Bella d’Abrera Discussing the National Curriculum on Outsiders – Sky News Australia

Written by:
25 March 2024
Bella d’Abrera Discussing the National Curriculum on Outsiders – Sky News Australia - Featured image

On 24 March 2024, Dr. Bella d’Abrera appeared on Outsiders to discuss the IPA’s research on the national curriculum.

All media appearances posted onto the IPA website are directly related to the promotion and dissemination of IPA research.

Below is a transcript of the interview.


Rowan Dean:

But now a special treat live here, a live whackademia. Yes, it’s the wacky world of academia. It gets crazier and crazier. And who better to talk to us about it? What is happening? It’s increasingly clear that what’s happening in our schools is that they’re politicising our kids and they’re using standard national curricula to do so. Joining us to discuss it all is of course Dr. Bella d’Abrera, Director of the IPA’s Foundations of Western Civilisation Programme. Great as always to see you, Bella. Now, terrific article. You’ve got in The Spectator this week, The Spectator Australia, where you go through the national curriculum and what kids are actually learning. Where we think they might be learning math,. It’s actually infused with a whole bunch of indigenous propaganda, political propaganda and so on. Talk to us about it, Bella.

Dr. Bella d’Abrera:

Well, look, it’s not just maths that’s infused with this propaganda. It’s the entire curriculum. It’s every single learning area. But I was looking at maths because obviously recently we’ve noticed that the results are falling. People can’t add up. People can’t do long division. So the problem is that from the very moment they get to school to the very time that they leave, they get this propaganda and it’s embedded into everything, so addition and subtraction when they’re little. So from year one to year five, the way they teach them how to add up and subtract is through aboriginal dance.

Rowan Dean:

So the way they teach them to add up and subtract is through aboriginal dance?

Dr. Bella d’Abrera:

Correct. Yes.

Rowan Dean:

Now, if you said that with a straight face, which you did, I would assume we were on a comedy show, but this is the national curriculum.

Dr. Bella d’Abrera:

This is. And look, this wasn’t the only example. There are many, many examples. I just picked that because it was very obvious that it was something that they really thought was the way to teach children how to dance, so it features in every year, and I’m sure it’s very fun when you’re four and five to dance rather than sit down and learn your times tables. But ultimately, it is detrimental, isn’t it? Because children can’t add up and read and write. When they get a bit older, then it gets a bit more serious. They get to the politicisation, get into reconciliation, and that’s really the driving force-

Rowan Dean:

But not in a reconciliation class, via other means.

Dr. Bella d’Abrera:

Other means

Rowan Dean:

Through other history or geography or maths or whatever it was.

Dr. Bella d’Abrera:

In the case of maths, it’s statistics. So they ask them to look at a thing called a reconciliation barometer, which was invented a few years ago just to sort of see how racist Australians are. So every year they just test the racism level. So this is the very clever way that the cultural Marxists will use a maths class to bring the children to political consciousness, which is a totally Marxist tool.

Rowan Dean:

Absolutely. James?

James Morrow:

Bella, I want to ask you more about these actual math classes here. Nobody of course doubts that First Nation Aboriginal people are an important part of our culture, but so are, let’s say, Roman Catholics. What do you think the reaction would be if I proposed that the national curriculum suggested using rosary beads to teach young people how to count or add or subtract using rosary beads and Hail Marys? Do you think that would go over as well?

Dr. Bella d’Abrera:

Well, obviously that would be condemned and it would be taken out immediately. But the problem is that none of this should be in the maths curriculum. It should be completely stripped of anything that is external to maths. It’s a science. It shouldn’t have anything political, anything religious, anything other than pure numbers really. And this is the problem that they’re finding, and how do you do this as a teacher? How do you try and convey mathematical problems or how to do a long division while you’re worrying about how do I teach them how to dance as well? So it’s a big problem.

Rita Panahi:

Bella, you obviously have not got the memo and this has come from the cultural Marxists in the US and Canada and elsewhere that maths is racist. So of course you’ve got to have these sorts of measures to make it more equitable, because we see maths is racist. And this sort of content in the curriculum isn’t just in maths lessons, is there? It’s across the entire subject field. Whatever the subject is, whether it’s music, history, geography, maths, there is some element of this black armband view of Australia integrated into it.

Dr. Bella d’Abrera:

Well, it’s a reflection of a broader problem, as you say, with the curriculum. There is no single subject that doesn’t have this cross-curriculum priority in it. And of course we haven’t even talked about sustainability yet. Those two are embedded in every single area. And of course, the problem is that the people who are suffering because of this politicisation are the children, so we’ve seen results are going backwards. 15 year olds now are a year behind where they were 20 years ago. You’ve got 15 year olds who can’t put together complex sentences. Our NAPLAN results last year said there’s one in three child is not fulfilling the expected standards. Only 200,000 children last year were doing well when it came to reading and literacy. This is appalling.

Rowan Dean:

It is appalling. It has real consequences, Bella. The other day I was in local cafe, lovely cafe. Young girl, attractive young girl serving. I went up to pay with cash, which is my new thing. Use cash. Use cash. Well, first of all, she looked astonished. I don’t think she’d ever seen cash. But anyway, that aside, this is absolutely true. The bill was $24.50. I gave a $20 note and a $5 note. She said, “That’s 25.” She stood there, confused, trying to work out $24.50 from $25, walked around for a little bit and then came back and gave me $1.50 change, which I kept, of course. You’ve got to punish these people. Fine them. But this does have real consequences. If kids going into the workforce can’t even add up, what else has our national curricula failed to teach our children, Bella?

Dr. Bella d’Abrera:

It’s failing in all the core curriculum subjects. It’s failing in everything. It’s a complete fail, and this is why there’s a crisis in education. This is why people are leaving school barely literate. This is why universities are talking about we need to start setting exams for entrance exams because the standards are so low. And as you say, how’s this person going to manage life? How’s she going to fill out a mortgage application form? How’s she going to manage her own funds if she can’t even work out a simple sum like that?

Rowan Dean:

James?

James Morrow:

Well, Bella, I want to ask you too about this reconciliation barometer, which you flagged a little bit ago in our discussion here. Can you explain, because you left that one hanging there, what exactly are kids being asked to do? Is this just basically training kids to become little human resources department goons and go around and measure everybody’s attitudes about things? Is this like those privilege tests where they have people walk forward and walk backwards that have been so controversial in schools? What is going on Parents I think out there and grandparents should be horrified if this is the sort of stuff that kids are being taught or being made to do.

Dr. Bella d’Abrera:

Well, yes, it’s not just the reconciliation barometer, which I can’t go into great detail about it. It’s a barometer that Reconciliation Australia came up with, and it seems that they chose it because there are numbers involved. And it’s very difficult to insert Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures into maths all the time. So when there’s something that actually has real numbers, they’re really happy because they can go, “Well, you can look at this barometer, because it’s got numbers, and this is how we do statistics.” So it’s really clutching at straws sometimes. But later on in secondary school, they actually do talk about bias as well and unconscious bias, and they somehow relate that to statistics too. I would like to be in a classroom when this is going on just to see how the teachers manage.

Rowan Dean:

But I think you should, Bella. Yeah, absolutely. Let’s get the IPA to get Bella into one of those classrooms, Rita.

Rita Panahi:

I’d like to see cameras in every classroom. I want to know what the kids are being taught, why they’re coming out so self-loathing and filled with anxiety. But Bella, we did have years and years of coalition governments and the curriculum didn’t seem to improve. Is it getting worse or does it really not matter who’s in power? The bureaucrats are running the show and this rubbish is just going to be there regardless.

Dr. Bella d’Abrera:

Look, as long as the progressives are in control of education and are writing the curriculum, it’s going to get worse. In fact, I think it is getting worse. The last version of the curriculum version nine is much worse than the previous one, so it doesn’t matter which government is in power. As long as these bureaucrats are running education, and as long as they are determined to turn education into a means of politicising children, then children are subject to, basically, it’s a sort of, I wouldn’t say persecution, but they’re being used as political tools.

Rowan Dean:

Political pawns. Persecution. I would agree with you, persecution. Listen, Peter Dutton, Liberal Party. You’ve got Sarah Henderson doing a brilliant job there as the education shadow. Go to the next election and make this a number one priority. We have to have the education of our children back on track. Make it a key part of the next election campaign, because what Bella is talking about is an absolute disgrace. These kids are learning maths via aboriginal dance. Come on, libs, get your act together. We want to hear a lot more about this before the next election. Thank you, Bella d’Abrera. Always great to see you. Thank you. Great work you guys do at The IPA. ipa.org.au. Sign up, provide them some funds because that’s what they need to keep going. Great work. Thank you so much, Bella d’Abrera.

This transcript of Dr. Bella d’Abrera talking on Outsiders – Sky News Australia from 24 March 2024 has been edited for clarity.

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