Daily Telegraph 12 October 2014
The 297-page report, to be released today, calls for a “back to basics’’ focus in English using phonics, or sounding out words to help children learn to read.
But in the most controversial recommendations, it warns the history of Western civilisation is underplayed and calls for a greater emphasis on traditional literature and poetry.
“Australia’s development as a nation is often presented in a negative light, ignoring the positives. The opposite is the case when dealing with indigenous history and culture,’’ the report states.
“It would be better if priorities like Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures are taught as essential content related to particular units of work rather than scattered across the history curriculum and various subjects. History should be revised in order to properly recognise the impact and significance of Australia’s Judaeo-Christian heritage.’’
Amid concerns the report will reignite a new culture war in Australian schools, Prime Minister Tony Abbot insisted that the report was “not about ideology.’’