The public construction of values in education: A synthesis of case studies.

Year: 2006

Author: Brown, Raymond, Woods, Annette, Hirst, Elizabeth, Heck, Debbie

Type of paper: Refereed paper

This paper explores the approaches taken by a selection of schools in the South-East region of Queensland to values education as explicated in public texts freely available on schools’ websites. Documents such as Behaviour Management Policies and the School Prospectus are used as data to explore how schools construct values education for the public and to investigate what approach(es) to values education are being advocated within these publicly available texts. A suite of four case studies are presented that employ qualitative methodologies in the exploration of how value-laden texts and curricula offerings are deployed by schools to endorse preferred identities. A synthesis of the findings of the case studies presented provides evidence that schools employ the repertoires of language/practice used in public texts to develop cultural identities suitable for marketing themselves as being values rich in competitive times. Possible refinements to the methodologies used in the case studies are discussed in order to identify opportunities to develop a qualitative methodology for exploring school approaches to values education across a larger corpus of publicly available data.