Principals agree: cut out social subjects

02 Oct

Seeing this in today’s Sydney Morning Herald I had to laugh.

PRIMARY school curriculums have too many subjects and schools are too underfunded to meet standard requirements for English, maths and science, a national study of principals has found.

The study underpins Australia’s first primary school charter endorsed by principals who want the educational focus put back on literacy, numeracy and science.

However, a proposal to include stand-alone history in that list was yesterday replaced with a subject called Social Education, a mix of history, geography, and environmental and cultural studies.

The change raised concerns from the federal Education Minister, Julie Bishop, who said history should be taught as a distinct subject…

Yes, I also think the Primary curriculum has become too crowded, but that debate about History versus Social Studies goes way back. It occurred in the early 1950s with the result that back in Sutherland in 1954 we did Social Studies, not History. It raged again in 1964 reaching into my History Method classes in Dip Ed in 1965. Forty years on and it still goes on.

I am in favour of stand-alone History in high schools, but Social Studies in primary school seems fine to me, especially as it has ever been — well for over half a century at least — that primary schools offer an integrated curriculum, and so they should.


Posted by on October 2, 2007 in 1950s, curriculum, reminiscences


2 responses to “Principals agree: cut out social subjects

  1. Jim Belshaw

    October 2, 2007 at 8:30 pm

    I agree with you, Neil.

  2. ninglun

    October 3, 2007 at 9:32 am

    Thanks, Jim. To someone as long in the tooth as I am the whole discussion has a real Groundhog Day feel about it. This is not to say there have not been advances in what teachers know about what they do; there have been.


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: