Home >  Blog >  Intercultural understanding

Intercultural understanding

Posted by Garry Collins, AATE President on 8 September 2014

The Courier-Mail of Saturday 6 September 2014 carried on its Page 3 a story headlined "Back to basics for kids at school" which provided some conjecture on the report submitted to federal Education Minister Christopher Pyne by Professor Kenneth Wiltshire and Dr Kevin Donnelly following their review of the Australian Curriculum. The opening paragraph of the story was:

  • "Teachers will be instructed to focus on literacy and numeracy rather than vague postmodern themes such as "intercultural understandings", under a plan to revamp the national curriculum."

The following letter was submitted in response. The version published in the paper on Monday 8 September had the underlined words deleted and the bracketed ones inserted. It appeared as the second of two letters under the heading "Education report spells end to creativity".

Understanding of others a worthy educational goal

Intercultural understanding is one of the general capabilities to be developed, as opportunities arise, in teaching the Australian Curriculum.

The first sentence of explanation of this element on the website of the  (The) Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority website says: “students develop intercultural understanding as they learn to value their own cultures, languages and beliefs, and those of others”.

It was disappointing to see this worthy educational goal dismissed in your report as a “vague postmodern theme” (“Back to basics for kids at school”, 6/9).

Without this goal, harmful fear and hatred of any cultures different from our own are likely to fester and grow.

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.
Tags: Curriculum matters

Post comment

Upcoming Events

Masterclass - Unit 3

This event will allow participants to explore the syllabus and teaching strategies in detail for semester 3. A Unit plan for English  Unit 3 for use in  English on Saturday 19 May and Sunday 20 is now available.  Day one will deal with English and Literature, while day two will repeat the English sessions and also offer...

Category:   Seminar
Start Time:   9:00 AM
Date:   Wednesday 23rd May 2018
Venue:   University of Queensland
Phone Enquiries:   0455 464 000
Email Enquiries:   adminofficer@etaq.org.au


Grammar Day 2018

A half day grammar workshop will be presented by Garry Collins at the Springfield Campus of The University of Southern Queensland on Saturday 9th June, 2018. As the venue can accommodate 72, registration will close when we reach that number or Monday 4th June, 2018. If you wish to come, you are advised to register early. For all the d...

Category:   Workshop
Start Time:   8:00 AM
Date:   Saturday 9th June 2018
Venue:   Springfield Campus of USQ
Venue Address:   www.usq.edu.au/springfield
Email Enquiries:   adminofficer@etaq.org.au


AATE/ALEA CONFERENCE 2018

THE ART OF ENGLISH language  -  literature  -  literacy The AATE/ALEA English Literacy National Conference 2018 will be held in Perth from 8 July - 11 July 2018. Download the flyer here, or go to the website englishliteracyconference.com.au for all the latest information.   ...

Start Time:   9:00 AM
Date:   Sunday 8th July 2018
Venue:   Perth


Grace Loyden & the new SATE

Grace Loyden will present a session on a aspects of the new SATE at Townsville Grammar School on Saturday 28th July 2018, starting at 9:00 am. Cost is $20 which is to be paid by the website. Download the flyer for all the details. ...

Category:   Seminar
Start Time:   9:00 AM
Date:   Saturday 28th July 2018
Venue:   Townsville Grammar School
Email Enquiries:   adminofficer@etaq.org.au


Townsville Breakfast Book Club

Grace Loyden is organising a series of Breakfast Book Clubs starting at 9:00 am on: Sunday 11 February - Burial Rites by Hannah Kent Sunday 21 April - The White Earth by Andrew McGahan Sunday 5 August - Cat's Eye by Margaret Atwood Sunday 28 October - We are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler ...

Category:   Seminar
Start Time:   9:00 AM
Date:   Sunday 5th August 2018
  Repeating On specific dates
Venue:   Jam Corner Restaurant


< Previous | 1 | 2 | Next >
View all

English Educator of the week

Rachael Christopherson
Brisbane Girls Grammar School

Number of years teaching:
25.  12 years at BGGS

Where else have you taught?
St Edmund's College, Ipswich (all boys)
Mt Alvernia College, Kedron (all girls)
Downlands College, Toowoomba (co-ed boarding with Ag Studies programme)

 

Read more

View all

Blog Feed

Editor of Words'Worth - Expression of interest

Oct 04 2017
Words'Worth is the journal of The Englis...

Grammar myths

Sep 12 2017
An edited version of the letter below was pu...
Read all

Testimonials

Read All

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

Newsletter

Receive updates
from ETAQ

PO Box 3375, STAFFORD,
Queensland, Australia, 4053
(07) 3284 3718
ABN: 17 689 278 512

Connect to a great range of people who are passionate about English and have their finger on the pulse.

Be Connected