Play in, politics out for new early learning manifesto (Aust)

The Australian April 02, 2009

THE federal Government has torn up its politically correct curriculum for children in daycare, quietly replacing it with a family-friendly guide for carers and parents. The revised “early years learning framework”, to be introduced nationally on July 1, bears little resemblance to the original version, which was criticised for its academic jargon and focus on social engineering. In place of the original description of child’s play as “a space for politics and power relations”, the new document states that “play enables children to simply enjoy being”.

“It can also provide opportunities for children to learn as they discover, create, improvise and imagine,” it says. “(They) use play to investigate, imagine and try out ideas.” The new version also scraps any reference to babies, toddlers and kindergarten kids discriminating on the grounds of sexuality. And it removes the reference to toddlers “enacting custodianship of the planet and encouraging environmental sustainability”. Instead, it says children can care for the environment by recycling, gardening, turning off running taps and cleaning up litter. Discussion of “civic participation” and “reconciliation” has vanished from the new version, which highlights the importance of playing outdoors, storytelling, drawing and singing nursery rhymes.,25197,25277353-601,00.html