Religious Values and/or Human Rights Values? Curriculum-Making for an Ethic of Truths

  • Petro du PreezEmail author


Greater diversity and a decline in the understanding of the moral purposes of education has not only had an impact on secular school environments’ conceptualization of values in education, but also influenced faith based school contexts. Amidst greater diversity, the questions pertaining to values in education have become more complex and have often been captured in dichotomous reasoning. My principal aims in this chapter are to contribute to the dilemma of contradicting value systems in education and the inability to frame a value system for a diverse context, as well as to explore theoretical possibilities to think about curriculum-making processes that could surpass these problems. Inspired by Rorty R (Philosophy and the mirror of nature. Princeton University Press, New Jersey, 1979) and Badiou A (Ethics: an essay on the understanding of evil. Verso, London/New York, 2002), I will argue that discourses of values in education has been too fixated with objective answers to address descriptive moral challenges and, in so doing, too little focus and thought has been placed on continuous conversation that centres humanity and its infinite strive for truths. This phenomenon has resulted in an inability to overcome outdated dichotomous reasoning and to enter the domain of alternative, innovative understandings of values in education. Implications of these arguments will continuously be explored in the context of curriculum-making in secular and faith based school contexts. Toward the end I argue for an ongoing process of curriculum-making for an ethic of truths that provides a normative base from which values in education could organically stem and which does not set a good way of being as an abstract aim, but a concrete departure point.


Character education Curriculum theory Diversity and inclusivity Edifying education Ethic of truths Ethics Human rights values Multicultural education Particularism Religious values Social justice and equity Universalism Value systems Values 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Edu-HRight UnitNorth West UniversityPotchefstroomSouth Africa

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