Woke-ism Defined and Defied:The IPA Audit of Teacher Education Courses

Associated Christian Schools
 Promoting ACS Thought

Woke-ism Defined and Defied:
The IPA Audit of Teacher Education Courses[1]

November 2023


In the press release that accompanied the Institute of Public Affairs Audit Report this statement is made,

Teaching as a discipline as taught at Australian universities is now dominated by the study of

Critical Social Justice, also known as wokeness.

What may be helpful for ACS school principals, leaders and governors is the light it brings to the origin of what is popularly called woke-ism, and builds on the research methodology used in the IPA’s previous audit of history degrees.

Dr Bella d’Abrera, Director of the Foundations of Western Civilisation Program at the Institute of Public Affairs and the author of the report, is eminently qualified to write such a critique.  She holds a Monash BA, a University of St Andrews MA in Spanish, and a University of Cambridge doctorate in History.

In summary, she explains, Critical Social Justice assumes most human interaction in society is underpinned by oppressive power structures based on group identities, such as race and gender.

These theories, which Sr d’Abrera says is now entrenched in Australian universities, were pioneered by Brazilian Marxist Paulo Freire as a theory of teaching known as ‘critical pedagogy’. Students are instructed to be politically conscious agents of change to overturn oppressive power structures that Critical Social Justice theorists claim exist.

The audit conclusions are sufficiently startling as to merit widespread attention, since (she asserts), almost a third of all teaching subjects are woke. Of the 3,713 subjects currently offered to teaching students, 1,169 subjects teach Critical Social Justice.

In contrast, she further asserts, fewer than one-in-ten teaching subjects are about literacy and numeracy.

That woke subjects outnumber literacy and numeracy subjects, she writes, suggests teaching degree coordinators are prioritising indoctrination over education.

Concerningly, she notes that this is shown explicitly in the policies of some universities that make woke subjects compulsory for all students.  Evidencing this, Dr d’Abrera provides an Appendix A at the end of her audit report of a list of Required Reading from The University of Queensland.

ACS provides a copy of the Audit Report and the Press Release with this paper for the benefit of our member schools.



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