Crossing the Gap: an examination of school ethos and its potential impact on citizenship

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Project details

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This project investigates the phenomenon of school ethos and its potential influence on the development of national identity and future active citizenship of the students. The implementation of the National Framework for Values Education in Australian Schools (DEST, 2005) provided an understanding of the importance of values education in potentially constructing an Australian identity in schools. As the development of a unique school ethos has been a fundamental principle in the Australian education system, schools have used specific values in relation to academic performance and behavioural attitudes as elements of developing this ethos, both directly and indirectly, to establish and develop a school culture, which ultimately impacts on the holistic development of the student.
Globalisation is having an unprecedented impact on the evolving nature of education. As students are deeply interacting with their wider world, literature is suggesting that there is a need for students to have a stronger understanding of their own national identity, which is established and expressed at a local level through engaging in active citizenship. This study will examine how school ethos shapes the expression of core values and its potential impact on active citizenship education. Therefore, a constructivist, qualitative and phenomenological research model is proposed to investigate the lived experience of participants to assess the engagement in active citizenship education in relation to the expression of values within the school ethos.
The lived experience of students and teachers from five schools of different philosophical orientation will be documented through semi-structured, in-depth interviews and analysed according to Hoffding and Martiny???s (2015) framework for a phenomenological interview. This project will employ Saldana's (2009) coding manual to recognise the common thematic concerns in a diverse context. The expected results of this study will contribute to understanding what impact the schooling process has on the development of national identity through the way a school expresses values through its ethos.

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Supervisors supervising this project

Dr Ingrid Willenberg Co-Supervisor

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