Educating for democracy: Teaching 'Australian values'

Educational Philosophy and Theory 42 (4):424-437 (2010)


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.

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Arran Gare
Swinburne University of Technology

References found in this work

After Virtue.A. MacIntyre - 1981 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 46 (1):169-171.
Liberty before Liberalism.Quentin Skinner - 2001 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 63 (1):172-175.

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