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Dr Donnelly's scholarship
01-13-2014, 12:04 PM
Post: #1
Dr Donnelly's scholarship
I am attaching a text that I wrote for a collection of essays that Wayne Sawyer, Mark Howie and I edited ten years ago, 'only connect', in response to the culture wars of the Howard years. Dr Donnelly played a prominent role in those wars, and I took it upon myself to subject his 'scholarship' to critical scrutiny. The book I am referring to in my epigraph is his 'Why Schools are failing'. He subsequently published another title, 'Dumbing Down', in which he addressed the criticism I had made of his handling of Terry Eagleton and other sources, without acknowledging that the criticism had ever been made - yet another reflection on his loose handling of scholarly protocols.
Pyne's appointment of people of Dr Donnelly's calibre to review the Australian curriculum should be enough to prompt us all to defend a larger vision of an English curriculum and pedagogy and to advocate on behalf of a truly democratic and inclusive education.
For that is what is under threat with this government.

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