Illusion Of Choice: New Rules Mandate Woke Texts In Victorian Schools

Written by:
19 February 2024
Illusion Of Choice: New Rules Mandate Woke Texts In Victorian Schools - Featured image

Key Findings

On 29 January 2024, schoolchildren in Victoria will be returning to classes, with approximately 60,000 undertaking their final year of secondary education. Most of the 60,000 year 12 students will take VCE English, and VCE English teachers will be instructing from a list of 36 texts on the 2024 VCE English text list. This analysis has been undertaken to evaluate the content of the 36 texts, and finds: 

  • 19 of the 36 texts on the reading list (53%) are woke or social justice ideology texts, grounded in critical race and decolonisation theory, or critical gender theory.
  • 11 of the 36 texts (30%) have been classified as ‘neutral’ or ‘non-ideological’, with only six texts (17%) meeting the definition of being a part of the Western canon (essential Western texts).
  • Wokeness has been mandated for VCE English classes due to new reading selection rules introduced this year. Under the rules, even teachers who expressly sought to avoid woke texts would not be able to.
    • This is because teachers must choose five texts in total from two separate reading lists, made up of two texts from list one, and three texts from list two. Due to mandated selection rules, every Victorian VCE English student will be exposed to at least two out of five woke texts.
  • The 2024 introduction of a ‘creating texts’ exercise, using ideological mentor texts as writing prompts,
    is demonstrably more ideological and divisive than previous years, and requires students to participate
    in an ideological ‘culture war’.

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