Comments on the Adelaide Declaration (2004)

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The Adelaide Declaration on National Goals for Schooling in the Twenty First Century outlines a view about the significance of schooling for Australia and then goes on to suggest specific goals.


The Declaration is based on assumptions outlined in the Preamble, namely that:

The Declaration then presents goal related to (a) developing the talents and capacities of students (b) curriculum content and (c) social justice. In particular this involves:

The Declaration was adopted in April 1999 by the Ministerial Council on Education, Training and Youth Affairs, superceding the 1989 Hobart Declaration, and appears still to be the Council's position.

While the aspirations expressed are undoubtedly noble, there appear to be serious defects in this Declaration as the basis for schooling in Australia. In particular:

Likewise the assumption that governments 'set the public policies that foster the pursuit of excellence etc' is thus also inappropriate - because the role of governments is to endorse (not to determine) current best practices which have been the result of other's initiatives;

November 2004