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Stop the National Curriculum's 'dumbing down' of Visual Arts Education- Australia

Attention art teachers, parents and students!

Are you aware that under the ACARA's proposed National Curriculum, Visual Arts will be going under some major changes, and not for the better?

Firstly, Visual Arts will be merged with four other subjects - Music, Drama, Dance and Media Studies - to form "The Arts", and be treated in the National Curriculum as a single "creative" subject. ACARA claims this is to evenly distribute focus amongst all of the subjects, and take the emphasis off the so called 'dominant' subjects of Visual Arts and Music, but ultimately it is unnecessary simplification of each of these subjects with no appreciation of their enormous differences or individual values.

Secondly, any form of intellectual vigour, which is a proud part of our current NSW Syllabus, has been cut. There is very little focus on any of Visual Arts more challenging qualities, and certainly lacks any aspects to motivate students to develop a practice and actually "do well" in the subject.

Thirdly, the current mandatory hours for Visual Arts will be reduced to 13.5 hours per year (a total 150hrs for K-8), which translates to approximately 20mins per week. This is clearly inadequate and will diminish quality learning in visual arts.

Currently this will apply to K-8 only but the flow on effect to other levels of education and aspects of teaching is obvious: Visual Arts electives in years 9-12 will eventually have to reduce their standard to match that of the earlier mandatory years; employment opportunities for art teachers will be cut due to a reduction of teaching hours; art schools and colleges will lose high quality student intake and we will not see the high standards of HSC work in ARTEXPRESS.

Under this national curriculum, Visual Arts will be reduced to a token activity reserved for rainy days or end of term craft, which will undoubtedly also negatively effect the quality of Australia's Visual Arts industry and how art is viewed and valued as a whole in our country.

The above are but a few key points that will occur if we let ACARA’s proposed National Curriculum go ahead.

By signing this petition you are supporting our campaign in rejecting the proposed curriculum for The Arts, and urging ACARA and the writers of The Arts curriculum to work with NSW Visual Arts educators to develop an authentic and rigorous curriculum for visual arts students and teachers, both present and future.

Please help keep Visual Arts a strong, intellectual and valued part of our education system.

VADEA NSW (Visual Arts and Design Education Association)

www.vadea.org.au

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