Australian teachers 'shut out' of school history debate

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History teachers claim the Federal Government has shut them out of the development of a national Australian history curriculum for high schools, alleging the politically sensitive document is being "drafted in backrooms".

The History Teachers Association of Australia has written to federal Education Minister Julie Bishop and Opposition education spokesman Stephen Smith, claiming it was "increasingly concerned" about what was happening with the proposed national curriculum.

The letter says the association, which represents 4000 teachers, feels it has been sidelined from the process.

"Our prime concern is about not being consulted about the draft curriculum," association president Nick Ewbank said. "There is no way we can develop a meaningful curriculum when it is drafted in backrooms."

The Government commissioned Monash University's Professor Tony Taylor to develop a model history curriculum for years 3 to 10 following the Australian history summit in Canberra last year.

However, The Age understands Prime Minister John Howard was unhappy with Professor Taylor's draft, which included questions and milestones, and history taught from indigenous perspectives.

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