PAUL MURRAY: The Federal Education Minister is Alan Tudge. So, a bunch of bureaucrats had decided that it was time to have a look at the National Curriculum. Now, presumably this was to get better results for our kids, but of course, we end saying the best way to get better maths results is to turn around and say the kids shouldn’t learn their times tables till a year later; the best way to make sure there’s better educational outcomes is so they can’t tell the time until a year after they currently do. Instead, as always, there’s a little window of activism and the opportunity to move that ball another couple of metres forward, and that seems to be where they’re going. Where is part of history, the focus becomes not about the success of the west, not about the modern world that we live in now, instead, of course, all about invasion days and all of that.
Alan Tudge and I spoke a bit earlier in the day and the detail will scare you about the fact that he is the man in charge of the money, but he could be outvoted by lefties at the state level.
ALAN TUDGE: I am one of nine Ministers who the National Curriculum, when it’s finalised, will be put up for approval. And typically, it is done by consensus, and if you can’t reach consensus then the existing curriculum stays in place.
PAUL MURRAY: Okay. So, if we have, let’s just assume here, an activist education Minister from Victoria, an activist education Minister from Queensland, an activist education Minister from Western Australia, and then of course, middle of the road from New South Wales and South Australia, what happens? Do you have to win the whole room? The majority of the room? Tell me how this plays out practically.
ALAN TUDGE: Yeah. So, in practice, the education Ministers’ meeting is operated by consensus, and that if consensus can’t be reached then the default position is the normal status, status quo. That’s how it’s worked. Now, unless those conventions change that’s how it will operate.
PAUL MURRAY: It feels like the activists are, yet again, being empowered to have their version of educating the next generation, as opposed to what is the best results based decisions that we make.
ALAN TUDGE: There’s some elements that I won’t support – I’ll be very clear about that. And in particular I’m concerned about the history curriculum and the civics curriculum – it doesn’t have the right balance. Certainly the curriculum is important, because it does set the standard upon which we’re trying to aspire to. And my main focus is trying to lift the standards which the curriculum sets – that’s my main focus in this review. Second is quality teaching – that’s actually the most important ingredient overall. And we need to ensure that we can continue to attract the best and brightest into teaching, and that has fallen over the last 20 years, and to make sure that evidence based practices are being taught in our teacher education faculties. Because, again, we’ve had too many fads being taught, which then go into the classroom.
PAUL MURRAY: That’s Alan Tudge, the Federal Education Minister.