On release, the proposed Australian history curriculum, similar to the English document, was warmly received by commentators and the media, especially The Australian newspaper.
Many argue it represents a welcome return to history as a discrete subject, the end to the culture wars in areas like black armband history and that it imparts a rigorous and impartial knowledge of significant historical events, ideas and people.
The ex-communist and historian, Stuart Macintyre, strongly defends his new creation as balanced and impartial and argues that critics have failed to analyse the history curriculum in any detailed way.
Chris Pyne, the shadow Commonwealth Minister for Education, disagrees with this favourable reception and criticises the history curriculum for privileging indigenous and Asian content and perspectives to the detriment of Australia’s Anglo-Celtic tradition, the debt we owe to Western civilisation and the importance of our Judeo-Christian heritage. In an opinion piece in the SMH (22nd March), Senator Brett Mason also criticises the proposed curriculum for lacking balance when he states:
Indeed, the Curriculum contains 118 references to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, culture and history (with Grade 5s studying “White Australia” and Grade 9s Aboriginal massacres and displacement).
But there is only one reference to Parliament, and none to Westminster or the Magna Carta, the aspects of our political and cultural heritage that have made Australia perhaps the most peaceful, successful and prosperous democracy in the history of humanity.
Chris Pyne and Brett Mason (the Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Education and Curriculum Standards) are correct to express misgivings about the new curriculum. Concerns about the history curriculum include:
Read more of this article at the Australian Conservative