The independent body which oversees the federal curriculum wants to teach school students that Australia was invaded (true!), that our heritage is diverse rather than just Christian (true!!) and that the significance of fabricated national myths like the Anzac Legend is disputed at best (true!!!).
These changes were put forward by the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority, which updated certain aspects of the current curriculum and is now inviting teachers to give their feedback on what we should be teaching the next generation at school.
“Another way to describe what are hoping to achieve is that we want to give the Australian curriculum the Marie Kondo treatment,” ACARA CEO David de Carvalho said at the third annual Sydney Morning Herald Schools Summit in March, ahead of the draft curriculum’s release on Thursday.
“We are hoping that teachers will ‘find joy’ when they see the new curriculum, and are very interested in getting their feedback through the consultation process.”
In civics classes, for example, instruction about Australia’s supposed “Christian heritage” would be nixed in favour of teaching that Australia is a “culturally diverse, multi-faith, secular and pluralistic society.”
In history classes, the proposed curriculum changes would see students learn about the “impact of invasion, colonisation and dispossession of lands by Europeans on the First Nations peoples of Australia such as frontier warfare, genocide, removal from land, relocation to ‘protectorates’, reserves and missions.”
“It is an expression for the future that we want, because that’s what we’re telling our kids to learn and understand, and we’re using that knowledge and those skills to shape them,” former New South Wales Education Standards Authority Chair Tom Alegounarias told The Sydney Morning Herald.
“The draft is asserting that this is a perspective that is shared. The consultation is a test of whether it is agreed we can now share this understanding of how Australia was settled and it be not controversial.”
It would be very, very nice indeed if admitting that Australia was (and still is!) violently colonised was an uncontroversial perspective. This curriculum proposal is an early step in that direction.