Society, by its very nature is forever changing. Indeed, society in Australia and other countries has changed dramatically over the past generation in a multitude of ways.
As society continues this growth and flux it has consequential influences on education and the objectives education strives for.
Firstly and perhaps most importantly, the family unit has undergone a distinct, and some would say irrevocable change. The term 'Family' today belies a multitude of meanings and discourses. Once, it may have ideally constituted a designated home grouping, but in current society it refers more closely to a variety of clustered adults and children (Barbour & Barbour, 2001). No longer do we see the more traditional nuclear family as a norm. In fact modern statistics prove that this is very much not the case. People are certainly still marrying and having children, but often at a later age than was the case in the past.
Also, the Australian the birth rate has declined rapidly over the past generation resulting in further societal implications. Women are now better educated and have greater control over their fertility and family planning than in the past. "The number of families living solely on a man's wage has dropped significantly in the late 1990s, with fewer people thinking that a wife's job is solely to look after the home and the family." (Scott and Brook, cited in Silva and Smart, 2000, p.4.)
The rate of separations and divorces in Australia has risen dramatically since the 1970's when the legislation changed to allow couples to separate without specifying an exact cause. The rise of single parent, blended family, gay, and extended family situations has seen a significant influence on society and thus education. Steve Biddulph, in Raising Boys, suggests that "because of divorce and single motherhood, up to...