Public Schooling

In a society that upholds diversity and private enterprise, which are not in debate, I wish to affirm the value and legacy of public education.

Although personally not educated in public schools, I am passionate about the pillars upon which public education rest: free, compulsory and secular.

The principles of public education provide for diversity, citizenship and culture, which give opportunity for the development of the individual and the progression of a democratic society.

As a recipient of the first year of free tertiary education in Australia, it is with humility and gratitude that I realise the individual and public benefits that can bestowed by education. At my doorstep hangs a sign reading: Education is the Key, which reflects my feelings about the power of education.

Changes of governments over time have caused tinkering with the essentials of public education. Neglect of important features of public education has led to an achievement gap, a diluting of the quality and delivery of education and a social stratification of schools and schooling.

Many aspects of society are positive legacies flowing from generations of best thinking and practice. Upholding the principles of public education is the only way forward is to allow for society’s evolution. Government policy and practice should align with the idea of ‘promoting a common good in and through education’ which unlocks the contribution that others may make to our society.

Want to read more? See Prof Alan Reid link EdResearchMatters 25/1/16:

Proud to be Public: claiming back the essence of public school in Australia.