Wednesday, January 28, 2004

It Must Be True - I Read It In The Hun

Still, let's keep trying to be fair. Maybe the principals and teachers do keep their politics out of their classes and teach values most of us support.

Indeed, that's what The Age would have you believe, leading its front page last week with a big, jeering headline, "Schools study contradicts PM's stance".


How strange. I've looked at this same study and found it actually says something very different.

It says values were "a distinct part of the curriculum during the late 19th and early 20th centuries", but since then "values education has been largely neglected", and "teachers appear not to have received adequate preparation, to reflect critically, on their role as values educators".

Colostomy Lugs in today's Hun

In Australia values education, more generally known as moral education, comprised a distinct part of the curriculum in many states during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. For instance in Victoria, the subject ‘morals and manners’ was added to the course of study from 1885, and in Queensland ‘civics and morals’ formed part of the New Syllabus introduced in 1905. The Victorian course was destined to have only a limited existence because ‘it failed to interest the teachers’. Values education also formed an important component of the civics courses taught in each of the Australian states during the early decades of the twentieth century.

Other than these earlier attempts to incorporate the specific teaching of values, in Australia values education has been largely neglected, or seen to form a limited part of other subjects, notably social education. This does not mean that values statements have been absent from policy and curriculum documents, as values, whether stated explicitly or implicitly, are inherent to any policy. As noted in the Victorian Ministry of Education’s Ministerial Paper No. 4 (1983), school policy ‘is the development and review of a school’s aims, values, general principles and an overview of the arrangements being made to achieve them’. There has been no attempt to introduce specific programmes designed to teach values but with the national push for civics and citizenship education, there is increased interest in values education.
[My emphasis. References have been removed for clarity.]
What the report actually said (p 191)

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