Friday, July 07, 2006

Kim Beazley weighs in

…and jabbas on about the teaching of Australian history with this hefty False Dilemma:

"I'm an old historian, so naturally I tend to be favourably disposed," he said in Adelaide today.

"But I have got to say, when you look at the education minister of the Commonwealth focused on that, it's just an elite preoccupation.

"Fundamentally, what we need now from our education ministers is a focus on trades – encouraging young men and women into trades."

He is referring to the argument forwarded by the Federal minister for education, on which I posted yesterday. One wonders how Bishop's "elitist" argument (this coming from the Oxford educated "Mr Prolix"!) for consistent and factual teaching of Australian history discourages people from entering into trades?

I've a solution. Often forcing people to learn stuff annoys the hell out of them. Why don't we offer two types of choices for electives for junior high-school? Eg, Rote Learning History 101 (Australian Prime Ministers in Chronological Order) or Workshop 101 (Lathing for Beginners)? A suitable False Compromise if I've ever seen one.

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