The following letter was submitted for possible inclusion in The Australian of Monday 10 August 2015 but it was not selected for publication. It was in response to a front page story in the weekend edition (8-9 August) which had the (not very accurate) headline "Curriculum shifts focus to core skills".
Change to national curriculum
When I attended primary school in Queensland in the 1950s, one of the subjects I studied was a combination of history, geography and civics that was called social studies.
At high school in the 1960s, I did history and geography as separate subjects and this was still the case at high school level when I started teaching in 1969. Later, history and geography were merged into a subject called SOSE (Study of Society and the Environment). By then, I was teaching only English but this seemed to me to be a sensible response to concerns about a crowded curriculum.
When John Howard was Prime Minister, there was a call for all Australian students to study history as a separate subject. As I recall, that push was supported by this newspaper.
Because of this background, I enjoyed some wry amusement while reading your front page report that there is to be a new amalgamated subject in the Australian Curriculum called Humanities and Social Science.
I thought of that useful French expression "plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose". It also occurred to me that it is often not really helpful for politicians to meddle with the details of school curriculum.
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National Conference, Melbourne
The AATE National Conference will be held in Melbourne from 30 November to 3rd December. The theme is My story flows in more than one direction: power of story, politics of voice. The program is available here; visit the conference website Early bird registration closes on 20 September. A range of prices includes $550 for personal mem...
This is the first time I have been to an ETAQ conference and it was really sensational to get so much at all of the sessions.
ETAQ conferences always have sessions that make me excited to be a teacher.
I know that ETAQ conferences in the past have never disappointed - valuable, relevant, practical, inspiring so I came again.Read All