Before WW11, and in the years afterwards, most Australia kids left school after The Merit Certificate. This level is supposed to be equivalent of year 8 today however I doubt many kids of 14 would earn the certificate now. The tests required students remembering facts. They tested basic literacy, numeracy, algebra, history, geography, and included such things as poetry and parsing in the English exam.
Difficult at the time, they are more difficult today as we no longer use pounds, ounces, troys or money questions about pounds shillings and pence, halfpence or guineas are easier in the dollar currency. Additionally students of the past could/would calculate addition, multiplication, subtraction, and division, of multiple numbers in their heads. They could spell accurately. They knew the names of civil dignitaries. The names of their parliamentary representatives and how to address them in written correspondence or in person as well.
They understood compound multiplication and the free benefits of earning interest on interest. Being clever did not guarantee they would go to University or end up working in a profession because most left school far too early only to continue their educational training in apprenticeship mentored by their elders.
There can be no argument children today are more articulate, and more confident. Their learning mode is a discovery of processes rather than learning facts. Further it is an expectation they will stay at school until they are 18 and all thing being equal most will attend a university. As graduates they might know much but most will struggle to get anything but an internship until they have proved to an employer they know what is expected of them in their job.
The kids of the past learned citizenship as a basic responsibility of adulthood. Too many of the current cohort are ignorant of this responsibility and prefer to dig their heels in when challenged because they, “know their rights.”
It is a right of every Australian citizen to vote and further it is a right to become involved enough to understand the policies the people you vote into office plan to legislate. This right was hard won. Not so long ago women could not vote. More recently aboriginals could not vote. Still more recently eighteen year olds could not. These facts form just part of the process to a universal vote.
It is a matter of concern to me like never before people think about their vote. My concern starts with a question. If the population is better educated how come people across the globe are now more stupid? Over and over people vote against the policies designed to help them. Their great grandparents most with only a Merit certificate to guide them seemed smarter in exercising their vote.
Of course even thoughtful people are being misled by fake news. Today it was revealed that the PR company CFR had accepted commissions to create fake news for their clients.https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/aug/01/revealed-johnson-allys-firm-secretly-ran-facebook-propaganda-network?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other
Is it any wonder busy people are misled?
In America we have the misogynist Narcissistic President Trump misleading people with gaslighting statements on Twitter almost any hour. Right wing parties across the globe have adopted identical procedures. Demonising those with ethnic looks, minority beliefs, or from a different class is the place to build hatred. People have stopped listening to the political classes. They have never studied party policies. In fact they do not belong to any party. Party membership across the nation is smaller than that of the Collingwood FC.
With Crosby’s company feeding Facebook readers fake news and people preferring only to read information supporting their prejudices it should be no surprise they vote their bias. It is the curse of the age the parties address the emotions of the voter and both ignore reference to the facts.
On election the parties ignore the voter’s emotions and address the facts set by the party supporters. These it turns out are not the party members but the corporate supporters and the interest group lobbyists. Big business has overtaken voters as of more importance to the economy and therefore the government. The importance of government to it is not the common wealth of the nation but to leave business unregulated and untaxed. As a consequence public service and government services are left without the capital needed for infrastructure and social service. These are the very reasons governments exists according to the Merit certificate recipients. Such is the value of a university education to the government of the twenty first century.