The Abbott government, the one that has a sports minister but not a science minister, has decided to review the national school curriculum because they are concerned about our declining standards in maths, reading and science, compared to other OECD countries.
One of the advisors appointed by the government,ex-Liberal Party staffer Kevin Donnelly, says Australian education has become too secular. Exactly how education in a secular democracy can be “too secular”is a mystery to me.
Mr Donnelly, a Catholic, who once worked as an adviser to tobacco company Philip Morris, also recommends more religious education and “Judeo-Christian” values be taught in the curriculum. Maybe he failed to notice that of those OECD countries outperforming us, most are secular states with little religious influence in their school systems (China, Japan, South Korea)
In our modern society, overwhelmed as it is with pseudoscience, social media hoaxes, alternative medicines, conspiracy theories and science denial, what we should be teaching children from kindergarten to Year 12 is critical thinking.
Teaching children to question dogmatic beliefs and to recognise and understand the effects of confirmation bias and placebo effects will do more to prepare them for life in the real world than any scripture classes will.
Lemon Tree Passage