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NSW kids learning in 'a Petri dish of mindless fads': Committee report


New South Wales' school curriculum is ‘a Petri dish for mindless fads of identity politics, gender studies and post-modernism’ says One Nation's Mark Latham MLC, as he tabled a report into a government review.


On Monday the NSW Legislative Council's Education committee tabled its report analysing Professor Geoff Masters' review of the NSW school curriculum.


The report critiques the key conclusions and recommendations of the Masters review, making 33 recommendations to the NSW Government to improve learning outcomes in schools across the state.


The Committee Chair, the Hon Mark Latham MLC, said:

“...the task of lifting school performance is quite straightforward: follow the evidence base; eliminate fads and experimental practices; do the things that are known to work.
“In recent decades, the NSW education system has deviated from the evidence base, triggering an alarming decline in student academic outcomes."

Mr Latham was candid in his views on what needs to happen to the school curriculum. He stated that:

“New South Wales used to have one of the best English syllabuses in the world.
“Today it’s a Petri dish for the mindless fads of identity politics, gender studies and post-modernism.
“Political content has also colonised other subjects, from history to PDHPE.
“Too many teachers have become quasi-politicians, pushing an ideological worldview instead of developing in their students a world of knowledge, Mr Latham said.

Minister for Education and Early Childhood Learning Sarah Mitchell stated that the curriculum reform:

"...has already stripped back unnecessary courses and have begun decluttering and streamlining the syllabuses starting with Maths and English from Kindergarten to Year 2.
"The chairman of the committee is entitled to his views around the reporting of the government’s curriculum reform."

Ms Mitchell also stated her excitement about the new curriculum being linked to effective teaching practices and expert resources, as part of an evidence-based approach to lifting the quality of teaching and improving student outcomes.


Mr Latham's critique of NSW education has included questioning the teaching of gender fluidity ideology in schools: