The World Today – Educator claims critical thought stifled in our schools: ABC Radio, The World Today, Wed, 9-Feb-2005, Reporter: David Mark
In the Spring edition of The Journal of the Australian Association for the Teaching of English Associate Professor Wayne Sawyer, from the University of Western Sydney, asked whether English teachers were encouraging critical thought in their students . He argued that the 2004 Federal Election result demonstrates that the Australian public, including former students, may not be critically analysing the language used by the Federal Government – since, he implies, they voted for the wrong people!
Sawyer is part of the encroachment of cultural studies into the English classroom. Anyone who has looked into cultural studies knows that it is driven by a particular political and social agenda – check out this website for an insight (more posts to come on this as it is annoying me at the moment.) It is clear that Prof. Sawyer is seeking to have teachers drive a certain political agenda in the classroom, especially when the Australia public’s vote in a general election does not go his way. Maybe the students were capable of critical thought and realised that the Australian Labor Party did not provide a credible alternative to the Howard government? The Latham fiasco clearly shows that there is much house-cleaning to be done in the ALP, perhaps Kim Beasley will need to divert a river to clean out those stables?