This paper will discuss the similarities between the core values identified in the “National Framework for Values Education in Australian Schools” (2005) and the key tenets of Confucian philosophy with a view to promote an intercultural dialogue.
Since the colonial and post colonial era, Australia’s response to migrants not originating from the British Isles has developed through several phases. ‘Assimilation’ was the endorsed ideology to uphold the Anglo-centric values until the 1970s, when ‘Multiculturalism’ was adopted as government policy where origins of other ethnicity were positively recognised. Over time, this has developed towards acceptance within much of the Australian population of ‘pluralism’ where the acceptance and flourishing of other cultures is encouraged. What are the educational implications of this history for children of Asian background?
The aims of this paper are twofold. First, the paper will demonstrate the congruence between traditional Asian values as expressed through Confucian philosophy and the core values articulated in The Framework for Values such as Care and Compassion; Fair Go; Honesty and Trustworthiness; Integrity; Respect; Responsibility; Understanding, Tolerance and Inclusion. Second, the paper will extrapolate to suggest a new goal for Australia and for education, that of ‘inclusive appreciation’ whereby the goal is not assimilation, nor merely the tolerance of multicultural differences, nor even the fostering of parallel development as in pluralism, but rather, the development of an appreciation of how the different elements of culture, such as the philosophy underpinning values, because of their similarities, can work harmoniously to achieve a better Australian society.
|Keywords:||Confucianism, Values Education, Care and Compassion, Fair Go, Honesty, Integrity, Respect, Responsibility, Tolerance, Education in Australia, Assimilation, Multiculturalism, Pluralism, Inclusive Appreciation, Intercultural Dialogue, Australian Society|
Lecturer in Educational Studies, Faculty of Education, Australian Catholic University, Sydney, NSW, Australia
Lecturer in Applied Social Psychology, Faculty of Education, Australian Catholic University, Sydney, NSW, Australia
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