Document 2: Values and attitudes underpinning Discovering Democracy materials

Students will learn about the importance of principles such as:

  • democratic decision making and popular sovereignty;
  • government accountability;
  • civility, truth-telling and respect for the law;
  • the value of individual and collective initiative and effort;
  • concern for the welfare, rights and dignity of all people.

    The materials will support values such as tolerance, acceptance of cultural diversity,

    respect for others and freedom of speech, religion and association.

    The project will also present opportunities for students to make informed decisions about issues of importance to themselves and others. While assisting teachers to promote broadly agreed democratic values, the Discovering Democracy materials will suggest ways that teachers can approach contested issues through disciplined inquiry and reflection. Students will be encouraged to formulate defensible stances as a component of developing citizenship skills necessary for effective participation in a democracy. In addition, the materials will support students' practical engagement in organisations such as student representative councils in schools and voluntary associations in the wider community.

    (Introducing Discovering Democracy: School Materials Project, Curriculum Corporation, 1997, page 8)