Securitisation and/or westernisation: dominant discourses of Australian values and the implications for teacher education

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Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • University of South Australia


Debates concerning the nature, purpose and importance of Australian values have resurfaced in Australia following the election of the Liberal-led Coalition government in September 2013. Two dominant discourses on Australian values have emerged within recent government rhetoric and public policy, both of which have included a demand for changes to how Australian values are taught and encountered within Australian education and schooling. In our analysis we suggest that the two dominant discourses, one focusing on securitisation and one on westernisation, have to this point operated separately, but have both focused on narrow, fixed and forced understandings of Australian values. Exploring the key themes of these two discourses, some important issues for teacher educators are set out, including the need to mediate these discourses against research evidence which suggests the importance of holistic and co-operative pedagogical relationships based on trust and humility for effective values education. Though our analysis focuses on the Australian context, the arguments made are likely to be of interest elsewhere given current debates about national values in education across a range of jurisdictions.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)42
Number of pages2
JournalJournal of Education for Teaching
Issue number2
Early online date12 Feb 2016
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Australian values, Securitisation, Westernisation, Teacher education