“Schooling must not only deal with these remarkable changes but also, as far as possible, anticipate the kinds of conditions in which young Australians will need to function as individuals, citizens and workers. These future conditions are distant and difficult to predict. We expect almost all young Australians who begin primary school in 2011 will continue their initial education until 2022. Many will go on to post-secondary education and not complete their initial education until the mid-2020s and later. However dimly the demands of societies in the mid-2020s can now be seen, some serious attempt must be made to envisage those demands and to ensure they are taken into account in present-day curriculum development.
A curriculum for the 21st century will reflect an understanding and acknowledgment of the changing nature of young people as learners and the challenges and demands that will continue to shape their learning in the future. Young people will need a wide and adaptive set of knowledge, skills and understandings to meet the changing expectations of society and to contribute to the creation of a more productive, sustainable and just society.”
JULIA GILLARD: Kerry, this is basics and beyond. I think the Prime Minister is using the description basics because this is returning to some traditional styles, some traditional curriculum content that has been lost in the last few years in education. So for example, children are learnt to read by sounding out letters - "cuh, ah, tuh: cat" - and of course children are going to be taught grammar at every level - sentence construction, nouns, verbs - all of those things that perhaps you and I were taught when we were at school which haven't been common in teaching of late. But this is curriculum for kids from the first year - prep or kindergarten; it's called different things in different states - through to Year 10, so we don't have kids in year 10 going, "cuh, ah, tuh: cat". By then, of course, we hope that they are studying rich lit
erature works, but this curriculum does continue to have literacy support through each year level. So rather than saying we teach literacy to young kids and if you miss the bus, well, too bad, even for the older children, if they still need literacy support, it will be there.
CHRISTOPHER PYNE: I note that there are 118 references to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture.