As I wrote recently, the draft NZ science curriculum is an embarrassing crock, blatantly designed by the Long Marchers to keep students ignorant and indoctrinated.

Hold our soy lattes, say Australian education bureaucrats.

The Australian school science curriculum lacks breadth and depth, and provides little guidance to teachers about content, setting students up for failure against the world’s top-performing countries, a major study has found.

A major study benchmarking the nation’s science curriculum against seven comparable countries shows Australia has half the content of other education systems, omits or includes only a low level of some essential topics and teaches other content years later than in other systems. Victoria’s curriculum has even less content than the national one.

Now, why doesn’t that surprise me?

Learning First [an education consultancy that does policy work for governments] compared material in the science curriculum because it is broadly consistent from country to country and can be more easily categorised than subjects like English.

Learning First benchmarked the Australian science curriculum against England, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, the US and Canadian provinces Alberta and Quebec. The comparisons are frankly embarrassing.

Compared with those, the study found the Australian curriculum:

• Contains on average about half the science content of seven other high-performing countries in the first nine years of schooling

• Covers 44 science topics in the first nine years compared with an average of 74 topics

• Covers just five topics in depth in the first nine years compared with an average of 22

• Contains consistently poor sequencing of content, which research shows is vital for effective teaching and learning

The Age

The inadequacy of the Australian curriculum is having results — and they’re far from good.

Australian Industry Group chief executive Innes Willox said too many school-leavers lacked the literacy skills to “write things down, take instructions, pass on messages and communicate with customers, suppliers or workmates’’.

“It’s a very common lament of employers that graduates just don’t have the basic skills in reading, writing and numeracy,’’ he said. “Employers are increasingly worried about graduates who are not work-ready.

“Universities are doing remedial literacy classes for students who are not able to string two words together in written form.’’

Which, we can be forgiven for suspecting, is just how Long Marchers in the education bureaucracy want them.

The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority, which reviews the national curriculum every six years, defended its “world-class curriculum that identifies the essential content all Australian children should learn, including in science’’.

It said all nine federal, state and territory education ministers had endorsed the science curriculum in April last year.

The Australian

Of course they did: they’re all Labor governments, and one wet, weak Liberal embarrassment.

The dumbing-down is a feature of the Long March, not a bug.

Punk rock philosopher. Liberalist contrarian. Grumpy old bastard. I grew up in a generational-Labor-voting family. I kept the faith long after the political left had abandoned it. In the last decade...