The Christian Connection:
Support for the Australian school curriculum
Australia’s Christian heritage’ will be taught for the first time, in lessons on ‘how Australia is a secular nation and a multi-faith society former Minister for Education
The big question is: What will you and I do with this ‘new’ incredible opportunity?
In 2006, some concerned Christians met with the then Federal Minister for Education, Julie Bishop. They discussed the upcoming national school curriculum and pointed out how Christianity through various people and organisations had significantly contributed to the development and well-being of this great nation.
The Minister’s response was: What exquisite timing! Please have your submissions to me as soon as possible. Within six weeks they were in her hands and subsequently these submissions were accepted.
With the change of government in 2007, two colleagues were invited to sit on some of the advisory panels. However, the Australian school curriculum that was later released had very little to say about our Christian heritage or our Western culture.
With the return of the Coalition Government in 2013, the Australian schools curriculum was revisited. The then Federal Minister for Education Mr Christopher Pyne engaged appointed two reviewers of Ken Wiltshire and Kevin Donnelly.
Ken Wiltshire is a professor of Public Administration at the University of Queensland Business School and Kevin Donnelly is also a senior research fellow at the Australian Catholic University and regular commentator on education matters.
Federal Education Minister Christopher Pyne said the changes would resolve “overcrowding’’ in the primary school curriculum, boost the teaching of phonics and strengthen references to Western influences in Australia’s history.
Australia’s “Christian heritage” will be taught for the first time, in lessons on “how Australia is a secular nation and a multi-faith society’’. ‘Mr Pyne said he was“absolutely delighted’’ the states and territories had backed the reforms, which have been driven by the federal and NSW governments. (The Australian, 19 September, 2015)
Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) chief executive Robert Randall said the new curriculum would give teachers more time to teach the basics of maths, literacy, science and history in primary school. Mr Randall said the new curriculum had a greater focus on Western civilisation. Historically, the influence of the Christian church has been important, he told the Australian.
Teachers have free access to these stories that tell of our Christian Heritage at www.diduno.info where, with the many other Australian teachers, clergy, Chaplains and parents, you can also receive a free monthly Christian heritage story and distribute it widely to friends and colleagues.
Schools and churches are encouraged to use their social media contacts to distribute these stories far and wide. Teachers across Australia can have discussions about the studies. Parents and students alike will see how Jesus and his teachings have benefited our society. Children will be inspired by some of the great Christians of the past and encouraged to embrace a similar lifestyle for the well being of each other and our society.
The DIDUNO Network