Australians don’t need an atlas to see that Australia is part of the Asian galaxy.
At the same time, we pretend that we are an important part of the dominant Western World, fighting above our weight.
We follow the West’s leadership without question, its cultural pursuits, its education systems, its wars, its destiny. We cuddle under the warm wings of the lead chook and copy what she does without question. The West is so dominant in the world’s economic culture that it has been both comfortable and comforting to be part of a UK/US western cultural mix for so long.
One doesn’t need to be a futurologist to know that Australia will come back to its geographical home within the next century or so, because the world’s dominant economic and cultural centre is shifting to Beijing, only a few hours to the north.
One doesn’t have to be an educational historian to know that we chose the wrong course of action in 2008 if we had been concerned about the future of our children and their children’s children…no matter where our compass points.
Can we adjust as we must? Do we have the talent, the agility, the foresight, the will to be as well regarded by the East as we were by the West?
Whereas we once considered Chinese people to be small, simple, shuffling market gardeners and rickshaw attendants, the roles are certain to be reversed if we continue with our present system of schooling. We treated their colonists abominably when they came with other migrants to our gold fields. One wonders how Australians will feel when we become considered as that backward, bumbling, educationally disabled race that keeps shooting itself in the foot by persisting with the same-old, same-as UK/US binding test and examination culture; frozen in time with “Que Sera Sera” as our national anthem and still allowing our children to be abused year by year with NAPLAN-derived fear, anxiety, physiologically disabling school violence. It has been going on for far too long. Who cares?
The longer we embrace our ennuic, listless, unproductive,test-based school system, the more likely it is that our kids of the future, will be lucky to get a 3rd-class ticket on the economic road to the future.
The science, technology, engineering and mathematical forums are pleading for more interest from more school pupils.
Australia’s response to the teaching of these really beautiful subjects is to over-test their basics and scare the living daylights out of potential scientists and engineers. Fat chance for a progressive alliance with more alert Asian countries.
While NAPLAN exists and continues to drive our curriculum and dampen our children’s enthusiasm for learning with its peculiar pedagogy, we are presently hog-tied in a paddock of cultural inertia, bogged and physiologically and psychologically fossilised by an ennuic state of mind. Our schools are peddling shoddy politically-correct pseudo-scholarship under a pure system of testucation; far, far removed from any kind of useful education. Who cares?
Certainly no existing [unAustralian] Australian political party worries about NAPLAN. Squibbishness is becoming endemic!
Next year is still a long way away,our pollies reckon, and, anyhow,it takes a lot of ethical energy for any one of them to stand up for kids and for school education. None, so far. It’s a rotten shame; but that’s the way it is. Sorry kids.
Phil Cullen 41 Cominan Avenue Banora Point Australia 2486