Education for citizenship in South Australian public schools: A pilot study of senior leader and teacher perceptions

Andrew Peterson, Brendan Bentley

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5 Citations (Scopus)
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Preparing students for informed and active citizenship is a core goal of education and schooling in Australia. The ways schools educate and prepare young Australians for citizenship involves a range of processes and initiatives central to the work of schools, including school ethos, mission, extra-curricular activities and community-based participation. With regard to the formal curriculum, the recent introduction and implementation of the first ever Federal Australian curriculum includes provision for a new subject – Civics and Citizenship. Research evidence from other nations suggests that schools understand, approach and enact education for citizenship in a multitude of ways, yet how Australian schools construct this aspect of their work is currently under-researched. In this context, and drawing on data from interviews with school leaders and teachers of year six-eight (11-14 year olds) students in a small sample of South Australian primary and secondary schools, we explore perceptions and current approaches to education for citizenship. Our findings suggest (i) that while school leaders and teachers value education for citizenship, they do so for different reasons; (ii) that schools place values as central to education for citizenship; and, (iii) that community involvement is typically understood as occurring within rather than beyond the school.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105
Number of pages122
JournalThe Curriculum Journal
Issue number1
Early online date16 Jun 2016
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2017


  • Education for citizenship, civics and citizenship, values, active citizenship, community


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