Educating for democracy: Teaching 'australian values'

Educational Philosophy and Theory 42 (4):424-437 (2010)
Abstract
Towards the end of the 19th century there was a revival of the struggle for democracy throughout the world. The formation of Australia as a federation embodied this commitment, a commitment subsequently abandoned. The impetus for public education in Australia came from its commitment to democracy, inspired by the British Idealists. If the people of a country are to be its governors, these philosophers argued, they must be educated to be governors. Taking this injunction seriously, I will argue that the history of the struggle for democracy should be central to education, taught in such a way that students are able to appreciate what this commitment to democracy means. Taking Australia as a model, I will argue that this implies that the young be educated so that they define themselves in relation to the vision of a democratic society and see themselves as historical actors responsible for the future of their country and the future of humanity.
Keywords Australia  democracy  education  British Idealism
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