The Pickering Post
Thursday, 21st February 2019

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How Good is Australian Education?

Stephen Quinton

Stephen Quinton's extensive research in the education sector spans 30 years and he is published globally. Stephen was born in Pambula NSW in 1952. He is now retired in Perth Western Australia. His website and blog address is:


How Good is Australian  Education?

Ask anyone in charge of delivering education at any of the three-tiers, you will receive a standard response - that Australia is a world leader and sets the pace for other countries to follow. 

Although the general population believes the standard of education ranks high on the world stage, the disturbing reality is a gradual deterioration of Australian educational standards. 

All the while, Australians have gradually accepted diminishing opportunities for future economic advancement.

A report titled Innocenti Report Card 14 produced by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) in 2017, ranked Australia 39 out of 41 high- and middle-income countries in achieving quality education. 

The report found that our country is falling behind in basic measures of teaching and learning. Romania and Turkey were ranked 40 and 41. 

Australian education still outranks Romania - but only just.

There has been a marked decline in real terms in the Australian education space in Australia, partly because education reform has not moved beyond funding-model debates.

The Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) reported in 2016 that the performance of Australian students had declined since 2000 and now lags behind students in many Asian countries. 

In maths, only the top 10 per cent of Australian students achieved the same level as 40-50 per cent of students in Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan. The report identified five problem areas in Australian schools: declining maths and reading performance; a growing educational gap between rich and poor; large numbers of students below the expected standard for their year; one in five children starting school with developmental problems; and, low scoring students entering teaching courses.

Australia’s National Curriculum specifies three cross-curriculum priorities for primary and secondary education: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures, Asia and Australia’s engagement with Asia, and sustainability. Teachers must integrate all three into the teaching of all subject areas. This requirement applies equally to mathematics, physics, and chemistry.

Education has become the highest form of indoctrination with teachers forced to regurgitate information so their students can pass tests rather than become innovators and original thinkers. 

It is next to impossible for teachers to do otherwise. Currently, their performance ranking and thereby salary levels is determined by how their students perform on flawed standardised tests. Contrary to the repeated rhetoric, Governments direct schools and universities toward accountability, not the improvement of teaching and learning at the classroom level.

At a more fundamental level, the education (system) presumes students can absorb and understand increasingly more complex and difficult concepts and tasks, and neglects the prime importance of first ensuring they receive a solid grounding in observation, analysis, problem solving, and decision-making. 

Such presumptions are shifting towards preschool levels. There is no intellectual value in requiring young children to hold steadfast opinions about complex issues they are not ready to comprehend, let alone know anything about. 

Perhaps the real intention is to replace knowledge and understanding with indoctrination.

In short, the complexity and depth of understanding expected of schoolchildren is completely out of step with their innate learning needs and abilities. Memorising then repeating a fact is not the same as deriving its true meaning and applying the insight to another context.

Dig a little deeper and it is evident even more complex distinctions are rarely acknowledged: the gaps that divide education from learning and delivery from understanding; the organisation from the teacher and their students; the demands of management versus the needs of students; the intentions of saving costs versus making an investment for the future; and the agendas of government versus the real needs of society and the future. The list goes on, but the bigger picture should be apparent.

All these issues and shortcomings (plus far more) are producing a reverse effect. Instead of cultivating knowledgeable and innovative students, the education system is slowly but surely dumbing down its graduates. 

This is not due to a lack of ability or intelligence in students, but they cannot learn when they do not receive the opportunity to attain the skills to develop and test their own understandings.

The  only thing one needs to understand about the Australian Education system is  that students are no longer educated to think – at best, they learn enough to get  a job. Even worse, the education system is not about learning – it acts  to preserve itself. 

Enter the Age of  Anti-intellectualism

To be generous, Australian education is reasonably proficient in transmitting basic skills and competencies for enabling graduates to enter a vocation. 

There are of course employers who would argue about the degree of competency and expertise of the graduates that end up on their books. 

Employers know the distinction between a qualification and the skills required to complete a task.

There is also the much greater threat to society and the implications the well-hidden failures hold for the generations to follow. 

I refer to the increasing absence of proficiency displayed by graduates in the core skills of analysis, problem solving, and knowledge construction that are essential for cultivating and sustaining twenty-first century invention and innovation.

In 2018, cultivating a capacity for independent thought is no longer an educational priority

As practised today, Australian education stifles creativity and innovation. It is also inherently counterproductive to producing imaginative thinkers. Our education systems no longer produce imaginative, independent thinking people.

In his book Sleepers, Wake (1982) Barry Jones emphasises (yes, he was Labor): "Despite the exponential increases in public education and access to information in the past century, the quality of debate appears to have become increasingly unsophisticated, appealing to the lowest common denominator of understanding."

In short, there is a pervasive apathy and lack of interest in rationally understanding what is really occurring beneath the surface that is directly attributable to way the Australian (and other western countries) education system establish and teach curricula. Marxist inspired critical theory and its corrosive weapon for intellectual decay, critical thinking, will never accomplish such outcomes.


Angry Foreigner - You Tube re must for all concerned about the fall of the West

You wouldn't have to look far to see who's behind this plan to destroy.

Another Aboriginal scam that will end up being a corruption haven........They want to walk their Native land and experience it first hand....But only in an Air-conditioned fully optioned 4WD.....Bulk-buying to last longer
The new scheme involves the council bulk-buying used vehicles from a dealership in Cairns.
A screengrab from a promotional video from the ALC Motor Vehicle Royalty Scheme.
Photo: Cars are bought in bulk from Cairns as part of the ALC Motor Vehicle Royalty Scheme (Facebook: Anindilyakwa Land Council)

To ensure their longevity, the four-wheel-drives come with one year of registration plus four mechanical check-ups.
The land council's chairman Tony Wurramarrba said the scheme is helping more residents get out of their communities and travel to remote parts of the island 018-12-15/cars-being-bought-in-bulk-for-nt-indigenous-community-program/10623458

O/T...I see jugears Andrew has hit the Feds up for 3.something Bill $ for some freeway project.Didnt they give him a $Bill a couple of years ago for another road which he didn't build,and didn't return the money ?



Poll: American Support for Israel at Highest Rates Since Early 1990s as Partisan Gap Widens
A new Gallup poll finds 74% of Americans have a favorable view of Israel, while 27% of Democrats and only 12% of Republicans favorably view the Palestinian Authority


Good speech by ScoMo at the Sydney Institute, being broadcast live right now on your GAYBC.

Tune in.

He’s been making the point the international community must move beyond the ritual denunciations of Israel, noting there have been no fewer than 17 UN Resolutions condemning this beleaguered nation so far, this year alone, in contrast to a total of just 5 others — a typical year.

He’s also reaffirming Australia’s commitment to the “Two State Solution”, rightly or wrongly, noting the Hamas Charter has no room for compromise — only the annihilation of Israel. Also confirming continuing sanctions against Iran, and outlining his Government’s position in response to the Moslem world’s attempt to blackmail Australia over the question of relocating our Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Quite impressed.

The money for subs would be better used ( maybe ) in bailing out the stony broke Northern Territory.

Macron accused of treason by French generals for signing UN Migration Pact

General Antoine Martinez has written the letter signed by ten other generals, an admiral and colonel, and also includes former French Minister of Defense Charles Millon.

new post.

due for new post.

The Bible says its called Jerusalem not West Jerusalem. Scomo weak as wee wee !

The Americans wet their pants because of the Russian Tu-160 in Venezuela

Well,,, SCOMOs thought bubble re th Oz Embassy has forcd his hand --- so off to West Jerusalem -- sometime --- for no good reason other than a f*cked up statement designed to wina few votes: not quite wht you'd call a visionary moment.

Australia to export Water cannons to france in a bit of a swapsies for some subs or something of interest .Special envoy morris iemma told

Oh no. The Lovies are going to have to give up their organic food now.

Organic food worse for the climate?

This is the finding of a new international study involving Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, published in the journal Nature.

The researchers developed a new method for assessing the climate impact from land-use, and used this, along with other methods, to compare organic and conventional food production. The results show that organic food can result in much greater emissions.

“Our study shows that organic peas, farmed in Sweden, have around a 50 percent bigger climate impact than conventionally farmed peas.

If the Left were given their own continent, complete with windmills, no Christmas, no borders, how long would they last for?


"A CFMMEU paper released the day before Labor's national conference outlines a bold list of demands aimed at propping up the union movement, calling on the party to support tax incentives and procurement rules to help boost membership.

Dr Falzon called for tax incentives to support trade unionism, by making preferential tax rates and concessions dependent upon having a unionised workforce or union agreement.

The paper also called for an absolute right to strike to be restored to workers, across employers and industries."

British Prime Minister Theresa May and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker were filmed in a tense face-off at the European Council summit in Brussels, after the top Eurocrat shot down her Brexit demands. Hell hath no fury like a fake conservative scorned. LOL!