal the election has had the benefit (if you could call it that) of removing the mask from the US Left. Even some of the lefties in the US are becoming disturbed by the fascism of the woke Biden regime.

    Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria!

    Naomi Wolf on Delingpod.

    https://delingpole.podbean.com/e/naomi-wolf/

  25. Kneel says:

    “…what has Australia contributed to western civilization? “

    Two that you may not be aware of:

    radar guided gattling gun as missile defense on ships; the Yanks call this CIWS – close in weapons system. Cheap and extremely effective.

    the phase locked loop – now used in heaps of stuff, this allows you to generate lots and lots of different radio channel frequencies from a single reference crystal. Without this, mobile phones, high speed CPUs, digitally controlled tv and radio tuners and much more would be impossible.

    Both were cobbled together from existing things, just combined in a unique way to meet a need and do so at low cost – that’s what we’re good at, and always have been.

  26. Old Lefty says:

    Not to mention, Kneel, the secret ballot. The Australian colonies led the way on this with the mother country and the US. Indeed, it was known in the US as the ‘Australian ballot’ when it was introduced.

  27. Old Lefty says:

    The ability to vote without the henchmen of the local squire or party boss looking over your shoulder is a precious liberty which we should cherish.

  28. Old Lefty says:

    Meanwhile, the Palace Chook, at the instigation of the teachers’ union, is abolishing the publication of school results:

    https://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2021-05-03/qld-school-comparison-scrapped-year-12-atar-results/100111752

  29. Davey Boy says:

    No, the three Rs have been redefined by our Chyna mates:

    Rob
    Replicate
    Replace

  30. Old Lefty says:

    Don’t, by the way, put too much hope in so-called Catholic schools. De Carvalho, who heads the curriculum authority that produced this politically correct gibberish, was previously a long-serving bureaucrat in the bureaucratic, philistine and secularist travesty that passes for Catholic schooling. In Victoria, the member for Hawthorn elected from a retirement village in the 2018 Andrews landslide is a former president of the Catholic School Principals Association who has collaborated without a peep of protest in his leader’s anti-Christian Marxist jihad.

    Some bishops recognise the problem but are powerless to change it.

    It speaks volumes about the bigoted pig-ignorance of the Socialist Left-Green-ABC- Fairfax axis that they do not recognise this. And about the naivety of the quislings who think that collaboration with the woke left will save their.

  31. Old Lefty says:

    ‘… save them‘. Autocorrect again.

  32. Boambee John says:

    Old Lefty says:
    May 3, 2021 at 7:56 pm
    The ability to vote without the henchmen of the local squire or party boss looking over your shoulder is a precious liberty which we should cherish.

    And yet it is something that is never applied in Parliament. Rather, the MPs vote openly, which is becoming a dangerous thing in these odd days of “cancel culture”.

  33. Andre Lewis says:

    The education gurus think everything taught has to liked by the pupils so content is dumbed down and the little sods are allowed to wander around the classroom deciding what they want to do.
    I attended a Catholic (de la Salle Brothers, not Jesuits) school in England in the early 60s and discipline was firmly in place. Whether you liked Latin, geography, English, maths, history, physics, biology and chemistry did not matter you had to do it all and get a pass. On every Friday afternoon the lesson was interrupted by the Brother Principal wafting in with a sheaf of small papers in his hand. They were red, blue, white and green. Red for good results and behaviour and so on down to white – get one white three weeks in a row and parents were called in to collect you. All papers with their results and teacher comments had to shown to and signed by parents and given back on the following Monday – no exceptions. Sounds terrifying and it was, but believe me you went head down and bum up to get a red and blue as much as possible.
    Hated Latin and chemistry and yet today I still recall useful aspects to better understand what is going on around me.
    Maybe that was all too hard on kids but today its too far the other way.

  34. Kneel says:

    “And yet it is something [secret ballot] that is never applied in Parliament.”

    Used to be.
    Should be.
    But they reckon “accountability”.
    They don’t say “to party whip”.
    Grubs.

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