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Responses to the Donnelly/Wiltshire curriculum review

The Conversation’s panel of experts

A panel of experts was invited to respond to the curriculum review by ‘The Conversation’

Retrograde step in arts education?

Michael Anderson writes in The Drum (14.10.14):,’After reaching apoint where the arts were finally taking their place as part of core learning, the review of the Australian Curriculum not only pushes the arts but also schooling back into the 19th century.’

‘History Wars: Pyne needs evidence to build a case to change the curriculum’

Daniel Hurst (The Guardian, 14.10.14) provides an overview of the curriculum review, concluding: ‘Pyne likes to say that everyone is an expert on education because they went to school, but for his latest assignment on western civilisation he needs to present more supporting evidence.’

Curriculum review filled with contradictions

Libby Tudball writes in The Conversation (15.10.14) that the contradictions and suggestions in the review ‘may well encourage the states and territories to develop the curriculum in their own varied ways and undermine the progress that had been made with the curriculum. We are left wondering if implementing the current online Australian curriculum might be a more helpful way ahead for schools.’

Dean Ashenden on the ‘air of puzzlement’

Dean Ashenden writes in Inside Story (15.10.14) that while ‘Christopher Pyne’s appointment of right-wing warrior Kevin Donnelly … was greeted with howls of outrage. The just-released Donnelly-Wiltshire report, by contrast, has provoked little mor than quibbles and grumbles, many of a practical rather than an ideological kind.’

Hooked on the classics: literature in the English curriculum

Stewart Riddle and Eileen Honan discuss the recommendations on the literature curriculum: ‘As former high school and primary English teachers, we were left wondering what reviewers Kevin Donnelly and Ken Wiltshire think our students are reading in classrooms across the country, if not Western literature.’

There’s more to education than spelling and numbers

Sue Roffey (The Conversation, 16.10.14) suggests that ‘The removal of the four “general capabilities” from the curriculum is a travesty many are yet to recognise. The four “general capabilities” are personal and social capability, critical and creative thinking, ethical understanding and intercultural understanding. Are thinking and creativity now considered irrelevant for education?’

What if we had asked teachers to do the curriculum review?

Misty Adoniou (The Conversation, 17.10.14) aruges that ‘Removing the general capabiities and cross curriculum priorities won’t de-clutter the curriculum – because the content remains. But it does mean we lose prompts to think deeply about content.

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