Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Philosophy (School of Philosophy and Theology)

Schools and Centres

Philosophy and Theology

First Supervisor

Associate Professor Sandra Lynch

Second Supervisor

Professor Hayden Ramsay


This thesis argues that a sustained treatment of virtue is missing from the project undertaken to introduce values education into Australian schools over the period 1999 – 2010. It maintains that the inclusion of a focus on virtue, both in relation to the cognitive content and the behavioural impact of education in the virtues is an indispensable part of optimal moral education. One of the aims of the Australian values education project was that it should serve as a form of moral or character education. The absence of a serious treatment of virtue has resulted in an impoverished understanding of that part of the project which claims to provide a guide to moral or character education. For values education in Australian schools to provide an optimal moral education, the cognitive appreciation and the crucial behavioural dimensions of virtues must be included.