Whole school values and the socially transformative potential of philosophy education

The socially transformative potential of philosophy education (PhE) to support a broadening of students’ horizons and a fostering of their ability to deal with difference and diversity is the focus of this article. This article explores this potential through its examination of whole school values and PhE at one primary school in Queensland, Australia. The central argument is that the school’s prioritizing of social outcomes within its values framework can be supported by PhE at the classroom level. In making this case, this article draws on interview data from the school principal (“Ms A”), the school’s Philosophy Mentor and Grade Four teacher (“Ms B”) and a Year 4 PhE student (“Jacob”). Given the transformative role schools are expected to play in the teaching of values, the centrality of school and teacher values in shaping student learning and the potential of PhE to enhance the social outcomes of schooling, this article provides a warrant for further interrogation of the agenda and values transmitted through this curriculum area
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Peter Knight (1987). Historical Values. Journal of Moral Education 16 (1):46-53.
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