Putting fads ahead of foundation knowledge is to betray our children
The qualities of creativity, resilience and gratitude are all important in the 21st century (“Shift to ‘radical’ curriculum”, 15/9), but they were just as important in the 11th century. Putting them ahead of the foundational knowledge that schools were created to inculcate is to betray our children. Medicine, engineering and agriculture do not subject themselves to poorly conceptualised, abstract fads.
Having comprehensively wrecked the possibility of a fair funding model for government and low-fee non-government schools, the Coalition is now subjecting students to the sloppy, evidence-free thought bubbles of the trendy left.
The Twitter outrage and easy resort to name-calling in this age of identity politics are consequences of an education system that gave up insisting on personal responsibility and the teaching of clear thinking two school generations ago. The former was replaced with blaming teachers for not meeting the “needs” of students, while the latter was replaced with postmodern language analysis.
This is more than a superficial change in name. It is a profound marker of the intellectual state of society. Clear thinking assumes that arguments are valid or not. Language analysis assumes that everything is subjective and therefore looks at the surface features of argument. Chris Curtis, Hurstbridge, Vic