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Education academics and dumbed down journalism

Posted by Garry Collins, AATE President on 13 August 2015

Natasha Bita is the National Education Correspondent for The Australian. The email below was sent in response to a piece she had in the weekend edition of the paper for 8-9 August 2015. I have not received a reply but I was not absolutely sure of the email address so perhaps she did not receive it.

Hello Natasha

In your Inquirer piece in this weekend's edition ("New school of thought on early intervention", August 8-9) you identify Kevin Donnelly as "one of the two education academics who reviewed the national curriculum for the Abbott government".

This clearly implies that Professor Kenneth Wiltshire is an "education academic". I suggest that this is not accurate. Wiltshire is certainly an academic but I think you will find that he has never worked in a university school or faculty of education. He is definitely not a member of the staff of the School of Education at The University of Queensland. I am sure of this because I work there part-time as a sessional tutor. He is, instead, the JD Story Professor of Public Administration and works in the university's Business School. See https://www.business.uq.edu.au/staff/ken-wiltshire .

Your piece refers to "the dumbing down of a generation of Australian students". There was a time when even cadet journalists were expected to get the basic facts right. Has there perhaps also been a dumbing down in journalism?

Regards

Garry Collins
President
Australian Association for the Teaching of English (AATE)
 

Author: Garry Collins, AATE President
About: Garry Collins is the Immediate Past President of ETAQ and began a 2 year term as AATE President on 1 January 2014. A retired high school English teacher, he now works in the School of Education at the University of Queensland as a sessional tutor in English curriculum courses.
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