Education, National Identity and Schools

For many western countries, questions of national identity have moved centre stage in the policy debate. In some instances, the debate has focused on whether the state should oblige people to subscribe to an official identity; for all, there are major questions about the best course for education and schools.

The increasing diversity and pluralism of western societies has posed fresh questions for schooling. How best can our schools educate children to take their place in society and participate fully in adult life? Education, National Identity and Schools compares and considers the principles and practices at the heart of the different education systems, and considers the models most successful in today’s pluralist societies. It addresses such questions as:

  • Should schools teach national values and who decides what these are? ‬
  • What place should religion have in schools in terms of ethos or timetabled lessons? ‬
  • What mechanism for accountability should there be in terms of parental wishes and national education aims?
  • What principles – legal, philosophical and practical – can protect freedom of conscience?
  • Should policies build on traditional education aims? If so, how can they best accommodate newcomers?
  • How should education systems in western countries integrate academic subject teaching and character development in secular or religious school foundations?

Participants include academic historians, philosophers, lawyers, politicians and other specialists from the UK and overseas.