'Facilitators'; 'knowledge navigators'; 'adaptive life long learners'... Whatever happened to teachers, students and learning? For the past 30 years our schoolkids have been subjected to more experimentation than your average CSIRO lab rat. In classrooms all over the country, confused and frustrated teachers must adopt PC and new-age views on multiculturalism, the environment, the class war, peace studies, feminism and gender studies. Powerful teacher unions argue they should support students who protest in the streets, professional organisations argue that the purpose of education should be to empower students to overthrow the status quo, and subject associations argue that English must be used to teach students the right way to vote. Ultimately, our kids have little opportunity to study history or literature in any systematic or balanced way and, as a result, many leave school culturally illiterate. Parents and teachers, furious at the lack of discipline and respect for authority in schools, the failure of schools to instil values in tune with those of the home, and declining academic standards, are voting with their feet. When John Howard weighed into the debate in January 2006, he ignited a firestorm of controversy, and hardly a week has gone by since without Australia's education policies being placed under the microscope. 'Dumbing Down' exposes the damage the 'culture wars' have wrought and how we've bred a generation of under-educated Australians. In this groundbreaking book, renowned education expert Kevin Donnelly gets to heart of the problem, debunking the current 'culture of narcissism' and demonstrating the perils of noncompetitive assessment and the current anti-academic approach to the curriculum. He provides an alternative, a blueprint for the future: a system based on a liberal/humanist approach, one where the focus is on learning in a balanced and impartial way and where students are taught to think independently.