Saturday 20th of April 2024

black and white history...


From the SMH

Mr Pyne said a Coalition government would conduct a thorough review of the curriculum.

''If we find the review confirms our very serious doubts then we'll scrap the national curriculum and we'll start again because it would be better for students to have the curriculum that they have now under the states than for them to have an unbalanced curriculum that will do them more harm than good,'' he said.

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott said he had not seen the curriculum, but was not confident that it would be the ''right curriculum'', citing media reports that suggested that it was ''political correctness run riot''.

Ms Gillard defended the content, which she said was the result of a consultative process.

''I believe if you properly look at this curriculum … it is neither black armband nor white blindfold. I would ask people to … jump on the website and look themselves.''

breadth of coverage

from the ABC

The academic who devised the history element of the new national curriculum has rejected suggestions there is an overemphasis on Indigenous history.

The Federal Government has launched draft curricula in history, English, maths and science for all students up to grade 10.

The national curriculum will be implemented in all schools next year.

Professor Stuart Macintyre from the University of Melbourne says one of its greatest strengths is its breadth of coverage.

He is also pleased that students will be exposed to more history at an earlier age.

"The novelty of the new curriculum is really that it teaches from a world history framework, so that we encourage students to compare the experience of the first Australians with those who peopled the North Americas," Professor Macintyre said.

where the pen is as mighty as the sword...

from the BBC

Australians have expressed outrage that a company which uses schools for weekend war games has promoted them as being "perfect killing fields".

One parents' association described the promotions, in the state of Queensland, as totally inappropriate.

An opposition education spokesman said such activities on school property sent the wrong message when the authorities were trying to stop school violence.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd questioned why schools allowed such activities.

A spokeswoman for the Queensland Education authority said school principals decided on the hiring facilities for community use in consultation with local associations.

'Most modern guns'

The BBC's Nick Bryant reports that the company Urban Assault runs outdoor war games using laser guns, and advertises on its website four schools in Queensland as ideal battlefields.

One school on the Gold Coast, it says, offers the "perfect urban assault battlefield".


Nothing new... "in my days at school" we used the stove to heat up pencil rubbers and make revolting smells, we made catapults out of wooden rulers and used ink pots like they use paintballs... We could have defended the school against any army in the world...

Well might you say,

G'day Gus,

While I assume that you are younger than myself, I must say that you remind me of the inovative talents which we used in our innocent days.  Good memories.

Perhaps necessarity is the mother of invention?

It's raining, put matches in the gutter and have a race.

Two tin cans connected by cotten is a method of communication.

The local cemetery is the place where we can meet and there is no interference.

And may I reveal Gus, that we played "Doctors and Nurses" and the wonderful experience of nature without dictation or false bigotry, was an example of the once Father's disciplinarian attitude by which I believe we all profited.

I watched what I call a wise old lady on TV who said - "Why do we want to change the natural order of things"?  Bless her.

God Bless Australia and all of the older ladies who still dress so immaculately.  NE OUBLIE.

histerical curriculum in lebanon...

A lesson in history reveals how the absence of a common history textbook in Lebanese schools highlights the lack of consensus between Lebanon's religious communities over interpreting their past - and their future.

In 1989 Lebanese parliamentarians met in Saudi Arabia to end the Lebanese civil war, which had been raging since 1975.

One aspect of the Taif peace accord they signed dealt with education. The politicians agreed that civic education should be uniform across the country in order to promote national accord and that a common history textbook should be created.

After three years of work, historians presented a curriculum they considered to be suitable for Lebanese of all backgrounds.

The book was published but its distribution to schools was suspended following political disagreement over its content.

Now, two decades after the civil war ended, the state still allows Lebanese schools the freedom to choose their own history textbooks.

'Nobody is objective'

Osama Salhab, whose son Majid is in school, says there has been little change in the content of history lessons since he was a student.

"Much has happened since the time I was studying. There's been a war, but the curriculum didn't evolve. I haven't seen much change from the history that I studied and the history my son is learning now."

Today's Lebanese students sit side-by-side in their history classes and learn about the Phoenicians and the Romans, the Ottomans and the Greeks, the French Revolution and the world wars, just as their parents used to.

But when it comes to Lebanon's more recent history, their schools teach them nothing, because modern history is not part of the curriculum in Lebanon.

"There isn't a well-documented history that explains the situation in Lebanon from 1914 to 1943, the politicians involved and how they struggled for Lebanon. Everybody has their own perspective. Nobody is objective. They look at others from a political point of view," says George Abi Khalil.

His daughter, Nour, explains: "We started learning history in French. We didn't learn about Lebanon's history. We learned about the first and second world wars and the French revolution. This is what we learned."

revisionised history...


Why does the government show such anxiety about new and developing historical insights (“Western history boosted in overhaul”, February 4)? As a modern history teacher of yore, I find myself wanting to gather all my former students, express regret for my younger ignorance and share the newest discoveries, especially regarding our Indigenous culture. These historical insights are exciting and enriching, not alienating. Anne Garvan, Chatswood West



Once again we are to have Western biases inserted into the history curriculum by political ideologues, aided and abetted by bureaucrats and consultants, most of whom fled the chalkface as soon as they decently could. This retired teacher’s hopes rest with the many dedicated classroom teachers who will demonstrate their integrity by interpreting the documents to achieve the best and fairest outcomes for students. Teachers will continue to bring intellectual honesty to the classroom. Steve Ellis, Hackett (ACT)