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Mitzi Myers, commenting on the pedagogical philosophy of Maria Edgeworth, writes that Edgeworth wanted to empower the child, using adult authority to teach children to think for themselves and to reflect on issues. (Myers 133). This philosophy is implied in many of the books discussed in this chapter, where the “adult authority” is the author (as well as, on some occasions, adult authority figures within the book), whose story, with the ideology contained therein, is designed to enable and encourage the readers to think for themselves. Perhaps paradoxically, however, the role of the child is also, as Robert Pattison points out, constructed in such a way as to reveal faults in the surrounding world. (Pattison 110), a construction of the child which is not new, echoing as it does Dicken’s use of the child as a moral and social way of judging adult actions (Hollindale 100). This article will discuss a range of writing for young Australians which deals with ethical and moral issues as well as consider how we can bring an ethical perspective in our examination of such books.

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Journal Article

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