Education, Ethics and Religion: A case study

Keith A. Crawford*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


While many nations have abandoned religious proselytising within public schools, within Australia instruction in the doctrine of particular religious faiths is enshrined in laws dating from the late nineteenth century and remains for the majority of children attending primary schools a weekly part of their educational experience. However, recent years have seen a number of initiatives that have called into question the historically privileged hegemonic dominance enjoyed by religious instruction. This article analyses one such challenge - the controversy generated by the introduction of a secularbased ethics education course in New South Wales primary schools. Employing a Gramscian view of hegemony as an organising principle, the article aims to illustrate how ideological and political support for and against the ethics course is emblematic of hegemonic conflict centring upon the historical, ideological and political status of what is called Special Religious Education within New South Wales schools.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-132
Number of pages12
JournalCitizenship, Social and Economics Education
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


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