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Reading and the review of the Australian Curriculum

Posted by Garry Collins, AATE President on 16 October 2014

The following letter was submitted for possible inclusion in The Australian of Thursday 16 October 2014 but it was not selected for publication. It was responding to part of an opinion piece by Paul Kelly (the journalist, not the singer/songwriter).

Emphasis on content needed to improve reading?

Paul Kelly’s interpretation of part of the review of the national curriculum seems to be that a greater emphasis on content rather than competencies is needed to improve the performance of Australian students in international tests of reading (“Curriculum report will be a test for Pyne’s political skill”, 15/4).

This is puzzling since most people would consider reading to be a set of competencies or skills. If Kelly has not misread the report, it would be useful for the reviewers to advise the sets of facts, the content, that needs to be learnt, perhaps  by rote memorisation, for students to be able to read with comprehension at all levels of the school system.

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

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