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Education, National Identity and Schools

In light of increasing diversity and pluralism in western societies, 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 a country’s official identity. For all, there are major questions about the best direction for education and schooling.

This series asks how our schools can 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 debates the models most successful in today’s pluralist societies. It addresses such questions as:

  • What role should national/cultural/religious identity have in successful schooling systems?
  • 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 educational aims? If so, how can they best accommodate newcomers?
  • How should educational 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.