The government has released a draft curriculum that unequivocally calls for the explicit teaching of the basic structures of the English language. Grammar will return to the classroom along with punctuation, spelling, pronunciation, and phonics, for all students from the first years of school.
Oops, I left out a key word. The Australian government. The draft curriculum also retains the teaching of critical literacy, ”a model analysing gender, race and class in literature to expose inherent prejudices and agendas,” The Australian reports. The critical literacy component had been hotly debated.
The draft addresses the debates, saying the “explicit teaching of decoding, spelling and other aspects of the basic codes of written English will be an important and routine aspect” of the curriculum. The draft says critical literacy is the analysis of texts in terms of “their potential philosophical, political or ideological assumptions and content”.
The principal author of the curriculum notes that critical literacy “should not occupy a big part of the curriculum, but it had a role in enabling students to protect themselves against propaganda and being manipulated.”