What We teach our Children: A Comparative Analysis of Indigenous Australians in Social Studies Curriculum, from the 1960s to the 1980s
Sharp, H. L. (2013). What We teach our Children: A Comparative Analysis of Indigenous Australians in Social Studies Curriculum, from the 1960s to the 1980s. Social and Education History, 2(2), 176-204.
This article conducts a comparative analysis of topics connected to Indigenous Australians in the Social Studies curriculum taught in Queensland (Australia) schools in the 1 960s and in the 1 980s. Apple’s (2000) ‘mentioning’ is applied to examine the representations of this group. ‘Mentioning’ is used as a way to explain information that is included in a minimal way and does not cover the focus topic in any real depth or with engaged substance. Compared with the significant political and social gains made by Indigenous Australians, and their supporters, in the 1 960s, this article finds that the resulting effect on changes to school curriculum are minimal. Second, this article finds that the static nature of curriculum stands in stark contrast to the changing and changed discourses operating in the wider community. Third, this article asserts that the incorporation of important national history topics within an all-encompassing Social Studies curriculum, results in an a-historical, present-mindedness being taught to students in place of historical accuracy and rigour. Finally, the international importance of history/culture wars that many nations have experienced over the past ten to fifteen years is presented in this article, through direct links to school curriculum selection by governments and advisory boards.
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