‘Playing politics with Australian children’: Historians take Tudge to task on curriculum

Mr Tudge says he wants school children to be taught an “accurate” account of history, but one which gives a “positive, optimistic view” of modern Australia.

23/10/2021 6:45:00 AM

Alan Tudge maintained he wanted school children to be taught an “accurate” account of Australian history, criticising the draft national curriculum on Friday, as presenting a “negative, miserable view of Australia”. | LisaVisentin katinacurtis Auspol

Mr Tudge says he wants school children to be taught an “accurate” account of history, but one which gives a “positive, optimistic view” of modern Australia.

Normal text sizeVery large text sizeAdvertisementHistorians have criticised federal Education Minister Alan Tudge for “playing politics with Australian children”, warning that his push to make the national curriculum more positive about the nation would not give students a full account of the past.

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Mr Tudge maintained he wanted school children to be taught an “accurate” account of Australian history, as he redoubled his criticism of the draft national curriculum on Friday, saying it presented a “negative, miserable view of Australia”.Minister for Education and Youth Alan Tudge during a doorstop interview at Parliament House in

Credit:Alex EllinghausenProfessor Melanie Oppenheimer, president of the Australian Historical Association, the peak national body for historians, said there was a “very strong belief” among historians that Mr Tudge’s comments were not helping the debate.

“He is playing politics with Australian children. It is unhelpful what he is doing,” Professor Oppenheimer, the chair of history at Flinders University, said.“History is meant to be an accurate reflection of the past and not everything that happens in the past is rosy and happy. He’s asking us to present something that’s just not true.

Loading“We want children to leave school being able to understand their past and understand where they’ve come from in all the complexity.”Mr Tudge said although he had not seen the latest version of the draft curriculum, he had been briefed on some revisions, and his assessment overall was that it had “gone from an F to a C, but Australian students deserve an A plus.”

He welcomed some changes, including more emphasis on phonics in the English curriculum, the reintroduction of teaching timetables in Year 3 mathematics rather than Year 4, and the inclusion of references to Australia’s Christian heritage. But he repeated his push for the history curriculum to be overhauled.

Advertisement“It doesn’t present the positive, optimistic view of modern Australian and nor does it provide the underpinnings of the origins of a modern liberal democracy. I just think that is so important for kids to understand.” Mr Tudge said on Friday.

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“I put it to you that today, our society is the wealthiest, most liberal, most egalitarian and most tolerant society that has ever existed in all of humankind, anywhere in the world.”Geoffrey Blainey, described by Mr Tudge as Australia’s “greatest living historian”, has also expressed criticisms of the draft curriculum,

The Australian”the condemnation of this country has gone too far” and “Australia on the whole is a success.”One of Mr Tudge’s key complaints is that the curriculum proposes to teach Anzac Day as a “contested idea”, arguing it should instead be taught as “the most sacred day in the Australian calendar”.

Military historian Peter Stanley, a professor at UNSW Canberra, said it was possible for students to form a positive view of Australia while teaching negative perspectives and accounts of key historical events.Loading“Mr Tudge says Anzac Day is not a contested idea, but many people disagree, which means it is a contested idea,” Professor Stanley said. “Education means allowing people to make their own minds up. It doesn’t involve telling people what the answers are.”

“Isn’t it ironic that he’s lauding liberal democracy, but he wants to push a totalitarian view of history that exists in countries like North Korea, where there is only one story of North Korea’s history and it is told by the regime.”Neil James, executive director of the Australia Defence Association, said all historical debate was contestable – and perspectives on ANZAC Day may shift over time – but facts should prevail.

“It’s the quality of the contestable debate that counts. Ideologues on both sides of the political spectrum will only talk about the things that suit their ideology. They won’t talk about all the facts involved,” Mr James said.The independent Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority is in the process of finalising the draft document after a 10-week consultation period. Mr Tudge and the state and territory education ministers are required to sign off on it before it can be implemented.

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LisaVisentin katinacurtis Did I hear negative, miserable? Alan Tudge? LisaVisentin katinacurtis And probably not a book by Blaineyon the cariculem LisaVisentin katinacurtis Probably correct LisaVisentin katinacurtis History is taught in two parts Facts, dates/events Narrative, how the story ties together, applying critical thought Seems like this is an attempt to create a single narrative through selective use of facts and absence of critical thought Why?

LisaVisentin katinacurtis Our kids should not be taught only about the negative aspects of our history; nor should they hear just our white British version either. Kids aren’t dumb so they’ll cope with contradictions if they’re out in the open☝️ LisaVisentin katinacurtis a “negative, miserable view of Australia”

LisaVisentin katinacurtis Does “an accurate account” include the slaughtering of Aboriginals and the way they were treated 🧐🤔 LisaVisentin katinacurtis Will trust our qualified professionals in this area to develop the curriculum and not a turd that should be flushed away. Perhaps look at his own history including infidelity and stalking.

LisaVisentin katinacurtis Really let’s face it under the colonial construct the education system is determined by states a “national curriculum “ is in name only but the colonial project persists within the “states” LisaVisentin katinacurtis Strange man. LisaVisentin katinacurtis What is happening in UK. By the way, take note most mainstream TV journalists: this is the way to interview with skill and respect.

Kids not being taught to love Australia ‘a sad state of affairs’In a multicultural country like Australia with a hundred countries vying for supremacy he might find that difficult😎 That would be called jingoism, Teena and contributed to the catastrophe that was the Great War. You seem to have no understanding of History or much else. Nationalism , Patriotism have always cause wars..used by dictators, politicians, dictators to almagate their grip on power, hide corruption,divert focus on democracy, civililty , human rights and global unity harmony. It's an inward foolish navel gazing sin.

LisaVisentin katinacurtis Which one is it, AlanTudgeMP? Do you want an accurate version of history or do you want the fictional sunshine and roses one to indoctrinate your future drone army? LisaVisentin katinacurtis The LNP are concerned that they are losing votes to the UAP & the SFF; and are reviving their white racists as victims narrative. auspol AlboForPM AuspolSoCorrupt theageispartisantrash

LisaVisentin katinacurtis There is no accurate history - but there are plenty of outright lies. Left/Progressives come to history with a stronger ideology than most historians of the past. The Progressives have become more like North Korea & Russia 1930s. Both 1984 & Brave New World have come to fruition.

LisaVisentin katinacurtis Shipping the dregs of a poverty stricken, filthy, diseased society to an ancient, utopian land occupied by an evolved noble warrior race then proceeding to slaughter them is nothing to be proud of. I LOVE this country. Let’s get REAL. And do better. LisaVisentin katinacurtis I’ve got a theory that 10 pound poms and their kids were sold on a rosy history of Australia.

LisaVisentin katinacurtis Just a LIBERAL LisaVisentin katinacurtis I presently have a negative,miserable view of our present Government. LisaVisentin katinacurtis LisaVisentin katinacurtis If there's a 'negative, miserable view' it's Tudge's own blinkered, white minority privileged one. Back to his version of white Australia.

LisaVisentin katinacurtis I look at Alan Tudge and see a “negative, miserable view of an Australian immigrant”.

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LisaVisentin katinacurtis 🤮🤬 what is truth? What is 'accuracy'? History is written by the victors, right? Whitewashing LisaVisentin katinacurtis History doesn’t exist in a vacuum. LisaVisentin katinacurtis From someone who themselves could be described as negative and miserable 😂 LisaVisentin katinacurtis A positive happy view of Australia is not necessarily accurate history. You wonder how this bloke got in to parliament.

LisaVisentin katinacurtis Trudge makes a block of wood look like a critical thinker. LisaVisentin katinacurtis TO LIE or not to LIE that is the question .did he mean a Negative view of his Goverment ? LisaVisentin katinacurtis No thanks. I’d rather kids be taught a range of ideas so they can actually think for themselves

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