Friday, July 07, 2006

Cook in the books

Put Cook back on curriculum, Canberra tells schools
By Mark Chipperfield in Sydney
(Filed: 06/07/2006)

Two centuries after he dropped anchor in Botany Bay, Capt James Cook has sailed into a political storm in Australia, the country he put on the map.
Once honoured as an Australian hero, the 18th century English navigator has been sidelined - even vilified - in recent decades in a nation embarrassed by its bloody colonial past and the cruel treatment of its indigenous population.
But the Australian government vowed yesterday to reverse the tide of political correctness that had swept Cook, who claimed Australia for the British crown in 1770, and other European "colonisers" from the national school curriculum.
Julie Bishop, the federal education minister, announced that there will be a radical overhaul in the way history is taught in Australian schools, which will see a return to the narrative form of history, free of political interpretation.
"Every school child should know when and why Capt James Cook sailed along the east coast of Australia, who was our first prime minister, why we were involved in two world wars and how federation came about," she said.
Daily Telegraph


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