Schools for the State: Public and Private Education in Australia

Year: 1986

Author: Kapferer, Judith L.

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

The ideology of democratic choice is a fundamental issue in Australian education. From it arise two contradictions which are examined here: the socially divisive nature of a dual system of schooling, and the economically cohesive ideology of 'inclusive' curricula. Historically, the struggle for control of education in Australia has been between Church and State; today, the struggle is popularly conceived of as being between Family and State. Thus this paper juxtaposes not public and private schooling, but governmental control and individual choice as an explanation of one of the bases of the egalitarian individualism which characterises the politics of Australian education.