Nation of bad students

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Last updated on March 6th, 2018 at 12:30 am

Why was John Howard re-elected? Because the education system has failed! Kevin Donnelly reports:

Wayne Sawyer, the president of the NSW English Teachers Association and chairman of the NSW Board of Studies English Curriculum Committee, bemoans the fact that the Howard Government was re-elected and cites this as evidence that English teachers have failed in their job.

Parents and the general public might be forgiven for thinking that English teachers, instead of teaching students the “right” way to vote, should be more concerned with teaching students to read and write and to value good literature. Not so.

Sawyer asks: “What does it mean for us and our ability to create a questioning, critical generation that those who bought us balaclavaed security guards, alsatians and Patrick’s stevedoring could declare themselves the representatives of the workers and be supported by the electorate?

“Three years before, Howard had headlined the non-existent children overboard, he had put race firmly on the agenda as an election issue and cynically manipulated the desperation and poverty of our Pacific neighbours. What does it mean for us and our ability to create a questioning, critical, ethical citizenry that that kind of deception is rewarded?”

Sawyer’s deception—he poses as an educator, while he’s actually a political activist—has been rewarded by his appointment as President of the English Teachers. He bravely continues:

“We knew the truth about Iraq before the election. Did our former students just not care? We knew before the election that ‘children overboard’ was a crock, but, as it was yesterday’s news, did they not care about that either? Has English failed not only to create critical generations, but also failed to create humane ones?”

It’s failed to create sane ones, in at least some cases. Take a look at Jack Robertson’s latest work, which the author insists does “absolutely not�? make any connection between Howard’s government and Nazis, and that “nowhere did I make any such link�?. For shame, English teachers of Australia!

On a related note, Mark Carolan writes:

Here’s a great Patrick Cook cartoon (from Ship of Fools, way back in ‘91) that seems quite relevant.

UPDATE. Tony Abbott:

One of the most satisfying aspects of the Government’s re-election was that it infuriated the right people.

Posted by Tim B. on 02/09/2005 at 06:49 AM
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