What do we know about the purposes of education and their enactment in Australian primary schools
Cranston, NC and Mulford, WR and Keating, J and Reid, A, What do we know about the purposes of education and their enactment in Australian primary schools, The Australian Educational Leader, 33, (3) pp. 1-10. ISSN 1832-8245 (2011) [Professional, Non Refereed Article]
This article draws on a three-year ARC Linkage projected conducted with the Australian Government Primary Principals' Association and the Foundation for Young Australians. School education in Australia has traditionally played a nation-building role - such as educating for citizenship and building skills for the economy - in addition to enhancing the life chances of individuals. In the latter part of the 20th century, however, understandings about the public purposes of schools have become contested and less clear due to social, economic, technological and cultural changes. As a result, schooling in Australia is being reshaped, yet there has been little analysis of these changes for the purposes of education. Given the significant amount of government money allocated to schools, the authors argue that the Australian community and educators need to be clear about the purposes of public expenditure on education and the extent to which these are being realised. This article starts to address these needs by reporting on a national research project into the purposes of education in Australian primary schools. The article concludes with a number of recommendations which the authors hope will stimulate further discussion. The article is framed by the Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians, the framework for education agreed to by all Australian education ministers in December 2008.