Dumbing Down

The late 1960s and early 1970s weren’t only about Woodstock, flower power and Vietnam moratoriums: at the same time that feminism, multiculturalism and victim politics emerged, the ‘cultural warriors’ of the left decided that the quickest way to change society was to take the long march through the education system.

The result of these ‘culture wars’? Competition and rewarding merit is replaced by the notion that everyone succeeds; black armband history teaches students to feel guilty about the past; and the 3 Rs are re-badged as ‘reconciliation, the republic and refugees’. Out the window go classic subjects and tried-and-tested teaching methods and in come ‘outcomes-based education’, ‘whole language’, ‘fuzzy maths’ and an English syllabus which puts Big Brother and Australian Idol on the same stage as Shakespeare.

Ultimately, our kids are short-changed and have little opportunity to study history or literature in a systematic or balanced way. And while the truancy rate soars, academic standards plummet.

Dumbing Down provides a blueprint for the future: acclaimed education expert Dr Kevin Donnelly outlines a system based on a liberal/humanist approach, where the focus is on education, not indoctrination and where students are taught to think independently. Shocking and enlightening, Dumbing Down is essential reading for anyone concerned about how we can strengthen our education system and safeguard the nation’s future.

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