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IPA: Biased National Curriculum Should be Scrapped

MEDIA RELEASE

| Chris Berg and Aaron Lane

IPA: Biased National Curriculum Should be Scrapped

"The Rudd-Gillard government's National Curriculum is politically biased to the left, and should be abolished," said Aaron Lane, Research Fellow at the free market think tank the Institute of Public Affairs.

"For example, the history curriculum is unbalanced and hostile to economic growth and technological development.

For example, a Year 7 history textbook prepared for the National Curriculum asks students to debate whether ‘modern humans should return to the hunter-gatherer way of life?' Another history textbook emphasises the damage that the Industrial Revolution did to the environment, noting that it ‘left humanity dependent on carbon fuels'.

"It is deeply concerning that the history curriculum completely ignores Western Civilisation as the foundation of prosperity in the modern world. The history curriculum over-emphasises themes such as the environment, colonialism, multiculturalism, class and social history, and anti-modernism.

"In the English curriculum, emphasis is put on Dreamtime stories, Asian legends and Aboriginal rock art while the only European literature mentioned appears to be Cinderella and Jack and the Beanstalk.

"Any government-endorsed curriculum will be politicised. This issue will not be fixed by inserting additional cross-curriculum priorities in an attempt at a ‘rebalance', as some organisations have proposed.

"The best way to fix these problems is to abolish the National Curriculum. The government should focus on eliminating barriers to schools choosing and developing their own curriculum in consultation with their school community," said Aaron Lane.

The IPA's submission to the review of the National Curriculum was co-authored by Stephanie Forrest, Research Scholar for the Foundations of Western Civilisation Program, and Aaron Lane, Research Fellow.

A copy of the submission is available to be downloaded at: http://ipa.org.au/portal/uploads/IPA_Submission-National_Curriculum_Review-March_2014.pdf

For media and comment: Aaron Lane, Research Fellow, 0400 838 630, [email protected] OR Chris Berg, Director of Policy, 0402 257 681, [email protected]

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